First Islamic school for Transgender opens in Bangladesh

Aug 2019

Dhaka opens an Islamic school for the first transgender for the first academic year, students receive the official Muslim Holy Quran Book, the school is supported by a group of Muslim priests and trainers and is supported by local charities. It is an opportunity and an alternative to gender discrimination in Bangladesh. According to estimates, there are 50,000 LGBTQ people, and in many conflicting information it is estimated that Bangladesh has 1.5 million LGBTQ people.

DHAKA – Bangladesh opened its first Islamic school for transgender Muslims on Friday, what the clergy called a first step towards incorporating discriminatory minorities into society.

Madrasa is one of the latest moves in Bangladesh to increase the lives of 1.5 million Muslims.

Bangladeshi hijras – transgender people – march on the streets during a rally to mark the first nationwide program to observe ‘Hijra Day’ in Dhaka on November 10, 2014. 10 November 2013 The Bangladesh government officially recognized Hijra as gender segregated in To uphold their rights, they are able to identify their gender as ‘hijra’ on all government documents including their passports. Munir uz Zaman, AFP. 

The LGBT community faces widespread discrimination in the South Asian country, with colonial laws still punishing gay sex with imprisonment, although enforcement is rare.
But about 50 transgender students read the Quranic verses to open the Dawatul Islam Tritio Linger Madrasa School on the outskirts of the capital on Friday.
“I’m happy,” Shakila Akhter, a 33-year-old student, told AFP.
“We are grateful to the priests for this beautiful movement.”
Achter was born a girl and always wanted to be a doctor or lawyer. But those ambitions were thwarted when she left her home as a child to join the transgender community.
“We are Muslims But we cannot go to the mosque,” ​​Akhter said. “We cannot mix with other members of society.”
A group of priests led by Abdur Rahman Azad turned the top of the three-story building into a school with funds from local charities.
Azad’s team has already offered Quran lessons to seven transgender groups in Dhaka and said Madrasa grew out of the need for a permanent base for the community.
Up to 150 students – almost all adults receive lessons similar to those in traditional Madrasah where the Quran is taught alongside Islamic Philosophy, Bengali, English, Mathematics and Social Sciences.
Azad said transgender people, known as Hijras, in Bangladesh had suffered too much.
“They have lived in misery for too long, they cannot go to madrasas school or mosques, they are victims of discrimination, we society and the state are to blame for this,” he said.
“We want to end this discrimination, Allah does not discriminate between people, Islam considers everyone to be human, Hijras deserves every right like any other human being.

In 2015, Islamic extremists hacked a gay activist and LGBT magazine editor to death, while other prominent homosexuals fled the country. But the next step was made for the community.

The government of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina since 2013 has allowed the identification of transgender people.
Last year they were allowed to register to vote as a third gender, and their numbers will be counted toward the census to be conducted next year across the country of 168 million people.


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