Focusing on the 12th National Parliamentary Election, different Islamic parties, along with the ruling and opposition parties, have become active recently. Jamaat-e-Islami had held a grand rally in open air after a long time on Oct 7. IslamiAndolan Bangladesh (IAB), led by CharmonairPirSyed Muhammad RezaulKarim, arranged a grand rally at SuhrawardyUdyan on Nov 3. Despite being Islamic parties, unfortunately, these parties remained extremely silent on the Israeli genocide in Gaza, where thousands of Muslims, along with people from other religions, are being oppressed brutally everyday.
Their silence provides indication of their intent to serve their foreign lords ignoring their ideology to serve self-interest only.
From the grand rally, IAB demanded holding of upcoming national election with the participation of the registered political parties. The grand rally of Jamaat-e-Islami also uttered almost similar demands.
The Israeli genocide is strongly supported by the United States, flag bearer of human rights, democracy and freedom of expression along with the United Kingdom and few other Western countries. The US is providing military and weapons support also to Israel to run this genocide. Notably, only the governments of these few countries are supporting Israel not their people. Hence, we should only condemn their governments. Despite protests, the US and the UK are unconditionally supporting the Israeli genocide as they did during the last 75 years.
The United States has been very vocal about Bangladesh during the past couple of years. Bangladesh has achieved tremendous developments under the current government during their consecutive three terms. But, the US has completely ignored this progress for their self-interest and tried to create unwanted obstacles during the past few years. Though consecutive three terms in power is not supportive to democratic ideology, change of government ignoring the development of the country cannot bring any good for the people in reality.
The current Bangladeshi government has focused on development and successfully maintained a stable relation with all its development partners while the world is moving towards bi-polarity again. The US, despite being a large development partner of Bangladesh, tried to create pressure on the Bangladesh to protect its interest in the region. In this process, seemingly, the US and the current Bangladesh government have come to a face off and the opposition parties are trying to cash in on that apparent conflict.
The opposition parties of the country are seemingly totally dependent on the foreign powers to influence the election environment in their favor. Hence, they are silent on the Gaza issue as they do not want to displease the US. But the silence of the Islamic parties is totally contradictory to their ideology and if they cannot support Palestine to please their Western lords, then they will easily concede to foreign pressures ignoring the national interest if in power.
Major Islamic parties of Bangladesh like Jamaat and AIB do not recognize the genocide by the Pakistani military junta during the 1971 liberation war. Now, these forces are remaining silent on Israeli genocide in Gaza too for their own interest.Despite their lack of commitment to the sovereignty of Bangladesh, they are opting for becoming a part of the state power, which is really unfortunate.
The Islamic parties like Jamaat and IAB are depending on BNP to make them a part of the state power though the Amir of AIB, the ChormonairPir once called BNP ‘munafik’ (violator of trust) as their interests were not served. Jamaat and AIBalong with BNP are protesting against the government in demand of an election-time caretaker government. We can understand the protest of BNP but the protest of the Islamic or religion-based parties are not understandable for few reasons as these parties solely depend on Islam as a religion for the basis of their political activities.
Bangladesh is a Muslim majority country with over 90% of its populace being Muslim. Though the country is secular in terms of its stature and communal harmony is existent, religion has played a great role in its politics throughout history. During the last decade, the ruling party Awami League has taken several steps, which serves Islam. The government has taken the initiative to establish 564 model mosques across the country among which 300 model mosques were already inaugurated. The current government also recognized and integrated the Qawmi education alongside the general education system.
Being a pious person, PM Sheikh Hasina did her best to serve the Islamic interests while protecting all other religions in the country.
The IAB leaders and activists arranged their Jummah prayer at open place prior to their grand rally on last Friday. According to the teachings of Islam, Jummah prayer can be held only at the mosque unless it is the time of war or the programme is a religious one. The IAB-arranged programme was neither a religious one nor there was any religious issue prevailing at the country to influence their agenda.
Hence, they seem to consider this grand rally as a part of their war for power. We expect the Islamic leaders like the ChormonairPir to know more about the extent of their religious activities to remain committed to the religion, which is their face to their followers.These Islamic parties should actually protest if something is hurting the sentiments of the Muslims. During the last three terms of Awami League, the interests of the Muslims were always protected. Hence, the position of the Islamic parties against the government is unreasonable.
The moral of our Islamic parties have gone down to such a level that they are honoring their political interests over the interests of Islam today. Hence, we truly cannot expect anything good from these parties. From 2001 to 2006, Jamaat, being a part of the BNP-Jamaat alliance government has shown its color as they are the masterminds of several conspiracies including the Aug 21 grenade attack.Parties like IAB will also act against the national interest if that interferes with their own agenda.
It is very important that the people of Bangladesh choose their representatives in the upcoming election very carefully. If two-faced parties like Jamaat or IAB become part of the government, the risk of vulnerability throughout the nation will increase and extremism will find its way into this peaceful nation destroying communal harmony and national progress. The West also knows that these religious parties are vulnerable but they are using them for their own interests only like the ISIS, Talibans or Houthis. Hence, at one point, the foreign lords will also reject these parties after serving their interests in the region.
The Jews were subject to genocide during the WWII and that memory has made them rancorous. Today they are not emotionally sensible to the cruelty of the genocide they are conducting in Gaza or Palestine. The current genocide will give birth to many like Mohammad Deif, who was subject to the Israeli genocide and later became the mastermind of the Oct 7 Hamas retaliation attack in Israel. This new generation will not be psychologically bothered to conduct more genocide. Hence, the Israelis and their supporters should become careful as they might be just helping the creation of their greatest foes.
We once again condemn the Israeli genocide in Gaza and call the Islamic parties to help in raising voice against Israel and its supporters not only for the sake of protecting the Muslims but also to protect people from all religions in Gaza. We hope these parties realize the importance of humanity and peace over political benefits and adhere to the true teachings of Islam if they really wish to do so.
The writer is Chief Editor at Mohammadi News Agency (MNA) and Editor at Kishore Bangla