Source: Daily Star
April 2, 2009
Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said as many as 122 organisations are involved in terror activities in the country.
Addressing a workshop on 'Anti-Terrorism Act 2009' he said Qawmi madrasas are turning into breeding grounds of religion-based terrorism.
"They are not following the Quran, the Shariah and even laws of the land," he said adding that religious militancy goes against the spirit of religion and Islam.
"The education ministry is conducting a survey on madrasas and it is rational to bring all madrasas under government's control," he said.
The workshop was organised by Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) at its conference centre at Gulshan in the city.
Shafique said Qawmi madrasas will get government facilities if they come under the government's control.
The law minister said the religion-based terrorism began in the country after 1975 when changes were brought to the constitution through martial law proclamation that opened the door of religious politics.
"It would not have been so easy for fundamentalists to take to terrorism if the 1972 Constitution had remained intact," he added.
The minister said, "If the article 38 of the 72 constitution is restored religious political parties automatically would cease to exist."
Without clarifying the question whether the government would restore the constitution of 1972, he said, "Wait and see; the government is only two and a half months old.”
Regarding the madrasa education he said modern education should be introduced in madrasas so that madrasa students could also compete in the job market, business and other fields.
He said merging the money-laundering act with that of the anti terrorism act would help the government fight Islamist militancy as money laundering is linked with terrorism.
Differing with some points of the law minister former adviser to the caretaker government Maj Gen (retd) Moinul Hossain Chowdhury said, “It is not the amendment to the constitution rather it is the economic problem that gave rise to militancy.
"Moinul said the reasons behind Islamist militancy lie with the gulf of difference between rich and poor, our education system, unemployment and overall law and order situation.
BEI President Farooq Sobhan, former IGP Nurul Huda, former adviser to the caretaker government Shafi Shami also spoke.