Islamic Renaissance

A Voice for the Muslim Freedom Struggle

Abdel Kader Mollah has been hung by the Bangladeshi authorities

abdel kader mollah

This article is by Irfan Badshah, a political activist and thinker.

has been hung by the Bangladeshi authorities; the result of a trial over the ‘atrocities committed’ during the bitter Bangladeshi war of independence in 1971. An Islamic teacher for 30 years and a towering figure in the Jamaat e Islami party, his execution will, no doubt, further polarize the Muslim population in the country. This turn (no other leader has been hung) in events follows on from an earlier outbreak of violence in the capital Dhaka, where the Bangladeshi police force, at the behest of the Prime Minister: Shiekh Hasina, gunned down civilians in total darkness after severing electricity and water from their camps — they were protesting against the sentence issued on another Jamaat leader .

Mullah’s hanging is the child of the ‘Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal’. It has been labelled a ‘kangaroo court’ and has been criticized for its political motivations. The president, Sheikh Hasina, has been accused of stirring sentiment in the wake of the Shabagh protests in Dhaka. The scale of the protests, and outpouring of thousands — spurred by social media — unnerved the government in Dhaka and led it to amend the law to allow prosecutors to appeal against sentences handed down by the courts. Until that point, prosecutors could only appeal if a court acquitted a defendant.

“Never before in the history of Bangladesh, when a trial court refused to give the death sentence [has] the final court [then] given the death sentence,” Mullah’s main lawyer, Abdur Razzaq, told The Independent.

Toby Cadman, an international lawyer, said “The trial process has been shown to be nothing short of a political show trial aimed at removing an Islamist political party, suppressing the opposition and securing the next election for the present Awami League government”

The crux of this conflict lies in its nationalist roots. The Jamaat E Islami party was opposed to the separation of what is now known as Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, from West Pakistan, now known as Pakistan. The creation of Pakistan was a result of the British colonization of India, in the aftermath of which, in 1947, it was born.

This brouhaha is no aberration to the western method of divide and conquer. The Sykes-Picot agreement, the master plan for the division of the Arab World; the propping up of dictators such as the Al Saud family (occupying Arabia) and the Khalifa dynasty in Bahrain and in virtually every Arab country, coupled with a demographic disaster, has given rise to a sectarian bloodbath. Should we expect any different? In the famous words of Napoleon ‘Never interfere with an enemy while he’s in the process of destroying himself.’

The construct of a nationalist identity, previously unknown to Muslims under the Islamic Caliphate, led to people spilling their blood for flags, dug in the ground literally by ‘lines drawn in the sand.’ In the case of the Indian Subcontinent, in the muddy marshes. As an extension, the construct of nationalist identity suppressed the right to self-determination as breaking away from the concept of nation states is near impossible as organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the United Nations, have ossified this global power structure. It is designed to perpetually keep people in poverty and oppression. Why are there only five veto seats in the United Nations (and all by white, western nations) when it is supposed to encompass the ‘international community’?

Many a people have attempted to break free of this structure and many a people have failed. Take Egypt where very recently a western-backed (and financed) military junta has slaughtered hundreds of people in broad daylight on national television after forcefully ousting and imprisoning an elected president — Mohammed Morsi — who won a landslide majority.

What about Palestine? When the Palestinian people — in an election described by Bill Clinton as ‘crystal clear’ — voted for Hamas, an Islamic party, were punished by punitive sanctions, blockade and bombing. However, it doesn’t end there, in Algeria, when the Front Islamique du Salut, won a mammoth majority in the 1991 elections was subsequently booted in a bloody coup d etat in 1992, no cries from the west.

Think that’s all? Mohammed Mosadegh, the democratically elected president of the Iranian republic was overthrown in an operation planned by the CIA and M.I.6 in 1953. Replacing him was the Shah, his brutal crackdown on opposition and repressing of the freedoms of the Iranian people were carried out with the tacit complicity of the western governments.

In short, the denial of our self-determination has gone on long enough. We must eradicate the venom of nationalism from our blood and re-claim our right to justice, equality and freedom — ideals pertinent to all human beings but denied to Muslims. One people, under one God, in one struggle