Tag Archives: Jamaat-e-Islami

Modi’s Meditation ‘Tour’

The art of legitimising religiosity in a secular country and live happily ever after.

Modi in KedarnathReligion is regarded by the common people as true, by wise people as false and by the rulers as useful. — Seneca (4 BC-AD65)

A picture is worth a thousand words.

An outgoing Prime Minister of the ‘world’s biggest democracy’ seen meditating under the glare of cameras in a cave specially opened for the occasion and with a dress stitched for the event, conveys many things simultaneously.

First and foremost, it tells us that the present incumbent to the post would at least be remembered for his varied sartorial tastes among the galaxy of PMs who headed the republic earlier. It appears that either all the others lacked the sense to dress for the occasion or found it a mundane job not befitting the post and the responsibilities they held then. Continue reading Modi’s Meditation ‘Tour’

Hefazat-e-Jamaat, Nothing Else : On the Recent Developments in Bangladesh

Image

 

 

Talibaner aar ek naam – hefazat-e-Islam!” (Another name for Taliban, Hefazat-e-Islam)               

– Slogan raised at Shahbagh square

 

To such a degree has Religion fuelled conflict, complicated politics, retarded social development and impaired human relations across the world, that one is often tempted to propose that Religion is innately an enemy of Humanity, if not indeed of itself a crime against Humanity. Certainly it cannot be denied that Religion has proved again and again a spur, a motivator and a justification for the commission of some of the most horrifying crimes against Humanity, despite its fervent affirmations of peace. Let us, however, steer away from hyperbolic propositions and simply settle for this moderating moral imperative: that it is time that the world adopted a position that refuses to countenance Religion as an acceptable justification for, excuse or extenuation of – crimes against Humanity.

(Wole Soyinka, Source: http://www.granta.com/New-Writing/Religion-Against-Humanity)

I

The above quote was part of a long intervention made by Wole Soyinka, Nigerian writer, recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, and the first one from Africa, as part of UNESCO International High Panel, in a Conference on the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence.(21 September 2012) . The immediate context for Soyinka’s speech – was the desecration and destruction of centuries old tombs of Muslim saints in Timbuktu, Mali by radical Islamist group Ansar-al Dime which had ‘discovered’ them to be unIslamic. There were rumours  that the ‘invaluable library-treasures of Timbuktu may be next.’ on their agenda. Cautioning people about the fact that “[t]he science-fiction archetype of the mad scientist who craves to dominate the world has been replaced by the mad cleric who can only conceive of the world in his own image, proudly flaunting Bond’s 007 credentials – License to Kill.” he urged leaders to “..[u]nderstand this, and admit that no nation has any lack of its own dangerous loonies, be they known as Ansar-Dine of Mali, or Terry Jones of Florida, the earlier they will turn their attention to real issues truly deserving human priority. “

One was reminded of Soyinka’s words when one was witness to the march organised by the newly emergent group Hefazat-e-Islam ( can be loosely translated as ‘Defenders of Islam’) on the streets of Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh and the consequent mayhem that followed.  Continue reading Hefazat-e-Jamaat, Nothing Else : On the Recent Developments in Bangladesh

Shahbag no imperialist conspiracy, Mr Umari

Image

Photograph : Martyr Ahmed Rajib Haider

GUWAHATI: The echo of the Shahbag protest in Bangladesh was heard about 200 miles away here on Sunday with citizens, under the banner of Janamat, expressing solidarity with protesters in that country. Janamat, a Guwahati-based socio-cultural body which organised the solidarity meet here, said that the issue raised by the Shahbag protesters is relevant to India in general and Assam in particular because both the countries’ secular and democratic fabrics are threatened by communal forces.

Solidarity meet in city for Shahbag protest

TNN Apr 29, 2013, 09.35AM IST

Representatives of different Gonojagoron Mancha across the country on Friday suggested spreading its activities to grassroots level to aware people about its demands. They urged all to be united to fight against Jamaat-Shibir and move forward with a view to realising their demands …Around 300 representatives from 167 gonojagoron manchas from seven divisions attended the daylong representative conference at Senate Bhaban of Dhaka University to express their views and suggestions to strengthen the movement.

Imran H Sarkar, spokesperson for the Gonojagoron Mancha, announced a mass rally at Mymensingh on May 18 and a grand rally at Projonmo Chattar in Dhaka on May 31 at the end of the conference.

(The Daily Star, May 3, 2013)

Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari, President of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, (Born in 1935), seems to be a learned man, at least that’s what his biographical details tell us. Elected for the second time as Ameer (President) of the Jamaat he is known to have ‘authored more than thirty books’ and is ‘considered an ‘authority on human rights in general, and women and Islamic family system in particular’. Interestingly, despite his long innings in social-political life and exposure to the outside world his understanding of some crucial developments in this part of the subcontinent seems to be at variance from what can be said as a general consensus around the issue.

The manner in which he and the organisation he leads reacted to the recent developments in B’desh, the emergence of what is known as Shahbagh movement – the spontaneous movement initiated by youth seeking ‘exemplary punishment to the war criminals’ and banning of ‘politics based on religion’ – is an indicative of this disconnect between what Maulana Umari and the organisation he leads thinks and what actually happened.

Continue reading Shahbag no imperialist conspiracy, Mr Umari

Muslim Right: Baring Its True Fangs!

Image

Any death is regrettable and those who died due to police fire may also come under this category. What is interesting is Jamaat’s modus operandi. The lone survivor of 14 December mass murder of intellectuals described in a recent TV documentary how Al Badr killed Prof Munier Chowdhury and others. Some were bitten with iron bars to death and at the final point; they would insert such bars into the head of their victims to ensure death. Jamaat-Shibir reportedly did exactly the same couple of weeks ago when they killed some police constables and others. It shows Jamaat-Shibir’s Standard Operating Procedure has remained unchanged for the last four decades…

(Rabiul H. Zaki, 1952, 1971, the genocide and Shahbagh)

“The Pakistani soldiers unleashed a reign of terror on the soil of Bangladesh in 1971. They brutally killed innocent people, molested Bengali women and ruined the economy. The Jamaat leaders, Ghulam Azam and Matiur Rahman Nizami, issued the fatwa that those activities were permissible to save Islam” (Dr Mohammed Hannan, Page 252, Bangladeshe Fatwar Itihas, 1999).

 I

What is common between Syed Md Nurur Rahman Barkati, Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Masjid, Kolkatta and Maulana Syed Athar Abbas Rizvi, imam, Cossipore Masjid or Md Qamruzzaman, general secretary, All Bengal Minorities Youth Federation ? Well, if media reports are to be believed then they would be the leading lights of a demonstration to be held on March 30 th in Kolkata demanding stepping down of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Haseena’s resignation. Continue reading Muslim Right: Baring Its True Fangs!

The Jamaat factor in Bangladesh politics: Jyoti Rehman

jamaat-train
A train in Bangladesh set on fire by activists of the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh

This is a guest post by Bangladeshi commentator JYOTI REHMAN: Delwar Hossain Sayedee, an Islamic preacher and a senior leader of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, the country’s largest Islam-pasand party, was sentenced to death on 28 February for war crimes committed during the 1971 Liberation War. Within hours, Jamaat cadres and activists clashed violently with police and law enforcement agencies. Scores have been killed in some of the worst political violence the country has experienced in recent years.

Five other senior Jamaat leaders, including its current and former chiefs, are being prosecuted for war crimes committed in 1971. Another leader was sentenced to life imprisonment on 5 February. That sentence triggered what has come to be called the Shahbag Awakening—a month of largely peaceful gathering of tens of thousands of people in the middle of Dhaka. A key demand of the largely government-supported Awakening is to ban Jamaat. Continue reading The Jamaat factor in Bangladesh politics: Jyoti Rehman