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Dhaka – Muslim clerics in Bangladesh have warned the interim government against going for a change in the inheritance laws of the country to achieve gender equality, officials said Friday. The warning came from clerics who have been demanding Islamic Sharia laws in the Muslim-majority country. Mufti Fazlul Haq Amini, who heads a privately-run madrassa in the old quarter of the capital Dhaka, called for the scrapping of the government’s National Women Development Policy which has been attacked by the radical Ulema (priest) Council for being repugnant to the Koran, the holiest book of Islam. A government spokesman denied any move to replace the Koranic law of inheritance which gives daughters half of what sons get from their parents’ property. Radical Islamists have opposed any moves by previous governments to reduce the gap between male and female inheritors. “None can change the injunctions of the holy Koran,” said Amini, adding that the move to amend the inheritance laws will be firmly resisted by the ulemas. The policy was formally introduced on International Woman’s Day earlier in the week by women’s affairs adviser to the government Rasheda Chowdhury. Law adviser Hasan Ariff told a group of top clerics that the government has no intention of changing the inheritance laws. The statement from the law ministry is intended to appease clerics campaigning for a Koran-based society in Bangladesh.


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