JI wants non-Muslims to vow to protect Bangla freedom
Last Updated: Thursday, July 23, 2009, 20:52
Dhaka: The radical Jamaat-e-Islami party of Bangladesh wants its non-Muslim members to take an oath to protect the country's "independence and sovereignty" but has exempted Muslims from taking such a pledge.

The Jamaat submitted its 'reformed' constitution to the Election Commission yesterday. It has been ratified by the Majlish-e-Shura, the party's highest policy-making forum.

The document has a provision allowing non-Muslims to be members of the party but it makes it mandatory for them to take a pledge to protect the country's independence and sovereignty, the Daily Star newspaper reported. Muslim members are exempted from taking that oath, it said.

"I shall actively play a role in defending the independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh," reads a section of the oath scheduled for non-Muslim members, the report said.

In addition, a non-Muslim Jamaat member must work for establishing the 'rule of Islam' in the country, in order to continue being a member of the party.

Both Muslim and non-Muslim members, however, must swear to abide by the rules and decisions of the party, giving the highest priority to implementing the decisions.

Jamaat is accused of colluding with the Pakistani Army during the 1971 liberation war and calls have been made by freedom fight veterans here for trying its top leaders for alleged war crimes.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, July 23, 2009, 20:52

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