WASHINGTON — Bangladesh’s struggles with a strong Islamist party is widely known and now it is going to get even worse as secularists face off against Islamists.
Reuters reports that the country’s second-highest court said the country’s primary Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami, is illegal. The country’s general elections are to take place next year and this court decision effectively knocks it out of the running.
The country’s secular constitution was threatened by the Islamist party, ruled the court. Party supporters protested the decision and soon turned to violence. The party has called for a countrywide strike August 12-13.
An appeal has been made to the country’s highest court, the Supreme Court, to make a decision on the High Court’s verdict.
The party’s officials have been under scrutiny by the Bangladeshi government because of a tribunal that is investigation past war crimes committed during their war of independence from Pakistan. Six have been convicted of war crimes, with 4 sentenced to death and 2 to life in prison.
Hundreds have died in violent protests after each sentence is handed down.