Bangladesh Derecognizes Jamaat e Islami as a Political Party
By Dr Basheer Ahmed Khan
Garden Grove, CA
The rule of law is a blessing. Muhammad SA came to establish it and he established it at a town level through the Meesakh e Madian 1400 years ago.
Speaking about Nabi SA in one of his books Pundit Nehru had said: His teachings are so practical that if he had not attributed them to divine revelation it would have been easy for people of modern age to accept them. Even the hall of Supreme Court of America bears a testimony to this fact by inscribing the name of Muhammad SA as one of the top ten great law-givers. With vested interest controlling the legislatures, judiciary and the executive branches of Government, rule of law has become a mockery. Benches have assumed the role of power brokers, stake holders, and law givers.
Leaving aside this debate on the role of judiciary in a society which is in chaos the Bangladesh High Court has done a favor to Islam and Islamists by asking the Election Commission to remove Jamaat E Islami from its list of political parties and prevent it from taking part in elections.
Muslim Brotherhood and Jammat e Islami emerged in the Muslim world to revitalize Islam and energize Muslims in response to the exploitation of Muslim countries by colonial powers and the anti-Islam propaganda of Orientalist scholars. After the end of colonization when Muslims assumed the reign of power there was not much change except the change of faces. As Frank Moreas the then Editor of Indian Express had written in one of his OP Ed column: White caps have replaced white men.
As no attempt was made by the ruling elite to become more responsive to the need of their people and they looted their own countries and immigrated to the countries of their colonial masters after disgrace, the message of hope which the Islamists offered became more relevant. But the Islamists could not play their role effectively to either change the attitude of their rulers, or replace them with good ones for several reasons. One of which was that Islamic organizations were infiltrated by agents of the establishment. These elements halted the process of ideological dialogue to kill the dynamic spirit of Islam and carried out violent activities to bring discredit to Islam and Muslims. The Islamic organizations had no way to recognize these infiltrators, and no way to stop them from carrying out their nefarious activities in their name. Now that the High Court of Bangladesh has closed the door of entry of Islamists into the corridors of power this anti-Islamic activity of the enemies of Islam is likely to lessen and the Islamic organization will be able to focus on educational and reformation activities with full vigor.
When Jamaat E Islami was banned in India in the late-seventies by PM Indra Gandhi and put its leaders into jail to maintain parity in her dictatorial authority against Jan Sangh and RSS, the then Amir of Jamaat e Islami Maulana Sirajul Hasan had said: It was Allah’s plan to cleanse the Jamaat of people who were in the jamaath not out of their conviction but for their convenience.
The High Court of Bangladesh, and Gen Al Sissi of Egypt and others, are doing this cleansing for Islamic movements in their respective countries.
The Islamists should avoid confrontation with the people and rulers of their own countries as it is un-Islamic. The establishment in Muslim countries is itching to have such a confrontation to be able to use the power of the state to continue their grip on power in the name of fight against terrorism. The establishments have been successful in selling this strategy to the civilized world in the name of stability, peace and war on terror. Muslims have lost millions of most sincere followers with no tangible gains to these designs in Algeria, Caucuses, Balkan, Afghanistan, Palestine and Syria. Islamists should not only denounce all forms of violence but also distance themselves from those who are calling for violence in any form and against anyone.
Islam is not just a tool for individual reformation but also a means of harmonious and equitable social development. While individual reformation is a personal endeavor over which we have control, the social agenda of Islam requires the collective will of people to accept limitations which are paramount to establish programs of social justice and equality. Therefore the Islamists for now must work on the agenda of individual reforms. When these reformed individuals enter the corridors of power we will have legislatures which will enact good laws and honest enforcers who will enforce them impartially.
When a companion asked Nabi SA to show him the way by pursuing which he will be loved by God and will be loved by the people, Nabi SA said: Do not immerse yourself in the pleasure of the world ignoring Allah, Allah will love you and do not aspire for what the people have and people will love you (Ibn e Maja). If the Islamists want the Presidency and the other offices of prestige, power and pleasure which other people are holding, they will not just be antagonizing them, but also failing in one of their most important duty of bringing people closer to Allah. If those in power today become closer to Allah then they will manage the affairs of this world better by exercising their authority judiciously with their new found consciousness of accountability before Omnipotent Allah. Nabi SA gave the key of Kaaba to its original bearer, Osman bin Talha, to demonstrate that Islam was not about grabbing power and authority from those who hold it. By his action of denying his uncle Abbas RA who requested for this key of Kaaba, Nabi SA won the heart of many people (Raheeq Al Makhtum).
Islamists must know that Islam does not need people, but people need Islam. People may not be feeling this need now. We are not living in the time of Pharaoh who could sense the sign of catastrophe and invite Joseph, peace be upon him, to his court to solve his nightmare for him (Ch 12 V54). We live in the time when Neros rule the Muslim world busy in their frivolities while their countries are burning. Once these Neros of our time have burnt their Romes, and ravaged their motherlands enough then the Constantines will emerge with an understanding of the relevance of message of Jesus, Peace be upon him. For this to happen Islamists must conduct their affairs with this knowledge that Islam is not a static religion, let alone a retrogressive one which wants to put the clock back by 1400 years. They must know that Islam is a dynamic religion which came to transform the world of Dark Age into the world of Modern Age; and their God is the One who brings forth something new every day. Kullu Yaumin Hua Fi Shaan (Ch 55 V 29).