Bangladeshi Police: Citizens Think Islamist Blogger Murderers ‘Have Done the Right Thing’

AFP

AFP

Breitbart, by Frances Martel, June 9, 2016:

The head of Bangladesh’s police counterterrorism unit tells the New York Times that among the greatest challenges facing law enforcement in containing the ongoing wave of Islamist murders of secular, LGBT, or anti-Islamist bloggers and public figures is the fact that the public supports them.

Monirul Islam, who the Times notes assumed his position earlier this year, said that authorities are especially concerned about turning public support against them and in favor of roving bands of machete-wielding Islamists, often enacting death sentences doled out through fatwas at radical mosques.

“In general, people think they have done the right thing, that it’s not unjustifiable to kill,” he told the Times. The newspaper notes that, reflecting a sensitivity towards the fact that public opinion supports the murder of political and religious dissidents, authorities have issued statements asking bloggers and public figures “not to criticize Islam” or to promote “unnatural sex.” Homosexuality remains illegal in Bangladesh.

Authorities also seem to be going out of their way to blame anyone but Islamist killers for these murders. This week, following the shooting and subsequent hacking to death of 70-year-old Anando Gopal Ganguly, a Hindu priest, Home Minister Asaduzaman Khan accused the government of Israel of staging the killing. “These killings are part of a national and international conspiracy. Those who are carrying out these incidents are communicating with Mossad,” he proclaimed.

As a result of the developing perception that law enforcement is supporting the movement to eradicate voices dissenting from strict Islamic law, many of those targeted do not trust the police. Among those, witnesses say, was 35-year-old Xulhaz Mannan, the editor of the nation’s only LGBT interest magazine. Mannan was hacked to death in April, along with two others, by Islamist terrorists. Mannan, an anonymous friend told the U.K.’s The Telegraph that Mannan did not trust authorities, as they had repeatedly suppressed public LGBT events and cracked down on LGBT groups, arresting known gay and lesbian Bangladeshis. “As a result of the detentions, Xulhaz and others were reluctant to go to the police and inform them of the threat to them,” the source claimed.

In addition to Mannan, among those public thinkers killed in Bangladesh in the past year have been secular Bangladeshi-American blogger Avijit Roy; Ananta Bijoy Das, a blogger who ran a site called “Free Thinker” (“Mukto-Mona”), and anti-religion blogger Nazimuddin Samad. The New York Times reports that at least 39 people have been the victims of Islamist murders since 2013, many hacked to death by machete-wielding terrorists. Twelve of these murders have occurred since April.

Islam, the police counterterrorism chief, cited two Islamist groups as the primary culprits: Jama’atul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansar al-Islam. Jama’atul Mujahedeen Bangladesh is less of a threat, he says, because they are “less professional” and have made a series of errors in their targeting, resulting in the killing of popular and devout Muslims. More of these errors, he suggests, could turn public opinion against them.

Ansar al-Islam, with its network of imams preaching murder and close-knit leadership organization, is a greater threat, he says. He notes that police do not believe that either group has ties to al-Qaeda or the Islamic State, “though those groups have occasionally claimed credit for the attacks.” The Islamic State, in particular, has taken credit for various murders and used its international propaganda arms to recruit Bangladeshi jihadists.

In the April edition of Dabiq, the Islamic State’s English-language propaganda magazine, the writers devoted a significant percentage of pages to the jihadis of “Bengal,” as they call the region. “Bengal is an important region for the Khilafah [caliphate] and the global jihad due to its strategic geographic position,” one jihadi said in an interview, as it straddles India and Pakistan/Afghanistan. Another feature highlighted a slain Bengali jihadi as a hero.

‘Islamists’ Slay US-Employed Bangladeshi Gay-Rights Activist (Update : Al Qaeda claims credit)

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Clarion Project, April 26, 2016:

So far no one has claimed responsibility for the April 25 stabbing to death of two men in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.

Police officers identified the victims as USAID employee and editor of the country’s first gay-rights magazine Xulhaz Mannan and his friend and local police officer Tanay Majumder.

The incident, assumed by police to have been carried out by Islamists, follows the murder of university professor Rezaul Karim Siddique three days earlier in Rajshahi, in the country’s northwest. ISIS said it was behind that killing.

Mannan and other unnamed LGBT campaigners launched Roopbaan magazine in January 2014.

“The main reason for this publication is to promote love,” the editor said at the launch party for the magazine, “promoting love and promoting the right to love. The audience for love is huge and that’s who this is for.

“I feel that I have a relationship with every line and letter in this magazine. A relationship that has cast such an influence on me.”

Homosexuality is illegal in Muslim Bangladesh, with those arrested facing likely imprisonment.

On its website, Boys of Bangladesh urges homosexuals not to be afraid, saying it is in contact with “powerful people” to seek change in the country:

“…we envision a world free of discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation enabling every LGBT individual to enjoy the blessing of life, love and companionship. …We hope Bangladesh would soon start talking about real LGBT issues and eventually take a bold positive step towards building a better society free of any kind of stigma and discrimination.”

***

(Update : Al Qaeda claims credit)

Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent claims killing of LGBT activist, friend in Bangladesh by Thomas Joscelyn

A team of several jihadists posing as deliverymen killed a LGBT activist, Xulhaz Mannan, and his friend in Bangladesh’s capital of Dhaka yesterday. The men were reportedly hacked to death with machetes in Mannan’s flat.

Ansar al Islam, the Bangladeshi branch of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), quickly claimed responsibility for the slayings in a message released on Twitter and other social media sites.

Assuming AQIS’s claim is accurate, the murders are the latest in an orchestrated campaign against men accused of offending the Islamic faith and spreading supposedly immoral behaviors. More than one dozen victims have been killed or wounded in the assaults since 2013. AQIS previously said that the killings were authorized by al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri.

The assassinations demonstrate how al Qaeda is attempting to market its draconian version of the Islamic faith. AQIS even tries to claim the moral high ground after butchering innocent men.

Mannan was the founder of a LGBT magazine in Bangladesh and worked for the US Embassy there for eight years before joining USAID. He and his friend, Samir Mahbub Tonoy, were specifically targeted by AQIS for their LGBT activism.

16-04-26 AQIS claims killing activists

“By the grace of Almighty Allah, the mujahidin of Ansar al-Islam (AQIS, Bangladesh branch) were able to assassin [sic] Xulhaz Mannan and his associate Samir Mahbub Tonoy,” the group’s claim of responsibility reads. The English version of the message, which was released in multiple languages, can be seen on the right.

“They were pioneers of practicing and promoting homosexuality in Bangladesh,” the AQIS statement continues. “Xulhaz Mannan was the director of Roopbaan (A cult comprised of the gays and the lesbians) while Samir Mahbub Tonoy was one of its most important activists. They were working day and night to promote homosexuality among the people of this land since 1998 with the help of their masters, the US crusaders and its Indian allies.”

The assassinations of Mannan and Tonoy are part of an ongoing, targeted campaign by AQIS, which selects specific men for death. AQIS deliberately contrasts its actions with indiscriminate acts of violence.

16-04-09 Killing of Nazimuddin Samad

For example, the Ansar al Islam branch of AQIS released a statement earlier this month entitled, “Who’s Next?” In it, AQIS set forth the criteria for its slayings. The message can be seen on the right.

The group identified its “next targets” as belonging to eight categories of people, ranging from those who have allegedly insulted Allah or the prophet Mohammed to those “who oppose the Islamic Shariah [law] by their talks or writings or show insolence towards it or insult it.”

Mannan and Tonoy may have been marked for death because AQIS included them in the seventh category. It reads: “Those who are engaged in spreading nudity, obscenity and shamefulness in the Muslim society. Note that, there is a huge difference in the Islamic Shariah between doing something haram (prohibited) personally and trying to spread it in the society.”

Portraying its terror as a defense of Islam

Most of the victims targeted by AQIS thus far had allegedly insulted the religion of Islam. [See LWJreport, Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent leader says attacks on ‘blasphemers’ ordered by Zawahiri.]

In May 2015, AQIS leader Asim Umar, claimed responsibility for the murders of six people who were supposedly “blasphemers.” Umar claimed that his jihadists were responsible for killing Rajib Haider (a blogger murdered in February 2013), Muhammad Shakil Auj (who was the dean of Islamic Studies at the University of Karachi when he was shot in September 2014), Shafiul Islam (a professor at Rajshahi University who was killed in September 2014), Aniqa Naz (a Pakistani blogger), Avijit Roy (a prominent atheist blogger hacked to death in February 2015) and Washiqur Rahman (a blogger who was killed in March 2015).

“Praise be to Allah, these assassinations are part of a series of operations initiated by the different branches of al Qaeda on the orders of our respected leader Sheikh Ayman al Zawahiri (may Allah protect him),” Umar said in the May 2015 video. “It is equally part of our commitment to fulfill the oath of Sheikh Osama [bin Laden] (may Allah have mercy on him).”

Umar connected the series of murders to other terrorist attacks, including the massacre at Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris in January 2015. The jihadists “have taught a lesson to blasphemers in France, Denmark, Pakistan and now in Bangladesh,” Umar claimed. He said al Qaeda’s assassination campaign is part of the “same war…whether it is fought with drones [in northern Pakistan] or with the cursed pens of Charlie Hebdo.”

16-01-08 Timeline of Assassinations

AQIS claimed responsibility for additional killings and attempted murders in the months that followed Umar’s message. In January, the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF) posted an infographic online (seen on the right) in which several other attacks were claimed.

Earlier this month, AQIS said its men were responsible for the death of Nazimuddin Samad, whom the jihadists accused of mocking Allah on Facebook.

Supporters of the Islamic State have lashed out at individuals as well. Rezaul Karim Siddique, a university professor, was hacked to death earlier this week. Amaq News Agency, a propaganda arm of the Islamic State, said Siddique was killed because he was “calling to atheism in the city of Rajshahi in Bangladesh.” However, the professor’s family denied that he was an atheist.

AQIS claims that its victims are chosen with precision. “We are not targeting every atheist bloggers [sic],” the organization’s targeting criteria reads. “We don’t have problem [sic] with other religions or beliefs but we will not tolerate anyone insulting [the] prophet Muhammad. We are targeting those who are insulting our Prophet in the name of Atheism, Free Speech or Free Thinking.”

And the jihadists are now targeting LGBT activists as well.

Police officials in Dhaka say that previous AQIS claims were proven to be fake. But if they are right, then this would mean that roving bans of murderers have randomly and repeatedly targeted prominent commentators and activists in the same manner with machetes and knives. Although some of AQIS’ statements may be inaccurate, it is reasonable to assume that the jihadists are targeting victims just as they say.

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for The Long War Journal.

Bangladesh PM: Kill Those Who Slander the Prophet

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“If someone writes filthy things about my religion, why should we tolerate it? ”

BY CounterJihad · @CounterjihadUS | April 20, 2016

Committing the political sin of telling the truth about what she thinks, Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina responded to the machete-murder of atheists in her country by shrugging it off.  At least seven outspoken atheists have been chopped to death in public with machetes, shot with pistols, hacked with cleavers, and otherwise brutally murdered..  Several were killed in public, in daylight hours, with police seeming reluctant to seek out the networks responsible.

Security services claim that it is homegrown extremists, not al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups.  However, few arrests have been made.  Meanwhile, a “kill list” of academics, atheists, and outspoken “free thinkers” has been circulated anonymously.

Bangladesh’s government has the duty to protect its citizens from violence, but when asked about the matter Sheikh Hasina showed little interest in making it a priority.  Indeed, she seems to feel that the murders are just and merited in some sense:

“Everyone has to hold their tongue, has to maintain a level of decency in what the write. If they write something provocative and something bad happens, the government will not take responsibility… If someone writes filthy things about my religion, why should we tolerate it?”

The premier also said, “Recently it has become a fashion to call someone a freethinker who says nasty things about religion. I do not see any free thinking here. All I see is filth.”

While she also went on to add that “the government will also not tolerate those who attempt to kill someone just because of what they said,” she made no promises to take specific action.  The government’s clear lack of interest in devoting resources to tracking down and destroying these networks sends a clear sign of encouragement, which her remarks only worsen.

Bangladesh is responding to challenges to Islam in a familiar way.  Tolerating or encouraging vigilante violence against outspoken writers has been characteristic of Iran’s approach to “blasphemy” since it declared a death sentence on Salman Rushdie in the 1980s.  But this is not limited to Islamic-majority nations.  Many murders of cartoonists, newspapermen and filmmakers have occurred in Europe in the name of silencing any “blasphemy” of Islam.  Even in the United States, there have been repeated acts of vigilante jihad aimed at forcing silence on critics of Islam.

Islamic governments like Bangladesh’s have even pushed for an international norm that would create an exception to the human right of freedom of speech when it comes to criticizing Islam.  Their efforts at the United Nations, especially as part of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, are a threat to basic human liberties.  At this point, the members of the OIC clearly believe that they have successfully framed international law in such a way that it justifies their enforcement of anti-blasphemy laws. Unfortunately, increasingly Western governments seem inclined to go along with them.  We must stand together against these attempts to silence us.  Protecting our basic liberties is the reason that governments exist.  Any that surrender in this fight must be altered or replaced.

***

And now there is yet another deadly Machete attack:

Bangladeshi professor Rezaul Karim Siddiquee hacked to death, ISIS claim responsibility

download (4)A liberal university professor on way to work in northwestern Bangladesh was brutally hacked to death by machete-wielding ISIS militants near his home, the latest in a series of similar attacks on intellectuals and bloggers by the dreaded group in the Muslim-majority country. Rajshahi University professor AFM Rezaul Karim Siddiquee, 58, was attacked by motorbike-borne assailants within 50 metres of his residence in Rajshahi city as the militants slit his throat using sharp weapons and left him to die, police said.

“The miscreants attacked him from behind with machetes as he walked to the university campus from his home around 7.30 AM,” local police station in-charge Shahdat Hossain told PTI over phone.

He said the Professor of English literature died on the spot following which the assailants fled the scene. The body was found lying face down in a pool of blood, and according to an eyewitness, she saw two persons leaving on a motorbike from the spot.

US-based private SITE Intelligence Group said the Islamic State has claimed the killing. “ISIS’ Amaq Agency reported the group’s responsibility for killing Rajshahi University professor Rezaul Karim for “calling to atheism” in Bangladesh,” it said in a tweet.

Earlier, Rajshahi’s police commissioner Mohammad Shamsuddin told reporters at the scene that the “technique of the murder suggested it could be an act of Islamist terrorists.”

The professor’s neck was hacked at least three times and was 70-80 per cent slit, he said, adding that the nature of the attack shows it was carried out by extremist groups.

An investigation into the killing is on.

Meanwhile, angry students and teachers of the university rallied in the campus demanding immediate arrest of culprits.

Siddiquee’s colleagues said he was involved in cultural activities in the campus and used to play flute and sitar.

“He was not known for affiliation for any political party… He had a progressive outlook that might have earned him the wrath of reactionary (Islamist) forces,” professor of mass communication department of the university Dulal Chandra Biswas told PTI over phone.

Biswas said he believed the Islamists murdered Siddiquee to prove their existence in view of a massive anti-militant security clampdown in the region.

Two years ago, another Rajshahi University teacher AKM Shafiul Islam was similarly murdered. Though his murder was initially claimed by radical group ‘Ansaral Islam’, police later ruled out that possibility, saying he was murdered due to personal rivalry.

But some years ago, two more professors of the state-run Rajshahi University had been killed. There have been systematic assaults in Bangladesh in recent months specially targeting minorities, secular bloggers, intellectuals and foreigners. Last year, four prominent secular bloggers were killed with machetes, one inside his own home.

Bangladesh Secularists Continue to be Targeted by Islamists

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Center for Security Policy, by Kevin Samolsky, April 7, 2016:

On Wednesday, April 6, 2016, a Bangladeshi, secular blogger, Mohammed Nazim Uddin was murdered by Islamists for blog posts critical of militant Islam. Uddin was surrounded and hacked to death by men armed with machetes.

Bangladesh has been a dangerous place for those who speak out against Islamists. Since 2013, Islamists have repeatedly targeted secular bloggers, and several of these bloggers have applied for asylum in Western nations.

Bangladeshi bloggers to be killed by Islamists include:

  • Ahmed Rajib Haider hacked to death by men wielding machetes in February of 2013. Haider was a prominent anti-Islamist blogger in Bangladesh who often blogged under the name Thaba Baba.
  • Washiqur Rahman was also killed by men with machetes in March of 2015. Rahman, similar to Haider, wrote under the false name of Kucchit Hasher Channa, which means Ugly Ducking. He was known to have criticized what he described as irrational religious beliefs.
  • Avijit Roy was killed in February of 2015 for championing atheism and tolerance for homosexuality.
  • Islamists murdered Ananta Bijoy Das, a science and secularism blogger, in March of 2015.

Many of these bloggers were members of the Shahbag Movement. The movement is centered around the city of Shahbag, seeking to punish Islamist leaders convicted of war crimes during the bloody 1971 war for independence from Pakistan. The movement became more publicized after their protest against Abdul Quader Mollah, assistant secretary-general of Bangladesh’s Jamaat-e-Islami party. Between 100,000-500,000 gathered in the street calling for Mollah be put to death for the acts of violence he committed in the 1971 war of independence.

There has been a historical tension between Islamic politics and secularism in Bangladesh. Islam has been Bangladesh’s state religion since 1988, when former dictator H.M. Ershad made the change in order to win over popular support. The same year a petition was filed opposing the declaration, but never ruled upon.

In 2011, the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina began a push to reintroduce secularism in political affairs.  Bangladesh’s three-judge High Court panel recently ruled to formally reject the long dormant petition, a largely symbolic move supported by Bangladesh’s Islamist factions.

Bangladesh is the third largest Muslim country in the world, and is well accustomed to the presence of jihadist organizations. However, the nation has begun to see a rise in the presence of larger, better-known jihadist organizations like the Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda (AQ).

Last September, IS made its presence in Bangladesh known when it killed Italian aid worker Cesare Tavella. IS followed up this attack by killing Italian missionary Piero Parolari last November. In 2014, AQ officially stated they had established a new branch called Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). AQIS has claimed responsibility for the killing of several bloggers within Bangladesh since its inception.

Late last year Singapore police arrested 27 Bangladesh jihadists who reportedly followed the teachings of former AQ member, Anwar al-Awlaki. The men mentioned they were encouraged to return to Bangladesh and wage a war against the government. The government’s increased push for a more secular government could lead others to turn jihadists.

While some jihadis look to quell opposition to Islam through force, other groups take a more political approach. Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), established in 1941, seeks to create an Islamic State governed by Sharia law. The group was formally banned by the Bangladesh government in 1971, but was re-activated after a coup in 1975. Since then the group has been able to acquire influence in parliament, and is known to aid terrorist activity.

As the struggle between secularists and Islamists in Bangladesh continues, the small South Asian country risks becoming a hot spot for jihadist organizations. An ex-Bangladesh army intelligence specialist warns that IS has its eye on Bangladesh, as about 30 Bangladeshis have gone to fight in Syria or Iraq.

***

Powerful U.S. Islamist Group Shows True Colors

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The Islamic Circle of North America has mobilized to protect its radical Islamist parent group in Bangladesh accused of war crimes.

BY RYAN MAURO:

About 30 Bangladeshis protested on December 22 outside the headquarters of the Islamic Circle of North America in New York. The demonstrators are demanding the deportation of a former senior ICNA official that has been indicted in Bangladesh for war crimes.

The protest was organized by the New York chapter of Ekatturer Ghatak Dalai Nirmul Committee. It was founded in 1992 by the late Jananara Imam, a progressive female Muslim seeking justice for atrocities committed during the Bangladesh Liberation War with Pakistan.

ICNA, meanwhile, is mobilizing to convince the U.S. government to demand that Bangladesh stop prosecuting leaders of the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami group for war crimes. Uncoincidentally, ICNA is a derivative of Jamaat-e-Islami.

ICNA is telling its membership to call the White House and State Department to protest the Bangladeshi government’s execution of Abdul Quader Mollah, a leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami group, for committing war crimes during Bangladesh’s war for independence from Pakistan.

Molla earned the nickname, “The Butcher of Mirpur,” during Bangladesh’s war for independence from Pakistan in 1971. He and Jamaat-e-Islami sided with Pakistan in the conflict that ended the lives of some three million people.

Molla belonged to the Al-Badar paramilitary force, a creation of Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing. In February, Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal ruled that he was guilty on five of six charges of war crimes. It concluded that he murdered at least 344 civilians. He was involved in the beheading of a poet, he massacred her family and raped an 11-year old girl.

One of the eyewitnesses who testified during the trial was Syed Shahidul Haque Mama, who fought in favor of Bangladeshi independence. He said that Molla was the “key person” overseeing the torturing and execution of civilians.

Read more at Clarion Project

Also see

U.S.Muslim Leader Sentenced to Death for Bangladesh War Crimes

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Bangladesh, a country that is close 90% Muslim, has been taking on the Islamists that act in the name of their faith.

BY RYAN MAURO:

The Bangladeshi government has given the death sentence to Ashrafuzzaman Khan, a former Secretary-General of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) that lives in New York, for war crimes he committed during Bangladesh’s liberation from Pakistan

Khan was tried in absentia as part of a popularly supported crackdown on ICNA’s parent group, Jamaat-e-Islami.

Khan was found guilty of murdering 18 professors, journalists and physicians that were supporting Bangladesh’s war of independence in 1971. The tribunal ruled that Khan “had de facto reasonable material and authority to control” the executioners. Bangladesh sentenced Khan to death by hanging if he were to be extradited to Bangladesh from America.

A Muslim leader in London named Chowdhury Mueen Uddin was also sentenced to death. Amazingly, he is the director of the British National Health Service’s Muslim Spiritual Care Provision. He also is a trustee for an organization named Muslim Aid that has beenaccused of having extremist links.

Jamaat-e-Islami, essentially a Muslim Brotherhood branch, set up the Al-Badr militia that ran death squads in Bangladesh during the war of independence. The assassins targeted Bangladeshis that promoted secession from Pakistan, particularly the elite members of the society – doctors, professors and journalists. During the war, the Pakistani government and its allies killed 3 million people and raped 200,000 women, according to the Bangladeshi government.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has reportedly told Bangladesh that he’d help get Khan extradited so he can be brought to justice. At this stage, the Obama Administration is non-committal.

Read more at Clarion Project

ICNA’s Parent Organization Outlawed in Bangladesh

The Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami has been banned from elections for being unwilling to support the constitution.

Bangladesh trial

By Ryan Mauro:

A Bangladeshi court has banned Jamaat-e-Islami, the parent group of the New York-based Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), an organization that puts together some of the largest Muslim-American conventions.

ICNA describes itself as “a leading grass roots organization which seeks to obtain the pleasure of Allah (SWT) through working for the establishment of Islam in all spheres of life.” Approximately 32,000 Muslims were taught that the U.S. Constitution is inferior to ShariaLaw at ICNA’s last conference.

The Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami group, essentially a branch of theMuslim Brotherhoodis now outlawed in Bangladesh from participating in elections because of its opposition to the secular constitution. The group would have to delete its Sharia agenda from its platform and declare allegiance to Bangladesh’s secular identity in order to become eligible for next year’s elections. The court, however, did not ban the group from continuing its activites.

Jamaat-e-Islami said it will appeal the ruling and organize mass protests on August 12-13. Its leader also asked the Muslim world to take unspecified action to defend his group from the Bangladeshi government’s “state terrorism.”

Leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami are on trial in Bangladesh for war crimes committed during the country’s war of independence from Pakistan. When one leader was sentenced to life in prison instead of execution in February, massive anti-Islamist protests erupted. Canadian Muslim Tarek Fatah said it was “the first time ever in the Muslim world there has been a popular uprising against the fascism of Islamist parties.”

Also on trial is Ashrafuzzaman Khan, a former Secretary-General of ICNA. Khan was formally charged in October 2012 with being the “chief executioner” in at least 18 gruesome political assassinations in 1971. He had to be charged in absentia because he is currently living in New York. Khan says he is innocent and never belonged to the Al-Badar death squad, but three eyewitnesses contradict him.

Khan is still on the executive board of ICNA’s New York chapter (as discovered by the Investigative Project on Terrorism) and is president of the North American Imams Federation. He also leads its New York regional office. The organization’s stated purpose is to “facilitate cooperation, coordination and fellowship between the leaders of mosques and Islamic Centers in the U.S. and Canada.”

Terrorism researcher Joe Kaufman discovered in 2007 that ICNA’s website is registered to a Jamaat-e-Islami website, and ICNA’s logo is identical to that of Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing.

Read more at The Clarion Project

Violence and Mainstream Islam

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Hundreds of thousands of Bengladeshi Muslims demonstrate and chant ,“Allah is great, hang the atheist bloggers.”

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April 8th, 2013 by Andrew Bostom:

Against the backdrop of 20,651 jihadist attacks since 9/11/2001, and the hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Dhaka, Bengladesh (hat tip Jihad Watch) on the march this past week, demanding the execution of “atheist bloggers” for “blaspheming” Islam, I was re-reading V.S. Naipaul’s second brilliant travelogue account of Asian Islamdom, circa 1995,  Beyond Belief.

Naipaul’s five month 1995 journey included sojourns in Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia, supposedly more “moderate,” overall, than Arab Islamdom. Beyond Belief contains this simple, elegant description by a secular Pakistani journalist, i.e., a private apostate, who found mainstream Islamic violence unacceptable. Identified only as “Salman,” he proffered this explanation about the roots of traditionalist, mainstream Islamic violence—which must be considered when applying the term “moderate” to mainstream votaries of Islam:

…[T]he idea of jihad, holy war…was a special Muslim idea. He [Salman] explained it like this: “In Christianity, Christ died for all Christians. He can ensure heaven for them. In Islam, Mohammed can only make a submission in your favor for being a follower of his. It is only Allah who makes the final decision on the merit won by your good deeds. Nothing is greater, so far as goodness goes, than jihad in the name of Allah.” [Naipaul interjects] Jihad was not meant metaphorically. “The word of the Koran is taken very literally. It is blasphemous even to think of it as allegory. The Koran lays great store in jihad. It is one of the sayings of Mohammed–not in the Koran, it’s one of the traditions—‘If you see an un-Islamic practice you stop it by force. If you do not possess the power to stop it, you condemn it verbally. If not that also, then you condemn it in your heart.’ As far back as I can remember I have known this. I think this tradition gives the Muslim license to act violently.” [Naipaul adds] …he [Salman] understood both their [Muslims] need to win merit as followers of Mohammed, and also their fear of hell. [Salman again] “Endless whipping with fiery flames, and fire beyond imagination. Having to drink pus. It’s very graphic in the traditions. In the Koran there’s just mention of the fires and the endlessness of punishment.”

The canonical hadith alluded to by Naipaul’s “Salman,” are cited below, including the delightful spectacle of drinking pus in Hell:

I heard the Messenger of Allah say: “Whoever among you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand (by action); if he cannot, then with his tongue (by speaking out); and if he cannot, then with his heart (by hating it and feeling it is wrong), and that is the weakest of faith.” [Sahih Muslim, The Book of Faith, Chapter 20, Clarifying That Forbidding Evil is Part of Faith; Faith Increases and Decreases; Enjoining What is Good and Forbidding What is Evil Are Obligatory; [177] 78- (49), pp.143-44, from: Vol. 1 English translation of Sahih Muslim From Hadith no. 01-1160, translated by Nasirrudin al-Khattab, Darussalam Books, Riyadh, 2007.]

Amr ibn Shu’ayb reported from his father on the authority of his grandfather that the Prophet said, “The arrogant will be (rasied and) gathered on the Day of Resurrection as ants in the garb of mankind. They will be covered with disgrace from all sides and they will be driven to a cell in Hell named Bulas. They will boil in the fire of Fires and will be given to drink the pus of the people of the Fire, extremely bad in odor.” [From Jami Tirmidhi (2500)]

 

Article In Leading Bangladeshi Daily Traces The Roots Of ‘Islamic Totalitarianism’

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“Only One Power Determines The Course Of History: The Power Of Ideas”; “One Needs To Identify The Enemy As The Vicious Ideology Of Islamic Totalitarianism… That Needs To Be Defeated By A Stronger, Freedom-Embracing Ideology”

MEMRI, March 10, 2013:

In the Islamic nation of Bangladesh, the secular government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has initiated a series of measures against Islamic fundamentalist groups and terrorist organizations in recent years. One of her government’s key initiatives has been the establishment of an International Crimes Tribunal (ICT). The tribunal has tried several Bangladeshi leaders for collaborating with the Pakistan Army in committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 war, which resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.

The country’s secular forces are aligned with the government, while the right-wing forces are led by the Jamaat-e-Islami and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) of former Prime Minister Begum Khalida Zia. Leaders from the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami have been indicted by the tribunal for crimes such as rape and murder during the 1971 liberation war.

In early 2013, as the tribune convicted several leaders, violent protests were organized by the rival groups in the capital Dhaka, leading to the killings of dozens of civilians and policemen. Among the top people convicted of various war crimes and sentenced to death and life imprisonment are Jamaat-e-Islami leaders Abul Kalam Azad, Abdul Quader Mollah, and Delwar Hossain Sayedee.

Supporters of BNP and members of the Jamaat’s students wing Islami Chhatra Shibir have organized protests against the government, while liberal forces in the country are led by Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League, which came to power following elections in 2008. During several rounds of protests by both sides, tens of thousands of Bangladeshis have turned out in Shahbag Square of Dhaka, as well as in various small towns. The protests are also seen as a struggle between liberal and fundamentalist forces in the country.

In a recent article, a Bangladeshi daily traced the roots of what it called “Islamic totalitarianism” in Bangladesh. The article, “The Rise Of Islamic Totalitarianism,” was written by Shahrazad Jafer and published by Daily Ittefaq, a leading newspaper. The following are excerpts:[1]

“A Power Is Rising Slowly In Bangladesh; It Violates Our Liberty… The Adversary Is Not A Man But An Ideology [Of Islamic Totalitarianism]”; 11th Century Theologian Al-Ghazali Advocated “Unquestioning Faith… Faith Became The Absolute Authority, The Final Arbiter; Reason Was Abandoned”

“A power is rising slowly in Bangladesh; it violates our liberty and life. It violates our very existence. The adversary is not a man but an ideology; the man is but a mere tool. To defeat it, one needs to understand its history, identity, and goal. With razor-sharp clarity, one needs to know its adversary and to know that the only defense against it is secularism.

“Rebirth of Faith: Al‑Ghazali

“The Islamic Golden Age from 8th to 12th century was once the pinnacle of science, philosophy, and art. The people of Baghdad were studying and debating the works of Aristotle and other Greek philosophers. They were fascinated by the teachings of Aristotle on logic and attempted to combine both logic and faith.

“[Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad] Al-Ghazali [1058-1111], a Muslim philosopher, was distressed by the conflict between Islam (submission to faith) and the Golden Age (reason and science). He sought solitude in the desert in search of an answer to this dilemma. He returned with a simple answer: unquestioning faith. Consequently, faith became the absolute authority, the final arbiter. Reason was abandoned and criticism [became] impossible since we could not question an infallible god.

“This was the rebirth of faith into the Muslim society and the end of the age of Enlightenment. Al-Ghazali became known as the man who saved Islam and was given the unique title of ‘Hujjat-Al-Islam’ – The Proof of Islam.”

Read more at MEMRI

Britain Legitimizes, Funds Terrorist Movement

Shahbag protesters in Dhaka

Shahbag protesters in Dhaka

by Samuel Westrop:

Jamaat-e-Islami, an extremist Bangladeshi Islamist group responsible for mass killings in 1971, has established itself as a leading force among British Muslims.

Forty years after Pakistani forces and their Islamist collaborators slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people, there is finally some semblance of justice in Bangladesh. Of the ten people indicted for acts of genocide by the Bangladeshi war crimes tribunal, eight of them are from the Islamist movement, Jamaat-e-Islami.

In the West, where many of the war criminals from the 1971 atrocities fled, the Jamaat movement has become a powerful leader within Muslim communities.

Bangladesh’s official figures claim Pakistani soldiers and their Jamaat collaborators killed an estimated three million people, raped 200,000 women and forced tens of millions to flee their homes. At the time of the genocide, one US official was quoted saying, “It is the most incredible, calculated thing since the days of the Nazis in Poland.”

Earlier this month, the war crimes tribunal handed a life sentence to Abdul Quader Mollah, a leading Jamaat-e-Islami figure, for his role in the 1971 atrocities. He emerged from the Supreme Court on February 4, offering a victory sign to his supporters. Known as the “Butcher of Mirpur,” Mollah was convicted of beheading a poet, raping an 11 year old girl, and shooting 344 people.

Hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshis have deemed a prison sentence too benign; huge protests have been taking place for several weeks outside the courthouse in Bangladesh’s capital city, Dhaka. Even today, Bangladesh’s other extreme Islamist groups believe Jamaat to be too violent. A journalist for the British Independent, Philip Hensher, wrote that, “The protests … are led by intelligent and liberal people; they are, however, calling with great urgency for the death penalty to be passed on Mollah and other convicted war criminals.”

In Britain, however, Jamaat is not troubled by its past.

The East London Mosque and the Islamic Forum of Europe are both leading Jamaat organizers in Britain. Both institutions heavily promote the writings of Syed Mawdudi, the founder of Jamaat Islamism, whose book, Let Us Be Muslims, tells followers that, “The sacred duty of Muslims … wherever you are, in whichever country you live, you must strive to change the wrong basis of government, and seize all powers to rule and make laws from those who do not fear God.”

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Islamists behind fatal rioting in Bangladesh have prominent US ally

673_large1By Adam Savit at Center For Security Policy:

Dozens have died in Bangladesh over the weekend as deadly Islamist-instigated rioting has engulfed the country.  The riots are a response to the death sentence handed down to Delwar Hossain Sayedee, vice-president of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) political party, by the International Crimes Tribunal.  Sayedee was convicted of war crimes stemming from the 1971 Bangladesh civil war, which saw up to 3 million civilians slaughtered and millions more cleansed from the Muslim-majority nation.  Most of the victims were Hindus and other religious and ethnic minorities.

Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) is the premier Muslim Brotherhood group on the Indian subcontinent and it’s American progeny, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), was established in 1968.  ICNA’s past Secretary General and Vice President Ashrafuz Zaman Khan, also a past President of the ICNA NY Chapter, will reportedly be indicted for war crimes by the same International Crimes Tribunal for the systematic execution of civilians during the civil war.  Bangladeshi groups claim Khan personally killed seven Dhaka University teachers.

Last year, ICNA launched a $3 million campaign promoting shariah law in America, featuring billboards in at least 15 U.S. cities, “Shariah seminars” on 20 college campuses, and town hall-style forums and interfaith events in 25 cities.

In response, the Center for Security Policy released a thoroughly referenced guide to ICNA’s extremist beliefs and associations.  Click here for a flyer version in PDF format for easy printing.

 

The Uprising in Bangladesh that the Media Isn’t Covering

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

by: Ryan Mauro:

For the past two weeks, Bangladesh has been experiencing its largest demonstrations in two decades. Anti-Islamist Muslim Tarek Fatah says  it is “the first time ever in the Muslim world there has been a popular uprising against the fascism of Islamist parties.”

Unlike the Arab Spring revolutions, this uprising’s goal is not overthrowing a secular government, but protecting one.

The current government is led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, a female secularist from the Awami League Party. Her party won in a landslide in December 2008, a remarkable—if mostly unnoticed—achievement in a 90 percent Muslim country.

Part of the reason for the victory was the party’s support for bringing justice to those responsible for the killing of hundreds of thousands of civilians in 1971 when Bangladesh broke from Pakistan. The Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI), opposed independence and its student wing was involved in the bloodshed. (Read our interview with Saleem Reza Noor, a Bangladeshi-American, about JEI.)

Read more at Radical Islam