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     Volume 8 Issue 98 | December 18, 2009 |

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A lesson in Islam for razakars turned sadhu sanyasis


No country in the world, indeed no nation had to ever demand so vehemently the trial of war criminals who acted against that very country, that very nation. There is nothing more diabolical, more sad, more demeaning.

The Jamaat Ameer has for sometime been parroting that the case against those who committed the most heinous crime against humanity in 1971 is a 'resolved issue'. (Janakantha, 14 December 2009) As a Muslim does he mean to say, for example, that the bride whose husband was taken away and killed by his Al Badr bahini will have to accept the murder of a Muslim by a Muslim? As a human being is he suggesting that it is just another fine morning the day after a man kills a fellow being, whatever be their respective religious beliefs? Does he not one day hope to meet Allah subhanu wa ta'ala and explain his misdeeds of ekattur and now? Is life only about telling lies? Is there no hereafter? Is winning a political election or an argument any ticket to jannat? Some people have attained very high profiles by whatever means, but they remain well below mediocrity especially when it comes to interpreting punishment in Islam.

Crime under Islamic Law has three major categories: (a) Hadd crimes (most serious: murder), (b) Tazir crimes (less serious: bribery, corrupt trading), (c) Qesas crimes (revenge crimes). Punishments are prescribed in the Qur'an and are often harsh with the emphasis on corporal and capital punishment. Hadd crimes are those which are punishable by a pre-established punishment system found in the Qur'an. There is no plea-bargaining or reducing the punishment for a Hadd crime. There are no minimum or maximum punishments attached to Hadd crimes. The punishment system is comparable to the determinate sentence imposed by some judges in the United States. If you commit a crime, you know what your punishment will be. There is no flexibility. No judge can change or reduce the punishment for these serious crimes. Murder is a Hadd crime. The killing of innocent Bangalees by Al Badr, Al Shams and Razakars was in one simple word murder.

The reason why I bring Islam to define the punishment for crime against mankind is because the killers of 1971 have for long been using religion as a shield. They have been unfortunately abetted by some political parties, which wickedly discovered that delving back to historical facts of 1971 was going backwards. The sinful politicians have supported anti-Bangladesh parties to cling on to power. They have pushed Bangladesh backwards by many years. A nation cannot stand on lies. Nor does civilisation allow killers to move around freely. Islam is more specific on the matter.

The Razakar-turned-politicians make some Islamic states and world leaders appear gullible to their fallacious claim that Islam is in serious khaatra in Bangladesh. It never was, it is not, and InshAllah it never will be. The azaan resounds in every locale of human habitation not because Islam is not practised here. Dhaka was known as the 'city of masjids' for decades long before Operation Searchlight was launched by the butcher Pakistan Army on the pretext that Islam was in danger here. A Muslim should base his decision on facts, not on the life-saving lie of the 1971 murderers; for now after 38 years they fear that their game is up.

Allah swt says in the Qur'an, '...Take not life, which God has made sacred, except by way of justice and law.' (6:151). In Islam, therefore, the death penalty can be applied by a court as punishment for the most serious of crimes. Ultimately, one's eternal punishment is in God's hands, but there is a place for punishment in this life as well. Islamic philosophy holds that a harsh punishment serves as a deterrent to serious crimes that harm individual victims, or threaten to destabilize the foundation of society. According to Islamic law (in the verse quoted above), the following two crimes can be punishable by death: (a) intentional murder, (b) spreading mischief in the land.

The Qur'an legislate the death penalty for murder, although forgiveness and compassion are strongly encouraged. The murder victim's family is given a choice to either insist on the death penalty, or to pardon the perpetrator and accept monetary compensation for their loss (2:178). [www.islam.about.com] The families of the 1971 victims have been parading the streets of independent (alas!) Bangladesh, going from door to door, and pleading with politicians, for nearly forty years demanding by way of 'justice and law' punishment for the murderers of their near and dear ones.

Were the murders by Al Badr, Al Shams, and Razakars not intentional?

Did not they spread mischief in the land by treachery, betrayal, and plain lies?

Will our government please send special emissaries to Islamic countries (our regulars have failed miserably) explaining the role of today's sadhu sanyasis?


Cartoon by Tanmoy

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