Bangladesh National Party (BNP) was formed as result of power hungry Ziaur Rahman’s dream of becoming the “liberator of Bangladesh” and replace Mujib in the history of Bangladesh. To achieve that objective, connivance with Jamaat, Razakar, Albadr and Bangladeshi radical Ullema was a compulsion of Ziaur Rahman. After liberation of Bangladesh, Pakistani ISI was looking an entry point to control Bangladesh. In BNP-Jamaat combination it found the best ally.
Abul Ala Maududi, the founder of Jamaat-i-Islami in British India, died in Pakistan in 1979. During his lifetime, Pakistani army and his East Pakistani followers unlashed unimaginable atrocities on Bangladeshis in 1971. The atrocities on Bangladeshi religious minorities could be justified by Maududi’s pathological preaching. But how the same on Bangladeshi Muslims intellectuals and freedom fighters was justified? Ironically Maududi was from a family of Sufi saint.
After liberation of Bangladesh, the Bangladeshi Jamaat initially lied low for some period. But it gradually aligned with BNP out of mutual interest. Ziaur needed Jamaat for his credibility and base and Jamaat needed Ziaur for protection and expansion. Ziaur Rahman’s patronage, ISI supports and supply of funds from Saudi Arabia (for constructing madadris and mosques) helped Jamaat to consolidate and expand in geometrical progression its cadre base, as well as, influence in Bangladesh. Now they are a formidable force in the country.
Bangladeshis fought for their freedom during 1971. But Jamaat took the opportunity to cleanse East Pakistan (latter Bangladesh) of religious minorities. Between 1980s and 2013, Jamaat was busy with forceful conversion, abduction or forceful marriage of girls of minority communities. Now when Shahbag has initiated a mass movement for capital punishment of major war criminals, Jamaat has started demolishing Hindu temples in Bangladesh. Be it war, peacetime or mass movement, Jamaat is always busy with committing atrocities on religious minorities. They fail to see that with 98% of Muslim population, peace, prosperity and stability have not come to Pakistan. For the sake of Maududi Bangladeshi Jamaat will not even hesitate to kill fellow Bangladeshi Muslims also.
Shahbag is a mass voice and aspiration of Bangladeshi youths for a just society in the country. The youths are unarmed and not engaged in any armed struggle. But every Jamaat member is a ruthless soldier of the religion. They have started their ferocious criminal activities of intimidation, threat and violence. Shahbag needs to find a way for dealing with the Jamaat.