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Brotherhood of Wolves

December 29, 2012

Every year cyclones strike the coastal areas of Bangladesh. But they originate hundreds of miles away in deep sea. They are small and less harmful at early stage, but they gradually become gigantic and a destructive force. At the end, they unleash their wreath on lives and livelihoods of coastal areas.

The recent referendum in Egypt is a distant storm, which at this moment seems nothing to do with our lives in Bangladesh.

The voter turnout was 30%. But there were irregularities. What is interesting is that in this kind of referendum fake votes have never been discounted. So 64%, including fake votes, of 30% cast votes opted for a Sharia based constitution. They represent a minuscule section of the Egyptian society.

So, current constitution reflects the will of a small group, not all Egyptians.

It is widely known that Muslim Brotherhood has links with Al-Qaida. Brotherhood ideology is similar to that of Bangladeshi Islamist groups. They all preach to use jihad to establish sharia law.

Even Brotherhood leader Syed Qutub was an admirer of Maududi, founder of Jamaat-i-Islami and an avid reader of his jihadi literature.

Brotherhood tried to start a sharia based financial model in Egypt, but Egyptians and president Gamal Abdul Naser rejected that model. However, Jamaat implemnted that model in Bangladesh in the name of Islami Bank Bangladesh. This bank’s link with terrorist groups is widely known.

But why is US so quiet to the assumption of Egyptian presidency by Muslim Brotherhood? Is wild rumor like Brotherhood factions in Al-Qaida helped US to get Bin Laden as part of a secret deal completely unfounded?

Former CIA director Michael Hayden shed some light on that. Just after the Benghaji attack, prominent journalist Fareed Zakaria sought Mr. Hayden’s assessment on the impact of so called ‘Arab Spring’.

Mr. Hayden said:

Fareed, we’ve been very successful in what an American military man would call the close battle, dealing with jihadists who are already convinced that they want to kill us. We have not been successful in what I would call the deep battle, and that’s the production rate of jihadists who want to kill us in a year or in five years. Despite all the near-term and probably medium-term turbulence that this Arab awakening has created, it has set in motion a dynamic that gives us the possibility – and, Fareed, this is not a sure thing – that gives us the possibility that we could begin to have some influence on the deep fight.

US think if Islamists assume power in Egypt and are tasked with different responsibilities, if they hold responsible to people and international community, then they will stop blaming US for everything going on around them. It will at the same time ensure a firm US grip on the deep battle.

But this line of thinking is very wrong. Bangladesh can be cited as an example. In 2001, BNP formed an alliance with Islamist parties including Jamaat-i-Islami. During their rule, Islamists spread their network and penetrated deep into various government organizations. They used terrorism to achieve political objectives. They used Bangladesh’s soil, infrastructure to groom would-be jihadist and to incite jihad in neighboring countries.

Just look at our society. Before 2001, you could see cultural centers in your neighborhood. Now you can hardly find one. In their place, Islamic schools and cadet madrasas are on the rise.

Time has so changed that nobody questions their acceptance in the society.They even dared to sponsor the World Cup Cricket.

There is no doubt that if Brotherhood govt. stay a long time in power, they will provide all kinds of assistance—monetary, intellectual, material— to the Islamists of other countries. For instance, in Kosovo, Saudi Arabia trained the Islamist rebel group of Syria.

And more recently, the visit of a 14-member Islamist delegation from Turkey is an eye-opener. The perfidious delegation stormed into the tribunal court yard to watch the trial of infamous war criminal Ghulam Azam. According to media reports, they misused the on-arrival visa and the local Turkish embassy kept the government in the dark about their true purpose.There are speculations that Turkish envoy to Bangladesh might be expelled. And the subsequent letter of Turkish president sent to his Bangladeshi counterpart added salt to the injury. The letter sought mercy for war-criminals and contains phrases like “sake of peace in the society”. Clearly, it carries a nuanced threat. Just like the video message of Al-Qaida leaders. Consequently, the visit and the letter have severely strained the relations between the two countries.

There is a Red Indian proverb that says our present is borrowed from the future. If we fail to make a livable secular world for our future generation, they will never forgive us.

It is difficult to track a cyclone, but we know the objectives of Islamists and the way they work. Mass awareness and a sustain campaign can prevent their rise.

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