Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish
The Bangladesh Khilafat Majlis (also known as Khilafat Majlis) is an Islamist political party working to establish an Islamic state along the lines of a Caliphate ('Khilafat') in the People's Republic of Bangladesh.
The Khilafat Majlis was founded in 1989 by Maulana Abdul Gaffar of Khilafat Andolon and the firebrand, intellectual ideologue Ahmad Abdul Quader of Islami Jubo Shibir (a rival organisation to Jamaa'te-i-Islami in the 1980s when it's emerged as Khilafat Majlis.) Although smaller in comparison to Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, Khilafat Majlis maintains a strong following amongst modern and traditionally educated Muslims, intellectuals and laymen of all strands across the country. Unlike Jamaa't its attracts people from universities, colleges, schools as well as Kowmi and Alia Madrasas.
Agenda and activities
The Khilafat Majlis seeks the establishment of an Islamic state, modelled on the Caliphate, a multi-national religious supranational state. The party seeks the full enforcement of the Sha'riah. In conjunction with other Islamist parties Khilafat Majlis held street protests in the capital Dhaka condemning Israel for its role in the 2006 Lebanon War. In February, 2010 police in Khulna baton-charged Khilafat Majlis activists who were holding street protests, and arrested five. Khilafat Majlis activists were reportedly protesting the arrest of a central party leader Maulana Shakhawat, who had been arrested by the government.
Khilafat Majlis is being led by veteran Islamist leader Maulana Muhammad Ishaq and Ahmad Abdul Quader. Central Executive Committee runs the day to day affairs of the party.
Pact with Awami League
On January 22, 2006 Sheikh Hasina Wajed, the president of the reputedly secular Bangladesh Awami League and the current Prime Minister of Bangladesh, signed a controversial memorandum of understanding with the Khelafat Majlish to form a political alliance for the then-scheduled 2006 general election. The terms of the pact were reportedly to be designed to give the Awami League, one of the two main political parties in Bangladesh, a share in the vote bank of religious Muslim voters, who formed an important bloc of voters in Muslim-majority Bangladesh. In turn, an Awami League-led government would enact the Majlish agenda of declaring the Ahmadiyya community as non-Muslim, passing a blasphemy law (outlawing expressions of criticism of Islam) and make fatwas (decrees from Muslim clerics) legally binding. However, Sheikh Hasina later claimed that the Khelafat had approached her about forming an alliance and had promised to support a secular policy.
The pact was severely criticised within Bangladesh and by various leaders of the Awami League such as party presidium member Amir Hossain Amu, who criticised Sheikh Hasina for signing the pact without discussing it with other party leaders. By 2007, the pact had been scrapped after Sheikh Hasina returned to Bangladesh from the exile imposed by the interim government (2006–2008). Defending her actions, Sheikh Hasina said that the pact was signed for a "certain period" to resist the "communal-fundamentalist forces" led by the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh. Hasina claimed she was authorised by party leaders to make any decisions to ensure election victory for the Awami League.
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