October 14th, 2010 22:39 EST
Islamic Leaders Suffering in Bangladesh
You cannot break us! You will fail!
For many months now, top most Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islam leaders have been suffering in imprisonment. We all know very well that our beloved country Bangladesh is currently being ruled largely by the intelligence agencies of two outside countries (one neighboring and the other in the Middle East). Had Jamaat leaders been loyal to the interests of a neighboring country and silent about the sufferings of the Palestinians, and had they not been involved in an Islamic movement, they could have a normal life like many other Bangladeshi politicians who, like them, wanted a united Pakistan as they feared Indian hegemony over an axed East Pakistan (what is now Bangladesh). In my opinion, Jamaat leaders` political stance on our independence war in 1971 was wrong; but I believe they were and are entitled to their different political views.
Along with those topmost leaders, thousands of Jamaat-Shibir people have thus far suffered incarceration, while many have been beaten jointly by the police and the affiliates of Bangladesh Awami League (BAL) in the street and in their homes and offices. Many of their family members have been traumatized, as they were woken up by nocturnal police raids almost on a regular basis. In many cases, the police allegedly visited Jamaat-Shibir people`s residences and offices at night with "extra` arms and ammunitions only to accuse them with possessing illegal weapons in the following morning. On the basis of such spurious allegations, many media outlets in Bangladesh and beyond publish news-stories branding Jamaat-Shibir people as "militants` and "terrorists`. Jamaat-Shibir people have wanted to exercise their democratic rights of holding indoor and outdoor meetings, and showing their displeasure with the oppressive regime through lawful rallies and processions. But they have regularly been denied these rights, as the government has imposed a virtual, covert embargo on their political activities. When they meet to have their regular study circles, the police arrest them on charge of having "secret meetings`, and they are regularly arrested if they dare to demonstrate in the street. And these are happening in a democratic Bangladesh!
I am not a member of any political party in Bangladesh, as I believe that usual political activism is not for me and as I do not need favor from any political parties for my career or livelihood. However, my keen and perceptive eyes make me wonder why the government has launched such a wide crackdown on the people of Jamaat-e-Islami. The more I analyze the current political situation in Bangladesh, the more sympathy I grow for the adherents of Jamaat-Shibir (I believe any sensible person who may come into close contact with Jamaat-Shibir people will respect their way of life). For the benefit of the following semi-surreal composition, I consider myself one of them and try to describe their mental status. In the following sections, "we` stands for Jamaat-Shibir people and their sympathizers, and "you` for the people in power in today`s Bangladesh (2009 onwards).
You have been torturing us within the prison and without
to weaken our spirit and to destroy our morale.
But you will definitely fail, and there are reasons for that.
When you organize a political rally and public gathering,
you have to force schools and madrasas closed and pay money to slum-dwellers
to ensure good attendance.
To celebrate you birthday, members of your student organization coerce
helpless Dhaka University first-year students to come to the birthday procession.
Conversely, think about the public gatherings of Maulana Delwar Hossain Saidee!
No schools or madrasas have to be closed to make his rally a success;
not a penny spent to ensure good attendance.
People love leaders like Saidee, and they come to his meetings on their own.
We keep it for the future when we can ensure Bangladesh`s continuous prosperity!
Ponder on the relationship between you and your party people.
They show respect and love to you, but not for free.
They expect a post or a contract through you.
Now turn your eyes to Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami
and find out the reasons why his party men respect him and love him.
I hope you will understand why history may not favor you,
and why Nizami`s way of life will continue to inspire many.
Reflect on the internal organizational condition of your party,
and compare it with excellent organizational order in Jamaat-Shibir and
the morally-grounded solidarity and brotherhood and sisterhood among the affiliates.
How many intra-party clashes are there in Jamaat-Shibir?
And how many times a day your party men lock in clashes
over taking control of a public property or over getting a party position?
You will realize your days are numbered,
while we will remain a big moral force in the days to come.
Go to the interior of Bangladesh and see how much love and respect
Jamaat-Shibir people command among the people,
and how much fear and intimidation your people exercise on the public!
Your people use "you` to grab somebody`s land or to rape a vulnerable woman.
We do not stare at others` property or ogle other women,
as we thank Allah for what He has given us.
In your party, there are many of Dr Iqbal, Zainal Hazari, Zakir (of Natore),
Haji Selim, Maqbul Ahmad "
who lead killing missions one after another.
We have none like them. Nor do we need them,
as our strength is people`s love while yours is brutal force.
Ponder on how many intellectuals you have to write for you selflessly.
They write to defend your indefensible position only when they are paid
both overtly and covertly.
Your intellectuals visit the residence of one particular high commissioner in Dhaka
to have free wine.
We are not after wine or women. Our reward lies with Allah!
Consider the extent of corruption, sexual scandal and immorality in the rank and file of your party,
and compare it with Jamaat-Shibir; and you will find the difference.
You and your party people have one country to flee.
We have none.
Bangladesh is our address and we hope to die there.
I know many of your party high-ups and intellectuals regularly visit a neighboring country
to spend our money there.
We spend money in our land.
You will be amazed to notice our selflessness and internal strength.
However, you and your party people have played a role in it.
You have given us so much suffering right from our student life,
and that has helped us grow steadily.
Remember, your Chhatra League members so many times
burnt our rooms (and the Qur`an therein) and beaten our brothers at campuses.
We endured all in silence and cried to Allah in unison.
And that made us brothers.
You will fail because you are alone.
We will win because we are many.
by a Jamaat-Shibir Sympathizer