Sunday, March 05, 2006

Highlights 6th March 2006

Bangladesh strikes back

A very offensive and fictitious commentary article on Bangladesh by Arnaud de Borchgrave was published in the Feb. 18 Commentary pages, under the headline, "Cry for me Bangladesh." Mr. Borchgrave first published the same article in the World Peace Herald (WPH) on Feb. 16, under the headline "Bangladesh fallen victim to Islamists."

The author's two pieces were headed differently, but the contents are the same, which reinforces descriptions published of him as a "disinformation guru" bracketed with "fraudulent journalists." This also suggests Mr. Borchgrave's article is a highly motivated figment of his twisted imagination.

Not only is the commentary totally skewed and seriously uninformed, it is fraught with falsehood and untruths. He did not provide an accurate perspective of the situation in Bangladesh or globally.

It is now well known to anyone that terrorism is a global phenomenon. Like many other countries in the world, Bangladesh had become a victim of some unscrupulous elements who carried out despicable acts. The prime minister is herself on record speaking strongly on this issue, both inside the country and internationally, not just denouncing terrorism in the strongest terms, but also describing the terrorists as enemies of Islam and of mankind as a whole.

She was the lone leader of a Muslim majority country to have appealed to the members of the Organization of Islamic Conference to pledge against granting perpetrators of such despicable acts any space in their territory. Her words have since been followed by actions.

It is also a matter of record that the government of Bangladesh has acted resolutely and effectively to hunt down perpetrators of terrorist acts and bring them to justice as provided by the law of the land. The death sentences imposed recently on 22 Jamatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) cadres for their involvement in the terrorist bombings of Aug. 17, 2005, is clear evidence of the government's commitment to punish the culprits. The Bangladesh Government is now in the final stage of formulating a comprehensive counterterrorism law that will make the activities of the perpetrators extremely difficult, if not impossible.

The prime minister is not alone. She enjoys the support of the mass of the Bangladesh people who have spontaneously responded with full support in speaking out against the extremists. These include religious leaders and imams of the mosques in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has contained and eliminated extremists from a sense of its own deep commitment to this objective and to ensure social harmony. This was clearly demonstrated at the recent Conference on Interfaith Harmony in Dhaka.

The Bangladesh government's action in fighting terrorism, both through domestic measures and by joining all international efforts, has been widely recognized. President Bush has said as much in a recent letter to Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, delivered personally by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca.

Thus, for Mr. Borchgrave to say the U..S assistant secretary of state
flew to Dhaka at the end of January to convey U.S. alarm to government leaders coupled with a stern warning" of "sanctions under the U.S. Terrorist Financing Act"
is nothing but sheer fantasy, specially when he himself was not physically present in Bangladesh. Not only did the U.S. assistant secretary convey her government's appreciation, she described Bangladesh "as a shinning example of one of the few Muslim democracies,",adding "Bangladesh stands out as a model in this part of the world."

As part of the U.S. administration's policy on fighting terror and spreading democracy, the U.S. assistant secretary of state sought assurances from all for a level playing field and free and fair elections at the scheduled time and for sustaining the campaign against extremists and terrorists.

It would not be out of place here to inform Mr. Borchgrave of the commitment and resilience of the government and the people of Bangladesh in ensuring sustained socioeconomic growth while preserving democratic governance and political stability. This has resulted in Bangladesh's high ranking by global economic institutions in the areas of women empowerment, education and health.

Mr. Borchgrave should know that in a society like Bangladesh where empowerment of women has become so deeply entrenched, there is no scope for radicalism.

The very term "micro credit" was born in Bangladesh. And over the years millions of disadvantaged families, especially women, have overcome poverty through this. The concept of micro credit has now been replicated in many countries of the world, including the United States.

Presented above are hard and empirical facts. And ill motive on anyone's part can undermine or deny what Bangladesh and its people have achieved. Using distortions to serve one's own interest and frame of mind is pure dishonesty and does not equate with professionalism expected of a journalist. Mr. Borchgrave would be well advised to take note.

SHEIKH MOHAMMED BELAL
Counsellor-1(Political)
Embassy of the People's Republic of Bangladesh

Washington Times 5th March 2006

The Fourth Rail on Shaikh Abdur Rahman

CNN irresponsibly obscures Rahman’s ties to al-Qaeda,
“According to the security official, Bangladeshi security forces have been searching for Rahman since August and believe that he has ties with al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.
The fact is Rahman is intricately tied to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, as reported here last January;
“Abdur Rahman is not your run-of-the-mill local Islamist terrorist leader. Rahman is one of the select signatories to the 1998 fatwa that created the International Islamic Front, the umbrella group of Islamist terrorist groups that declared war on the West. The signatories include: Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri [amir of the Jihad Group in Egypt and second in command of al-Qaeda], Abu-Yasir Rifa'i Ahmad Taha [amir of the Egyptian Islamic Group] and Mir Hamzah [secretary of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Pakistan].”
Thomas Joscelyn dissects the 1998 fatwa and explains its importance in light of events in today's fight against al-Qaeda.

While Rahman’s capture is a high profile arrest and a defeat for al-Qaeda, Grim warns his arrest could lead to the destabilization of Bangladesh, as the opposing political parties of the Awami League and Jamaat-e-Islami descend into destructive political fighting, strikes, the crippling of Bangladesh’s nascent democracy, and the creation of a failed state in which al-Qaeda can flourish. The Awami League believes Jamaat-e-Islami and the government are behind the terrorism in Bangladesh, while “J-e-I and [Industries Minister] Nizami have maintained that really, it is Indian and Israeli intelligence behind the terrorist campaign.”

Hizbut Tahrir in Bangladesh

Hizbut Tahrir believes one day it will establish the Khelafat State in Bangladesh, not through elections but through a mass movement. Hizbut Tahrir is a political platform professing absolute faith in the rule of Islam. It hasn’t been that long in Bangladesh, but has already evoked a lot of criticism. The mainstream media has also raised questions about Hizbut Tahrir’s objectives and activities. Hizbut Tahrir activists are not sitting idle hoping that some day the Khelafat State will somehow be established in Bangladesh. They are very active and are carrying out mass contact programmes extensively. The organization is banned in a number of countries of the Middle East, Central Asia and Europe, but has managed to spread its roots quite firmly in Bangladesh. In fact, the party has earned acceptance among many, including in the educated and civil society. Chief Coordinator and Spokesman of Hizbut Tahrir’s Bangladesh chapter Mohiuddin Ahmed says that the organizational network of the party has not yet found a firm footing all over the country. Other than in Dhaka, there are one or two members of Hizbut Tahrir in Comilla, Sylhet and Chittagong who are organizing the party programs there, Ahmed says. Hizbut Tahrir’s activities also run in some 17 more districts, but there is no organizational network there as yet. "We are going slow," Ahmed says. Hizbut Tahrir Bangladesh’s media and publicity secretary Mustafa Minhaj says, "We will not be surprised if a Khelafat State is established in one or two countries in the world including Bangladesh. Prevailing global circumstances have all indications of this," he observes....more in PROBE

Debunking the Bogus Secularism of India

Body and soul of India are being ravaged every day by divisive and sectarian plans in the name of secularism. Bogus secularism has already brought enough havoc. Let it not destroy India. All genuinely secular individuals and organizations must force the government to follow a nationalist agenda, and give up its sectarian and divisive plans. In a truly secular polity, there are no concepts of majority and minority. A really secular set-up gives same rights to all the citizens irrespective of their religion. It is a fact of life that those who behave like sheep are eaten by the wolves. And tender toes always get trampled upon. Will the drum beaters and chorus singers of fake 'secularism' hear any voice of sanity? Spurious secularism has to be debunked to liberate India from crores of Pak-Bangla infiltrators, terrorists, anti-national elements and all other oddities touted as secularism....more in VivekaJyoti

Indo-US high sea patrolling in offing


Indian and US naval forces will conduct regular joint patrolling in the high seas but especially in the India Ocean maritime areas against terrorism and narcotic and arms smuggling. During US president George W.Bush’s visit to India, both sides agreed that threats from the high seas had risen over the last few years, which numbered in excess of one thousand three hundred incidents last year....more in News Insight

Who the hell is Bidisha?

Haven’t we had enough of widows, daughters, Prince and what else have you... and now this? What was most perplexing in your front page ‘offering’ of 24 February 2006 is how could a magazine of your esteem espouse the long hated ‘leadership by default’ culture in our national politics – and expect your readers to ‘fall for it’? I mean who the hell is this Bidisha?

Former girlfriend/mistress and ‘supposed wife’ of the hated ex-dictator HM Ershad, who no sane human being can either have any respect or admiration being the first order of business here. Let us for a moment forget Bidisha’s ex-Brit husband, or her daughter Isabelle or that she is among a brood of women in awful taste who live in Dhaka, go shopping abroad – come back loaded with cheap goods which they then sell at rip-off prices at so-called boutiques, and then they lay claim that they are ‘designers’. Of course they have certificates from one ‘foreign institution’ or the other, but put to test, their designing skill will leave us laughing for sure.

Thus stripped bare (not literally!) Bidisha in her to-be published autobiographical tell-all “Memories of My Husband’s Whores” fits the perfect epitome of the jilted, kicked-about ‘Madame Young Young’.

In the interview she contradicts herself about twenty times, her ‘intelligence’ is that of an under-matriculate, her thinking and mannerism no better than a domestic help, her ‘looks’ worryingly drab, dull and boring (she ain’t no Marilyn Monroe folks). And despite all her claims of living abroad and seeing the world, it’s a sad commentary that in essence she remains a conceited, plastic polyvinyl lady, perhaps the fantasies of Bangladesh’s undersexed women, or the ejaculatory mental aphrodisiac of overheated sex-starved men of all ages. Taslima Nasreen as recent history will tell us, didn’t fare too well, did she?

All fine – but on the flip side there is a great danger lurking, one of LEGITIMACY. She claims she doesn’t remember the many times she married Ershad or vice versa, also there is this Kazi from Jinjira (where all fake and spurious goods are manufactured anyway) – but there is no disputes about the fact that Eric is ‘their son’.

Similarly Raushan does not dispute Bidisha that Ershad is VIRILE, quite an accomplishment at his age, if true?! What however goes beyond any reasonable doubt is he is certainly impotent, a classic case of “the flesh is willing but the flash is weak”, as the ‘birth’ of his two so-called son/s were under very controversial circumstances.

Will PROBE kindly ‘probe deep’into the matter? Ershad may then be forced to abandon politics for good – FOR LIFE.

Good Riddance at last?

Maqsoodul Haque (Mac),Niketon, Dhaka

PROBE

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