In recent years, many of the Muslim nations are continuing to term those who participated in the war in Afghanistan as terrorists, in the state-owned and private media, Afghan warriors continue to be termed as ‘Mijahid’ [member of Holy War]..
Mujahid is originally, "someone who struggles". Even in Arabic, the term has taken on meanings that are specifically religious - or, in particular, military or paramilitary, or both.
Muslim nations, irrespective of their geological locations, language or culture, consider armed militants in Kashmir, the Palestinian territories, Afghanistan and other parts of the world as members of a Holy War. Some nations, including Bangladesh have recently accepted the fact that those who fought in the Afghan War are terrorists. Despite this recent change in strategy, there is no change in the official terminology of those militants who continue to be in the fields of militancy. Bangladesh’s present so-called secularist government also considers Afghan, Palestine, Kashmir etc militants as Mujahids.
Dhaka, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina looks for excellent relations with India, United States and rest of the non-Muslim world. But the Dhaka goverment possibly fail to realize the fact that, by terming Kashmiri or Afghan or Palestinian militants as Members of Holy War, they in fact, deem them to be undependable and dubious.
Bangladesh, during the recent actions by various mega-terror groups including Hamas and Hezbollah, continued with all its zeal and enthusiasm, tremendous propaganda in favor of these notorious outfits. Hamas and Hezbollah enjoy the status of noble organizations both within the government as well as the majority of the media. Terror-patron nations like Iran give further encouragement and instigation to such senseless notions of the Bangladeshi rulers and people by continuing various forms of activities, mostly designed at fueling anti-West and anti-Semitic notions.
It was also reported that Iran has continued to place huge amounts of funding behind terror groups, such as Hizb Ut Tahrir and others for decades. The Cultural Section of the Iranian Embassy in Dhaka is known to have been the contact point of Islamist militants and the Iranian regime for years.
In the name of observing ‘Al-Quds Day’ or other similar events by the Iranian embassy or its cultural center, several local intellectuals as well as government officials and politicians are regularly invited to attend and give anti-Semitic and anti-West statements. During the recent past interim government in Bangladesh, a senior official of Ministry of Foreign Affairs attended such function and openly proposed elimination of Israel from the global map.
Bangladeshi politicians, irrespective of their political ideologies, continue to express solidarity with the militants in Afghanistan, the Palestinian Territories, and Kashmir, etc. Although Dhaka now is visibly set to combat Islamist militancy, there is no change in such notions and attitudes of the government, or of the state-controlled or privately owned media in Bangladesh.
Most of the Western media, while catering to the Muslim nations, too, never term the militants in Afghanistan and the Palestinian Territories in particular as terrorists. They also try to cope with the popular notion for the sake of protecting their business interests.
The present government in Dhaka has actively turned to combating Islamist militancy. This is good. But why they are keeping their lips tight on the issue of Leftist Militancy, which is also growing in strength every day with the help and patronage of various figures and organizations?
The Bangladesh government recently confessed that Islamist militants have penetrated the militia and law enforcing agencies. This surely should be sensational news. But we should also rewind our memories to another dimension of the entire issue. During 1996-2001, when Awami League government was in power, it announced a general amnesty for the leftist terrorists and their kingpins around the country. Following that announcement, thousands of leftist terrorists surrendered their arms to the government. It was also reported in the media that a large section of such former leftist terrorists were recruited in Ansar [one of the law enforcing agencies in Bangladesh]. Some were also recruited in police.
Later, during a mutiny by Ansars, it was revealed that the masterminds behind the mutiny had been recruited from leftist terror outfits in Bangladesh. There was a report that several members of leftist terror groups, after joining Ansar, fled with arms and ammunition and realigned with terror outfits.. This matter was never investigated and there was no hunt to apprehend those fled Ansars who looted arms and ammunition and rejoined the leftist terror outfits in Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh government is putting maximum focus on exposing the potential threat of Islamist militancy in the country. Extra security measures have been taken within the office of the Prime Minister and the Presidential Palace to combat possible terror attacks. There is also news about extra precautions within the cantons in Bangladesh to combat possible offensives from the Islamist militant groups.
The newly appointed Commissioner of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police [DMP] asked the members of the law enforcement agency to remain vigilant against any militant actions and guard the educational institutions, especially English middle schools and colleges in the capital city.
Later, at a meeting with the principals and representatives of the English middle and missionary schools in the capital, DMP Commissioner Shahidul Haque requested the schools’ management and the guardians of students to remain alert to the threats from any militant organizations, and to enhance their own security measures.
The meeting was convened in anticipation of destructive activities by the outlawed militant organizations; about 200 principals and representatives of different schools attended the two-hour long meeting.
Manju Baroi, principal of YWCA School at Green road, said, ‘Under the situation our own security should be enhanced and the interaction between the teachers and guardians should also be increased.’
The DMP commissioner noted that the security personnel of the schools should thoroughly check the school compounds, including the classrooms, before the start of school hours, ensure safe food and drinking water at the internal canteen or stores; keep watch over strangers, beggars, hawkers, and any abandoned objects or cars parked for long hours around the school.
With this sudden meeting between the management of English middle and missionary educational institutions and police in Dhaka, there emerged a growing panic in the minds of the students and guardians, who fear a sudden attack at any time.
“This is a strange situation, and we do not know how the law enforcing agencies will combat it.”
On condition of anonymity, a teacher with country’s leading English medium school said, “Commerce Minister Lt. Col. Faruk Khan already said that militants have penetrated the law enforcement and militias. Under this reality, how we can be sure that those members of law enforcement agencies or militias deployed to guard our students and institutions won’t ultimately turn into the in-house ghosts?”