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Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami
বাংলাদেশ জামায়াতে ইসলামী
Leader Matiur Rahman Nizami
Chairperson Ali Ahsan Mujahid
Spokesperson Allama Delawar Hossain Sayedi
Founded 1976
Headquarters Dhaka, Bangladesh
Ideology Islamism , Bangladeshi Nationalism
Politics of Bangladesh
Political parties

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ জামায়াতে ইসলামী, Bangladesh Islamic Assembly), previously known as Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh [1] (a.k.a 'Jamaat'), is the largest Islamist political party in Bangladesh. It is one of the largest Islamist parties on the subcontinent.

It joined the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in an alliance and a four-party coalition government during 2001-2006 and held two Ministries in Khaleda Zia's government. It is a member of the Four Party Alliance.

Jamaat was an anti-liberation front who openly attempted to stop the independence of Bangladesh from Pakistan, believing it would have existed better as a united Islamic state; it had previously opposed the partition of India. A number of members of the party played a part in the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities during the war, such as in organized killing of intellectuals, genocide against non-Muslims[2] and violence against women[citation needed]. Several of its leaders were then exiled from Bangladesh[citation needed].


History of the party


British India (1941-1947)

see also Jamaat-e-Islami

The Jamaat-e-Islami was founded in pre-partition India by Syed Ab'ul Ala Maududi in 1941. Maududi moved to Pakistan from India after independence and the current party in Bangladesh originated out of the East Pakistan wing of the party. However, Jamaat had opposed the creation of a Pakistan as a separate state for the Muslims of India. While persisting in his anti-Pakistan ideology, Maududi wrote in one of his books, "If we have ever uttered a single word in the favor of creation of Pakistan, it must be proved with references." Therefore Jamaat-e-Islami also did not support the Muslim League, the largest Muslim party, in the core election of 1946.

Pakistan Period (1948 - 1971)

After the creation of Pakistan, Jamaat-e-Islami was divided into separate Indian and Pakistani organizations. Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami originates from the Jamaat wing in then-East Pakistan. Jamaat strongly opposed an independent Bangladesh, which it considered against Islam. Jammat-e-Islami willingly participated in the puppet democratic movement in Pakistan during the Marshal Law Period declared by General Ayub Khan. An all party democratic alliance (DAC) was formed in 1965. Ghulam Azam was one of the members of that alliance that counted Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as reluctant members.[3][4]

One of Jamaat's top leaders Ali Ahsan Al-Mujahidi made the following statement on “Daily Sangram” on October 15, 1971 vociferously declaring their allegiance to Pakistan and opposition to the Liberation War of Bangladesh:

"The youths of the Razakars and al-Badar forces and all other voluntary organizations have been working for the nation to protect it from the collaborators and agents of India. But, recently it was observed that a section of political leaders like ZA Bhutto, Kawsar Niazi, Mufti Mahmud and Asgar Khan have been making objectionable remarks about the patriots."

Formation of paramilitary forces

Ashraf Hossain, a leader of Jamaat's student wing Islami Chhatra Sangha, created the Al-Badr militia in Jamalpur District on 22 April 1971.[5] Current Jamaat leader Matiur Rahman Nizami was the supreme commander of this militia. Ian editorial published on the Daily Sangram on November 14, 1971, Nizami stated that "আমাদের বিশ্বাস, সেদিন যুবকেরা আমাদের সশস্ত্র বাহিনীর পাশাপাশি দাঁড়িয়ে হিন্দু বাহিনীকে পর্যুদস্ত করে হিন্দুস্তানকে খতম করে সারা বিশ্বে ইসলামের বিজয় পতাকা উড্ডীন করবে।" (We believe that our young members will fight side by side with our army to defeat the Hindu forces, and destroy India, and raise the flag of Islam in the whole world").[6]

In May, 1971, Jamaat leader Mawlana Yusuf created the Razakar militia in Khulna. The first recruits included 96 Jamaat party members, who started training in an Ansar camp at Shahjahan Ali Road, Khulna.[7][8]

Bangladesh Period (1978 - present)

Jamaat was banned after the victory of the Mukti Bahini, and its top leaders fled to West Pakistan. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman , first president of Bangladesh also cancelled the citizenship of Golam Azam, the leader of Jamaat. Azam then moved to London, and other leaders moved to the Middle East. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated in 1975, enabling army chief Major general Ziaur Rahman(a former BAKSAL member of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman"Book Source: Tinti sena Obhuthan by Colonel Hamid " ) to seize power. With Rahman's coup, Jamaat again resumed political activities in Bangladesh. Rahman also allowed Azam to return to Bangladesh as the leader of Jamaat.

After the end of military rule in 1990, mass protests began against Azam and Jamaat under war criminal charges headed by Jahanara Imam, an author who lost her two sons and husband in the liberation war. Azam's citizenship was challenged in supreme court as he was holding a Pakistani passport. Due to lack of any credible evidence of war crimes, Bangladesh's supreme court had to allow Azam to have a Bangladeshi passport and continue his political activities. Imam died a few years later of cancer. Recent years have seen a revival in the interest of prosecuting war criminals, many of whom are members of Jamaat-e-Islami, including almost all of its top leaders. This has been a point of serious concern for the party.

Bangladesh police arrested Jamaat-e-Islami chief and former Industry Minister Matiur Rahman Nizami from his residence in the capital in a graft case on 19 May 2008. Earlier, two former Cabinet Ministers of the immediate past BNP-led alliance government, Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan and Shamsul Islam were sent to Dhaka Central Jail after they surrendered before the court.

The Jamaat-e-Islami party has slowly been losing the confidence of the Bangladeshi public, mainly due to radical ideals as well as its harboring of sympathies towards Pakistan. In the parliamentary elections of December 2008, the Jamaat-e-Islami party was thwarted by the Grand Alliance, garnering less than 5 seats out of the total 300 that constitute for the national parliament. This has been a cause for concern to the Four-Party alliance led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, as the Jamaat-e-Islami is their primary political partner.[9]

The Jamaat in parliamentary elections

1973 Parliament Election 1978 Parliament Election 1986 Parliament Election 1991 Parliament Election 1996 Parliament Election 2001 Parliament Election 2008 Parliament Election
Party was banned because of its opposition of Bangladesh independence and collaborated with Pakistan army. Party was allowed to start political activities. Won 10 seats. Won 18 seats. Won 3 seats. Won 18 seats. (took part by forming alliance with 3 other parties.) Won 2 seats.[10](took part by forming alliance with 3 other parties.)

See also


  • "Document of Independence" by Government of Bangladesh.
  • "A betrayal to remember" by A A K Niazi
  • "Jibone Ja Deklam" (What I saw in life) , a biography by Golam Azam
  • "Ma" (Mother) by Anisul haque
  • "The Rape of Bangladesh" by Robert Anthony
  • "Muktir Gaan", documentary by Tareq Masud and Catherine Masud
  • The Nation, "The 'Talibanization' of Bangladesh"

External links


  1. ^ The Daily New Nation, October 21, 2008
  2. ^ 1971 remnants still active in politics, The Daily Star, December 17, 2008.
  3. ^ Azam
  4. ^ Rahman Nizami
  5. ^ Daily Purbodesh, 23 April 1971.
  6. ^ Editorial, Daily Sangram, 14 November 1971.
  7. ^ Daily Pakistan, 25 May 1971.
  8. ^ Daily Azad, 26 May 1971.
  9. ^
  10. ^


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