Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami previously known as Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh is the largest Islamist political party in Bangladesh, it is one of the biggest Islamic parties on the subcontinent. Jamaat joined the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in an alliance and lead a four-party coalition government during 2001-2006 and held two Ministries in Khaleda Zia’s government. They are an anti-liberation front, who openly tried to stop the liberation of Bangladesh from Pakistan, believing it would have existed better as a dominated Islamic state under Pakistani rule. Several members of the party are alleged to have played a crucial role in the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities during the liberation war such as the organized killing of intellectuals, genocide, and violence against women.
Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh is the third biggest political party in Bangladesh. The organization has a unique position in Bangladesh politics because of its practice of democracy inside the party, the exercise of moral values, and constructive social works. The party is seen as the prime resistance against the sweeping erosion of values in Bangladeshi society. It operates as the main factor in maintaining the country’s excellent communal harmony.
Jamaat was an anti-liberation front that openly tried to stop the independence of Bangladesh from Pakistan, believing it would have existed better as a united Islamic state; it had previously opposed the partition of India. Several of Jamaat-e-Islami’s leadership have been implicated in war crimes surrounding the collaboration with Pakistan during the Bangladesh War of Independence.
The objectives of Jamaat-e-Islami, as per its constitution, are to establish peace in Bangladesh and in the world; to achieve the grace of the Almighty Allah through efforts to establish an Islamic way of life for the greater well-being of mankind.
The core principle of the Jamaat philosophy is that the separation of Bangladesh to form a secular, democratic country was against Islamic law, which is what they believe should be used to govern both Bangladesh and Pakistan. It is also their belief that the Culture of Bengal is heavily influenced by Hinduism and therefore cannot coexist with Islamic law.
First, the driver took me to the Dhaka University area. Saw the brutal scenery, mass killing of men, women, children, livestock. Then went to Nayabazar, sometimes on the road and sometimes on the rickshaws there are dead bodies. Looks like an army is at war with the enemy. I think to suppress the protesters, only the threat of killing was enough, instead of killing. But military advisors in reality have different views of suppressing protests. …Some questions came out to my mind. Will Bangladesh get true independence after being separated from Pakistan by Indian help? 7/8 days passed on this thinking.
Jamaat was banned after the independence of Bangladesh, and its top leaders fled to West Pakistan. The government of Bangladesh also canceled the citizenship of Golam Azam, the chief leader of Jamaat. Azam then moved to London, and other leaders moved to the Middle East. Golam Azam then initiated an activity of ‘Not Accept Bangladesh‘. This activity lasted until 1979 till his return to Bangladesh. Under this, Golam Azam wrote numerous letters to Middle east rich Arab states to not aid Bangladesh in any way. With Rahman’s coup, Jamaat again resumed political activities in Bangladesh. Rahman also allowed Azam to return to Bangladesh as the leader of Jamaat.
The Jamaat-e-Islami party has slowly been losing the confidence of the Bangladeshi public, mainly due to radical ideals as well as its harboring of sympathies towards Pakistan along with the application of the sharia law in the country. It maintains its stance against the creation of Bangladesh with only a little less vigor than before. In the parliamentary elections of December 2008, the Jamaat-e-Islami party was thwarted by the Grand Alliance, garnering less than 5 seats out of the total 300 that constitute the national parliament. This has been a cause for concern to the Four-Party alliance led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, as the Jamaat-e-Islami is their primary political partner.
Although it is generally known as a political party it has a great contribution in disseminating Islamic knowledge through publishing numerous books on Islamic subjects, establishing the Islamic economic system by introducing Islamic banking in the country, serving the distress by operating a large number of hospitals and orphanages.