Moon-Sighting Fiasco: BNP MP wants religious affairs minister to quit

BNP MP Harunur Rashid yesterday in parliament demanded the resignation of State Minister for Religious Affairs Sheikh Md Abdullah for the confusion over the Eid-ul Fitr date.

Two other MPs from Jatiya Party also came down heavily on the state minister on the issue.

“I expect the religious affairs minister [state minister]to resign over this moon-sighting issue and the national moon-sighting committee to be abolished,” Harun, the Chapainawabganj-3 lawmaker, said while speaking on the point of order.

Lambasting the minister, he also questioned what the job of the national moon-sighting committee was.

“The moon is usually sighted during the evening. The moon is supposed to be sighted at 6:30pm or 7:00pm.”Harun said Abdullah came up with first announcement of the Eid date at 9:00pm, saying Eid would be celebrated on June 6 as the moon was not sighted anywhere in Bangladesh.

“After taraweeh prayers, when we fell asleep…, the second announcement came on television at 11:00pm that the moon was sighted in Kurigram. Can the moon be sighted at 11:00pm?” he said.

The BNP MP also demanded incorporation of the authentic meaning of “Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim” in the constitution.

Harun said there was a campaign promoting the theme “religion for individuals, festival for all” in the country, but Islam did support it.

“Those who carry out such campaigns lack religious knowledge,” he added.

He said as long as Islam remained the state religion, no one should create misleading statements about the fundamental issues of the religion.

Meanwhile, Jatiya Party MP Pir Fazlur Rahman (Sunamganj-4) also criticised Abdullah over the moon-sighting issue.

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