||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: This article is poorly cited. (January 2013)|
|Leader||Motiur Rahman Nizami|
|Seats in the Jatyo Sangshad|
|Politics of Bangladesh
Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ জামায়াতে ইসলামী), previously known as Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, and Jamaat for short, is the largest Islamist political party in Bangladesh. On 1 August 2013 the Bangladesh Supreme Court declared the registration of the Jamaat-e-Islami illegal ruling that the party is unfit to contest national polls.
In 1971, the predecessor of the party Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan took a stance against the independence of Bangladesh and opposed the break-up of Pakistan. It collaborated with the Pakistani Army in its operations against Bengali nationalists and pro-liberation intellectuals. Many of its leaders and activists participated in paramilitary forces that were implicated in war crimes, such as mass murder, especially of Hindus, rape and forced conversions of Hindus to Islam. Jamaat-e-Islami members led the formation of the Shanti Committee, and the Razakar and Al-Badr paramilitary forces.
Upon the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, the new government banned Jamaat-e-Islami from political participation and its leaders went into exile in Pakistan. Following the assassination of the first president and the military coup that brought Maj. Gen. Ziaur Rahman to power in Bangladesh in 1975, the ban on the Jamaat was lifted and the new party Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh was formed. Its leaders were allowed to return. The Jamaat agenda is the creation of an "Islamic state" with the Shariat legal system, and outlawing "un-Islamic" practices and laws.
In the 1980s, the Jamaat joined the multi-party alliance for the restoration of democracy. It later allied with Ziaur Rahman's Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Jamaat leaders became ministers in the two BNP-led regimes of prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia. Its popularity has decreased and in 2008, it won only two of 300 elected seats in Parliament. In 2010 the government, led by the Awami League, began prosecution of war crimes committed during the 1971 war under the International Crimes Tribunal; by 2012, two leaders of the BNP and eight of Jamaat had been charged with war crimes. By March 2013, three Jamaat leaders had been convicted of crimes. In response, the Jamaat has held major strikes and violent protests across the country, which have led to more than 60 deaths (mostly by security forces) and a mass destruction of public and national properties.
- 1 History of the party
- 2 The Jamaat in parliamentary elections
- 3 Controversy
- 4 Cancellation of Registration
- 5 Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Shibir
- 6 Relation to Violence
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
History of the party
British India (1941–1947)
||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: This section is poorly cited. (January 2013)|
The Jamaat-e-Islami was founded in pre-partition India by Syed Ab'ul Ala Maududi at Islamia Park, Lahore on 26 August 1941 as a movement to promote Socio-Political Islam. Jamaat opposed the creation of a Pakistan as a separate state for the Muslims of India. Jamaat-e-Islami did not support the Muslim League, then the largest Muslim party, in the election of 1946.
After independence and partition, Maududi moved to Pakistan from India. The current party in Bangladesh developed from the East Pakistan wing of the formerly national party.
Pakistan Period (1948–1971)
After the creation of Pakistan, Jamaat-e-Islami divided into separate Indian and Pakistani national organisations. Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami developed from the Jamaat wing in then-East Pakistan.
Jammat-e-Islami participated in the democratic movement in Pakistan during the Martial Law Period declared by General Ayub Khan. An all-party democratic alliance (DAC) was formed in 1965. Ghulam Azam of Jamaat was a member of the alliance, which also included Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
During the Bangladesh Liberation War, a by-election was ordered by the military administration of West Pakistan; it appointed Rao Farman Ali in charge. Ali wanted to reward the rightist political parties who helped the army and awarded 44 seats to Jamaat.
Later Ghulam Azam coordinated the development and operation of paramilitary forces during the war, including Razakar, Al-shams, Al-badr for collaboration with the Pakistan Army. These units committed genocide and other war crimes at the time, most notorious of which were the systematic execution of Bengali pro-liberation intellectuals on 14th December 1971. As the war neared its end, a final effort to wipe off as many intellectuals as possible took place, to eliminate the future leaders of the new nation. On 14 December 1971, over 200 of East Pakistan's intellectuals including professors, journalists, doctors, artists, engineers, and writers were picked up from their homes in Dhaka by the Al-Badr militias . Notable novelist Shahidullah Kaiser and playwright Munier Choudhury were among the victims. They were taken blindfolded to torture cells in Mirpur, Mohammadpur, Nakhalpara, Rajarbagh and other locations in different sections of the city. Later they were executed en masse, most notably at Rayerbazar and Mirpur. Jamaat strongly opposed an independent Bangladesh, which it considers to be founded against the principles of Islam.
Bangladesh Period (1978–present)
Jamaat was banned after the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, and its top leaders fled to West Pakistan. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, first president of Bangladesh also cancelled the citizenship of Golam Azam, the leader of Jamaat. Azam then moved to UK and Pakistan, and other leaders moved to the Middle East. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated in 1975, enabling army chief Major general Ziaur Rahman to seize power. With Rahman's coup, Jamaat again resumed political activities in Bangladesh. Rahman also allowed Azam to return to Bangladesh as the leader of Jamaat. After the end of military rule in 1990, mass protests began against Azam and Jamaat under war criminal charges headed by Jahanara Imam, an author who lost her two sons and husband in the liberation war. Azam's citizenship was challenged in a case that went to the Bangladesh Supreme Court, as he held only a Pakistani passport. Absent prosecution of Azam for war crimes, the Supreme Court ruled that he had to be allowed a Bangladeshi passport and the freedom to resume his political activities. Bangladesh police arrested Jamaat-e-Islami chief and former Industry Minister Matiur Rahman Nizami from his residence in the capital in a graft case on 19 May 2008. Earlier, two former Cabinet Ministers of the immediate past BNP-led alliance government, Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan and Shamsul Islam were sent to Dhaka Central Jail after they surrendered before the court. The Jamaat-e-Islami party has become less popular. In the parliamentary elections of December 2008, the Jamaat-e-Islami party garnered fewer than 5 seats out of the total 300 that constitute the national parliament. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party is concerned, as the Jamaat-e-Islami has been their primary political partner in the Four-Party Alliance.
The Jamaat in parliamentary elections
|1973 Parliament Election||1978 Parliament Election||1986 Parliament Election||1991 Parliament Election||1996 Parliament Election||2001 Parliament Election||2008 Parliament Election|
|Party was banned because of its contention with Bangladeshi independence and collaboration with the Pakistani army.||Party was allowed to start political activities.||Won 10 seats.||Won 18 seats.||Won 3 seats.||Won 17 seats. (took part by forming alliance with 3 other parties.)||Won 2 seats.(took part by forming alliance with 3 other parties.)|
Involvement in war crimes
International Crimes Tribunal
Abul Kalam Azad, a nationally known Islamic cleric and former member of Jamaat, was charged with genocide, rape, abduction, confinement and torture. He was tried in absentia after having fled the country; police believe he is in Pakistan. In January 2013 Azad was the first suspect to be convicted in the trials; he was found guilty of seven of eight charges and sentenced to death by hanging. Azad's defence lawyer, a prominent Supreme Court lawyer appointed by the state, did not have any witnesses in the case; he said Azad's family failed to cooperate in helping locate witnesses and refused to testify.
The summary of verdict in the conviction of Abdul Quader Molla recognized the role played by Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing ('Islami Chatra Sangha') as collaborators with the Pakistan Army in 1971. The party was found guilty of forming paramilitary forces, such as Razakar and Al-Badr. It was said to have taken part in the systematic genocide of the Bangladeshi people and other violent activities.
As a result of the trials, the activists of the 2013 Shahbag Protest have demanded that the government ban Jamaat from Bangladeshi politics. In response, the government started drafting a bill to ban Jamaat-e-Islami from Bangladeshi politics.
On 28 February 2013, Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, the deputy of Jamaat, was found guilty of genocide, rape and religious persecution. He was sentenced to death by hanging. His defence lawyer had earlier complained that a witness who was supposed to testify for him was abducted from the gates of the courthouse on November 5, 2012, reportedly by police, and has not been heard from since. The government did not seem to take the issue seriously after the prosecution denied there was a problem.
Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, senior assistant secretary general of Jamaat-e-Islami was indicted on 7 June 2012 on 7 counts of crimes against humanity. On 9 May 2013 he was convicted and given the death penalty on five counts of mass killings, rape, torture and kidnapping.
Ghulam Azam, ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh until 2000 was found guilty by the ICT on five counts. Incitement, conspiracy, planning, abatement and failure to prevent murder. He was sentenced on 15 July 2013 to 90 years imprisonment.
Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, who fled to UK after the liberation of Bangladesh and a leader of the London-based Jamaat organization Dawatul Islam indicted for crimes against humanity and genocide and being a leader of the Al-Badr militia. He is also accused of the murder of Bangladesh's top intellectuals during the war, although he has denied all charges.
Cancellation of Registration
On January 27, 2009, Bangladesh Supreme Court issued a ruling after 25 people from different Islamic organizations, including Bangladesh Tariqat Federation’s Secretary General Syed Rezaul Haque Chandpuri, Jaker Party’s Secretary General Munshi Abdul Latif and Sammilita Islami Jote’s President Maulana Ziaul Hasan, filed a joint petition . Jamaat e Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami, Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mujaheed and the Election Commission Secretary were given six weeks time to reply, but they did not. The ruling asked to explain as to "why the Jamaat’s registration should not be declared illegal". As a verdict of the ruling, High Court cancelled the registration of the Jamaat-e-Islami on 1 August 2013, ruling that the party is unfit to contest national polls because its charter puts God above democratic process.
On 5 August 2013 the Supreme Court rejected Jamaat's plea against the High Court. The chamber judge of the Appellate Division Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik while rejecting the Jamaat’s petition seeking stay on the High Court verdict, said that the Jamaat could move a regular appeal before the Appellate Division against the verdict after getting its full text.
Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Shibir
The student wing of this organisation is the Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Shibir, a major organisation at many colleges and universities including the Chittagong College, University of Chittagong, University of Dhaka, Rajshahi University, Islamic University etc. It is also influential in the madrassa system. It was known as Pakistan Islami Chattra Shangha before the Liberation war of Bangladesh. Members of Pakistan Islami Chattra Shangha led the formation of Al-Badr that involved in the 1971 killing of bengali intellectuals and some of them have already been convicted by International Crimes Tribunal It is a member of the International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth. Activists of this organization extort money from the students of many educational institutions, hostel residents and traders of neighbouring areas in the name of Baitul Mal (party fund). Activists of Shibir also pressure the students to sign the supporter's document (form) of the organization as well as join the organisation. This student group is also involved in violent clashes with other student groups, is extremely militant and has been linked to numerous acts of violence. The group has also been linked to a number of larger terrorist organizations both in Bangladesh, and internationally.
Relation to Violence
Supporters of Jamaat and its student wing Shibir stand accused of being involved in committing violence to retain their political power. They have been accused of cutting opponent political party activist's tendon to instigating riot by spreading false news.
- Golam Azam
- Bangladesh Liberation War
- Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan
- Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi
- Ghafoor Ahmed
- Islami Chhatra Shibir
- List of political parties in Bangladesh
- Delwar Hossain Sayidee
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- Jamaat was 'involved in war crimes'
- Jamaat-e-Islami Manifesto
- Matiur Rahman Nizami at Chatham House explaining his party's philosophy
- Study ranks Shibir world’s 3rd top armed group