Abdul Quader Molla, the leader of the Jamat-e-Islami (JI) in Bangladesh is reportedly going to be hung for war crimes attributed to him during the shambolic ‘War of Independence’ of 1971, in which Bangladesh broke away from Pakistan and became a separate nation. This, if it comes to be executed, will be a heinous crime against humanity and against the Muslim Ummah. One would expect nothing less from the despicable Sheikha Hasina government, an open enemy of Islam and Muslims. This article shall assess the inherent flaws and hypocrisy within the conduct of the trial, the motivations behind such abhorrence and the inherent hypocrisy of those in power.
Bangladesh, a large and vibrant Muslim populace, played a foundational role in the formation of Pakistan, carving out the Muslim nation from British India. In fact, the All India Muslim League, the chief driving force behind this partition, was formed in Dhaka in 1906. In a typical exemplification of the disease of nationalism, the Bengalis developed many legitimate grievances against the Western Pakistanis. These annoyances spanned the economic, political, military and linguistic arenas, to name a few. Conversely, all of these resentments are held by Balochistan, KPK and Sindh against Punjab to this very day. The weakening of the Islamic bond allowed these artificial standards to become the arbitrary criterion of decision making and a hysteria of nationalism was whipped up against the ‘occupying’ Pakistani army. The Mukti Bahni, with the direct support and intervention of the Indian army, declared independence after defeating the Pakistani army. Whilst the topic is beyond the remit of the discourse here, the fact that the two sides were led by odious characters such as Bhutto, Mujib, Yahya and General Niazi should shed some light upon the reality of this pathetic struggle for ‘independence’.
The JI, which had correctly opposed the creation of Pakistan and surrendering of the whole of India, opposed this proposed split of the largest and strongest Muslim nation on earth. They felt it an affront to Islam and it’s values of brotherhood between the Ummah. They campaigned actively to stop this great atrocity from taking place, a moment considered by many as a major disaster for the Ummah in the 20th century, along with the destruction of the Khilafah and the occupation of Masjid Al-Aqsa. This forms the backdrop to the alleged crimes committed by the JI and Abdul Qader Molla has been convicted of assisting the occupiers in this unholy war of separation.
The case displays some of the most glaring examples of breaches of human rights, political opportunism and the tyrannical cowardice of the leaders of the Muslim nations worldwide. AQ Molla was brought to trial over 40 years after this shameful episode of independence. Why did it so long for him to be brought to trial, if the alleged crimes were so evidently abhorrent and the evidence so compelling as to merit the death penalty? Why must one view this as anything other than political opportunism? Where was this clarity of thought and conviction for the past 4 decades? It is telling that this trial took place amidst the most disturbing clashes between those calling for Islam and the secularists within Bangladesh. This has been the most politically turbulent and violent phase of Bangladeshi history since independence. Many scores of those calling for Islam and protesting against the charade of a trial were killed at the hands of the Bengali police and security forces. One could not but adduce the basis of this pathetic attempt at divisive politics; the ensuring of a chasm between opposing ideological spheres to exploit in the now imminent elections.
If these trials are to be conducted, why is JI the only one facing this barrage of nationalist manipulation? Why are the Pakistani army generals and political leaders, responsible for the butcher of their fellow Muslims and Pakistanis, responsible for the waves of rape and looting, still walking this earth without accountability? When was the last serious attempt by Bangladesh to bring these people to justice? Let us have requests for these individuals to be indicted and made to face trial. Let us see some members of the Mukti Bahni, the murderous traitors who conspired with India to kill Urdu speakers and attack Pakistani military targets, hang for their behaviour. Let us discuss the track record of Sheikha Hasina’s father, Mujib-ur-Rehman, a known agent of the non-Muslim powers, be discussed in the public arena. The hypocrisy inherent within the conduct of the Awami League could not be more glaring.
As a result of the trial, AQ Molla was sentenced to life imprisonment. This brought out many thousands of secularists onto the streets, protesting against the alleged leniency shown towards him. Can a mob be allowed to affect the process of law? Can sentences be passed to appease and please the masses? What of the rule of law and equitable execution of such, without regard for populist sentiment? However, it would only be a blindly foolish individual who would expect such upstanding behaviour from a government of no morals and ethics.
In response to these protests, the government amended the law retrospectively, allowing for the Supreme Court to transform Mr Molla’s sentence to a death penalty. Any student of law, international or otherwise, can see the absurdity of such a situation. For laws to be amended at the whim and desire of governments, to target individuals or groups, leads to nothing other than tyranny. It allows governments to stifle dissent, corrupt legal processes and a feeling of societal degradation and mistrust to prevail. Khalida and Hasina can play dirty tricks to ensure that those they feel enmity towards or those they fear politically can be silenced, permanently if needed, to strengthen their grasp on power.
The trial, and the proposed sentencing of the JI leader, is nothing but further evidence of enmity towards Islam that the political and military establishment within Bangladesh harbour. The examples of this are copious in Bangladesh’s short history. May Allah SWT protect AQ Molla and may he be lifted amongst the shuhada of this Ummah, if this despicable act is carried out. These injustices reaffirm the need for Muslim unity and brotherhood. Only Islam can give sanctity to the blood of Muslims, every drop of which is holier than the Ka’ba itself. The Muslims of Bangladesh, and the Ummah generally, should recognise the war that is being waged against Islam on every level by these puppets of the West. It is nigh on time that we wake up and realise this truth for ultimately the victory is for those who are true to their covenant with the Creator of the heavens and the earth. “And [remember, O Muhammad], when those who disbelieved plotted against you to restrain you or kill you or evict you [from Makkah]. But they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners.” (The Holy Quran, 8:30)