Saturday, 8 March 2014

Bangladesh Moving Towards Radical Islam

Is Bangladesh Embracing Radical Islam Steadily?

The question may send a shudder through the backbones of many liberal people and certainly of the minority Hindus in the country (left in the lurch already) but the manner in which cadres of Bangladesh Jamaat-e- Islami party, largest Islamist party in Bangladesh, ran amok and held different parts of the country to ransom virtually on Tuesday brings forth this concern only.

It is worthwhile to mention, Jamaat-e- Islami called for a one-day strike on Tuesday for release of its leaders facing charges of war crimes at the moment. The strike was called mentioning "government's repressive acts, massive corruption, reluctance to reinstate non- party caretaker system, failure to improve law and order situation and contain price hike of essentials and hurting religious sentiment."

And as fresh reports are coming in, tens of thousands of BNP (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) – high-flying political ally of Jamaat-e- Islami – cadres took part in the nation-wide strike too and were involved in various acts of crime, proving enough to cripple an economy staggering ever since its independence in 1971. BNP, it seems, was the political deliverer of armed cadres of Jamaat-e- Islami. The specter of arson was so high among populace that traffic (naturally) became the worst casualty on the day; most private vehicles preferred to remain indoors, shops and mercantile establishments remained closed mostly.       

Police had a tough time to rein in violent and also armed Islamist cadres roaming freely, vandalizing properties, clashing with police in the streets of Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh. No less than scores of people including protesters and policemen were injured in clashes in major cities and towns including Dhaka.

Even if Awami League, reigning political clique in Bangladesh, doesn’t miss a moment to call protesters as rowdies or rabble-rousers it’s undeniable that Jamaat has been able to strengthen its base among youths, not to speak of older generations. Along with Ghulam Azam, known as Jamaat’s spiritual leader, almost a dozen leaders of the party, including its chief Matiur Rahman Nizami, and BNP are now facing war crimes charges before two tribunals which are being censured severely as both "show trial" and a domestic set-up with no involvement of United Nations. 

Although Awami leaders are busy in uttering that verdict against the war criminals would commence by the end of this month, the successful and violent strike proves that radical Islam has become the most vicious reality in Bangladesh, reveling a mounting popularity in the soil. 
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