Leaving Islam





Spewing venoms in the airwaves: Mullahs glorify Jihad in Bangladeshi TV


by Dr. Shabbir Ahmed


We 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.

In 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.


The 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.  


Dr. Shabbir Ahmed, a research engineer, writes from Jacksonville, Florida, USA.  His e-mail address is - [email protected]





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