DHAKA: On Friday, Bangladesh opened the first Islamic school for transgender Muslims with clerics calling it a first step in the incorporation into society of the oppressed minority.
The Madressah is one of Bangladesh ‘s latest set of initiatives to make life simpler for up to 1.5 million transgender people in the country.
In the South Asian country, the LGBT community faces pervasive discrimination, with a colonial-era statute still in effect that punishes gay sex by jail sentences, while implementation is uncommon.
But about 50 transgender students read verses from the Holy Qur’an to mark the opening on Friday on the outskirts of the capital of the Dawatul Islam Tritio Linger Madressah, or Islamic Third Gender Academy.
Shakila Akhter, a 33-year-old student, said, “I am ecstatic.” “For this lovely pass, we are grateful to the clerics.
Akhter was born a girl and had long hoped to become a doctor or lawyer, but when she left home while still a teenager to enter a transgender community, those dreams were derailed.
We are Muslims, and still we can not go to a mosque, “said Akhter.” “We can’t even communicate with other members of society.” With funds from a local charity, a group of clerics headed by Abdur Rahman Azad converted the top floor of a three-storey building into a school.
Azad ‘s team is now providing Quranic lessons to seven Dhaka transgender communities and said the madressah developed out of the desire for the community to have a permanent foundation.
Up to 150 learners, almost all adults, will receive lessons similar to those in a typical madressah, where Islamic philosophy, Bengali, English , mathematics and social sciences are taught along with the Quran.
Azad said that transgender women, known in Bangladesh as ‘Hijras’, have suffered so much. “They have been living a wretched life for so long. They can’t go to schools, madrassahs, or mosques.
“We were victims of injustice. This is the responsibility of us, culture and the state,’ he added. “This injustice is what we want to end. Allah does not differentiate between persons. As a human being, Islam treats everybody. All privileges should be enjoyed by Hijras, as every other human being.
A leading gay activist and publisher of an LGBT magazine was hacked to death by extremists in 2015, while other influential homosexuals have since fled the country.
But for the environment, moves forward have been taken. The government of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has allowed transgender people to be recognised as a distinct sex since 2013.
They were permitted to register to vote as a third gender last year, and their numbers will be included in a survey of 168 million to be conducted around the nation next year.
وزیراعظم عمران خان نے یونیورسٹی آف حافظ آباد کا سنگ بنیاد رکھ دیاہے اور اس وقت وہ جلسہ گاہ میں موجود ہیں
Published in Dharti News, November 7th, 2020