Islamic Foundation has been advised to bring highly educated speakers under registration
The Ministry of Home Affairs has made six recommendations in the wake of complaints that religious sermons foment sectarianism, instigate social divisions, denounce women who do not observe the hijab, and make derogatory comments about members of the showbiz community.
The home ministry has sent its observations to the Bangladesh Islamic Foundation, the National Board of Revenue and all divisional commissioners across the country.
The recommendations underline that those who deliver sermons and receive money should be brought under the income tax network, and they must face the law if their sermons contain seditious elements.
The Islamic Foundation has also been advised to register highly educated speakers.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told Bangla Tribune: “We receive regular reports on what the religious sermons contain and worked based on the reports.”
Relevant to note, between March 19 and 23, Bangla Tribune published a series of reports on religious sermons, questioning if they were being commercialized.
In the third week of March, the political section of the home ministry released a report identifying 15 speakers whose sermons were fomenting discord, sowing seeds of radicalism, and encouraging an intolerant outlook on women’s emancipation.
On several occasions, the sermons used lines like: demolishing any statue is a religious duty, Rabindranath Tagore is a heretic, a person loses faith by befriending a non-Muslim, it is not right to place flowers at the Shaheed Minar, democracy is outlawed in Islam, etc.
The report further mentions that many of these damaging sermons are being publicised through YouTube channels.
1. Clerics must give sermons that are practical and promote social harmony
2. Steps to be taken against those who give controversial sermons
3. Bringing highly educated speakers under registration
4. Ensuring that speakers pay income tax
5. Warning speakers if they are spreading hate and intolerance
6. Bringing hate preachers under law
Nur Mohammad Alam, research division director at Islamic Foundation, acknowledged receiving the letter of recommendations from the ministry. “We have received the letter and will decide the course of action in the next meet,” he said.
A meeting was scheduled to be held on Monday (April 1) evening.