WE are saddened and worried that in the name of Islam some people have been trying to create confusion around the issue of the proposed national policy on women. In many ways, it is a repeat of what these very elements tried doing recently about the education policy, a move that created some unnecessary confusion. Now when a progressive step is being taken to ensure that Bangladesh's women enjoy equal rights with men politically, economically and socially, these extreme elements are busy spreading the false notion that the proposed policy goes against the Quran and Sunnah. It does nothing of the sort. Indeed, we are outraged that where Islam once caused a positive transformation in people's thoughts and even now symbolizes equality and self-esteem for all men and women, some quarters are happy to convey the impression that Islam stands against granting equal rights to women. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A section of people, who base their politics on misinterpretation of religion, have called for a hartal today. We wonder if they and their followers went through the entirety of the proposed policy before raising the bogey of Islam and the Quran being in danger should rights be accorded to Bangladesh's women. Nowhere in the policy is there any mention or even a suggestion of its being in contravention of the Quran and Sunnah. The truth is that the policy simply means to ensure a more pro-active role for women in the various sectors of national life and thus make it possible for them to pursue life in dignity and freedom. Those are principles which are enshrined in the Quran as well. The ignorance of those behind the current ruckus is therefore inexcusable.
The women's policy is surely a necessary one and a good one. It ought to be a step forward not just for women but for the whole nation as well. We ask those agitating against it to desist from denigrating Islam by using it as a weapon for political propaganda.