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Militant Islam in Bangladesh – by Sona Kanti Barua

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Sona Kanti Barua

3 Brimley Road, Unit 501, Scarborough, Ontario M1M 3W2.

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Militant Islam in Bangladesh

By

Sona Kanti Barua

Received 07 Sep 05

August 17, 2005  the Day the Bangladesh nation shook and terrorized as extremists set off 400 bombs” by the Jamiat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh, an Islamic extremist organization. The violation of human rights in Bangladesh is directly linked to the rise of militant Islam. The Islamic fundamentalist’s elements which actively opposed the creation of independent People’s Republic of Bangladesh; failing to thwart  the inevitable victory despite their collaboration with occupying Pakistan forces in the Bangladesh independence war, have concocted a long term, multi pronged plan to make Bangladesh a pure Islamic theocracy. Most civilized nations have already been victimized by the Islamic extremists. But Holy Qur’an declared, “You can’t abuse other religion. (6 : 106). Even the Qur’an warned, “No religious place should be demolished. (22 : 38).”  So the religion of Islam’s humanity has nothing to do with terrorism. Militant Islam hijacked universal Islam to satisfy their greed and negative emotions. Existence of God indicates in their violent activities.  History taught us non-violence is the supreme religion.

The father of the nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated with his family and friends on August 15, 1975, in a military coup. The coup leaders were granted immunity from prosecution under an Indemnity Ordinance implanted immediately after the coup by the late President Khondakar Mushtaque Ahmed. It was later incorporated in the Islamic constitution by President Ziaur Rahman who allotting Buddhist Chakmas and tribal people’s land to the Muslim settlers and opened the political door to the Militant Islam. There is no rule of law in Bangladesh. Since then military rulers ravished the Bangladesh constitution’s secularism in the most blatant way.  Dhaka’s Bangladesh Observer of August 30, 2005 reported the Bangladesh High Court’s verdict “Governments from August, 1975 to December 6, 1990 illegal. High Court declares 5th Amendment of constitution and Martial Law Regulation no.Vll of 1977 unconstitutional.” Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s husband Lt. General President Ziaur Rahman, his government and other Martial Law governments’ unconstitutional acts can not be validated by any subsequent acts or constitutional Amendments and should not be condoned.  Bangladesh High Court declared the supremacy of the Constitution in all circumstances. The court said that the constitution was the will of people.

Dhaka’s the Bengali daily newspaper “Ittefaq of  August 22, 2005 quoted a reliable source as saying that the groups planned to hit non-Muslim religious leaders to discredit the Bangladesh government internationally. As the accelerating rise of militant Islam in Bangladesh has resulted in a scary intensification of the state sponsored campaign of religious and ethnic minority persecution, which had started in the late 1940s by the Islamic nationalists. What was once minority persecution has now become a campaign of cleansing of non- Muslims.  Even successive governments have dispossessed the Chakma Buddhists and indigenous people of Chittagong Hilltracts and elsewhere of the ancestral land and dwelling houses by sending Muslim settlers accompanied by armed forces. Consequently, whereas the Bengali / Muslims represented only 3% of the population in 1947, today they represent more than 50% (Country Report on Human Rights Practices – 2001, US Department of State). “Allah loves not corruption. (Qur”an, 2 : 205)”  How Islam explains killing and slaughter of human beings as the Qur’an says, “Take not life, which Allah made sacred, except by way of justice and law; thus doth, He command you that ye may learn wisdom. (6 : 115).” Buddhists are a great nation. But some Bengali Muslims abused Buddhists and non-Muslims. Bangladesh Government must stop racial and religious discrimination against all religious minorities.

Islamic teachings taught us “Everything surrounding us manifests the power of God and His creation.” But in Bangladesh on November 19, 2003, eleven members of a Hindu family which included a 4 day old infant and 75 year old man of a Hindu family were burned alive by Muslim terrorists, who had come and carrying inflammable agent with them, and did not touch any of their assets, in Southern Sadhanpur under Bashkhali police station, Chittagong. There is an alarming rise of militant Islam and exponential increase in the state sponsored campaign of religious and ethnic cleansing Bangladesh. An overwhelming 98.68% of the rape victims are minority, and rapists happen to be the cadres of the ruling parties, particularly Bangladesh National Party. Particularly, Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s government has used the armed forces and Muslims settlers to conduct massacres of Buddhist Chakmas and indigenous people and annihilated entire village in Chittagong Hilltracts. During her first tenure as the Prime Minister on April 10, 1992, her armed forces and Muslim settlers cordoned off the Buddhist Chakmas and tribal villages of Logong and systematically murdered thousands of people and burned down to the ground. When the situation is like this, there is a need to turn the problems fervor into yet another war spirit for restoring lost ground. Secularism and equal economic rights all have long taken leave of People’s Republic of Bangladesh system.

If Bangladesh Government does not follow the High Court’s Verdict, what people will do? People’s Republic of Bangladesh and its people’s hands is no less a mission than waging another war to get back to their original position. Their independence is truly in danger of being hijacked. It is not easy to reclaim their lost position because of certain national international developments. They are aware of the political developments at the national level. But worldwide, the global fight against terrorism has brought them face to face with a new reality of 17/ 8 the Day the Bangladesh nation shook. So it is incumbent on us to decide national priorities. To do that the first condition is to forge unity among the liberal and secular forces. They must earn the confidence of the people to bring about desirable changes. Only then people will be able to truly contribute to the national well being and independence will be meaningful in the true sense of the term. May all beings be happy!

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