Welcome news from Bangladesh via the Economist:
A High Court in Bangladesh ruled that the country’s biggest Islamist party, the Jamaat-e-Islami, is unfit to contest national polls scheduled for later this year. The Supreme Court, after hearing Jamaat’s plea on August 5th, refused to issue a stay on the High Court’s ruling. It had found for a group of petitioners, led by the head of the Bangladesh Tariqat Federation (a smallish Islamic political party), who argued that Jamaat’s charter violates Bangladesh’s constitution and party-registration rules. Indeed the charter does not recognise parliament as the sole institution to pass laws; it bars non-Muslims and women from leading the party; and it has party offices abroad—each an apparent violation. Bangladesh’s Election Commission said that it would cancel Jamaat’s party registration.
Now, I have no problem, in principle, with the idea of a religious party or religious folks participating in elections, in Bangladesh or here in the USA . If they have a different vision for the country, so be it. Let them compete for votes and the country gets to choose its constituency.