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17 February, 2019 12:43:27 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 17 February, 2019 09:44:47 AM

Fight between old guards and young Turks in Jamaat

Fight between old guards 
and young Turks in Jamaat

The resignation of barrister Abdur Razzaq, assistant secretary general of the Jamaat-e-Islami, has brought to the fore infighting between the old guard and the young Turks of the party. The infighting became more visible as the party expelled Mojibur Rahman Monju, just hours after the resignation of Razzaq, according to  insiders. The internal conflict has been going on for about two decades as the young leaders preferred not to shoulder the responsibility of the Jamaat’s controversial role during the Bangladesh’s War of Liberation in 1971. The young leaders, mostly born after Bangladesh’s independence, made attempts to take control of the party, but did not succeed because of strong hold on the party by the old guard. A senior leader, preferring anonymity, said many leaders are likely to resign from the party and many others are likely to be sacked soon.

The present outcome is the reflection of an "open letter" by former top Jamaat leader, Muhammed Quamaruzzaman. He was among others executed on April 11, 2015 on war crimes charges. His letter urges others to reform the party.

The leader said a Majlish-e-Shura is likely to be held within a couple of days to discuss the latest developments in the party and plan the next course of action. “A major change in the party is in the offing within this week,” he added.

The leader further said an initiative is on to float a new party by the young Jamaat leaders who do not want to take the responsibility for the controversial role of the party during the War of Liberation.

When contacted, Jamaat's nayeb-e-ameer (vice-president), Miah Golam Porwar, declined to make any comment on the latest developments in the party. “Whatever statement the party has made in the press release is our position. I have no additional comment to make,” he said.

Replying to a question, the former Jamaat lawmaker said all the issues would certainly be discussed at the party forum.

On Friday, barrister Abdur Razzaq resigned from the party citing the party’s failure to seek apology for its activities against the independence of Bangladesh in 1971. He sent the resignation letter (email) from London where he is currently residing. In his letter, Razzaq

cited 13 reasons behind his resignation. He mentioned that he tried to persuade Jamaat leaders for the last two decades to seek apology for their deeds during the country’s Liberation War, but failed to make them do so. The Jamaat’s failure to reform its political ideologies in light of the 21st century like other Muslim majority countries is another reason for his resignation, he added.

The Jamaat-e-Islami, in its reaction, expressed disappointment over the resignation of Barrister Razzaq.

In a statement, Jamaat’s secretary general Dr Shafiqur Rahman said: “We’re upset over his (Razzaq) resignation. But tendering resignation is a recognised right of any member (of the party).”

The Jamaat expelled a member of its Dhaka city unit’s policymaking Majlis-e-Shura, Mojibur Rahman Monju, from the party on Friday night.

Monju, also a former president of the Chhatra Shibir, the student wing of the Jamaat, himself disclosed it through the social media on Saturday.

“Around 7:30pm on Friday, an executive council member informed me on behalf of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer, Maqbul Ahmed, that my membership of the party has been cancelled,” he said on his Facebook post.

Sources in the party also confirmed the expulsion of Monju, but the party, however, didn’t issue any press release on the matter.

Monju could not be reached on the phone for his comments, despite several attempts.

In another development, a union Jamaat leader yesterday resigned from the party, saying it was a corrective measure for his mistake.

In his resignation letter sent through courier, Md Bakhtier Uddin, general secretary of Bherbheri union of KHansma upazila in Dinajpur, said he understood his mistake with the resignation of Barrister Razzaq.

He also suggested that the party leadership should seek apology from the nation for their controversial role during the War of Liberation.

The Jamaat, which lost its registration and party flag through court verdicts, has been passing through its worst-ever period in recent times following the execution of its top leaders, and it is not allowed to carry out any political activity publicly.

Some of the party leaders, however, took part in the December 30 parliamentary polls on the “sheaf of paddy” symbol of the BNP, but none of them won.

The erstwhile Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan strongly opposed the independence of Bangladesh and the break-up of Pakistan. It collaborated with the Pakistani army in its operations against Bengali nationalists and pro-Liberation intellectuals during the War of Liberation.

At least five top leaders, including party ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami and secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mojaheed, have already been executed for crimes against humanity.

After the execution of the Jamaat’s ameer, Maqbul Ahmed was elected Ameer of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami in September, 2016. He is probably the first Jamaat Ameer having no war crimes allegations against him.

The Jamaat emerged as a political party in Bangladesh after the ban on Islamic parties was lifted in 1976. The party won 18 seats in parliamentary elections in 1991. Their seat strength was reduced to three during the 1996 elections and the party won only two seats in the 2008 polls.





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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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