By: Shabbir Ahmed
The people of Bangladesh went through a long struggle for their independence. It was made awfully bloody by the Pakistani military and their collaborating forces including Jamaat-i-Islami (JI). The founder of JI named Maulana Moududi of Pakistan supported the massacre of Bengalis by the Pakistani military and his followers. He and his cohorts (including Gulam Azam et al.) continued the killings in the name of protecting Islam and Pakistan. It is relevant to mention that in the past, the disgruntle Maulana (Moududi) was convicted of inciting his followers to kill the Qadiani Muslims of Pakistan. As a punishment for his crimes against humanity at that time, he was given death sentence. It was not right to pardon him under pressure from his international patrons including Saudi Arabia. This allowed him to encourage his able followers to continue targeting the Bengalis in 1971.
All the genocidal killers of 1971 remained outside the purview of law. They even revived their communal politics under the patronization of the successive military rulers. This caused a great outburst of angry feeling among the pro-liberation forces in Bangladesh. Now that a few of the killers have been brought to justice and the demand for the capital punishment has been echoed by the young generation, JI and their patrons are trying to diffuse the momentum and confuse the gullible people in the name of Islam. Just like in 1971, they have again started spreading rumors about the movement organizers only to protect the convicted killers and encourage their cadres to continue the politics of killing, communalism, and hatred. At the present outset, it is amazingly observed that the young generation has come out to set things straight by demanding the severest punishment of the genocidal killers and demanding the ban of politics based on communalism and fascism. Finding no other alternatives, the communal fascists of JI and their supporters have started the same old song in chorus on “protecting Islam.”
The shameless and remorseless leaders and supporters of JI have started their age old campaign to create controversy by bringing Islam in the equation centering Shahbag. These religion traders were defeated many times in the past in Bangladesh. These unscrupulous Jamaatis always forget that they are not living in Pakistan. Killing the opponents, hate mongering, terrorizing the free-spirit Bengalis, and communalizing the society in the name of Islam will not be tolerated in Bangladesh. They were defeated by the valiant freedom fighters in 1971 and their fascist Nazi like political parties were banned. After a long time, we see that our second generation freedom fighters have come out and taken over the charge to defeat them again. All Bengalis irrespective of political affiliation should support these second generation young freedom fighters so that they can finish the unfinished task of 1971. It is not a time to be indifferent. Through the trial of the killers of 1971, Bangladesh has stirred up a nest of hornets. We must contain them.