Bangladesh: First Islamic School for Transgenders

The transgender community faces endless discrimination in South Asian society. To curb such behavior Bangladesh opens the first Islamic school for transgenders!

On Friday, 6th November, Bangladesh opened their first Islamic school for transgenders, with clerics praising the idea and calling this the first step to curb discrimination against this minority and integrating them into society.

Bangladesh has been making countless attempts to make life easier for transgender people, as its population amounts to 1.5 million transgender people. A very prominent effort in Bangladesh opening an Islamic school for transgenders.

In South Asian society, the LGBT community faces considerable backlash and discrimination, with colonial practices still in the reforms, it punishes gay sex by prison terms, even though the implementation is rare.

Moreover, around 50 transgender students read verses of the Holy Quran to mark the opening of the Dawatul Islam Tritio Linger Madrassah, the first Islamic school for transgenders, on the outskirts of the capital of Bangladesh on Friday.

“I am ecstatic,” Shakila Akhter, a 33-year-old student, said. “We are grateful to the clerics for this beautiful movement.” “We are Muslims, yet we can’t go to a mosque,” Akhter said. “We can’t even mix with other members of society.” The first Islamic school for transgenders opened in Bangladesh was founded by a group of clerics led by Abdur Rahman Azad, who transformed the top floor of a three-story building into the school with funding from a local charity.

Azad’s team is already known for offering Quran lessons to several transgender groups in Dhaka. Their vision is that up to 150 adults or even more will get lessons in the first Islamic school for transgenders, where the Quran is taught along with Islamic philosophy, Bengali, English, mathematics, and social sciences.

Azad said transgender people, known as “Hijras” in Bangladesh, have suffered too much. “For too long they have been living a miserable life. They cannot go to schools, madrassahs, or mosques. They have been 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 treats everyone as a human being. Hijras should enjoy all rights like any other human being.”

Bangladesh opening the first Islamic school for transgenders proves their attempts to serve the community right, and do good by them.

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