– Baron Bodissey –
If you’ve been following the news feed over the past week or so, you’ll have noticed that there have been repeated instances of mass violence in Bangladesh prompted by a death sentence handed down against a radical Islamic leader for his acts during the 1971 war of independence. Not surprisingly, the Hindu minority has been on the receiving end of much of the violence
The following report on the situation in Bangladesh was compiled by the International Civil Liberties Alliance in consultation with International Unity For Equality (IUFE) and posted at the ICLA website.
Jamaat-e-Islami And Mob Violence Against Religious Minorities In Bangladesh
A wave of deadly violence, looting, and arson is currently sweeping across parts of Bangladesh. This follows the sentencing to death of Delwar Hossain Sayedee the Bangladeshi leader of the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami party. This followed his conviction for war crimes committed during the 1971 War of Independence which included including mass killings, rape and atrocities.
Given its rhetoric in favour of religious freedom one would expect the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to be speaking out vociferously against the actions of the Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh. However, sadly, this does not appear to have been the case. An article on the website of the Center for Islamic Pluralism states:
“It is important to note that the OIC — the Organization of Islamic Cooperation — has not stepped forth to support the landmark effort of the Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal in bringing individuals to indictment for war crimes committed in 1971. On the contrary, the President of Turkey, Abdullah Gül, is on record a having written to the President of Bangladesh an improper letter in flagrant violation of diplomatic protocol or respect for the independence of the Tribunal in a sovereign country, asking for suspension of the Tribunal with forgiveness for those accused of war crimes.” 
To ask for clemency for someone who has been sentenced to death would have been a reasonable and humane demand. It would be something worthy of support. However, to effectively demand a pardon (implied by the quote above) is something quite different and is something that perhaps suggests a concealed agenda on the part of the OIC. Does the OIC sympathise with the idea of creating a Mughalistan? It would not be beyond the realms of possibility that the Mughalistan project would be favoured by groups like Jamaat-e-Islami.
Jamaat-e-Islami did not support the separation of Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) in 1971 during the war of independence . The vociferousness of the OIC with regard to supposedly offensive references to the Prophet of Islam and the relative silence on issues relating to the current violence in Bangladesh shows the OIC in its true colours.
Islamism seems to be well-ensconced in Bangladesh just as it was during the atrocities in 1971. The verdict in relation to the 1971 atrocities has been followed by new atrocities. It appears that the impulses of 1971 are apparently still present in contemporary Bangladesh.
The OIC, which lectures the world about religious freedom and demands punishment for those who insult the Prophet of Islam, seems to be willing to forgive and forget when it comes to acts of religiously inspired genocide committed by Islamists. This is yet another example of their potentially sinister motives when it comes to addressing the serious problem of religious persecution at the global level. It would appear that the OIC actually wants to expand the scope of sharia rather than bring an end to religious persecution. If this were not the case then one would expect them to be speaking out about the atrocities in Bangladesh both past and present.
We must commend the Government of Bangladesh in going against the grain as an OIC member state by trying to show the distinction between Islam and Islamism, something that the OIC is obviously unwilling to do. Ironically, as political leaders in Bangladesh are trying to solve their country’s problems by going against OIC dogma, Western politicians are falling over themselves to do the OIC’s bidding.
It is a pity that the UN Alliance of Civilizations meeting that took place last week did not address the problem of Islamist violence. But then why would it? Like the UN Human Rights Council and the OIC it is yet another platform to propose, and perhaps in the future enforce, adherence to sharia principles.
It is time for a renaissance of individual human rights. However, the current international institutions who should be working towards this goal are unable or unwilling to protect even the most basic human rights. Instead they are bogged down considering appropriate punishment for thought crimes and the politically motivated grievances of the powerful OIC bloc which appears to have an agenda to replace individual human rights with rights under sharia.
March 4, 2013