Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bangladesh removes Islamic author's books from libraries

DHAKA, July 17, 2010: The Bangladesh government has ordered tens of thousands of mosques and libraries to remove books written by the controversial founder of an Islamic party, an official said Saturday.

The state-run Islamic Foundation took the decision after Syed Abul Ala Maududi's books were deemed "anti-Islamic" and likely to foster militancy in the Indian subcontinent, its head Shamim Mohammad Afjal told AFP.

Maududi is the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami party, which has a large number of followers in South Asia -- home to around 450 million Muslims. The Jamaat is the largest Islamic party in Bangladesh, with two elected lawmakers in the parliament. "We have taken the decision to withdraw books written by Maududi from all of the state-funded 24,000 libraries attached to mosques," Afjal said.

Muslim-majority Bangladesh has 270,000 mosques but only a fraction are directly funded by the government, according to the Foundation. "Maududi's books have given bad name to Islam as they encourage terrorism and militancy. His philosophy is against the basic teachings of Koran and the traditions and saying of Prophet Mohammed," he said.

Although the Bangladeshi and Pakistani branches of Jamaat-e-Islami party are fully independent, their supporters avidly follow Maududi's books and his political and radical interpretations of Koran. Born in India, Maududi headed the Jamaat in Pakistan for decades. He died in 1979. AFP

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