BANGLADESH – I Will Not Be SilencedFeb 26th, 2013 | By Ajmal Masroor | Category: Latest, World
I have received all sorts of response from my Juma Khutba entitled Bangladesh in crisis. These responses include verbal abuse, threat of violence and death. Some have wished me eternal damnation and guaranteed me a place in Hell. Others have accused me of being paid by Jamati Islami and being a Jamat member. I have been told that MI5 would be notified of my extremist views and I will be branded a hate preacher. I have been told to start talking about prayers, fasting, hajj and other religious issues and stay away from politics. Most people who have taken such a negative stance have fundamentally misunderstood my position. Let me take this opportunity to put the record straight:
1. As an Imam and politician I have every right to speak about any issue under the sun. I will not be silenced by anyone’s threat and I will not stop until real justice prevails. I am not a member of Jamat-e-Islami (JI), never have been and never will be. I am not a member of Awami League (AL) or Bangladesh National Party (BNP). I am not interested in any Bangladeshi political parties. I am interested in clean, civilised and pluralistic democracies in the Muslim world.
2. I will not be silenced by anyone’s threat and I will not stop until the fall of this despotic government. I am interested in rule of law, protection of Human Rights, independent judiciary, non-political law enforcement agencies and most importantly guarantee and protection of every citizens life, property, intellect, family and faith. In all accounts the AL government has miserably failed to deliver and have created a smoke screen to hide its abysmal failures. The so called war crimes tribunal is only a pretext to take revenge and push the country into disorder and anarchy. This is an age old tactic used by despotic governments to cling to power.
3. I will not be silenced by anyone’s threat and I will not stop until people of Bangladesh find themselves free from Hasina and her friends. I do not have nationalistic love or hate for Bangladesh. I do not have any interest in that country. I have some relatives and that is the only reason I go there. However, as a Muslim I am not allowed to stay silent when I see evil anywhere in the world. I have a track record of speaking out against all issues of injustice and evil. I am one of the first ones to call Tony Blair a poodle of George Bush within the first week of his illegal attack of Iraq (Check Channel 4 documentary called J’accuse).
4. I will not be silenced by anyone’s threat and I will not stop until Bangladeshis find true democracy. Hasina and her government have behaved like mindless thugs. They are not democrats, they are thieves and murderers. I will not be silence by anybody for as long as I breathe I will speak out against all forms of injustices. I have inside information from AL that Hasina has full knowledge of all the disappearance of political opponents, extra judicial killings, abductions and torture her party members carry out and these thugs are elevated in position and given power as a reward for carrying out such vile acts. I hold Hasina and her government fully responsible for all these criminal activities.
5. I will not be silenced by anyone’s threat and I will not stop until the cold blooded murderers are brought to justice. I have raised my voice loudly this time because of the extreme level injustices and political violence this government has perpetrate against its political opposition. This government has used the police and RAB to brutally crack down on any opposition including carry out cold blooded execution of innocent people. This is purely evil and I will not be silenced by anybody from raising these issues at every level. For what the current government is going is not part of the democracy Bangladeshi people signed up to.
6. I will not be silenced by anyone’s threat and I will not stop until Bangladeshis rise in their millions to change their own destiny. I have called for the youth of Bangladesh to rise to change their fate and determine their own future. Yet I have not supported the Shahbag uprising. The are three simple reasons for not supporting them. One, Shahbag people are not calling for the downfall of this corrupt and nasty government. They are not calling for the end to the disgraceful politics of muscles and violence of all parties. In fact they are threatening their opponents with more violence. They are fully supportive of AL government and their hegemony and that makes their so called revolution totally fake. Two, Shahbag is not the Arab spring or anything like it. In the Arab world the people of all background united in their resolve to overthrow the corrupt regimes. Shahbag is a platform led by the secular fundamentalist and joined by the AL opportunists and nationalists. Anyone else is not welcome. Third, Shahbag people are calling for hanging of all war criminals and that is an uncivilised demand. No progressive and liberal minded person would ever support such calls. This demonstrates that they are blood thirty and out there to take revenge motivated by their anger and pain. Their behaviour demonstrates that they do not have any regard for the due process and fair trial. No nation can ever be built by people who are so blood thirsty and blinded by their emotions. No nations can be built on sound foundation if more blood is spilled based on anger and vengeance. This would be the most unbefitting tribute to those who laid their lives to liberate Bangladesh. I do not support hanging of anyone anywhere in the world.
7. I believe all those who are war criminals should be tried by a true international war crimes tribunal. Hasina and her government have set up a Kangaroo court that will neither hold a fair trial nor bring an end to this painful chapter. They have appointed AL members to the judiciary, falsified evidence, bribed witnesses, threatened defence witnesses and families and completely disregarded the international outcry. They have brought the legal process to total disrepute. I would like to see the trial of all the war criminals starting from the Pakistani generals and soldiers who are now living happily in Pakistan and enjoying its protection. I would like to see the trial of the war criminals including members of AL, BNP and JI.
As an Imam and politician I will never be silenced until oppression from all parts of the world is brought to an end. For Islam is all about ensuring justice for all and peace everywhere at all cost. Those who love Islam, those who love justice and peace, those who strive to live by these principles please join me.
As a Muslim I believe I will be accountable for my actions on the Day of Judgement. Everything that I do is driven by my conscience of that accountability. That is the main reason I shall never be silent when I see wrong. My mission in life is simple – to inform and inspire my fellow human beings.
Let me end by quoting Kazi Nazrul Islam, the national poet of Bangladesh, in his poem “the Rebel” he wrote –
“I am war wearied rebel,
I will only rest that day!
When the cries and laments
of the oppressed shall not rend the air and skies,
When the tyrant’s sword and scimitar
Shall not flourish in the bloody fields of battle.”