- Posted August 19, 2011 by
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Terrorism and politics in the name of Islam and role of media: Bangladesh Perspective
Bangladesh is a moderate Muslim country and notwithstanding majority Muslim populations, they are not communal instead, citizens have shown a fierce dedication to their democratic government despite several attempts to install an autocratic one. Religion based politics had been banned by the founder of Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Mass peoples from all corners congratulated it whole-heartedly.
Religion based politics
After the assassination of Bangabandhu, Zia, the martial law administrator permitted religion based politics to ease his political path to attain power. Golam Azam, Ameer of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami returned from Pakistan in 1978. It is to be noted that, Jamaat-e-Islami leaders’ involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity has been recorded in many books, journals and periodicals since the liberation of Bangladesh. They are the hatred group for common people. The military rulers have used Islam to promote their reign.
Jamaat-e-Islami and Chhatra Shibir
The Islami Chhatra Shibir is the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, in fact it’s a militant group also directly funded by Jamaat-e-Islami. It has also been linked to several larger terrorist organizations. Many officials and news sources allege that the group is nothing more than a recruiting ground for Bangladeshi terrorist groups such as Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami and Jamatul Mujahedin, As a front for Jamaat-e-Islami terrorist operations they have shown no hesitation to use violence to further its aims. This increasingly religious tenor of public and political communication has been widely recognized the rise of Jamaat as influential Islamist party in Bangladesh.
Nationalist BNP with Islamist Jaamat
BNP one of the mainstream political party formed 4-party alliance, led by Mrs Khaleda, only to win the election and attain power, and was succeeded. Though it has been criticized from many corners but probably no one could have thought that JI would be the monster child of terrorism. Moreover the small group of JI influenced BNP to run the govt.
Terrorist activities of Jaamat, BNP is also liable:
Acts like the 17th August 2005 serial bombings, consisting of nearly 400 instantaneous bombs in all but one district in Bangladesh is not one example. Actual fact is since 2002 four assassination attempts have been made on Sheikh Hasina’s life. At first at Naogaon on 4 March 2002, second on 29 August 2003 at Satkhira, third on 26 February 2004 at Barisal Ferryghat and the next on 2 April at Gournadi. On every occasion proper attention of the government was drawn and protection sought. Almost invariably armed cadres of BNP-Jamaat were involved in these attacks. On 5 July 2004 when she was on tour at Istanbul in Turkey she was threatened on telephone both at Istanbul and at Dhaka. 21st August Grenade attack on the then opposion party was The most violent attack and the culmination of all these incidents and it happened in broad daylight in the presence of hundreds of security personnel and in a crowded public rally. Though attacks to date have focused on transforming domestic politics, reports abound of connections between Bangladeshi Islamist militants and foreign terrorist groups and criminal syndicates, such as Harakatul Jihad al-Islami in Pakistan, or gang lord Dawood Ibrahim’s infamous “D-Company,” believed responsible for the 1993 bombings in Mumbai.
The emergence of groups like Harakatul Jihad al-Islami Bangladesh, Jamatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh, Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh, Ahl-e-Hadith Andolon Bangladesh—which occurred after the return of Bangladeshi mujahedeen from the Afghan wars—infused political violence in Bangladesh with the language of jihad and tactics borrowed from terrorist groups abroad.
New York based Bangladesh Human Rights Watch has urged Dr. Condoleeza Rice, US Department of State, UN Secretary Kofi Anan and former Prime Minister Mrs Khaleda to ban & enlist Jamaat-e-Islami as a terror network outfit in a letter on 23 December 2005.
News reports of the capture of active militants with arms caches hidden in schools and connections to regional and international criminal and terrorist organizations suggest that the threat is clear, present and cannot be neglected. No action was taken. But
The secular opposition Awami League (AL) was/is the primary target of Islamic extremists. In August 2004, Islamic militants tried to assassinate AL opposition leader Sheikh Hasina at a political rally. AL politician Ivy Rehman was killed in a grenade attack along with twenty others, and hundreds of people were injured. In January 2005, a grenade attack on an AL rally killed a former finance minister, his nephew, and three AL activists.”Date: 1/10/2007, Bluma Zuckerbrot-Finkelstein is a consultant and freelance writer on international terrorism. She is a lecturer at the University of Memphis. She is the editor of Counterterrorism Watch.]
Major Terrorist Attacks in Bangladesh: 2005-06
- January 27, 2005: A grenade attack in Hobijong killed Awami League member of Parliament and former finance minister Shah AMS Kibria.
- August 17, 2005: JMB militants set off nearly 500 small bombs across Bangladesh that killed two people and injured 100 others.
- October 3, 2005: Suspected JMB militants killed two people and wounded fifteen when they hurled five bombs at court buildings in three districts outside Dhaka.
- November 14, 2005: A JMB/JMJB bomb attack on a minibus taking judges to work killed two judges.
- November 29, 2005: JMB attacks on two Bangladeshi courthouses in Chittagong and Gazipur, killing nine people.
- December 1, 2005: A suspected JMB suicide bomber killed one person and injured ten others in Gazipur.
- December 8, 2005: In the central Bangladeshi town of Netrokona, a JMB suicide bomber killed eight people and wounded 50.
Role of Awami League Govt:
Present Awami League Govt. has elected with immense mandate from the people and punishment of war crime criminal and support to combat against terrorism etc were their electoral promise. This situates the threat in the midst of complex political and social challenges, the relationship among which should be reflected in strategies to counter such violence by the government of Bangladesh and its international partners. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her deep concern to ensure a terrorism-free arena and to provide all necessary supports to stop terrorism. However, they can’t deny that we have been unable in three decades of activity to develop a substantial mainstream constituency against Jamaat, or more militant groups outside the political system, can pose a significant challenge to secular governments branded as corrupt, self-serving and unable to provide for citizens’ basic needs in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is shaped by a number of positive trends but threats like terrorism and violent religious radicalization, a strong sense from mass people and supports from different international platform is a must.
The counterterrorism discourse and policies developed by international partners often focus on “hard security” aspects. However, as the UN’s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, passed by the General Assembly in 2006, points out, a number of development-related issues contribute to “conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism.” Support for improved governance and the rule of law or justice-sector reform, such as looking at prison conditions and interrogation techniques, is usually classed as development assistance, even though these are vital foundations for building state capacity to address security threats like terrorism.
Probably it won’t sound wrong if I say Bangladesh Govt will provide all supports to it. But the relevant component can’t be ignored.
Pakistan ISI and Role of Media
We find two different types of role of media. One is biased, double standard, another is transparent.
It is known to all that Jamaat-E-Islami is just simply a wing of Pakistan Intelligence ISI. Pakistan Defense treated JMB as terrorist groups.
Pakistan about JMB
- “When Islamic terrorist groups, some linked to major political parties, were running riot. Then, the Bangla Bhai-led Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB), a breakaway faction of the Jamat ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), set off 50 simultaneous bomb blasts in each of the outlying districts in 2005, assassinated judges and threatened to impose Shariah law. Bangladesh became not only a sanctuary for northeast Indian groups like ULFA, but also a base for Pakistani terrorist organizations like the Lashkar-e-Taiba.” http://www.defence.pk/forums/bangladesh-defence/93494-bangladeshs-war-terror.html
Jamate Islami as Extremist by Pakistan Defense
- The new political scenario seriously threatens the nation's secular polity and opens the vast political space to Islamist forces. This is because most Islamist politicians, particularly those of the Jamaat-e-Islami -, are free after 13 weeks of a nationwide drive by the Ahmed regime against crime, corruption and religious extremism. There seems a clear lack of will to touch political activists wedded to religion. http://www.defence.pk/forums/world-affairs/4747-behind-facade-bangladesh-treading-pakistans-path.html
View on Election 2008:
- Khaleda repeatedly invoked Islam, requesting that the voters vote BNP into power to "save Islam" and "save the country". It is believed that this kind of negativity and cynicism is what has been punished by the voters. The near wipe-out of the Jamaat-e-Islami in the party's worst election showing since independence also lends credence to the notion that the voters, although religiously observant themselves, have totally rejected the misuse of religion for political purposes. http://www.defence.pk/forums/bangladesh-defence/18824-news-bangladesh.html
Pakistan Defense's Present Stand:
- Defence of Pakistan treats all terrorist groups as nationalist force. http://www.defence.pk/forums/bangladesh-defence/30992-awami-league-leads-bangladesh-towards-chaos-failure-violence.html
What happened that they changed their stand!
- Civil War: Can Bangladesh survive another Awami League dictatorship. http://www.daily.pk/civil-war-can-bangladesh-survive-another-awami-league-dictatorship-18718/
- Briefing on Bangladesh Jamaat e Islami’s Current Situation: http://muslimmedianetwork.com/mmn/?p=6915
- Ultra-Secularist Government’s All-Out Systematic Attack in a Bid to Ban Jamaat & Execute its Top Leaders: http://www.defence.pk/forums/bangladesh-defence/121366-war-crime-charges-against-bangladesh-jamaat-e-islami-leader.html
- Pakistan is very upset about War crime charges against Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami leader : http://tribune.com.pk/story/208019/war-crime-charges-against-bangladesh-jamaat-e-islami-leader/
Propaganda Against Awami League : Certainly Jamat will be benefited
- Digital Terrorism: http://www.defence.pk/forums/bangladesh-defence/52281-awami-league-digital-terrorism-2.html
- Violent Secularization: ‘Minority Islam’ in Muslim Majority Bangladesh: http://www.defence.pk/forums/bangladesh-defence/66909-awami-league-imposing-hindu-dominance-over-muslim-majority-population.html
- Bangladesh Ban On Religion-Based Politics: Reviving The Secular Character Of The Constitution. http://www.irs.org.pk/PublSpotLight.htm
Interestingly the Pakistan media got afraid in 2007 and published a false report
- Awami League scraps deal with Islamic grouphttp://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C02%5C14%5Cstory_14-2-2007_pg4_19
The ECONOMIST: How come their reports are same as Pakistani media!
London based weekly has created a sign for them of yellow journalism. Daily Pakistan, Pakistan Defense and Extremist Islamist groups all of them are inter-connected. They are worried about Jaamat-E-Islami, writing against father of the nation of Bangladesh, publishing baseless, false and biased reports. Pakistan Defense is also republishing the same articles! Amazing! One may doubt to mark the reports as misinformation or disinformation!
Whats Global’s View
Prime Minister Hasina has sought to increase Bangladesh’s presence on the world stage. As leader of one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, Hasina has been a vocal advocate for mitigation and adaptation by both developed and developing countries, aligning with the Copenhagen Accord in January 2010. In a sharp change from previous administrations, her government has actively confronted violent extremist groups to deny space to terrorist networks and activities within its borders. The simultaneous elections of the Awami League and the Congress Party in India set the stage for renewed bilateral talks between the countries, an atmosphere which has been improved by counterterrorism cooperation. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3452.htm
One example of the BNP’s political allies is the JI. The JI openly supports the Pakistani military and is alleged to have been involved in massacres and targeted killings of various intellectuals in Dhaka, as well as other acts of terrorism. http://www.global-politics.co.uk/issue%203/Bangladesh.htm
USA about Khaleda Zia
The center-right BNP won a plurality of seats and formed a government with support from the Islamic fundamentalist party Jamaat-I-Islami, with Khaleda Zia, widow of Ziaur Rahman, obtaining the post of prime minister.
TERRORISM IN BANGLADESH – Monster Child of BNP – JAMAAT:
FBI Arrested Pakistani in connection to attack US Embassy, Dhaka
"Immediately following the arrests of David Coleman Headley, born as Dawood Gilani, and Tawahur Hossain Rana, a Pakistan born Canadian citizen, by the FBI in early November in the USA, the Bangladeshi security and counter-terrorism agencies moved to arrest three Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) activists who were planning to attack the Indian High Commission and the US Embassy in Dhaka." http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/%5Cpapers36%5Cpaper3509.html
Credentials of Bangladesh
Rise of Islamic terrorism in Bangladesh is nothing new. A steady growth in the strength of extremists was mostly due to the patronage by successive governments, after 1975. The fundamentalists grasp over the government became so strong that they became dominant role-player of Khaleda government.
Bangladesh has become the ultimate goal for terrorists from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Chechnya. Death of Bangla Bhai (JMB) had concealed many information about involved key-figures. Political and economic backwardness has provided ample space for the rise of Islamic extremism but its also true that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is trying her best to build a developed and non-communal country. Now Sheikh Hasina is the only alternative of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. We hope international media would be more transparent regarding these issues.