PM hits out at Hefazat leader over anti-women remarks
July 13 2013 10:12 PM
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina


By Mizan Rahman/Dhaka


Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday came down heavily on the Hefazat-e-Islam leader Allama Shafi for his ‘derogatory and indecent remarks’ about women.
“One religious leader recently made some indecent remarks about women. I’m totally confused how a religious leader could utter such indecent remarks when Islam shows the highest respect for women,” she said at her official residence Ganobhaban.
Recently, the video of speech by Hefazat-e-Islam supreme leader Allama Shafi was widely circulated via social media, in which he made indecent remarks regarding women and likened them to mouth-watering tamarind (tetul) fruit.
Hasina said such remarks from an Islamic leader are unwanted and obviously
derogatory.
She mentioned that the first person who embraced Islam was a woman (Bibi Khadiza), that Bibi Ayesha fought in the battlefield alongside the Prophet and won a battle, and that Bibi Sumaiya was the first martyr in the history of Islam. Bibi Khadiza also engaged herself in trade and business, she said.
“I want to ask (Allama Shafi), didn’t he come from a mother’s womb? Won’t he respect the mother? Doesn’t he have a sister or wife? Won’t he uphold their dignity?” the prime
minister said.
Hasina asked women leaders to further raise their voices so that no one could use such indecent words against women in the future.
She said Islam is the only religion which properly safeguards the rights of women. “Only we (Muslims) can claim the property from the father’s side and the husband’s side.”
Regarding the remarks of Allama Shafi against women leadership, the prime minister said it was the citizens of the country who would decide their leadership.



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