Friday, August 2, 2013

‘Jamaat anti-democracy, may be banned’

“Jamaat-e-Islami, as an organisation, is not consistent with democracy. They were against the country’s liberation war and Bengali nationalism. They were against democracy since their birth. So they can be banned.” Salim Ullah Khan came up with the observation on a talk show moderated by Morshedul Islam on a private TV channel, Somoy, on Thursday 1st August. Constitutional expert Dr Shahdeen Malik and Executive president of Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee Shahriar Kabir also took part in the talk show. Salim Ullah said, “There are some grounds to ban Jamaat. One of them is that they opposed the liberation war in 1971. Still, they are not repentant for their role. They didn’t make an apology to the nation either. So a ban can be imposed on them. But some say that this has been done out of enmity. The other reason is that they didn’t accept the ideals of Bangladesh; though on various occasions, they claimed that they believe in democracy. Democracy is the foundation of the country.” Referring to the history of establishing Jamaat, Salim Ullah said, “We have to see whether Jamaat abide by the rules set by democracy. Maulana Moududi established Jamaat in 1948 for two reasons. One was to oppose Jamiat-ul Olamaye Hind which was then participating in joint movements with Indian Congress, as it believed in Indian Nationalism. Another reason is, at that time, many Indian Muslims termed the politics of Muslim League communal. Muslim League wanted separate independent and sovereign states for Indian Muslims in the provinces where Muslims dominate in number.” He said, “It can be called as an incorrect version of region-based nationalism. They wanted to explain this place as religion-based region. Maulana Moududi even rejected that notion also. Today, no one remembers that Maulana Moududi opposed the creation of Pakistan. His main demand was that Pakistan must be a religion-based state and Islamic constitution must be introduced.” He also said, “Anti-Kadiani movement started in 1953 or 54. Moududi was sentenced to death at that time. He was released after two years of imprisonment. Various tactics were applied to get him released. He was the president of Jamaat-e-Islam till 1992. Jamaat’s Bangladeshi version is the same like the Pakistani one which carried out violence and attacks during the period from 1948 to the present times. Salim Ullah also said, “If a party considers itself a minority and think that a party is needed to promote its religion, then banning it would go against the constitution. But if any religion-based party thinks that their religion is better than others’ religion, then secularism does not exist. Banning Jamaat is a long-standing demand.”

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