Hefazat’s vulgar stand against women

14 Aug 2013


Spiritual leader, Hefazat-e-Islam chief and Hathazari Madrassa head Shah Ahmed Shafi earned the title ‘Allama’ that means a learned man.

 The system of conferring the title ‘Allama’ to learned men was introduced by the late emperor Akbar. The views expressed by such Allama or learned men constitute the guidelines for the society and these can not be taken lightly.


Allama Shafi has lakhs of followers in the country who rally round him and are prepared to sacrifice their life for him.


The organization headed by him, Hefazat-e-Islam, initially started as a non-political organization. But during the last City Corporation elections this organization carried out extensive campaigning for the BNP-led 18 Party Alliance and it subsequently merged with this Alliance.


Media reports, CDs and VCDs of a speech delivered by Allama Shafi during  a ‘Waz Mahfil’ at Hathazari madrassa spread like wild fire throughout the length and breadth of the country and some of them even found their way abroad. In this speech he advised the nation against women empowerment. He said that girls are not be given education beyond class iv or class v after which they are to be kept inside home. Even married women and those having children are not to venture out and always stay inside their husband’s home, he said.


In defense of his argument against women empowerment Allama Shafi said that higher education is not meant for girls whose formal education need not stretch beyond Class iv or class v so that after marriage they can keep watch on their husband’s earnings. That is the sole purpose of women’s education. Moreover, according to him, women who pursue higher education, tend to lose their child-bearing capacity. Expressing his views strongly against birth control, he said that making husbands happy and giving birth to their children are women’s only job. Terming birth control as a sinful act he advised men to have four wives and father as many children as possible, adding that it was Allah who provides food for all and they need not worry about feeding their off spring.


He also spoke against co-education system that, he said, creates opportunities for free-mingling between opposite sex that is a sin. If women are allowed to move outside home they will develop intimacy with men who always feel tempted to go near women. Allama Shafi remarked that men who are impervious to women’s charm are impotent. Women, if allowed to pursue higher education, will invariably come in touch with the opposite sex. This free mixing between men and women is a sin and not allowed in Islam, he added.


Allama Shafi, is this the lesson you have learnt from your study of Islam?


Allama Shafi’s followers listen to his sermons with raft attention without raising any protest against his advocacy for Talibani education system.


Women in Bangladesh have played a significant role in different walks of life and society. Presently Bangladesh is being ruled by an efficient woman. In the past also the country was successfully ruled by women. Hefazat-e-Islam has taken a condemnable and vulgar stand on the issue of women’s empowerment by distorting Islam and the country’s Constitution through its 13-point demand.

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