Call it an “Islamic State” of its own, since 1988 Bangladesh has adopted Islam as its official state religion, though there are no Sharia courts. Over 90 percent of the country is Muslim, which has proven itself dangerous for the religious minority (and non-religious).
In 2012, 25,000 Muslims torched Buddhist homes and temples throughout the country. Attacks on Hindu temples ran rampant in early 2013, A handful of atheist bloggers have been killed as well. That’s just a sampling of the violence that has occurred as extremist factions within the Muslim nation spread.
In one attempt to calm the violence, the supreme court of the small nation is hearing arguments challenging Islam’s supremacy.
Via Breitbart After a recent spate of killings of members of religious minorities by Islamic extremists, the supreme court of Bangladesh has begun hearing arguments challenging Islam’s privileged status as official state religion, a measure applauded by religious liberty activists and minority leaders.
On February 29, Bangladesh’s Supreme Court officially began hearing arguments on the petition disputing the constitutionality of the adoption of Islam as the state religion.
Bishop Bejoy N. D’Cruze of Sylhet, chairman of the Catholic bishops’ Christian Unity and Interreligious Dialogue Commission, said that the decision to review the petition inspires great hope for religious minorities.
“When a state officially accepts a state religion, then it puts barricades for communal harmony because it recognizes supremacy of a particular religion and makes other religions inferior.”
“We hope and demand that every religion in Bangladesh is put on an equal footing in terms of status and respect,” he said.
Another religious leader, Govinda Chadra Pramanik, secretary of Bangladesh National Hindu Grand Alliance, said that by sponsoring Islam as the official religion, the state has created grounds for the persecution of minorities, especially Hindus.
Aren’t we fortunate to live in a nation where our Founders understood there should be no establishment of a national religion?
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]