By Jahangir Alam Akash, Militant Islamism is a great threat to global peace. Most Asian countries are fertile ground for such militants. People’s happiness has been sabotaged by militant Islamists in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Militant Islamists are also very strong in Bangladesh, they attacked the Twin Towers in the United States, and, more recently, Al-Qaida has been threatening Germany as well. So, militant Islamism is now a global threat and problem.
In Bangladesh, most of the political parties are using religion for political purposes. Almost the whole system in Bangladesh has fallen victim to the burning problems of criminalization, Islamization, corruption, a lack of accountability and responsibility, and a disabled democracy. And Bangladesh has other major problems, such as widespread poverty, natural disasters, climate change, a bad education system, no good planning, and no rule of law.
War criminals, the Jamaat party and militant Islamists in Bangladesh are similar to one another. These three groups are very dangerous for secularism, yet they are still quite active in Bangladesh. You can find dishonesty, immorality, irresponsibility and corruption everywhere in Bangladesh.
The militant Islamist groups are still very active and organized in the country. They have been running arms and explosives training camps. Members of state forces, who are also militant Islamists, are killing and covering up their killings, reporting them as “crossfires”, “encounters” or “gunfights”. And yet, the administration hasn’t taken up these extrajudicial killings with the militant Islamists. So now, a big question in the mind of the public is whether or not the administration is friendly with the militant Islamists. The government has yet to try in court those accused in these incidents. The funding sources of the militants still remain hidden.
On Sept. 25, 2009, a militant training center was seized by law enforcers from Khagrachhari. Law enforcers arrested Abdur Rahim alias Saifullah, second-in-command of the Chittagong division of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB), and seized powdered explosives, 14 grenade casings, 20 detonators, 49 books on jihad, 27 batteries and around 1 kg. of barbed wire. Later, on Sept. 27, law enforcers arrested four JMB cadres – Delwar Hossain alias Sajib, age 32, and Yunus Ali alias Yunus, age 20, at Shantipur of Matiranga; Delwar Hossain Dulal, age 23, in Gazipur; and Monir alias Ripon, age 25, in Comilla.
Government sources said that Moulana Saidur Rahman’s son Bashar plays a key role in running the organization. Seven members of the Shura, the highest policymaking body of the JMB, are Shiblu alias Shishir, Sohel Mahfuz of Kushtia, Mehedi alias Abir of Barguna, Nazmul alias Bhagne Shahid of Natore, Osman alias Shahid of Comilla, Sayeem of Dhaka and Mahmud alias Asad of Panchagarh.
Of them, Shishir is in charge of the military wing, Sohel Mahfuz of the Dawat (invitation) Department, Mehedi of the southern districts, Nazmul of the northern region, Osman of the Chittagong division and Sayeem of the IT wing. The duties assigned to Mahmud are not yet known. Mostafiz alias Siddique of Gazipur has been working as an advisor for the banned outfit. An unnamed government source has said, “The network of the militant Islamists and their organizational activities are still very strong in Bangladesh.”
According to research, around 125 militant Islamist organizations are active in Bangladesh. But the government has banned only five of these organization, to date. The life of the present prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, is under threat by the militants. She is the main target of militant Islamists, sources said.
We believe that if Bangladesh’s government wants to combat militant Islamism, they it should ban the Madrasa (Islamic) system of education. At the same time, it would be necessary to start a one way, combined scientific system of education, to reduce all kinds of discrimination and poverty. Also, there should be an immediate trial for war criminals. We also demand that the influence of religion upon government politics should be banned at once.