February 24, 2005


Eating their own words that 'there are no Islamic extremist organization in Bangladesh' the government banned all activities of two militant organizations called Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB: Awakening Muslim) and Jamatul Mujahedin (Group of Fighters). They were accused of the recent series of bomb attacks and killings and the government also arrested Dr Muhammad Asadullah Al Galib, chief of another Islamist militant outfit Ahle Hadith Andolon Bangladesh (Ahab) and many other suspects. Howver the key leaders of the two organizations, namely the notorious Bangla Bhai is still at large. Dak Bangla has extensive coverage on this.

After all the bad news, this was a welcoming relief. I hope the BNP government realizes that had they have done this a couple of years, the law and order situation would not be that bad.

I somehow am not convinced that we will be seeing the end of these groups very soon. Because they are working on a definite blue-print and whom they are benefiting is still to be ascertained. We will be watching how Jamaat-e-Islami is shaping Bangladesh's political future. The opposition leader thinks that the govt. order to arrest Bangla Bhai is a hoax.

In a rather unconventional press-note, the Islami Shariah Council lauded the government ban of the two extremist organizations saying Islam does not permit extremism. It seems they are saying what they do not believe themselves.

Now, was the international pressure and the media coverages bowed Bangladesh government down to these decisions? FOSE (Focus on Sunni Terrorism) says its because of the New York Times coverage. Although Bangladeshi media always covered the Bangla Bhai activities, soon after the coverage the international community became aware of this.


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