Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

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A Defiant Yet Brutal Face of Islamic Fascism:
A Third World Scenario

Most of the authoritarian doctrines have one thing in common. That is, the end justifies the means. Thus, fascism, Nazism, and communism are the "non-divinely" inspired doctrines where humanistic and moralistic values are halted to attain the assumed larger objective. In such totalitarian predicaments, process of extinction of nonconformists may be conducted with extreme prejudice. Genocide of a great magnitude is thought to be justifiable because the "others" seemed to be a threat to the expansion of dogma. Nazi superiority complex led to the hatred to the Jews and the dogma cherished the need to annihilate an entire people. In such a totalitarian dogma, average citizens unknowingly fall prey to brainwashing where the sense of right and wrong get blurred.

Islamic fascism is not a new development in the contemporary world. The totalitarian nature of this political idea is indebted to the Wahhabistic idea in the Arabian Peninsula that culminated only a few centuries ago. In a traditionalist political Islamism, fascistic nature is inherent. In governance of a society, the line between secular and sacred is almost nonexistent. The total subjugation to a powerful elite, who claims to be arbiters of god's wish, is the common scenario. Millions of faithful like dumb and driven cattle lose the sense of morality and humanity to appease god's gatekeepers or the protagonists of Islamic fascism.

Islamic fascism in the Indian subcontinent was basically a localized political development. Deobandi students and Abul A'la Maududi were the pioneers of a movement where interpretation of Islamic norms and jurisprudence was made in the line of existing Wahhabism borrowed from the Arab land. Today's greatest threat to human civilization, the al-Qaeda, and the Talibans got their main inspiration from Wahhabite philosophy. In Bangladesh and Pakistan, Jamaat-i-Islami had been historically a leading protagonist of Saudi-sponsored Wahhabism. The Saudi monarch was satisfied with the contribution of this fundamentalist party in enhancing the Wahhabist agenda. Although the Jamaatis are the blood brothers of the Talibans or al-Qaeda, they have not turned into as ambitious as the latter. On the surface, it seems they have not resorted to undermining western interest globally. Not everybody would agree to such notion.

Khalid Duran has extensively written about Jamaatis' sympathetic ties to the Talibans in the Pakistani theater. The Jamaatis, though surprisingly, refrained from committing violent acts against USA and western nations. This does not make them to be innocent lambs. Maybe, this could be their tactical maneuver. Nonetheless, some disturbing events need more vigorous scrutiny. The presently ruling BNP-Jamaat-i-Islami alliance is helping the cause of Islamism in Bangladesh. The new regime that won a landslide victory in a controversial election held in October of last year is putting its favorites in different sectors of the country's governing body. A newly elected cleric, the Khatib of the grand mosque of Bangladesh recently urged his fellow countrymen to confront USA and US President George Bush. This, he uttered in an Eid-ul-Fitr congregation where Bangladeshi President and quite a few state ministers were even present.

If the tragedy of September 11 did not occur, the free world would not have been bogged down to confront the global menace of Wahhabism inspired al-Qaeda. Today, the battle line is drawn where the victory of west's military action is helping the ideological battle against an evil philosophy. Globally, the victory against Talibans still leaves some questions unanswered. That is, if Islamic fascists of indigenous variety do not show any global agenda, how to deal with them when they espouse brutal and fascist acts within the confines of nation states?

This question has more significance as countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan are facing the danger of falling preys to the Jamaati-i-Islami's evil design. Pakistan, due to immense pressure from her Superpower ally has cornered the fundamentalist party to a great length. Even then, the danger remains. This party has enough sympathizers not only in the rank and file but also in the army hierarchy. In Bangladesh, the right of the center Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) draws its power from the fundamentalists who are blessed with having two ministers in the national government. The painful reality is, these Islamic fascists, leaders of the Jamaat-i-Islami of Bangladesh were directly involved in the genocide in the country during its war of liberation in 1971.

At one time while the Soviet army was engaged in Afghan soil, the Talibans were friends of the West. So were the Jamaatis. During 1971, in a bipolar world, USA was involved in a turf war with the Soviets when Pakistani army juntas allied with the Islamic fascists conducted a dirty war against the people of Bangladesh. After the war, a number of the ringleaders of the Islamic fascists fled the country to Arabian Peninsula. Ironically, some of them ended up in the western nations. The Bangladeshi war criminals settled in UK and USA are test cases where the western nations ignore their presence as they are assumed to be not directly tied to Osama bin Laden or his terrorist al-Qaeda network. They have bloodied their hands to uphold the cause of Islamic fascism, but the killings were done in a Third World hinterland like Bangladesh. Today, it can safely be said that the perpetrators of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon attack and the fundamentalist killers of 1971's Bangladesh are graduates from the same school. They are the torchbearers of an inhuman dogma where dignity of human lives has no value. For readers' attention, let us have a brief overview of two notorious Bangladeshi war criminals who will always be remembered by the victims as forces of evil.

The Ashrafuzzaman Khan affair:

 When the News from Bangladesh on November 10, 1999 published "The Travail of Ashrafuzzaman Khan's Infamous Diary" (later on republished in South Asia Tribune with a new title, "Why to read Ashrafuzzaman Khan's Infamous Diary") many readers at home and abroad were introduced once again to the heinous killer of 1971. Before the NFB publication, he was a sought out man in just liberated Bangladesh. His photo was posted in various dailies as a "Most wanted fugitive." Later on, a few books on killers and collaborators depicted his picture and the details of his murderous act. This man was directly responsible for killing seven Dhaka University teachers before the final moment of Bangladesh's liberation from the occupational forces. In early seventies, in a Bangladesh court, Ashrafuzzaman Khan was found in absentia, to be guilty of the crime. Today, this criminal is living freely and openly in USA. After the publication of the article in NFB, an advocacy group, namely Bangla Nuremberg was formed with some dedicated Bangladeshi expatriates. Some of them were living in the North America while others were living in Europe.

Thanks to a handful of dedicated expatriate activists in America, soon Ashrafuzzaman Khan became a household name in various law enforcement bodies of USA. This war criminal's thirty-year-old photo along with his present day portrait and his writing samples were in possession of a powerful law enforcement body of USA. The US State Department was not left out either.

The lobbyists met Bangladeshi Ambassador to USA and had a few meetings with the then Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina regarding extradition of the war criminal to his native land. Sheikh Hasina's typical oratory was as if she was the greatest champion of the Bangladesh liberation cause. The activists got a different picture altogether. While the US State Department took some interest in the case and followed up the matter with another US law enforcement agency, the US officials' position was - "The ball is in Bangladesh's court." That means US government wanted to see Bangladesh being more proactive in resolving the war criminal issue. One reliable source was quoting a highly placed law enforcement official who said with frustration, "The Bangladesh Government had been pressing US Government a number of times to extradite Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's killers back to their home country. Not one time, the Bangladesh Government approached US Government asking for extradition of Ashrafuzzaman Khan or any other war criminal who might be living in the United States." The Hasina Administration failed miserably pursuing the case. Therefore, a war criminal has the last laugh.

The other day, New York-based Bangla weekly Thikana published a news story on the killer of 1971. Today, Ashrafuzzaman Khan is a renowned Islamist, a busy body in Bangladeshi community affairs in the greater New York area. The Thikana report said he gave an emotional speech at an award presentation ceremony for the Quran reciters. He expressed his frustration as he spoke of the expatriate Bangladeshis stating that only twenty percent of the Muslims attend the mosque. He said that if the Muslims did not practice their religion in a nonbelievers' land, their identity would go away in course of time. The Office of Special Investigation (OSI), a division of the US Department of Justice has successfully apprehended a good number of Nazi war criminals who were hiding in the United States. In fact, OSI became synonymous with successful prosecution of Nazi criminals on US soil. In most cases, those Nazis living in the land of opportunity kept a low profile, occasionally bearing aliases. Some of them were working in factories; some of them were making a living by menial jobs. In case of Ashrafuzzaman Khan, a leader of the Islamic Circle of North America, the situation is quite the opposite. Not only did he not change his former name, neither does he hesitate to be in the limelight. As a son of the soil, he knows the pulse of the Bangladeshis and Bangladeshi leaders. He knows that in Bangladesh the political wind is now blowing favorably in his direction. He does not see any threat coming from Bangladesh now that an Islam Pasand government is in power over there. Also, he knows it very well that he will die peacefully and gracefully in an alien infidel land.

Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin saga:

While Ashrafuzzaman Khan story may sound amazing, Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin episode is as incredible as it could be. Like Ashrafuzzaman Khan, this war criminal from Bangladesh is leading a rather elegant life in UK. Ashrafuzzaman Khan did not get any bad rap in the US press, also the majority of the Allah-fearing Muslims living in North America are presumably not aware of his murky past. Conversely, Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin got the infamy because of high level exposure brought out by a lone UK TV documentary. On May 3, 1995, UK's Channel Four Television broadcast a documentary titled "The War Crimes File." Produced by Twenty Twenty Television of London, this documentary provided exclusive evidence on the criminal past of three former Bangladesh citizens who became prominent British Muslim Fundamentalists. The documentary presented vivid eyewitness testimonies of these men, all of whom had lived in Britain for around 20 years, in organized assassination and massacres during the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war against Pakistani military regime. All three moved to England shortly after the war and each had become a leading figure in Bangladeshi community and were actively involved in fundamentalist politics.

Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin is one of the three protagonists of "The War Crimes File." Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin's despicable act in 1971 could have been blown in the wind if not for the direct involvement of a few young Bangladeshi activists in the production of the documentary. The brutal Islamic fascists slaughtered most of the activists' parents when they were merely infants. Unlike theirs most other contemporaries growing up during the General Ziaur Rahman's or General Ershad's (who happened to be the friends of Islamic fascists) rule, these activists kept the fire in their soul intact. The following message came from these dedicated individuals who still keep the mantle of liberation war memories alive.

Act Now for Trial of three war criminals of the Bangladesh liberation war in 1971

Dear Friends,
We, on behalf of the following organizations, urge you to endorse the following Urgent Action regarding the trial of three war criminals of the Bangladesh liberation war in 1971. These three war criminals, Choudhury Mueen Uddin, Abu Sayeed and Lutfur Rahman are now citizens and residents of U.K.

In a documentary film, titled The War Crimes File produced by Twenty Twenty Television and broadcast by Channel Four on May 3, 1995, exclusive evidence is revealed of how three former Bangladeshi citizens, now prominent British Muslim Fundamentalists are guilty of inciting torture, mutilation and murder - and argues that they should be prosecuted under war crimes legislation in England.

The film presents vivid eye-witness testimonies of the involvement of these men, all of whom have lived in Britain for around 20 years, in organized assassinations and massacres during the 1971 Bangladesh war of liberation against Pakistan. All three moved to England shortly
after the war and each is now a leading figure in the Bangladeshi community and actively involved in fundamentalist politics. Each was involved in Al-Badr operations, a paramilitary death squad of Pakistani Army formed by local fundamentalist political parties mainly Jamaat-I-Islami and Muslim League, in abducting and brutally killing many prominent academics, doctors and journalists in the last days of the war.

They were also involved in kidnapping and raping innocent women, looting, arsoning and all other gross violations of human rights. Since 1992, pro-liberation forces in Bangladesh are demanding trial of all war criminals of 1971 in Bangladesh, under the leadership of late Jahanara Imam, mother of martyred freedom fighter. In this regard, a public trial of Golam Azam, the chief collaborator, was also held on 26th March 1992 - the Independence Day. Presently, a public Enquiry Commission is investigating and documenting allegations against notorious war criminals of 1971.

The film The War Crimes File was also premiered in Dhaka recently by the pro-liberation forces on May 18. The showings in England and Bangladesh have created a tremendous impact over both Bangladeshi and non-Bangladeshi communities in these countries.

Please send urgent appeal to the following persons and authorities urging them to try the three war criminals of Bangladesh Liberation War - CHOUDHURY MUEEN UDDIN, ABU SAYEED and LUTFUR RAHMAN under
British Legislation:

Geneva Convention Act 1957. Please also circulate this appeal as widely as possible.

1.Rt. Hon. Michael Howard Home Secretary Petty France LONDON SW1 Fax:
0044 171 273 3596

2. Sir Nicholas Lyell Attorney General 9 Buckingham Gate LONDON SW1E 6JP Fax: 0044 171
233 7194

3. War Crimes Unit New Scotland Yard 8-10 Broadway LONDON SW1H 0BJ
Fax: 0044 171 233 1952

4. Rt. Hon. Greville Janner Q.C.M.P. Parliamentary War Crimes Group House of Commons Westminster LONDON SW1
Fax: 0044 171 233 0161

5. Parliament of the European Community
Strasbourg, France

Baroness Paula Monjila Uddin, a member of UK's House of Lords, is a=20 pride of Bangladesh. The publicity surrounding the three murderous Islamic fascists drew her attention. Baroness Uddin took the Bangladeshi war criminal case quite seriously. During the last Awami League administration, she met the then Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and discussed the legal issues pertaining to the extradition process. The British parliamentarian of Bangladesh descent disclosed to the reporters that she was in favor of resolving the unresolved issue of war crime in Bangladesh. But what happened since then? Was Hasina administration at all sincere to follow up the matter? The following development can give you the clue to the answer. Here is the excerpt from a news report.
November 25, 2001, 12:12 PM

LONDON (AFP)-Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, joined Muslim worshippers at an east London mosque Friday (Nov. 23) for a breaking of fast for Ramadan. Launching a building project at the mosque, he sipped faluda, a drink made of milk and rose petal syrup, and ate a bowl of kushat, a dish of dates, figs and milk.... The vice-president of the mosque, Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, thanked the prince for visiting in the aftermath of the September 11 atrocities, calling him "a patron of Islam in this country". He said: "Despite the traumatic events of the past couple of months, Islam continues to attract the attention of the world for all the right reasons".

Readers, now let's have a flash back. Please click on this URL address to review a speech by Prince of Wales where he mentioned the Bangladeshi mass murderer's name quite a few times with admiration! Did the Prince have any clue that he was referring to a wolf in sheepskin who was acting so innocent and docile in front of the British royalty:

These murderous Islamic fascists are conquering the world due to their good fortune of being born in a country like Bangladesh. Although this nation of Bangladesh was born after tremendous sacrifice, the religious dogma diminished the sense of bitterness toward Islamic fascists. The gradual expansion of Wahhabism and infusion of petrodollars has marginalized the secular nationalist and anti-fundamentalist force in the country. The Islamic fascists are dreaming of enacting their Sha'ria Law in Bangladesh. That could hardly be a pipe dream as they got enough seats in the last parliamentary election. They are acting slowly and wisely. As far as repentance for the brutalities of the past, the war criminals and their cohorts do not possess any remorse. After all, all the killings and massacres were committed for keeping the integrity of military ruled Islamic Pakistan intact. Therefore, the great "Islamic scholars" in the western land would hardly lose their sleep for killing a few Bengali intellectuals who were hindrances to their ultimate global agenda. Also, being non-Arabs has advantages too. As persons being born in a "liberal Islamic country" (quoting from US Congressman Joseph Crowley's recent comment), Ashrafuzzaman Khan and Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin are fortunate enough to escape the dragnet thrown by agencies like FBI or Scotland Yard. Thus, cry for justice, as before, remains unanswered as humanity now seeks justice for 9-11 massacre.


Jamal Hasan writes from Washington DC. His email address is