Friday, February 15, 2019

Abdur Razzaq resigns from Jamaat-e-Islami over party’s failure to apologise for 1971 role

The top leader of the Islamist party, who held the position of assistant secretary general, issued a media statement after sending his letter of resignation from the UK to the Jamaat-e-Islami chief Maqbul Ahmed. 
Five days after the 2013 execution of Quader Molla, a war criminal and Jamaat leader better known as the ‘Butcher of Mirpur’, Razzaq left Bangladesh for the UK. A British citizen, he has since been living in London.   
His letter sent to the Jamaat chief on Friday was confirmed to by his eldest son Barrister Ehsan Siddiq.
“Over the last three decades I have been trying relentlessly to persuade Jamaat to have a frank discussion of the events of 1971, Jamaat’s role in those events and why it decided to support Pakistan and apologise for that decision,” Razzaq wrote in his letter. 
He noted that all his efforts were unsuccessful and that as a result, “those who were born after 1971 and even the many unborn generations who may be associated with Jamaat in future will have to bear this burden.”
The Razzaq resignation also stated that he tried to reform Jamaat “from within” ever since he joined the party that had actively opposed the 1971 Liberation War.
“And I have been continuously striving to achieve that for the last 30 years. I was for structural reform, and full and effective participation of women,” he said. “My reformist views are well known within the party.”
Jamaat was stripped of its registration with the Election Commission by a court that observed its failure to reform its charter in line with the Bangladesh constitution. ?As result, the party members were not able to participate directly in the past two general elections.
In a rebuke to the Jamaat over it reluctance for reform, Razzaq said the young people of Bangladesh are “patriots” who are well-informed of developments in the national and international arena.
“Their potential may best be utilised through a democratic principled party adhering to Islamic values operating within the secular constitution of Bangladesh.
“The failure of Jamaat leadership to restructure the party has sadly convinced me that Jamaat will not be able to fulfil this role.”