An outline of how to ban Jamaat-e-Islami based on international experience

ইফতেখার চৌধুরী's picture
Submitted by iftekhar on Wed, 13/03/2013 - 1:15pm

An attempt at translating this wonderful article "আন্তর্জাতিক অভিজ্ঞতার আলোকে জামাত নিষিদ্ধকরণ রূপরেখা" by হাসিব

For years people have been raising the subject of banning the political party Jamaat-e-Islami. There have been different opinions either for or against banning this party. Those against banning Jamaat-e-Islami are mostly leaders of the party. Leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami make it obvious why they are against this banning. Apart from the leaders, Jamaat sympathizers pose arguments such as:

Jamaat-e-Islami is like any other political party and they have the right to participate in the political arena.
• Banning Jamaat-e-Islami will not work without banning religious based politics.
• There are no examples of banning a party in the democratic world. One of the fundamental elements of Democratic society is freedom of expression.

It can be said against the first argument that Jamaat-e-Islami is not like any other political party. There are ample evidence that proves Jamaat-e-Islami’s crime against humanity along with their opposition to the liberation war of 1971. After independence, they have practiced violent communal politics. It is difficult to compare Jamaat-e-Islami with other political parties because their headquarter is in Pakistan. Second, any progressive citizen will agree that religion based politics should be banned. Thus, there is no harm in starting with Jamaat-e-Islami. Also, it is important people are aware of the fact that religion based politics is harmful. There are very few countries in this world where religion has been completely separated from politics and accomplishing it is a long term process. It is impossible to think that this feat can be achieved within a day. Let us start with banning Jamaat-e-Islami.

Third argument has been given by many political analyst, academics, and politician throughout the years. In reality, no country allows a political party which collaborated (anti-liberation) actively against its existence. If that were true, then there would be an office of Al-Qaeda in the United States of America and a Nazi office in Germany.

This article will outline how to ban Jamaat-e-Islami based on the Nazi experience in Germany and several other European countries that banned anti-liberation political parties.

German Experience

Bangladesh and Germany have a significant historical similarity in that both gave birth to citizens who actively worked against their nation. German Nazi party [1] and Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami share some common characteristic:

• Both party gagged people based on their religious identity, destroyed their home, temples and belongings. Jamaat-e- Islami is still continuing to do so.
• Both party committed crimes against humanity such as murder, rape, arson, & looting on their own countrymen.
• Both party denied and destroyed the representative ideological symbol of the country. In Germany Nazi party changed flag, burned book en masse whereas Jamaat-e-Islami ripped off national flag, destroyed Shaheed Minar (National monument, established to commemorate those killed during the Bengali Language Movement demonstrations of 1952).
• Both party used their signature technique in crimes against humanity. Nazi's used gas chamber, concentration camp (Auschwitz) whereas Jamaat-e-Islami used their notorious slitting vein technique as well as sharp weapons (like Chapati, type of sharp knife) in persecuting religious minorities.

Despite this unfortunate commonality of historically similar terrorist organization, Bangladesh and Germany have a fundamental difference. Germany completed Nazi's trial, and still bringing Nazi's under court of justice whereas Bangladesh has not been able to complete this quest in 40 years. Thanks to the long running legal procedures that enabled Germany to eradicate the party that committed crimes against humanity. It is imperative that Bangladesh learns from the German experience.
It is not uncommon in history for political parties to work against sovereignty, independence, and humanity. States through legal framework curbed the influence of these terrorist parties to a minimum, is also common. Such legal work has been proven to be beneficial. In recent history German experience in eliminating Nazi's is especially noteworthy. During 1930's the Nazi party came to power as an elected political force, but due to continuous anti-Nazi campaign the Nazi influence in Germany is non-existent now.
A draft plan on how to eliminate Nazi influence in post war Germany was prepared even before the final victory was achieved in April 1945. Allied force prepared a basic preliminary plan on this. Under that plan following activities were included. [2][3]
• Dissolve Nazi party. Also dissolve supporting sub-entities of Nazi party like SA (Sturmabteilung) [4], SS (Schutzstaffel) [5], and HJ (Hitler Jugend) [6]. [Note: 1]
• Expunge all the sections that reflect Nazi ideology from German constitution, law, regulation, and amendment.
• Rename park, road, walk way, government and non-government organization, that were named after people who supports or supported Nazi ideology. Destroy any structure or monument that represents Nazi ideology. Remove or erase "Swastika" [Nazi symbol] sign from everywhere.
• Arrest all the high ranked Nazi personnel. Forfeit properties, accounts owned or looted by Nazi party and its associate organizations.
• Stop pensions and other benefits for Nazi's.
• Arrest Nazi leaders, influential supporters, and other citizens who are considered threat to allied forces. Bring five associated organizations along with Nazi supporters under trial. These organizations are Nazi Party Leadership Corps [7], Gestapo [8], SS [5], SD (Sicherheitdienst) [9], the Reich Cabinet [10], the German General Staff and High Command [11] and SA (Sturmabteilung) [4].
• Remove all Nazi leaders, activists, and supporters from government, semi-government, and non-government positions. This continuation was later known as removal-from-office program. All government and semi-government employees under Nazi rule were given a fragebogen (questionnaire) to determine their eligibility to work in a non-Nazi environment.
• Nazi propaganda is not allowed to be published or aired (radio, television etc.) in any media that includes entertainment, theater, education, and religion. Nazi supporters are not allowed to work in any media.
• Nazi parade and music is not allowed in any broadcast media, along with public display of "Swastika" (Nazi symbol).

In April 1945, detailed denazification program was drafted by Joint Chief of Staff directive (1067/6). [Note-1: Annex A, page 14-16] The Yalta conference [12] or sometimes known as Crimea conference held February 4–11, 1945, was the World War II meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union. In this conference, head of the states of the Allied force came to agreement and announced denazification plan. Detailed denazification program [Note-1] was announced at the Potsdam Conference [13] in July 1945. Same type of denazification program was taken in all the conquered areas like United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and France. Main purpose of this denazification program was:

• Elimination of all Nazi ideology and activity from Germany
• Elimination of Nazi ideology from economic, cultural and educational system.
• As a pre-caution keep German Military capability under control (Morgenthau Plan) [14]
• Re-structure of the Social and Political system
• Re-structuring of the Judiciary system [Note-2]

To effectively realize this denazification program whole Germany was restructured. By removal of Nazi supporters & officials from government & non-government offices, through confiscation of property, economic and social power of Nazi ideology was bought down to zero. Even after the completion of denazification program German legal system conserves any rise of Nazism. German constitution (Grundgesetz) [15] is not politically non-partisan rather proactive to protect the basic principles of the state. German constitution use the word, “Freiheitlich demokractische Grundordnung” [16] to represent "free democratic basic order", which is protected by different means. German constitution limits [17] the fundamental rights of a person or organization that poses threat to this free democratic basic order. Limited rights are:

• Freedom of Press [18]
• Freedom of teaching and research [19]
• Freedom of assembly and association [20]
• Freedom of profession and property ownership [21]

Western media, foreign consulate, and other international humanitarian organization always preach us on free and open democracy. To understand this openness we need to look at other European countries which conservatively prevent any rise of fascist or Nazi politics. Most European countries have laws against these terrorist organizations and their right to express. Freedom of speech doesn't give the right to say or do whatever one wants [22] [23].

European experience

Most of the European and other established democracies don't allow a political party or organization that goes against the core principles of country. Table-1 below summarizes a list of political parties that were banned in Europe.

One noteworthy thing here is banning political parties is not limited to or centered around World War II time frame. We see parties that were banned in recent times as well. We see countries ban political parties at nascent stages of democracy as well as at fully matured stage. So democratic countries don't ban political party is not a correct statement to begin with.

Case of Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh

Jamaat-e-Islami has proven more than once that it doesn't believe in the sovereignty and independence of Bangladesh. In fact, recent and past history shows that Jamaat-e-Islami is a terrorist organization. Recently, Jamaat-e-Islami vandalized government properties, destroyed railway and road communication, burned down electrical power station, destroyed more than fifty Hindu Temples, and killed law enforcement officers. In the light of all these, a call to ban Jamaat-e-Islami is stronger than ever [25].

There are three different ways Government can ban Jamaat-e-Islami:
1. By issuing circular from Ministry of State by using The Special Powers Act 1974 [26]. Hizb ut-Tahrir was banned this way in 2009 [27]. There were also talks of banning 14 more parties (7 Islamist, 7 Maoist) under same jurisdiction [28].
2. Apply through the traditional legal path or form a Special Tribunal (Anti-terrorism Act 1999, section 28) [29] to ban Jamaat-e-Islami.
3. President can issue an ordinance or a bill can be introduced in Parliament. Current parliament can pass the proposed bill by virtue of majority.

All of the above ways are allowed and legal under section 38 of Bangladesh Constitution [30]. Also traditional legal system and anti-terrorism act can be used to thwart the financial source and media/publication of Jamaat-e-Islami.

Other than legal system, election commission can also disqualify Jamaat-e-Islami to participate in general election. In that case, Jamaat can continue its activity without participating in election process or they can open another party with different name to take part in the electoral process. So it is imperative that Jamaat-e-Islami party and its ideologies are banned once and for all. Like the denazification process, a long term program has to be taken to expunge and eliminate all Jamaat ideology from our social, economic, and educational system. Key components are:

Jamaat-e-Islami should be banned as an organization.
• Leaders of Jamaat need to be disqualified to participate in any level of political arena, to make sure they do not come back with a different banner.
• Financial sources of Jamaat, needs to be identified. Government should take over the assets and remove the top officials from the organization. Also, top officials should be under constant scrutiny in their future venture.
Jamaat-e-Islami publication and broadcast media should be under government control.
• Jamaat ideological influence should be reduced to zero in economic, judiciary, and educational system. Correct history of 1971 Liberation War should be part of school and college curriculum. Schools and Colleges should take students in educational tours to places of historical importance for our liberation war like Rayerbazar, Rajar bag, Liberation war museum, & Shaheed Minar etc. Jamaat leaders and supporters should be purged from administrative and judiciary system. Our religious education system should also be purged of Jamaat supporters.

Jamaat-e-Islami politics looks toward Pakistan as a role model. It is imperative to eliminate this politics of religious hatred and terrorism if we want a country free of religion based politics.


Note- 1
Denazification (Cumulative Review) Report of the Military Governor (April 1, 1947- April 30, 1948) Annex G (Pg. 44-45)
PDF doc.

Note- 2
List of laws that were implemented in United States occupied territory

[2] Annex XXXIII, Basic Preliminary Plan Allied Control and Occupation of Germany (Control Council Period) 15 Feb. 1945
[3] Denazifying the Nazis, The Review of Politics, V019, Issue 02, April 1947, pp 153-172, Cambridge University Press 1947
[15] German Constitution
[17] German Constitution, section 18
[18] German Constitution, section 5(1)
[19] German Constitution, section 5(3)
[20] German Constitution, section 8 & 9
[21] German Constitution, section 12 & 14 ,
[24] Decomcratisation and the Illegalisation of Political Parties in Europe, Angela K. Bourne, Published in: working paper series on the legal regulation of political parties, no. 07, February., Date of publication: 2011
[26] The Special Powers Act, section 20
[27] Hizb ut-Tahrir banned
[28] 14 more in the list with Hizb ut-Tahrir
[29] Anti-terrorism Act 2009
[30] Constitution of Bangladesh, section 38

More reference:
[a] German Constitution, section 79(3)
[b] German Constitution, section 21(2)
[c] German Constitution, section 9(2)
[d] German Constitution, section 46(3)


বাউলিয়ানা's picture

Great work.

I would like to request for a second thought on the title of the article. Title may be given as "Banning Jamaat-E-Islami: from International Perspective "

einstein's picture

Just my thought regarding the title..

এস এম মাহবুব মুর্শেদ's picture


Afroza13's picture

Really great work! Puts a lot of things into perspective.

মহা_পুরুষ's picture

"Another precedent is Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution: "Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability." This banned *individuals* who had served in the US Government before the Civil War, and then supported the Confederacy."

Suggested by Allan Massie, Faculty, Johns Hopkins University, USA

jamaltousif's picture

Great article, a lot of effort went into data collection, all of which I feel is true. In the same light, can you also site some examples of banning of religion based politics in some Asian countries with a Muslim majority population? This article is essentially flawed in the fact that while Nazism was considered a parasite unanimously in German, many in Bangladesh (which is around 5% of the population) feel the need of religion in politics. Thats why they get the votes in every election. By banning, we are only taking away their choice of vote, hence democracy to them is negated. Hence you still have the religious based political groups in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.

এস এম মাহবুব মুর্শেদ's picture

The problem with your logic is also very obvious. Not 100% of the Germans disliked Nazis. Nazis would probably get vote in similar percentage as Jamaat's. But that does not mean the Nazi ban discriminated those people or democracy.

Rather than the number of vote, focus on the problems Jamaat poses to the democracy itself. Focus on the atrocities they committed. Focus on the number of people they killed. If you add the number of people who were negatively affected by Jamaat, it will probably be a higher number than the people that vote for them.

এস এম মাহবুব মুর্শেদ's picture

BTW, the post talks about Jamaat-e-Islami, NOT Islamic parties in general. This diversion is not healthy in a rational discussion.

অতিথি লেখক's picture

Indeed its a nice initiative. But I wanted not only to ban Jamaat-e-Islami but also to ban all politician of Jamaat-e-Islami and Chatra Shibir. I know its a violation of fundamental rights but they have no right to engage in politics...


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