Published: Saturday, August 3, 2013

Jamaat Registration

Ban not on govt’s plan

Ministers and Awami League leaders may keep echoing the popular demand for banning Jamaat-e-Islami, but the government is unlikely to ban the party in the existing political reality.
The government will instead wait for the Appellate Division’s disposal of Jamaat’s appeal against the High Court verdict that on Thursday declared illegal the party’s registration with the Election Commission.
According to a number of ministers and top AL leaders, it is for the Appellate Division to decide whether Jamaat can now contest the upcoming national polls, due between October and January.
Any executive move to ban the party before the Appellate Division’s verdict will prove counterproductive and trigger fresh controversies. The opposition parties, including Jamaat, will in that case spread propaganda against the government and label the move as one against religion-based politics. This will harm the AL ahead of the election, they said.
One minister told The Daily Star that the AL-led government did not intend to ban religion-based politics. This is why the government did not restore to the charter the 1972′s constitutional restriction to this effect.
It may be mentioned that the government brought the 15th amendment to the charter in June 2011, restoring some articles of the original constitution. Through this amendment, the government also scrapped the caretaker government system.
“We had the opportunity to reinstate the constitutional ban [on religion-based politics] imposed in 1972. But we had to sacrifice it given the country’s political situation,” said the minister, preferring not to be named.
Two other ministers, also requesting anonymity, said the government would not ban Jamaat at the moment.
They added that the government’s strategy to weaken Jamaat had been effective and law enforcers had been directed to tackle Jamaat’s street agitations.
On Thursday at an Iftar party at Gono Bhaban, a leader of a component of the ruling alliance drew Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s attention to the HC verdict.
To this, sources said, Hasina smiled and said: “Something needs to be done now.”
But the alliance leader, who himself has been demanding that Jamaat be banned, said the government would go slow on the issue.
He said the government had yet to begin legal proceedings against Jamaat under the International Crimes Tribunal Act, even five months after the law had been amended empowering the tribunals to try organisations for war crimes.
Thursday’s verdict raised hopes among people that the government could now easily ban Jamaat.
But the ruling party policymakers differ.
“We will ask all concerned to wait for the final verdict of the Supreme Court on Jamaat’s registration,” said Suranjit Sengupta, minister without portfolio.
AL presidium member Nooh-Ul-Alam Lenin said they would make a decision on the matter following the Appellate Division verdict.
He, however, added that his party’s stance was clear: Jamaat could do politics as long as it followed the law. “If it resorted to violence, the government would be compelled to take action against it.”
Mahbubul Alam Hanif, AL joint general secretary and a special assistant to the prime minister, said the issue of banning Jamaat gained further momentum after the HC verdict.
“But no discussion on the issue has been held in the party forum yet,” he added.

  • Zaid Bin Kalam

    just wondering… if we wait for the court to have its say on the issues of our daily lives then why we need an elected government! it is also quite unfortunate under the present context that a pro-liberation government has developed a curious phobia about anti-government propaganda (especially on vague religious grounds) even in this twenty-first century! its really a pity as it seems the ruling AL has chosen this anti-government propaganda to be its main opposition! the AL should be horrified by its inactions instead!

    • Dev Saha

      A strong and independent justice is a must have instrument for any modern nation. It should have the last say about any issue or problem that needs to be resolved. A government will come and go and their main duty is to legislate laws. If those laws are no good, people should be able to challenge them in the higher courts and have them resolved to people’ satisfaction or no satisfaction.

      • nazmul Haq

        Your thought on the independence, fairness and neutrality of Bangladesh justice system will be greatly appreciated.

  • Nasirullah Mridha,USA

    To counter the Hefajat in next polls AL want to woo the jamat that is why AL high-up not interested to ban JAMAT right away.A few weeks ago JAMAT and AL’s meeting in an embassador house is still remain mystery.Because neither JAMAT nor AL officially admitted that meeting.

  • Khondkar Saleque Sufi

    Government made easy process getting complex. Jamat as a party opposed our liberation war. They were banned and main leaders were under trail immediately after indepence . Most of the leaders were not under Bangabndhu’s General Clemency ..It was only after Bangabandhu killing and grabbing of power by Ziaur Rahman through the barrels of the gun the collaborators act was scrapped, Golam Azam was given back citizenship, Shah Azizur Rahman was made Prime Minister , Alim was made minister. Jamat started doing politics as before . From then on they gathered strength. Banking insurance RMG , coaching centers started creating funds for them. Pakistan and some middle eastern countries sponsored them. All political parties including Bangladesh Awami League let them grow as an evil force and adopted a strategy of reconciliation with Jamat . This evil party never acknowledge their anti liberation role during 1971 and never apologized to the nation. The verdict of the high court now could be achieved much earlier if any aggrieved person immediately after last amendment to constitution would have moved to court . The present situation of confusing the people about government intention would not have arrived . Anyway better let than never .Nation must remain united against possible backlash of the evil forces and opportunists .

  • Wind

    No Mullas or Jamat is not the real conductors of this country .The country is run by the power of economic tooth and the common poor people are the vanguard of this land but the so called anti-liberated have divided the country for and against the religious sentiment .The Mullas should have sense that Jmat -e -Isllami is foe for this land .They are not a supporter and developer of this land rather they are the collaborators of Pakistan .

  • Abul Kashem

    Peace loving common people want to live without any confrontation in the society. So, it would be frustrating for us if repetition of anarchy and other undesirable situations come in the wake of such political turmoil. All parties are requested to restrain from issuing provocating statements.

  • Wind

    That should be the propaganda and agenda of every unconscious citizen .Jamat is the hell and BNp are entering into the door of hell .

    • agent_47

      Thanks. That’s what I mean. Propaganda to win an election. Cant win it honestly obviously.At last we agree on something.

      • Wind

        That is awesome. Let’s go on so many issues that are burning where whether we can agree that or not. You are welcome !

  • Wind

    So, AL should increase more and more ‘coume madrasa ‘ and more funding on this issue extorting the tax and vat from the poor people .Actually , ‘what come from where ‘card is important but this is impossible to quote and if anyone do that that would be term as the anti-sentiment .So religions based politics still dominates and no scape of this until the population is not aware .


    It seems, as the people desire the Govt. hesitates and as the Govt. desires the people hesitate and so the things go on controversial. There is a strong demand in the people, the Govt. bans Jamaat on its executive orders. The International Crime Tribunal have more than once opined, Jamaat is a anti-liberation terrorist Organisation, the High Court have declared its registration with EC illegal and the Govt. does not want to ban it. Then who will bell the cat? The Supreme Court will either uphold the verdict of the High Court or deliver a new order we do not know what, may be to retain the registration straight or with some observations. If the first occurs then should Jamaat be banned by that order itself or the Govt. shall have to ban it by an order? If the second occurs then what will happen? Shall the Govt. be able to ban it then? If not then should the people ban it but how? So it is a big problem. And the most critical question, there is a scope for Jamaat to continue the appeal hearing for years, then what will happen? Should the people of Bangladesh go on losing their lives and property in the hands of the terrorists?

  • MH Khan

    This will probably a politically correct decision. Cancellation of registration with the EC will make Jamat disqualified for politics. Jamat can still continue to exist as a meideaval religious party and continue receiving hatrate of the peo[le.

  • MH Khan

    This will probably be a politically correct decision. Cancellation of its registration with the EC will disqualify Jamat in politics. Jamat can still exist as a medieval religious party and continue to collect hatred from the people of Bangladesh.

  • Zaid Bin Kalam

    i am independent not neutral! thank you!

  • Dev Saha

    Our nation has not very consistent about religious parties and their roles in our society. Basically, all parties are more less guilty of using the menace for their advantage to get to the power. They might be banned today but with a governmental change, we will get back to square one again. The question is whether Bangladesh can afford to sideline Jamat or other religious parties given the educational and intelligence of our average voters. Do we have leaders who can communicate properly for the masses why religious parties should be banned? I have not seen one yet. Are we really ready for government that is beyond religious influence? I am not sure about that.

  • Abbasuddin

    Selfish politicians (AL, BNP, JP etc.) ‘had to’ consider Jamaat as these war criminals could fool a lots of stupid voters by using name of Islam. Otherwise selfish politicians would never go to Jamaat for support. So, illiterate voters are the main culprits and deserve to be “insulted”. Very few literate people have to digest this “insult” as they are outnumbered in a so called democratic country.