On September 19, 2011, the radical Jamaat-Shibir appeared on the peaceful streets of Dhaka and Chittagong to terrorize public security and vandalize public property. These so-called Islamic fundamentalists burnt and ransacked property worth Tk 10 million. Their agenda: stop the War Criminals’ Trials of the top Jamaat leaders who stand accused of being collaborators or for their direct role in the killings and lootings during the 1971 war of freedom. The armed extremist followers of these accused came out on the streets and tried to show their muscle in the face of ongoing trials. There can be no doubt that Jamaat-Shibir activists are in contempt of court for challenging the writ of higher judiciary. And the judiciary would be within its rights to take suo-moto action against these neo-Nazis of Bangladesh who feel NO guilt for their leaders’ brutality in ‘71. After all, there is no statute of limitation on human conscience.
Senior Jamaat leaders were also involved in the 21st August grenade attack on Awami League rally, and their role as mentors of militancy in Bangladesh is an open secret. Top Jamaat leader Nijami even supported militancy on camera when he denied the existence of Bangla Bhai and accused the media of creating the boogey of this executed militant. It is also a matter of record that most of high-level militants arrested during operations confessed to their Jamaat links; their confessions offer substantial evidence that almost all banned militant outfits, like Harkatul Jihad BD, Jamayetul Mujahedeen BD and Hizbut Tehrir, were produced from the radical factory of Jamaat-Shibir.
Jamaat-e-Islami is operating on the open agenda that it wants to destroy the secular fabrics of democracy and replace it with Shariah through a militant uprise. The BNP-Jamaat coalition government (2001-06) offered militancy a safe haven in Bangladesh. It even tried to create links between Islamic radicals and separatist groups of North-East India. Some coalition leaders were also allegedly involved in offering a weapons transit to ULFA.
BNP continues its strong support to Jamaat by calling for an unruly strike on Sept 22 against the Awami League which came into power one of the promises of war criminals’ trials. The radical duo also appears quite infuriated at the recent peaceful advances between Dhaka and New Delhi: Harkatul Jihad bombed Delhi High Court when the Indian Prime Minister was visiting Dhaka earlier this month, while ULFA continues to get support from this very outfit in its fight against the Indian government. The doctrine that ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’ is apparently the connection between all terror groups of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
It is about time that Jamaat be banned as a political party in Bangladesh. Its attempt to hold the capital hostage on Sept 19 should not go unpunished. BNP strikes should also be tackled firmly so that the country does not sink into chaos. Bangladeshis have long been victims of political violence and hartals. The BNP-Jamaat anarchism to obtain power should no longer be allowed to continue. BNP should especially understand that it has lost public faith for its conspiratory marriage with Jamaat and for giving BNP leader Tareq Rahman a free hand to mentor militants in the name of jihad. Also, the party’s stand against war criminal trials rightly raises the question: is BNP against providing justice and closure to the 30 lakh Bengalis killed and 4 lakh women tortured in ’71?
The performance of BNP-Jamaat government during its 2001-06 tenure offers no excuse or reason for the duo to ask Awami League to step down for its failure in running public office. Democracy requires that the mandate of the people of Bangladesh be respected and disagreements be channeled through parliament, media and social platforms. Voters have chosen BNP as the opposition party to keep an eye on government performance and voice concerns in parliamentary sessions. This wild wild east terrorism in the name of politics carries no mass appeal what so ever. Following the letter of law, strikes should be banned to safeguard public security and economy. BNP should wait for next elections.