Bangladesh in Crisis
Bangladesh in Crisis
FRIDAY, 27 DECEMBER 2013 08:14
Bangladesh is back in the news world over for the judicial killing of Abdul Qader Mollah. The Awami League government
executed Jamati Islami leader for alleged war crimes in a move which has ignited violent protests just before elections are
due. People in Bangladesh and around the world are shocked by the killing of Abdullah Qader Mollah and use of the
judiciary to weaken the opposition and vengefulness of the Hasina government. The action of the Hasina's Awami League
has been condemned by the Muslims around the world.
The current crisis is rooted in Bangladesh's tumultuous past. Bangladesh declared independence from Pakistan in 1971.
The Pakistani army fought and lost a nine-month war with Bengali fighters and Indian forces that had intervened. And it is
claimed that Bengali Islamic militia groups who were opposed to the separation and formation of Bangladesh collaborated
with the Pakistani army.
In 2010, Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister, and daughter of wartime political leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, set up a war
crimes tribunal to investigate atrocities committed during the 1971 conflict – a move she said would bring closure for victims
and families and heal the rifts of war. However, Hasina politicized the tribunal and conveniently using it to hound her political
opponents. All of the 10 people indicted for war crimes by the tribunal are opposition politicians, eight of them from the
Jamaat-e-Islami. Her goal seems to seek to crush the opposition and provoke an election boycott and win an uncontested
Shiekh Hasina is following in the footstep of her father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who led Bangladesh to independence.
Hasina thinks she is the guardian of the nation, she is Bangladesh, and she only can save Bangladesh. Mujib also believed
that he himself was Bangladesh, more so that he was good for the country, and that it could not manage without him. The
same pattern of thought and self has been demonstrated by Hasina's leadership. Sheikh Hasina wants her father to be
revered. A new constitutional requirement declares him father of the nation and orders all offices in the country to display his
Mujib wanted to have complete control over the Army. When he couldn't he created the Rakhi Bahini (National Defense
Force). That struggle continues to date and 2009 BDR Mutiny was Hasina's vengeful continuation of that struggle. Young
army officers were murdered in their barracks, many of them were Islamically minded and opposed to Awami League plans
to establish closer relations with India.
Mujib's fatal mistake was the fashioning of the single-party state run by the Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League
(BAKSAL). Hasina is doing the same by banning Islamic parties, imprisoning political opponents, her ultimate goal is to
Bangladesh in Crisis
wipe out political Islam and Islamic groups from Bangladesh.
Like her father she is committed to Secularism and aligning Bangladesh with India. The Awami League has facilitated and
given protection to the Shah Bagh protests and allowed the atheists bloggers to attack prophet Mohammad ,ﺻﻠﻰ ﷲ ﻋﻠﯾﮫ وﺳﻠم
his family, mock Allah ,ﺳﺑﺣﺎﻧﮫ وﺗﻌﺎﻟﻰridicule the Shariah, Hijab, Muslim customs and traditions. Awami League government
attack on Islam, Islamic scholars and the ordinary God-fearing people of Bangladesh.
Hasina and her government is driving the country towards lawlessness and violence. People are afraid and continue to
suffer with poverty and lack of basic needs.
BNP and Awami League
BNP led by Khaleda Zia is no better - during her years in power, Khaleda Zia has also notably failed to fulfil her electoral
promises, continuing the path of her predecessors and failing to effectively deal with rampant corruption from her party
The people of Bangladesh have seen all of the parties and voted for them at different times, they have all failed to fulfill their
electoral promises. Ordinary people outside any of the political groupings see no hope with these sets of people and
parties. Both Awami-BNP divert the people from the real issues facing the country with cheap nationalistic and patriotic
Democratic Merry Go Round
People have been continuing their struggle for democracy through electoral processes since before 'Independence.' Once
again they wait seemingly helplessly for a peaceful change of power in the next general election pencilled in for 5th of
Politicians have crippled the democratic electoral system with the violence, arrests, demonstrations, hartals and general
chaos it is difficult to predict whether the controversial elections will take place. In this atmosphere the ordinary people's
attention has been diverted away from policies and failure of the system to one of speculation and debate about whether
BNP will go to the elections, what about Jamaat? Will Ershad be released? Will he make a deal with AL to secure his
release? Who will the Islamic parties ally with at this election? What is on offer for them? Which party wins or that party loses
remain subjects of intense speculation.
The voting population have seen all of the parties and voted for them at different times, they have all failed to fulfil their
electoral promises. It's a Pipe dream! The secular democratic system has failed to deliver and improve the situation. No
matter which party they vote for, there is little change. Ordinary people outside any of the political groupings see no hope with
these sets of people and parties, they want real radical comprehensive change.
Our question remains about who would bring such change, as these politicians will not.
Role of the Islamic Parties in Bangladesh
The people of Bangladesh are living under extreme conditions with threat of violence, insecurity, massive and pervasive
problems of poverty and corruption. 25 million people lack basic access to clean water, education, housing and medication.
The people of Bangladesh are calling out for help like the people of Mecca at the time of the prophet, whose cry for help is
recorded in the Quran as a dua.
ۡ ٰ ۡ ﻘ ٱﻟظ
َٓ َِﺎَۡـذهَرﯾﺔ ِم ُﮭﺎ وٱﺟﻌ َﺎ ﻣنُﻧك ۟ﯾﺎ وٱﺟﻌ َﺎ ﻣ ﱠد َﺻﯾرا
ﻟد و ۡ ل ﻟﻧ
َۡۡ ِ ِ ٱﻟَ ﱠﺎﻟ أَ ۡ ل ﻟﻧ
ًِ ﱠَﺧرﺟﻧ ﻣن ِ ِۡ َِھﻠ َ َ ﱠِ ﱠَِﻟَ َ ﱠِ نُﻧك
Our Lord, take us out from this town whose people are cruel, and make for us a supporter from Your own, and make for
us a helper from Your own.
It is the Islamic parties who can help the oppressed people of Bangladesh. They can provide an alternative to the corrupt
secular parties and replace the current dysfunctional system by introducing a just and functioning state.
Bangladesh in Crisis
But many accuse the Islamic political parties of working against the greater interest of the people and as tactics which have
fulfilled the narrow interests of the party. They have allied themselves with at different times with either BNP or Awami
league. They play a secondary role of propping up BNP or Awami League to gain a majority to form the government.
This pragmatic strategy has meant that the Islamic parties have lost their identity as Islamic and only interested in their own
short term goals. The Islamic parties can be key players in the country where 90% of the 140 million are Muslims only if they
successfully stand on their own platform and advocate a purely Islamic solution for Bangladesh.
Islamic Parties must form a single political block and abandon all hope of bringing Islam through the ballot box instead they
must resume the work for Islamic state. Resume the work of dawa to change the condition of the people, culture them with
Islam and change their views of Islam from being a spiritual religion to Islam as a way of life which encompasses politics.
There has never been Islamic politics in Bangladesh, the people have only experienced and are living through the nightmare
of the democratic secular politics.
Islam will heal the hearts and solve the problems
The challenge faced by the Islamic groups is two pronged. Firstly the divided and chaotic Muslim community has to be
united and their hearts and minds joined into one. Secondly solutions have to be provided for the multitude of problems
Islam has to be presented to the people to bring about reconciliation and unity. The country is totally fragmented and
polarized into two camps, secularist on side and Islamic groups and ulama on the other.
Only Islam can bring the people of Bangladesh together, unite them as one community. It was only through Islam the two
warring tribes of Medina, Aws and khazraj were united in to a single brotherhood.
ﱠف َُوﺑﮭ َو ْت ﻣﺎ ﻓﻲ َرض ﺟﻣﯾﻌﺎ ﻣﺎْت َُوﺑﮭمَﻛنﱠﱠف َۚ ُ ﻋزﯾز ﺣﻛﯾم
أ َ ِ ٰﻟ
ِ ٌ َ ِ َ ﱠﻔ ْن ﻗ ِ ِ ا َﻟ ْْ إﻧ
ََﻟ ْن ﻗِۚ ﻟ ْﻔ
ٌ َ ِ وَ ﺑﯾ ُﻠِ مْ َﻘ َِ ِْ َ ً َﻟَ ﺑﯾ ُﻠ ْ وﱠ َ َ ﺑﯾﻧﮭم ﱠﮫ
ِ َُ أ
And He has united their (i.e. believers') hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their
hearts, but Allâh has united them. Certainly He is All-Mighty, All-Wise.
Without Islam the different people would not have united into one Ummah. The fiercely independent Bedouin tribes of Arabia
were united behind the Prophet .ﺻﻠﻰ ﷲ ﻋﻠﯾﮫ وﺳﻠمThese were people who were very tribal and loyal to their family.
The solutions too must come from Islam. The Islamic political parties must draft an Islamic constitution for future Islamic
state and lay down a manifesto which deals with the problems of Bangladesh. Only then will the Muslims have trust and
confidence in the Islamic parties. And it is only the Islamic state with the Khaif as its head who can lead the people out of the
Imam al-Ghazali explained the consequences of the absence of a ruler applying Islam in his book al-Iqtisad fil-I'tiqad:
"The security of the world, its inhab itants and properties cannot b e achieved except with an ob eyed ruler. The times of
extreme sedition and chaos [following] the deaths of the rulers and the leaders b ear witness to this. If this [situation] continues
without another just ruler b eing appointed, then chaos will continue, b loodshed and oppression will b ecome widespread, and
livestock will b e destroyed and industry stopped. Whoever gains power over others will loot, and none will find time for
worship ('ib adah) or gaining knowledge ('ilm), if they manage to remain alive.
This is why it is said that,
'the Deen and the Sultan are twins'
and it is said that,
'the deen is the foundation and the Sultan is the guardian. That which has no foundation is doomed, and that which has no
guardian will perish'
Bangladesh in Crisis
....Hence, it is clear that the ruler is necessary for organisation of the world, and the organisation of the world is necessary for
the organisation of the Deen. And the organisation of the Deen is necessary for the success and joy of the Hereafter, and this
undoub tedly was the ob jective of the Prophets."
However, for many in the Islamic political parties this is an impractical dream while they are fighting for their very survival. Not
to mention the indisputable fact that the nation is presently divided, and confused on the issues of religion and politics. They
will cite what America and India might do to them if they stood on an Islamic platform.
ُل ﱠِﻟك ْك ِﻲ ْك ﻣ َ ُ ُْ ْك ﻣﻣ َ ُُﻌز ﻣ َ ُُذل ﻣنَﺎ َِْﺧﯾر ﱠك
ﻗ ﱠﮭَ ﺎ اﻟِْ اﻟَ ْ ﺗﺷ َِ ع اﻟﻣﻠ ِْ ﺗﺷ وﱡ ْ ﺗﺷ و ﱡ ْ ﺗﺷِۖ اﻟ ُ إﻧ
َ ۖ َ ِ ُم ﻣَْﻣﻠ ُؤﺗ ْﻣﻠ َ نَﺎءَﻧز َْ ﱠ نَﺎء ِ َ نَﺎء ِ َ َ ُ َدك
ُ ُ ﺗ
ِ ْ ء ﺑﯾ
ﻋﻠ ّ ْ ء ﻗ
Say: "O Allah, O Lord of the Kingdom, You give kingdom to whom You will, and take kingdom away from whom You will;
and You bestow honor on whom You will, and bring disgrace to whom You will. In your hand lies all good. You are surely
powerful over everything.
(Surah Imran 3:26)
This ayah was revealed when the prophet ﺻﻠﻰ ﷲ ﻋﻠﯾﮫ وﺳﻠمtold the Sahabahs that the nascent Islamic State in Medina would
one day conquer the Roman and Persian empires. The hypocrites in Medina had heard the Prophet ,ﺻﻠﻰ ﷲ ﻋﻠﯾﮫ وﺳﻠمthey could
not believe it and laughed.
Seventh-century Arabia was dominated by two great empires: the Byzantine Roman Empire and the Sasanian Persian
Empire. In the middle was the Arabian Peninsula, composed of apparently weak and divided tribal societies.
The hypocrites could not believe how the Islamic State, which at that time was nothing more than the farming village of
Madinah, could conquer the two superpowers of the world. They could not understand how an Ummah that was so weak
could defeat the superpowers of the world. As usual, the hypocrites only focused on the life of this world and they forgot
about Allah .ﺳﺑﺣﺎﻧﮫ وﺗﻌﺎﻟﻰThey only looked to this world and they could not find victory for this Ummah in it. Within one hundred
years, both empires would fall before the armies of Allah as Arabia united under the umbrella of Islam.
What Allah ﺳﺑﺣﺎﻧﮫ وﺗﻌﺎﻟﻰis telling us in this ayah is to believe in Him and have conviction that the Islamic state will return even if
the enemies of Islam are powerful. The Islamic groups in Bangladesh must strengthen their Iman with these ayah as did
Allah, the Most High also mentions what Musa ﻋﻠﯾﮫ اﻟﺳﻼمsaid to his people,
َﺎل ﻣوَٰوﻣﮫ َُ ِِ وا ِر ِن َر ِ ُ ُﮭﺎ ﻣ َ ُ ﻣن َ ۖ ِْ ِﻟﱠﻘﯾن
َﻗ ُ ﺳﻰِْ اﺳﺗﻌﯾﻧوا ﺑﺎ َ ُۖﱠ ْ ضِ ﯾورﺛ َ نَﺎءْ ﻋﺑﺎده واﻟ َ ْﻣﺗ
َِ َ ِﻟِ ِ ﱠ ﺻﺑ وا إ اﻷ َﱠ َ ْ ﯾﺷ ِ ِ ََِﺎُ ﻠ
Mûsa said to his people: Seek help in Allâh and be patient....for the earth belongs to Allah, and He will give it to
whomever He wills and the end belongs to the Al-Muttaqeen (righteous)
(Surah Al-A'raf, 7:128)
Allah promises a good ending for the believers. Don't worry about all the difficulties that are being experienced now, as the
happy end is for the believers.