Khelafat Majlish

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Khelafat Majlish

The Bangladesh Khilafat Majlis (also known as Khilafat Majlis) is an Islamist political party in Bangladesh.


The Khilafat Majlis seeks the establishment of an Islamic state, modelled on the Caliphate, a multi-national religious supranational state.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

Pact with Awami League[edit]

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 Khelafat Majlish to form a political alliance for the then scheduled 2006 general election.[1][4][5] 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.[1] 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.[1] However, Sheikh Hasina later claimed that the Khelafat had approached her about forming an alliance, and had promised to support a secular policy.[4][5]

The pact was severely criticized within Bangladesh and by various leaders of the Awami League, including presidium member Amir Hossain Amu, who criticized Sheikh Hasina for signing the pact without discussing it with other party leaders.[4][5] By 2007, the pact had been scrapped after Sheikh Hasina returned to Bangladesh from the exile imposed by the interim government (2006–2008).[4][5] 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.[4][5] Hasina claimed she was authorised by party leaders to make any decisions to ensure election victory for the Awami League.[4][5]


  1. ^ a b c d Nicholas Schmidle (2010). To Live Or to Perish Forever: Two Tumultuous Years in Pakistan. Macmillan. pp. 100–117. ISBN 978-0-8050-9149-6.
  2. ^ "Protests in city against Israeli attacks". New Age. Dhaka. Archived from the original on 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  3. ^ "Police batoncharge Khelafat Majlish protesters in Khulna, 5 held". The New Nation. 2010-02-20. Archived from the original on 2010-02-25. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Ruhin, Ofiul Hasnat (2007-06-24). "Hasina, Amu trade blames". New Age. Dhaka. Archived from the original on 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Hasina warns of plot against AL". New Age. Dhaka. 2007-06-24. Archived from the original on 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2010-08-27.