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19031On why Jamaat-e-Islami does not deserve our sympathy

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  • sohailtaj2008
    Aug 3, 2010

      On why Jamaat-e-Islami does not deserve our sympathy                                                           

      Without referring to the events of 1971 and the allegations of war crimes offences leveled against several Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) leaders I would like to draw the reader's attention to other aspects of this case since the charges framed against the five accused remain to be proved and we should not preempt the findings of a court of law. The JeI finds itself in this present predicament solely out of its own doing and cannot blame anyone but itself. Its decision to participate and pressure the BNP to join in the 2008 elections against the better judgment of Khaleda Zia led to the Awami League gaining an overwhelming majority in Parliament which they are now using to their full advantage. That the elections might be rigged or manipulated under the dubious stewardship of Gen. Moin U. Ahmad never seems to have occurred to the JeI leaders. This single act of stupidity sealed the fate of the party and its five senior most leaders who are now languishing in jail.  

      That the JeI had been repeatedly warned that the AL would achieve at least a two-thirds majority in the elections was ridiculed with the reply that under a democracy there would be limitations on what a majority government could do. It seems the JeI did not learn from the experience of the AL governments of 1972-1975 and 1996-2001 in which the party almost managed single handedly to ruin and decimate the country and in the latter case without even possessing a two-thirds majority.  The JeI's decision to participate in the elections was an act of pure selfishness and opportunism merely to take advantage of the weakened position of the BNP and to humour it's foreign backers in the West and the Middle East . Had the JeI and BNP boycotted the elections the illegal and unconstitutional Caretaker Government of Fakhruddin Ahmed would never have achieved even partial (prospective) legitimacy and the AL could not have carried out its political programme without sustained and credible opposition.  Unfortunately due to JeI's horrendous miscalculation and ineptitude the AL is able to brandish the label of a democratically elected government while systematically curtailing the people's rights, repressing the opposition and engaging in massive corruption. This is the elected dictatorship that Gen. Moin U. Ahmed had warned us about in one of his controversial speeches but that was before he delivered the country to the AL (and India ) in true Mir Jafor fashion.  

      The obvious reason for the JeI's political immaturity and incompetence is that while internally democratic it is ideologically and doctrinally rigid and is therefore incapable of absorbing outside opinion. Primarily for this reason many of its leaders and supporters suffer from intellectual arrogance and a certain pompousness in character such as Motiur Rahman Nizami , Delwar Hossain Sayeedi and Mahmudur Rahman , none of whom are original thinkers. Even after the election debacle the top leaders of the party were allowed to retain their positions. This last point proves that the JeI cannot be reformed and so no one should be surprised that there was no outburst after the arrest of its leaders as the monolithic structure of the party cannot quickly adapt to the new situation.  

      In conclusion one may ask if the JeI has a right to our sympathy regardless of what may have been their involvement in the events of 1971.  My answer is no. Does the party deserve our condemnation? My answer is an unreserved yes. Should we nevertheless support the JeI? My answer is still no. Should we accept JeI help in saving the country from the fascist AL ? My answer is yes but they will remain the junior partners whether they like it or not. The only question mark remains over the viability of the BNP which is heavily infiltrated with Indian stooges. I feel it unlikely that the BNP will be able to sustain a movement against the government unless it removes most of its top leadership and only after it takes a strong stand against Indian encroachment in Bangladesh . Unless it takes a principled stand on the last issue it will merely be viewed as the C Team of India after Sheikh Hasina 's A Team and Sheikh Rehana 's B Team.  


      Sohail Taj 

      Imperial College London