The vicious circle of terrorism and war on terror continues and now affects almost everybody on the globe, from the theatres of war in the Middle East to peaceful cities in the West.
Since 9/11 terrorists attacks in US and in spite of the invasion and bombing of two of the most already impoverished countries in the world namely Afghanistan and Iraq, at a great military cost that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and now after 14 years of war on terror, the threat of terrorism has increased. It is amazing how our politicians suffering from tunnel vision have failed to effectively address the threat of terrorism during these long years. They have not looked at the big picture, that prevention is better than cure, eliminate the causes that lead to terrorism.
One of the root causes of violence and thereby terrorism is oppression, injustice and lack of respect for human rights in the Muslim World and till people in those countries facilitated by the international community take responsibility to address these issues, we all will be victims to the on going phenomenon of terrorism. We all have high stakes to beat the scourge of international terrorism since it potentially affects all of us, our children our neighbours and our daily living in fear of it.
The Muslim world suffers from internal oppression by its own ruling elites and external aggression by world powers leading to extremism, intolerance and violence. One group based either on ethnicity, sect or language is set upon other groups egged on by external forces with devastating effect. This scenario is being staged in a number of countries particularly Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Afghanistan.
Largely Muslims want to live by Islam peacefully with freedom with representative rule. A number of Islamic movements have tried to establish democratic governments, but have been prevented to do so by oppressive ruling elites in collaboration with world powers. This has happened in the past in Turkey, Algeria, Palestine, Syria, Iraq Afghanistan and recently in Egypt. The leadership of these movement has been eliminated by killing, exile or imprisonment, thereby leaving the followers to be leaderless some of whom in desperation have resorted to violence.
Oppression of Islamic political parties
Egypt has been a classical case where for more than a century, the highly popular Islamic movement Ikhwan-ul- Muslimoon (Muslim Brotherhood) was oppressed for more than half a century where its highly educated, professional and peaceful leadership was assassinated, hanged, tortured imprisoned or exiled. Finally when with free and fair democratic elections, it came to power, it was deposed by the Egyptian military killing thousand of its supporters and imprisonment of tens of thousands.
The other country matching Egypt in its ruthlessness against the Islamic movement to some extent, currently is Bangladesh. The Awami League government led by Sheikh Hasina who was re-elected earlier this year in polls boycotted by the opposition parties (voter turnout 22%), is carrying out a politically motivated witch hunt of the leadership of the Jamaat Islami political party. The government has dug up the emotive issue of the bloody split of Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh back in 1971 by establishing a special tribunal to try Jamaat’s aging leadership.
The political elites and military dictators of Pakistan disfranchised and discriminated against East Pakistanis and denied the Bengali leader, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the prime ministership of the country. This eventually led to great resentment among Bengalis and with oppression and atrocities committed by the Pakistani army and with India using the opportunity to split Pakistan, Bengalis opted to create an independent state of Bangladesh.
The Jamaat initially campaigned against the breakup of Pakistan and are now being severely punished for their stand and tried for war crimes. The Jamaat’s chief till 2000, Professor Ghulam Azam, passed away on 23 October while serving a 90 year prison sentence and its chief since 2000, Motiur Rahman Nizami was handed a death sentence on 29 October.
Bangladesh like Egypt is a poor country but just like Egyptians, Banglashis are highly intelligent and creative people and its sad to see their societies being at war with each other leading towards the path to self destruction.