Dhaka, Friday, March 20, 2005
THE AHMADIYAS AND THE JAMAAT
Jamaat the secret instigator of anti-Ahmadiya attacks
It is clear to all that Jamaat has the agenda of establishing an Islamic state in Bangladesh, and it does not mince its words in declaring that it wants an Islamic revolution. What makes it formidable is that it is far more organised than AL or BNP, and it will go to any length to fulfil its ambition, writes Rashed Khan Menon
The Jamaat-E-Islami, in its attempt to prove itself a democratic political party, tried to prove its innocence and non-involvement in the persecution of the Ahmadiyas by the Islamic zealots, which has been going on for sometime with the active help of the alliance government and its administration. In their talk with Christina Rocca, the US Assistant Secretary of State, the Jamaat’s representatives told her that though they consider the Ahmadiyas to be non-Muslims, they are against any act of violence against them and in no way support such persecution. They put the blame on the extremist elements in the Islamic front for such happenings.
But things on the ground prove otherwise. In the last incident in Jatindranagar, Satkhira, where the Ahmadiya villages were attacked and looted, their women and children were tortured, the men were not allowed to go to the markets and a signboard was hung in front of their mosque, describing it as a ‘prayer hall’, with help of the police posted there to prevent such attacks on the Ahmadiyas. The attacks were not only publicly supported by the local MPs from Jamaat but were planned in their office at Satkhira. The local TNO was asked by the Jamaat MPs to act according to dictates of the demonstrators of the Khatme Nabuyat movement. The local Jamaat MP also directed the police not to take any case filed by the Ahmadiyas against these atrocities.
The people who took part in the looting of the Ahmadiya village and tortured of their women and children are known activists of the local Jamaat. The local journalists reported the involvement of Jamaat, for which they were threatened with dire consequences. Any impartial enquiry will reveal the direct involvement of the Jamaat in the persecution of the Ahmadiyas in Bogra and Chittagong also.
The Jamaat’s active involvement in the anti-Ahmadiya movement is not new. The founder of the Jamaat, Moududi, in his attempt to get a foothold in Pakistan politics, raised the issue of Ahmadiyas. Before that Moududi was isolated from the general Muslim population for supporting the British Raj against the independence movement of the subcontinent, particularly in opposing the Pakistan movement. Coming to Pakistan after partition of India, Moududi tried to gain political prominence by raising the Ahmadiya issue and instigated an anti-Kadiani riot in Lahore. The situation became bad enough to force the Pakistan government to impose martial law in Lahore. The martial law authority arrested Moududi and put him on trial. A judicial inquiry committee by Justice Munir and Justice Kayani found the involvement of Moududi and Jamaat in the riot though the Jamaat, in its usual way, denied its involvement. Moududi was given the death sentence by the court for instigating the riot, but the later military regime of Ayub Khan, facing tremendous pressure from Saudi Arabia, commuted that sentence.
Moududi and Jamaat, in exchange, helped Ayub’s military regime to consolidate its power. Later on the Jamaat turned away from Ayub Khan and joined the opposition movement. But true to its treacherous nature, the Jamaat, in its usual way, stood against the liberation struggle of Bangladesh and collaborated with the Pakistani army in its genocide of the Bengali population, rape of the women, loot and arson.
The Jamaat in Bangladesh learnt its lesson from the past and charted out a clever way of re-establishing itself in Bangladesh politics. Taking advantage of the post-‘75 political changes, it re-entered the political arena of Bangladesh. It found great political allies in Zia and Ershad, but in a clever manoeuvre it soon joined the opposition movement.
After the changes of the ‘90’s, the Jamaat started to assert itself. Besides aligning itself with the BNP it tried to gather all the Islamic forces around it. In this effort it found the Mufti of Baitul Mukarram, Moulana Obaidul Huq, a great ally, and through him started the Khatme Nabuat movement which demanded the declaration of the Ahmadiyas as non-Muslims, as was done in Pakistan by the military regime of General Ziaul Huq at the insistence of the Jamaat. The Khatme Nabuat was also joined by others like the so-called Pir Sahib of Char Monai, Moulana Noorani and others.
But the main motivating force behind the anti-Ahmadiya movement is still the Jamaat as it has forced the government to ban the publications of the Ahmadiyas. Though the Jamaat pleads innocence it cannot explain away the publication of the chairman of the standing committee on the religious ministry, Moulana Sayeedi, titled ‘Why the Ahmadiyas are not Muslims’, published immediately after the ban was imposed. The Amir of Jamaat and industry minister, Matiur Rahman Nizami, is also on record declaring anyone supporting the Ahmadiyas as Kafirs or non-believers. These provocative statements of the leaders of the Jamaat are enough to prove their involvement in the recent persecution of the Ahmadiyas in Bangladesh. They, being in the government, forced the people in the administration to stand against the Ahmadiyas.
It is clear to all that Jamaat has the agenda of establishing an Islamic state in Bangladesh, and it does not mince its words in declaring that it wants an Islamic revolution. What makes it formidable is that it is far more organised than AL or BNP, and it will go to any length to fulfil its ambition.
Simultaneously published in Holiday & New Age
Related Report of the Court of Inquiry constituted under Punjab Act II of 1954 to enquire into the punjab disturbances of 1953