War Criminals of Bangladesh
Dr. KHURSHID ANWARNo sooner did the War Crime Tribunal in Bangladesh awarded death penalty to Dilawar Hussain, Moti-Ur-Rehman Nizami the chief of Jamat-e-Islamia started voicing his opinion against death penalty as a whole.
Nizami stated that Jamat-e-Islami stand against the law of death penalty and Bangladesh in the footstep of many other nations should get rid of such law whole and sole. This indeed seems to be a very queer stand of Jamat-e-Islami. This sudden uproar against death penalty was an attempt to rescue Dilawar Hussain Saidi from walking the gallows. In a similar case, an associated group of Jamat-e-Islami, Hifazat-e-Islam and Chhatra Shibir initiated widespread demonstrations against death row in Dhaka and various other cities of Bangladesh on eighteenth and nineteenth of September, just a day after Kadir Mulla was sentenced to death. The question now is who are these people who are being sentenced to death?
In the first democratic elections held in 1970 in the undivided Pakistan, the Awami League led from the front bagging 160 seats, followed by Pakistan’s People Party bagging a total of 81 seats. However, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the leader of PPP was determined not to let the Awami league form the government. Yahiya Khan invited Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman for a meeting. Meanwhile, Jamat-e-Islami which contested elections under the leadership of Maulana Maudoodi and managed to bag merely four seats, shook hands with Yahiya Khan. The meeting between Yahiya Khan and Maulana Maudoodi also included a staunch opposer of Awami League and a Bangladeshi agent of Maudoodi, Dilawar Hussain Saidi.
Finally, Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman was arrested instead of the meeting planned. Dilawar Hussain immediately returned to Dhaka post the incidence. By the beginning of March, the unrest in East Pakistan had reached such heights hat every day the streets of Dhaka and various other cities were flooded with protesting masses. Finally came the doomed night of 25th March, a night an equivalent of which could rarely be found in human history. This was the night when the Pakistani army started the Operation Searchlight which resulted in the massacre of more than ten thousand people in the dark of the night. Since the Operation Searchlight was not something that could be solely handled by the Pakistani army, jamat-e-Islami started playing its part. The person who played the major part in rounding off non-Muslims, Muslim intelligentia, students and youth was none other than Dilawar Hissain Saidi.
At that point of time, this thirty year old young man was functioning as the eyes of Maudoodi in Bangladesh. This blood bath that started in the name of Operation Searchlight continued unabated till 14 December, 1971. Approximately 30 million people lost their lives and 3 million women were raped. The organisation that was behind the mass murders and the opposition of Bangladesh Liberation Front was none other than Jamat-e-Islami. It seems nothing less than a bad joke when an organisation solely responsible for the genocide of 30 million people and rape of 3 million women opposes death penalty.
This was the same Jamat-e-Islami, whose top leader; Maulana Maudoodi orchestrated the massacre of Ahmadiya Muslims in 1953 resulting in the pronouncement of death penalty for him as well. Although the intervention of Saudi Arabia, which has always played a dominant role in Pakistan’s internal policy, led to the commuting of his death penalty to life sentence even which was further cancelled. This was the same Jamat-e-Islami which led to the bloodshed on the streets of Pakistan. Today these very people have the audacity to swear in the name of human rights! It is very important to mention here that Jamt-e-Islami’s top leader Maudoodi had dreamt of implementing the Sharia law in the whole world including Pakistan.
Maudoodi in his book “Jihad-e-Islam” writes “ Islam requires every non-Islamic thoughts to be run over and any person who does follow the Quran should be erased from the face of the earth” which clearly implies that the right to exist on this earth remains the sole right of Muslims and that too a particular kind of Muslims. Who exactly are these Muslims whom the Jamat-e-Islami and their ideology provide the exclusive rights to walk the earth? Maudoodi was the person who orchestrated the massacre of Ahmediyas. Shias, Bohras and Kadiyanis have been already been outcasted by Jamat-e-Islami from Islam. The Jamati and Wahabi Muslims are the only people whom the Jamat-e-Islami deems worthy of existence. The existing Jamat-e-Islami (Bangladesh) should be viewed in the aforementioned context. The people who were in tandem with the ideology of Jamat-e-Islami have surfaced as Hifazat-e-Islam.
Their students’ wing, Chhatra Shibir, functions as the right hand of these people and has gripped Bangladesh since February. As any fundamentalist faction does, Jamat-e-Islami too has held firmly onto Bangladesh Nationalist Party for political leverage. Although the Bangladesh Nationalist Party did not participate in Jamat’s call for a shutdown on 18th and 19th September but it has actively participated in all the calls for a shutdown since February.
Although the ruling Awami League cannot be categorised a s a people’s party yet some of their policies were a jolt to Jamat-e_islami and Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Apart from the formation of War Crime tribunal on 25th March, 1910 certain other steps that the Awami League initiated were branded anti-Islamic by Jamat-e-Islami and Saudi Arabia. On 8th March, 2011 on the occasion of women’s day, Sheikh Hasina assured freedom of women, their work rights, and their employment in public sector and their equality in social and cultural arenas.
The very next day Jamat-e-Islami slammed Sheikh Hasina for initiating such anti-Islamic steps and declared that they wouldn’t let such programmes be initiated. Its sister organisation, Hifazat-e-Islam organised a mass rally in Dhaka to protest such initiatives. Hey not only vandalised government institutions but also molested any women that they got hold of on the streets. But for the first time North Bangladesh has been a centre of their havoc. For the past six months, Jamat-e-Islami, Hifazat-e-Islam and Chhatra Shibir has adopted a very aggressive stance.
After the Shahbag Movement started, Jamat-e-Islami has engulfed the whole of Bangladesh including Dhaka in a series of strikes. All the twelve accused against whom the War Crime Tribunal has pronounced sentences are associated with Jamat-e-Islami. In March, while the widows, mothers, sisters, fathers, or young sons of the Muktivahini activists who were killed, were raising their voice for justice at Shahbag Chowk, the ‘new Razakars’ from Chhatra Shibir and Hifazat-e-Islam were wrecking havoc on their homes. A young man Ahmed Rajiv Haider who was running a blog for the cuase of Shahbag Movement was killed by the Chhatra Shibir activists. They went to the extent of displaying the dead body of Haider in the centre of the Shahbag Chowk. On 15th March, more than 3 million peple assembled at Shahbag Chowk to pay homage to Haider. Meanwhile, the Shahbag Movement had expanded from the Shahbag Chowk to overwhelm every nook and corner of Dhaka. Marches were organised at various locations by Chhatra Shibir to deter this brave lot.
The goons of Jamat-e-Islami showered these people with bombs and stones. On one hand they were raising their voice for human rights and on the other the same “guardians” of Islam were massacring people to save Dilawar Hussain Saidi who himself was the mastermind behind the killing of millions of people. Ironically, still, they kept proclaiming their stand against death penalty.
An idea of Jamat-e-Islami’s Atrocities can be drawn from the fact that the Women’s movement of Bangladesh, which has forever stood against death penalty, stated that they were still against death penalty yet they won’t raise its voice against Dilawar’s death sentence since the crimes of the Razakars of Jamat were so heinous. It was announced form the dice of Shahbag Chowk that although everyone had the right to live but the crimes of the twelve accused were so grave that they won’t speak against their death penalty. The history of this organisation is submerged in the blood of innocent lives. Jamat-e-Islami has continued their bloody game in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh since 1941. Their madarsas are factories of producing fundamentalist people out of young innocent minds of thousands of children.
Coincidentally, their functioning is a replica of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Hifazat-e-Islam seems to be a Muslim counterpart of Bajrang Dal active in our country. And Chhatra Shibir functions in a similar fashion as ABVP does. Similar to the Bajrang Dal activists, the activists of Hifazat-e-Islam are always armed from tip to toe and don’t hesitate to go to any extent. The Chhatra Shibir activists, who are always armed, are the face of terror in colleges and universities. Jamat-e-Islami called for a chain of shutdowns after Kadir Mulla was sentenced to death. In the two days of strike two people were killed both of whom were poor rickshaw pullers. Their only fault was that they were out for daily bread even on the day when the bandh was called.
Jamat-e-Islami has been redefining Islam exactly on the footprints of the Wahabis, the excerpts of which can be found in the book Jihad-e-Islam written by Maudoodi. They have been shaming humanity in the name of “The reign of God” and they audaciously shout the slogan of human rights. These people are against death penalty, why not! The people who have initiated the killing of 30 million people with the support of the Pakistani army, the people who are the culprits of raping almost 3 million women have ridiculously dawned upon the mask of human rights. And even when they speak of human rights they speak through knives, bombs and bullets. If they, by any chance, succeed, all the lives lost for the cause of the liberation movement of Bangladesh will go in vain and the glorious past of the Bangladesh’s history would turn into nothing more than a black patch on the pages of history.