Extremist Qoumi madrassah graduates recruited by Islami Bank

Released on = April 8, 2006, 10:18 am

Press Release Author = Patricia Ovemarrie, News2006

Industry = Media

Press Release Summary = Different Islamic banks are recruiting graduates from qoumi
madrassahs at different tiers of their operations, although the government does not
recognise the degrees offered by these institutions.

Press Release Body = Different Islamic banks are recruiting graduates from qoumi
madrassahs at different tiers of their operations, although the government does not
recognise the degrees offered by these institutions.
The banks patronise the madrassah graduates by incorporating them in different tiers
of their operations because they do not get employment in public and private
organisations, sources in the central shariah board for the Islamic Banks of
Bangladesh said.
The banks are providing them with various jobs as part of a plan, they confirmed
when talking to New Age.
The shariah board, which ensures compliance with Islamic rules and practices by and
balanced policy decisions (fatwa) in the Islamic banks, has the approval of the
Bangladesh Bank.
The board has 14 member banks and 44 honorary members, according to a document of
the board.
'They [graduates from qoumi madrassahs] are citizens of this country and spent years
to learn something from qoumi madrassahs, so they should be patronised at various
levels,' said M Mukhlesur Rahman, secretary general of the board.
'It does not matter whether their certificates have the government's recognition or
not,' he said. 'A good number of qoumi madrassah graduates work in different post
and positions in six full-fledged Islamic Banks in the country.'
The six banks are Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, Al-Arafah Islami Bank Limited, the
Oriental Bank Limited, Social Investment Bank Limited, Shahjalal Islami Bank Limited
and Export Import Bank of Bangladesh Limited.
There are also eight banks with Islamic banking branches. The banks are Prime Bank
Limited, Dhaka Bank Limited, Southeast Bank Limited, Jamuna Bank Limited, The
Premier Bank Limited, HSBC Bangladesh (amanah finance branch), Standard Chartered
Bank (Islamic banking centre) and The City Bank Limited. They are all member banks
of the shariah board.
'The government is aware that a large number of madrassahs have long been offering
certificates to thousands of students that do not have any state recognition,' said
a top education ministry official. 'The marginal students, mostly dropouts from
primary schools and ebtidayee madrassahs, get admitted to qoumi madrassahs.'
About 20,000 qoumi madrassahs have been established in different parts of the
country and run without any assistance from the government. About 1.50 lakh teachers
teach over 20 lakh students there.
Despite demands by the Bangladesh Qoumi Madrassah Board and some Islamic leaders and
scholars, the government is yet to recognise the madrassahs for their hard-line
Islamic religious teaching and reported involvement in fostering militancy.
Intelligence agencies carried out investigations into the qoumi madrassahs after the
August 17 serial bombings and marked 233 madrassahs where they said militant
training was taking place.
The government, which ordered the investigation, also asked intelligence officials
to keep vigil on the madrassahs, sparking resentment among Islamist leaders.
Fazlul Haq Aminee of Islami Oikya Jote, a component in the four-party ruling
alliance, and Obaidul Huq, khatib of Baitul Mukarram, warned the government of not
harassing qoumi madrassah students in the name of raids.
The government has recently imposed ban on enrolment of foreign students in qoumi
According to the Bangladesh Qoumi Madrassah Board, the madrassahs are offering a
16-year course and a student has to learn 35 subjects in a five-tier education
system from class I to XVI.
'The primary stage includes class I to V, junior secondary class from class VI to
class VII, secondary and higher secondary from class IX to XII,' the board's
secretary general, Mohammad Abdul Zabbar, said.
The bachelor's degree spans from class XIII to class XIV and master's degree from
class XV to XVI, he added.

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