Category Archives: bangladesh jihadists

“We are Taliban and Bangla(desh) will be Afghan(istan)”


Posted by: William Gomes   in Bangladesh, Islam, Politics, Research & Analysis

Rising Muslim Extremism in Bangladesh

Rising Muslim Extremism in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is terrorized by Islamic terrorism. Islamic terrorism has created a culture of fear in Bangladesh. Our main objective is to bring out the nation from this culture of fear. Afghanistan is noted with the notion that “a nation at war and some time a nation engulfed by the “Taliban”.

In 1990s, 70,000 to 120,000 Muslim youth trained to fight in Asia, Africa, and in Middle East in different Al-Qaeda and Taliban camps in Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda highly trained a notable number of Islamic groups and indoctrinated them with the mission of “Jihad” that influx all over the world the message of fear and violence.

Arakan Rohingya Nationalist Organization (ARNO) and Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO) were among the groups who were trained in Afghanistan camps and were and are active in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Every single Islamic terrorist attack from 9/11 to Bangladesh or else where in world is direct or indirect curse of the mushroom growth of Islamic terrorism. Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami-Bangladesh (HuJI-B) and Jamaat-ul-Mujaihdeen Bangladesh (JMB) have had a strong relation with the Afghanistan based Islamic terrorist networks. Bangladesh witnessed a mass bloodshed in the name of bloody Islam. Roads of Bangladesh were shacked with the slogan “We are Taliban and Bangla Will be Afghan”.

Bangladesh is experiencing the highest challenge in controlling political Islam and Islamic terrorism. The scenario has changed now Bangladesh becomes the highest threat before world peace and security.

As a multifaceted phenomenon, terrorism is a reason to fight regionally and jointly.

The experience of Afghanistan in fighting the Islamic terrorism has been pivotal. Afghanistan can lead the south Asia in fighting the Islamic terrorism with their all experience.

Present Afghanistan Government and the people of Afghanistan is major ally of the International community in fighting the Islamic terrorist. The articulation and pursuit of Afghan foreign policy had made it clear the intention and ability to defend the Islamic Terrorism in or by Afghanistan. However, in a world of diversity, the solution we are looking forward to bring an end to the culture of fear and violence does demand a regional united effort.

International community should guide to bridge the gap between inadequate aspirations of Afghanistan’s foreign policy in fighting the Islamic Terrorist with People and government of Bangladesh based on the spirit of friendship and co operation.

International community should inspire the politicians and policy makers to mobilize the people of the south Asian region to make an open platform that the normal people can lead the movement against the culture of violence and fear that the movements become people’s movement against Islamic Terrorism and a vibrant campaign for Justice and peace. This initiative will play a central role in helping the people and government of Afghanistan and Bangladesh in their mission towards insuring stability of the south Asian region and the world.


21 women militants arrested from Barisal District

21 women militants arrested from Barisal District

Security Forces on April 23 arrested 22 suspected militants, most of them women, in a raid in the south-western Barisal District soon after enforcing stepped up vigil around foreign missions following threats from Islamist extremists, The Hindu reported. The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested 22 suspected militants, including 21 women, while they were holding a meeting early morning in the District town, 117-km north of the capital Dhaka, Daily Star reported. Lt Commander K M Mamunur Rashid of the RAB told Daily Star the suspected militants were being interrogated at the battalion”s office. However, identities of the suspected militants were not ascertained. muhammed_drawing_jyllandsposten_censor21

Police on April 21 had intensified security around the United Nations (UN) and other foreign aid agencies after regional offices of the UN and International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) received militant threats at Barisal. &quotWe enforced tight security around the UN, UNICEF and IFRC offices, deploying extra forces and installing makeshift check points,” Nurunnabi Chowdhury, officer in charge of the Kotwali Police station in Barisal city, told PTI over phone. The intensified security came as suspected Jama”atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) activists sent letters to the regional offices of the two organizations, asking them to shut down their offices or &quotface death&quot.

Source: South Asia Terrorism Portal

From Bangladesh to Darfur

From Bangladesh to Darfur

How internalised racism has permitted lighter skinned Muslims to slaughter their darker skinned co-religionists


Presentation at The Durban Review Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, April 21, 2009

Dear NGO colleagues and delegates,

I speak to you deeply disappointed that my colleague Milly Nsekalije, a survivor of the Rwandan massacre could not share her story with all of you because in the eyes of some since she is not 100% Tutsi, she cannot have been a victim of the Genocide.

With Milly Nsekalije, a mixed-race survivor of the Rwadan Genocide, who was denied the right to speak by Tutsi activists as she was “not 100% pure Tutsi.”

What does it say about the state of racism in our world when the victims of a genocide practise exclusion on the basis of the so-called purity of blood lines and ethnicities.

Worse than her exclusion from today’s event is the fact that it has happened at a conference meant to combat racism, when it fact, in my opinion, whether it was yesterday’s speech by Mahmood Ahmadenijad or this afternoon’s barring off Ms. Nsekalije, we have turned the concept of racism upside down.

Having said that, please allow me to dwell on how racism plays out its dirty game, not just as a Black-White divide, but also as a cancer that affects relations between people of colour, often sharing the same religion, but different shades of brown or black skin.

When the issue of racism comes up, the internalised racism that devours the people of the developing world in Asia and Africa, from within, rarely comes up for discussion.

This afternoon I would like to shed some light on two genocides-one in 1970-71 and the other that continues as I speak. In both instances the root of the problem lay in how one group of Muslims felt they were racially superior to their victims, who also happened to be Muslims. In both cases the doctrine of racial superiority and the practise of institutional racism went unchallenged even after the horrible consequences of such racism was evident and for all to see.

The first genocide took place in then East Pakistan, now Bangladesh and second is taking place in Darfur. Let me dwell on the Bangladesh genocide first.

In 1970 in Pakistan, my country of birth was divided between two wings; an eastern part that is today known as Bangladesh and the western rump that survived a subsequent war with India as the state we know as Pakistan.

East Pakistan was inhabited by the darker skinned Bengali people who happened to be the majority community of the country, but found themselves ruled by a lighter skinned minority from what was known as West Pakistan-separated by a 1,000 miles.

In the first 25 years of the country, the racist depiction of the darker skinned Bengalis as an inferior and incapable people became the unquestioned dogma among the ruling minority. In addition to the racist depiction of the darker-skinned Bengalis, their culture was portrayed as unislamic and being influenced by Hinduism. Their music, cuisine and attire were mocked while their language was banned and led to widespread protests and deaths in 1952.

In 1970, after suffering under the minority rule of West Pakistan for 25 years, the people of East Pakistan voted to elect a party based in their region and gained a clear majority in the country’s national parliament.

However, the racist view that Bengali people were incapable of ruling the country or that they were traitors to the fair-skinned minority of West Pakistan, led to a military intervention and widespread massacres in which one million people were killed in a ten-month period.

The killing of the Bengali people by the West Pakistan army stopped only when India intervened and defeated the Pakistan Armed forces, but not before hundreds of Bengali intellectuals, professors, poets, authors, musicians and painters, were rounded up and massacred in the final act of mass murder that started with the tolerance of racism as an act of faith.

One million Muslims were murdered by fellow Muslims in an orgy of hate that defied the teachings of Islam and the very Prophet Muhammad who was being invoked by the Pakistan Army. At the root of this sad blot on Islamic history and all of humanity lay the view that people of darker skin are inferior to those for geographic reasons have for no fault of theirs, a lighter skin colour.

One would have hoped that the lessons of 1970-71 would have been learnt in the Muslim World, but the sad fact is that the ubiquitous racism that resides inside the Islamic world has faced no opposition. On the contrary there is near universal denial about this cancer, not just among the governments that rule with oppressive instruments of power, but also many NGOs and civil society groups in the Muslim world.

The latest manifestation of racism leading to a genocide is in Sudan where the Arab Janjaweed militia and the Arab government in Khartoum has resulted in the killing of 500,000 Darfuri Muslims whose only fault is that they are Black and thus considered as inferior to the ruling classes of that country.

The mistreatment of Black Muslims by those who feel they are superior because of their lighter skin colour has been historical. Only in the Middle East can one get away by addressing a Black man as “Ya Abdi”, which translates to the horrible words, “Oh you slave”.

The acceptance of racism among the dominant community in the Arab world has today resulted in not just the genocide of Darfuris, but also the celebration by the Arab League of the man charged by the International Criminal Court, President Bashir of Sudan.

It is time that the medieval doctrine of the inferiority of non-Arab Muslims to Arab Muslims is laid to rest. It is necessary that Arab countries and leaders of Arab NGOs denounce this doctrine that has led to the discrimination of darker skinned Muslims by Arab governments in counties as far apart as Dubai to Darfur.

Behind the genocide of Bengal and Darfur, separated by 30 years, is the unchallenged doctrine of racial superiority of one ethnic group over another that has gone unnoticed and unpunished by any institution anywhere in the world.

This doctrine of racism has brought untold misery on the victims of this cancer, but this becomes worse when such racism is given a religious validation. In this day and age, we have fatwas from contemporary Islamic scholars who maintain that a non-Arab Muslim like me would be committing an act of sin if I considered myself equal to an Arab.

Fatwas from the 14th century have been dusted off the shelves, re-furbished and published on on-line Islamist forums to justify the superiority of one group over the other. This has provided the moral justification to the mass murder being committed on the Black Muslims of Darfur, which unfortunately, has gone unmentioned even at this conference.

Let me conclude by suggesting that if racism is a mountain that we all need to conquer, then we have not yet come to a place where we can see this mountain in the horizon, let alone be at base camp.

Ladies and gentlemen, sisters and brothers, if we cannot allow a woman to speak here because she is of mixed blood or the fact that untouchability in India is not on the agenda in Geneva, or that nations of the OIC seek the right to restrict free speech, or a demagogue from Iran with blood on his hands has the audacity to lecture us on human rights, then all I can say is that in the words of Robert Frost, we have miles to go before we sleep… #

HuT kingpin Selim Ponni is the neo Shaikh Rahman

Special Correspondent

Bayejid Khan Ponni alias Selim Ponni is the kingpin of notorious Islamist militancy group named Hizb Ut Towhid [HuT] in Bangladesh, who continues to train his own suicide bombers and militias within this notorious Islamist group for years, is gradually emerging as the neo ‘Shaikh Abdur Rahman’ in the country. In his book titled ‘Dazzal’ Selim Ponni terms Jews and Christians as the worst evils and enemies of humantiy. He calls upon the followers of HuT to kill the Jews and Christians for buying heaven. Published by Towhid Prokashon [Towhid Publishers], this extremist book is distributed from Pustok Bhaban, 31/32 P.K. Roy Road, Bangla Bazar, Dhaka. HuT continues its organization in different parts in Bangladesh through a selected number of cadres recruited by Bayejid Khan Ponni. This organization uses 0171-5002439, 0175-2337461, 0152-302845, 0152-365167 and 01711-005025 cell phones along with hundreds of mobile number in giving instructions to its cadres around the country.

According to information, Hizb Ut Towhid, althoudh were getting organized inside Bangladesh for years [since 1996], it recently established a small unit in Indian state of Kashmir with the objective of providing fund and arms-explosives to the Muslim militants within that area. This organization considers India as ‘enemy of Islam’ for what it said “repression and murder of Muslim in Jammu and Kashmir”.

Bayejid Ponni in his book titled ‘Islamer Prokito Roop Rekha’ [Main policies of Islam], wrote, till the democracy is not replaced with Sharia rule in any society, armed struggle should be continued.

Quoting prophet of Islam, Bayejid Ponni said, till everyone does not embrace Islam, war should continue in the world by all the Muslims.

He said, “As ‘punishment’ of abandoning Jihad, Muslims in Europe are being made into slaved of Christians.”

He quoted Allah saying, “If you abandon Jihad [armed struggle], I will punish you”.

He said, because of abandoning armed struggle and Jihad, we have been made into slaves of Europe, America and Christians.

He suggests members of his group to migrate to other countries with the objective of continuing Jihad against Jews and Christians. According to information, a large number of HuT members are already sent abroad [in the Western nations] with Jihadist indoctrination.

He inspires the members of this notorious group to reject democracy and all other forms of governance except that of Sharia rule. He promoted murder of non-Muslims and even Muslims following democracy as ‘noble cause’.

HuT has its own ‘Video Wing’ wherefrom speeches of Bayejid Ponni are distributed amongst the members of this group. In most of these videos, Bayejid Ponni gives instigative speeches to his followers, which are very similar to those of Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh [JMB], a banned outfit. It is even learnt that, for years, this group has gained strength as well as gathered arms and explosives with their targeted offensives on September 9, 2009. Bayejid Ponni has been telling his followers of a massive offensive by HuT in Bangladesh on 9 September to show strength of their group to the world.

JMB suspects held in Jamalpur

The Daily Star

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

JMB suspects held in Jamalpur

Threat letters to Barisal Unicef, WFP

Six suspected members of the banned Islamist militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), including two women, were arrested in the early hours yesterday in Jamalpur town.

A joint team of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and police raided a house at Phulbaria Munshipara in the town around 12:30am, hauled the six and took them to Jamalpur Sadar Police Station.

Later, they were arrested them under Section 54 of the Criminal Procedure Code and produced before a local court, which placed them on a five-day remand each.

The arrestees are Abdus Salam, 25, of Daspara in Modhupur of Tangail, Mizanur Rahman, 21, of Gopinathpur in Sarishabari of Jamalpur, Mohammad Zakaria, 28, of Krishnapur in Nalitabari of Sherpur, his wife Rabeya Begum, 23, Tareque Mostafa Masum, 29, of Moghbazar in Dhaka, and his wife Syeda Halima Yasmeen.

They had rented the ground floor of the three-storey house at Munshipara around one and a half months ago.

Contacted last night, Officer-in-Charge of Jamalpur Police Station Abdul Matin said that during primary interrogation, the arrestees said they are followers of Prof Abdul Majid of Charfasion upazila in Bhola.

“We are checking whether the detainees are involved with JMB or any other militant organisation,” he said.

Our Correspondent reports from Barisal: Three separate letters in Bangla signed as JMB reached Unicef, International Federation of Red Cross and World Food Programme Barisal offices by post yesterday afternoon.

Assistant Commissioner of Barisal Metropolitan Police Hayatul Islam told The Daily Star that the officials of the organisations submitted copies of the letters to police. Visiting the offices, police have increased the surveillance activities in the areas, he added.

The sender of the hand written letters had threatened to kill the chiefs of the organisations if they didn’t stop their operations and quit Bangladesh immediately, said Hayatul.

He further said police are preparing to lodge a general diary and take special security measures in this connection.

Hizb Ut Towhid preparing for attack on 999

Hizb Ut Towhid preparing for attack on 999

Special Correspondent

Source WeeklyBlitz Bangadesh

Top leader as well as 30 followers of notorious Islamist militancy group named Hizb Ut Towhid was arrested from Kushtia district in Bangladesh on Friday during military training. According to information, law enforcing agencies raided the under-cover office of Hizb Ut Towhid named ‘Pother Disha’ [Guide to passage]. Huge volume of Jihadist books, explosives, leaflet, CD and other publicity materials were recovered from the office of this militancy outfit. During the operations, people attending Friday prayers chanted slogans demanding stern punishment of Hizb Ut Towhid men.

Meanwhile, according to various news sites it is learnt that Kingpin of Bangladesh´s Islamist militancy group, Hizb Ut Towhid (HuT), Mohammad Bayezid Khan Ponni aka Selim Ponni is continuing to tell his followers to get prepared for a massive offensive to “give proper response to the enemies of Islam” on September 9, 2009. HuT men call this day as ‘999’.

Activities of Hizb Ut Towhid are continuing from Dhaka´s residential area named Uttara, which houses mostly upper-middle class and middle class people. Hizb Ut Towhid office is located at House No. 4, road no. 18, sector no. 7 in this area. Kingpin of HuT operates his activities under the mask of ‘Homeopathic Treatment Center’.

Established in 1994 at Korotia village under Tangail district in Bangladesh, Hizb Ut Towhid leader Mohammad Bayezid Khan Ponni aka Selim Ponni claims himself to as “Imam-uz-zaman’ or someone having a position just after the prophet of Islam.

Although Hizb Ut Towhid operates its activities from Dhaka´s Uttara area, there are several under-cover branches of the extremely ferocious militancy group in a number of places in the capital as well as various parts of Bangladesh. According to reports, at Dhaka´s New Eskaton area, HuT activities are carried under the cover of a medical center named ´Selim Clinic´. Activities of HuT is already spread to Barisal, Feni, Kushtia, Madaripur, Tangail, Gazipur, Meherpur, Jhenidah, Noakhali, Khulna, Chittagong and Narshingdi districts in Bangladesh as well as a number of international cities in the world. Mostly affluent members of the group are running the branch activities of Hizb Ut Towhid in Bangladesh and abroad. Funds for this notorious militancy group are collected mostly in the name of Islamic donation named ‘Zakat’.

Top kingpin of Hizb Ut Towhid, Mohammad Bayezid Khan Ponni aka Selim Ponni left Bangladesh right after the independence of the country. It is further learnt that, during his stay abroad, Panni got connected to a number of fanatic religious groups in the world. Later on his return to Bangladesh, Bayejid Khan Panni wrote a number of books titled ‘Dazzal’ and “This Islam is not at all Islam” during 1996-2006.

In his book titled ‘Dazzal’, Mohammad Bayezid Khan Ponni aka Selim Ponni said, Jews and Christians are the evils who should be eliminated by the Muslims. There are series of video orientation CDs and DVDs released by Hizb Ut Towhid, which are mostly used by its followers to create Jihadist tendency in the minds of the people.

Hizb Ut Towhid denounces democracy and democratic system terming it to be “rules of evils”. They dream of establishing “world under leadership of Imam-Uz-Zaman”. They also consider Muslims, who are not following Hizb Ut Towhid leader Bayezid Khan Ponni as ´Derailed Muslims´. They also perform “Salat” or prayers of the Muslims in a military manner. They feel, every men and women in Islam are armies of Allah and they should behave like armies in every walks of their lives.

With the fund received from the donors, Hizb Ut Towhid is gradually gaining military strength by recruiting and training their own ´suicide squad´ to ´fight against evils´ and ´liberate the world from the grips of devils named democracy´ and establish Islamic rule under the directives of Bayejid Ponni. Mentally insane people are mostly recruited for the suicide squad of this ferocious group.

Mohammad Bayezid Khan Ponni aka Selim Ponni terms working women and women in politics as ´prostitutes´ and gives his own ´Islamic Code´ for men to marry any number of wives. His interpretation is, “women are created only for sexual pleasure of men and this is their only task”. According to his sermon, every husband has right to physically torture his wife or wives, if they do not associate with Hizb Ut Towhid.

He projects Jews and Christians as true evils and preaches killing them or raping female members of Jewish and Christian societies as “divine task”. He also teaches his followers to wage any type of offensives on the West. Hizb Ut Towhid kingpin terms non-Muslim business elites and rich people in the Western world and elsewhere as enemies of Allah.

Bayejid Ponni considers secularist forces as enemies of Islam and encourages his followers in killing seculars for “buying heaven”. In his interpretation, Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) and other Islamist militancy groups are “sacred forces of Allah” and he terms Shaikh Abdur Rahman as the “Hero of Allah”. In his theory, Bayejid Ponni projects Osama Bin Laden as the savior of humanity.

Although Bangladeshi intelligence agencies are continuing to gather information on this extremist outfit, there is visibly no sign from the government putting any ban or restrictions on its activities for reason unknown. Meanwhile, in a number of places in the country, HuT men were arrested by the members of law enforcing agencies for their suspicious activities. Moreover, it is reported that, a large number of Hizb Ut Towhid men are already going to a number of Western nations including United States and they are actively working there in collecting members as well as getting prepared for “revolution against Jews and Christians”.

For years Hizb Ut Towhid is continuing its activities inside Bangladesh as well other parts of the world under the cover of inviting people towards Islam, which is termed as ‘Dawah’. According to intelligence sources, Hizb Ut Towhid’s activities have similarity with the activities and groundwork of banned militant organizations.

This militancy group promotes armed struggle or military programs for ‘establishment of Islamic rule’ in the world. Quoting verses of Qur’an Hizb Ut Towhid says, if anyone will leave jihad or armed struggle, they will no more be accepted by Allah as a Muslim.

Hizb Ut Towhid says, every man and woman in Islam is members of a military nation. The entire Muslim nation is a military force of Allah and everyone should always remain as a Mujahid.

It preaches military training as well as training of suicide bombing as real prayers of Allah.

Leader of Hizb Ut Towhid, Bayejid Ponni is secretly conveying message to his followers to get set for a “great offensives” on the enemies of Islam on September 9, 2009. He calls this day as ‘999’. HuT members believe that rocking offensives will be staged on this day which, they call as the open emergence of “Mighty Hizb Ut Towhid under the leadership of Imam-Uz-Zaman’.

Although the militancy group is continuing various forms of preparations including military training as well as collecting various types of arms and explosives with the aim of offensive on ‘999’, there is no initiatives from Bangladeshi intelligence agencies in interrogating the kingpin of Hizb Ut Towhid, Bayejid Khan Ponni.

Jamaat’s politics of hatemongering, discrimination and violence

Jamaat’s politics of hatemongering, discrimination and violence


Those who led the bleeding of innocent civilians, raping of women must be tried: we must compel the government to bring the collaborators to justice. The future of liberty, democracy, peace and stability in Bangladesh largely depends on the trial of the perpetrators of the genocide in 1971. We must resist any attempt by the government and/or any interest group to legitimise Jamaat’s politics of hatred, violence, and discrimination in our democratic process
WHEN KARL Rueger, an ultranationalist renowned for his hatred against the ethnic and religious minority and abhorrence for individual liberty, won the mayoral election of Vienna, Austria in 1895, it shook the foundation of emerging liberty in Europe (Fareed Zakaria, 2003, The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad, p59-60). The emperor Franc Joseph I of Habsburg, fearing that Rueger’s induction would jeopardise the future of liberty, refused to recognise him as the elected mayor. Despite his indignation, the emperor eventually had to submit to the choice of majority and recognise Rueger as the mayor. Much later the emperor’s fear was vindicated. The emperor had rightly feared that Rueger’s intention, as ingrained in his ideology, was not to promote the virtues of democracy and liberty but to exploit the democratic process to promote his ultra-nationalism. Rueger’s induction later led to the ascent of the Fascists and the Nazis, respectively, to the Italian and German political powers as organised minority albeit through democratic election.

The Fascists (1922-1943) and the Nazis’ (1933-1945) ascent to the political powers can be attributed, inter alia, to three important factors: (i) the failure of the political establishments in Italy and Germany to live up to the expectation of the people; (ii) the rise of ultra-nationalism; and (iii) the activism of the extremely organised propaganda machines and dedicated foot soldiers deployed by both the Fascists and the Nazis to undermine the credibility of the politicians and dismantle the political establishments.

Once ascended to power, both the Fascists and the Nazis continued their onslaught on individual liberty and democratic institutions. They unleashed the infamous Black Shirts and Gestapo to suppress the voices of freedom. About 20 years of Fascist rule in Italy and 12 years of Nazi rule in Germany ended up with the greatest human disaster in history, the World War II, which annihilated 50 million people across the world including the massacre of six million Jews by the Nazis.

The turn of the event in the history now proves that Karl Rueger, who abhorred individual liberty, democratic values, religious harmony and diversity, should never have been allowed to participate in the democratic process in the first place.

In Bangladesh, Jamaat-e-Islami is the reincarnation of the Fascists of Italy and the Nazis of Germany. Its antipathy like that of Karl Rueger toward democracy and liberty, its penchant for organised violence similar to those of Black Shirts and Gestapo, and its discriminatory principles against religious minority like that of Nazis are causes for serious concern. The reasons that should have prohibited Karl Rueger from participating in the democratic process equally apply to Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh. At least four compelling reasons would justify why Jamaat must be rejected from participating in the democratic process. These reasons are as follows.

First, Jamaat-e-Islami doesn’t believe in democracy or any form of godless materialism. The excerpt ‘Muslims who form the overwhelming majority will not tolerate secularism, socialism, capitalism or godless materialism’ (Abbas Ali Khan, Jamaat-e-Islami’s views on defence of Bangladesh, p4) bears testimony to this effect. A political party or any organization which doesn’t believe in democracy must be cast out from the democratic process.

Second, Jamaat’s view on political participation is discriminatory. Once ascended to political power, Jamaat will not hesitate to restrict or even deny the rights of religious minorities and women, thereby degrading their status to second-class citizens. This fear is rightly justified when one reads the following passage extracted from the article ‘An Introduction to the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh’. The passage reads: ‘Any sane and adult person can become a Member of the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh if he or she accepts the basic creed of the Jamaat-e-Islami as his or her own creed, accepts the aims and objects of the Jamaat-e-Islami as his or her own aims and objects, pledges to fulfil the demands of the constitution of the Jamaat-e-Islami, performs the obligatory duties ordained by Islam’ (An Introduction to Jamaat-e-Islami;, p2). Jamaat’s creed being the belief in Islam, for any non-Muslim aspiring to hold political office under Jamaat’s hegemony must submit to the creed of Jamaat-e-Islami. Such membership criterion is discriminatory, exclusive and unconstitutional. Any form of forced exclusion is anti-democratic. And, by requiring individuals to submit to the belief of any particular religion to be eligible to participate in the political process is against the country’s constitution. Therefore, Jamaat is working against the constitution and must not be allowed to participate in the political process.

Third, Jamaat’s ultra-nationalistic view is anti-democratic and is a threat to the regional peace and stability. Jamaat’s ultra-nationalistic view, similar to those of Karl Rueger, Mussolini and Hitler, is reflected in the statement ‘the psychology of the defence forces in Bangladesh must be anti-Indian’ (Abbas Ali Khan, Jamaat-e-Islami’s views on defence of Bangladesh, p4). Such jingoistic attitude is a serious threat to the regional peace and stability of South Asia.

Fourth, in 1971, Jamaat not only opposed to the creation of Bangladesh, but it collaborated with the Pakistani army in perpetrating one of the worst genocides in the world history. Jamaat’s crime against humanity led to the death of three million civilians and rape of more than 200,000 women and destruction of billions of dollars worth of properties. It’s leadership including Golam Azam, Motiur Rahman Nizami, Ali Ahsan Mujahidi, Kamaruzzam, Delawar Hossain Saidi have never been tried in the court of law for committing such a heinous crime. Nor have they ever apologised for their opposition to the creation of Bangladesh. In contrast, they are thriving and constantly resorting to shenanigans to rub their dirty and bloody hands off their complicity in the crime against humanity and treacherous acts against the creation of Bangladesh. On October 28, 2006, the way few hundred armed Jamaat cadres stood up against thousands of angry opposition activists can be reminiscent of the way a few members of the black shirts used to dismantle political rallies during the Fascist rule in Italy. The thousands of rounds of bullets that came out of the guns of Jamaat cadres on that day indicates how ferocious Jamaat’s foot soldiers can get, even today, to protect their fervent belief from being strolled or discredited.

All these indicate that hatemongering, discrimination, and violence have always been the principle strategies of Jamaat’s politics to rise to political office. A political party whose strategy and politics is based on such principles is anti-democratic and must be rejected.

If we are to learn any lessons from the consequences of the Fascist and Nazi rules, then, to protect democracy and liberty, we must stop the recurrence of the same in Bangladesh. We must constantly remind citizens of the country that Bangladesh is born out of the sacrifice of millions. Those who led the bleeding of innocent civilians, raping of women must be tried: we must compel the government to bring the collaborators to justice. The future of liberty, democracy, peace and stability in Bangladesh largely depends on the trial of the perpetrators of the genocide in 1971. We must resist any attempt by the government and/or any interest group to legitimise Jamaat’s politics of hatred, violence, and discrimination in our democratic process. If we fail to resist the Jamaatification of the institutions of the country, Bangladesh will fall into the grip of the forces of darkness of middle age. #

ABM Nasir ( teaches economics at North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina, USA