Bangladesh Comes to London: Left Should Support Bangladeshi People Against Genociders.
The people of Bangladesh have launched mass protests. Many have been held to demand the death sentence for the Islamists convicted of war crimes during the 1971 War of National Liberation.
The Pakistani army tried to crush the Bangla people with a cruelty that resembled the Nazis’ on the Eastern Front,
“…… we were told to kill the hindus and Kafirs (non-believer in God). One day in June, we cordoned a village and were ordered to kill the Kafirs in that area. We found all the village women reciting from the Holy Quran, and the men holding special congregational prayers seeking God’s mercy. But they were unlucky. Our commanding officer ordered us not to waste any time.”
Confession of a Pakistani Soldier. Bangladeshi Genocide Archive.
Official estimates say more than three million people were killed in the 1971 war.
Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Bangladesh in protest over sentences handed out in relation to alleged war crimes during the 1971 war of independence.
It took decades for a tribunal to be set up to look at the atrocities committed at that time, and the first verdicts came this year, including the conviction of a senior leader of Bangladesh’s biggest Islamic party.
A former leader from Jamaat-e-Islami was sentenced to death in absentia. Another leader, Abdul Kader Mullah, was given a life sentence last week.
Some protesters feel the sentences have been too lenient, or that the process has been flawed.
Meanwhile, supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami held separate protests calling for Mullah’s release.
Some in Bangladesh say that public protests could put unnecessary pressure on judges presiding over the tribunal.
Nick Cohen, comments,
“Do I hear you say that Bangladesh is far away and the genocide was long ago?
Not so far away. Not so long ago. And the agonies of Bangladeshi liberals are nothing in comparison to the contradictions of their British counterparts.
The conflict between the Shahbag and Jamaat has already reached London. On 9 February, local supporters of the uprising demonstrated in Altab Ali Park, a rare patch of green space off the Whitechapel Road in London’s East End. They were met by Jamaatis. “They attacked our men with stones,” one of the protest’s organisers told me. “There were old people and women and children there, but they still attacked us.”
The redoubtable organiser is undeterred. She and her fellow activists are going back to the park tomorrow for another demonstration. Her friends are worried, however. They asked me not to name her after unknown assailants murdered Ahmed Rajib Haider Shuvo, one of the leaders of the Dhaka rallies, on Friday.”
Cohen continues, that the Jamaat is not challenged in the East End, indeed it is accepted as part of the Establihsment.,
The scoundrel left led the way down this murky alley, as it leads the way into so many dark places. Ken Livingstone and George Galloway have backed the Jamaat-dominated East London mosque, and Islamic Forum Europe, the Jamaat front organisation that now controls local politics in Tower Hamlets.
The Jamaat still have a fight on their hands, as,
The British-Asian feminist Gita Sahgal launched the Centre for Secular Space last week to combat such indulgence of theocratic obscurantism. She told me that Jamaat perverts traditional faith and she should know. Not only did she name alleged Jamaat war criminals living in Britain for Channel 4 in the 1990s, she is also Jawaharlal Nehru’s great niece and a distant relative of the Indira Gandhi who sent the army into Bangladesh. I admire Sahgal and Quilliam hugely, but they are mistrusted, even hated by orthodox leftwingers. The feeling is reciprocated in spades and perhaps you can see why.
Now what Cohen calls the “scoundrel left” is very quiet about their relations with the Jamaat genociders at the moment.
But a taste of what they think of Bangladesh can be got from Bob Pitt and his ‘Islamophbia Watch’
This is how Islamophobia Watch greeted in 2010 the decision in Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League to restore the secular state.
Under the heading “Bangladesh set to become again a secular state”, left-wing blogger Andrew Coates has enthusiastically hailed what he claims is a decision by the government of Bangladesh to restore the secular foundations of the country’s constitution.
He bases his post on reports that the Supreme Court in Dhaka has upheld a ruling that the government can reverse amendments made to the constitution in the period following the military coup of 1975. Coates approvingly quotes law minister Shafique Ahmed as saying: “In the light of the verdict, the secular constitution of 1972 already stands to have been revived. Now we don’t have any bar to return to the four state principles of democracy, nationalism, secularism and socialism as had been heralded in the 1972 statute of the state.
It is the same government that then set up the War Crimes Tribunal.
We wonder what Pitt and his friends think of the Jamaat thugs attacking Bangladeshis protesting at the genocide in London.