can watch private TV channels NTV and Channel I from anywhere in the
United States these days. After watching TV programs in Bengali for
last few days, I find that the technical quality of the programs have
increased remarkably. There are a number of cultural and discussion
programs broadcasted in these channels. It is interesting to watch
that the Mullahs of Bangladesh have found their way to disseminate their
thoughts on Islam through these channels.
Just two days ago, while I started Channel I, I found that a Mullah
was explaining from the scriptures the “Jihad.” He was saying
that his point of discussion was from “Kitabul Jihad.” I assumed
that “Kitabul Jihad” is a book on Jihad. I paid much attention
to what the Mullah had to say about Jihad.
the post 9-11 world, the term Jihad is under an intense scrutiny. A
good number of western educated Islamic Chintabids (thinkers) and
other defenders of Islam have been trying their best to interpret Jihad as
a kind of self-struggle against evil motives, greed, etc. They want
to bring softness to the meaning of Jihad as a part of their effort to
soft sell Islam. I am not sure whether they have been able to
conceal the kernel of Jihad, which centers on violence.
The Mullahs and Islamists alike very often justify their violent
mission emphasizing the need to join the Jihad to establish political
Islam and barbaric Sha’riah Laws. In general, most the Mullahs
have not changed their posture regarding Jihad.
Thus, Jihad is an integral part of Islam.
They consider all the wars of their prophet as nothing but Jihad
against infidels, apostates, and idol-worshipers. They take pride
for numerous wars their prophet fought during his lifetime. To
follow the footsteps of their prophet, they are not willing to soften
their position in terms of Jihad. It inspires them for fighting wars
like their prophet.
In the post 9-11 world, the soft
sellers of Jihad and political Islam came into surface. I thought
that the soft sellers would be more in the forefront in the so-called
moderate Muslim country – our Bangladesh.
However, contrary to my speculation, the Mullah in Channel I
started saying about the violent form of Jihad that I heard and read many
times in the past. The Mullah emphasized on fighting against Jews
and Christians. In particular, he mentioned the desire of the
prophet to make Arabian Peninsula free of Jews. The mullah regretted
that the prophet could not able to finish the job during his lifetime.
However, he felt pleased that Caliph Omar did finish the work of the
prophet, i.e., killed, and compelled Jews to leave the Arabian Peninsula.
To justify the killings and fighting against Jews and Christians, he cited
a verse from Quran where Allah was telling Muslims not to take Jews and
Christians as friends. The Mullah reminded the Muslims that these
days they are not fighting against Jews and Christians following the
precepts of Allah and his prophet. He, therefore, severely
admonished the Muslims for not following the rules and precepts laid out
in Hadith. According to him, the Jews and Christians have entered
into Muslim countries because the Muslims are not fighting with the spirit
of Jihad approved by Allah and preached by his apostle.
The Madrassah educated Mullahs are
honest about their desire to fight like their prophet imbued with the
spirit of Jihad. The Mullah in channel I of Bangladesh expressed and
preached his sincere desire in the same direction. These programs
help create and encourage Jihadists who would want to fight like their
prophet with the spirit of Jihad. The Mullahs are using the
satellite technology to pollute the minds of secular Bangalee Muslims
through the spirit of Islamic Jihad. Many believe that the
fundamentalist party Jamaat-i-Islam is funding the Mullahs to use media to
spread the spirit of Jihad. Now, they are in power and using their
influence to allow Mullahs for spreading the violent form of Jihadi
Political Islam through TV in Bangladesh. Unlike western educated
Islamic thinkers of Bangladesh, the Madrassah educated Mullahs are
straightforward in their efforts to promote Jihadi brand of political
Islam. Those who know the western educated Islamic thinkers of
Bangladesh well, they will agree with me that most of them are soft on
Jamaat-i-Islam and they try to soft sell political Islam. For the
sake of a political system free of political Islam, both the hard and soft
sellers of "Jihad" should be resisted in Bangladesh.
Bush Administration, which is darn serious about effacing global terrorism
from earth done in the name of Islam, should pay a close attention to the
religious preaching that goes rampant in Bangladesh.
The Mullahs make no bone about telling folks in Bangladesh (and
that includes TV media too) about how to be a true Muslim.
At the same time, they ask people to hate Christians and Jews.
If America applies pressure on the government of Bangladesh, then
Khaleda Administration may tighten screws on Mullahs to do the general
preaching leaving aside the fanning of hatred.
Bangladesh’s economy largely depends on garment products made by
the cheap labor. This is the
best thing that is going on in Bangladesh.
The Mullahs through their hard preaching may wreak havoc amongst a
segment of Bangladesh’s common people who depends directly or indirectly
on garment industries. For
the sake of our impoverished people, the government should rein in the
Mullahs who love to spew venom in the airwaves.
Shabbir Ahmed, a research engineer, writes from Jacksonville, Florida,
USA. His e-mail address is - [email protected]