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The New Crusade

A Blog dedicated to the promotion of the Traditional Roman Catholic Faith in union with HH Benedict XVI, to the preservation of our Traditional Græco-Roman Catholic Civilisation and to the New Crusade against Islam. This Blog is under the Patronage of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Christ our King and His Holy Mother, our Queen and of Santiago Matamoros (St James the Moor-slayer) and the Crusader King, St Louis IX of France.

09 octobre 2005

The Islamic Idea Of "Democracy"

A fascinating article from the Toronto Star (CAN) on threats made to Bangladeshi journalists for daring to write the truth. N.B. that the threats were signed by, among others, leaders of "Jamat-e-Islami Bangladesh, an Islamic political party that is a partner in the ruling federal coalition in Bangladesh"!
Chilling times for journalists

SHAIKH AZIZUR RAHMAN, SPECIAL TO THE STAR, DHAKAA
Chill ran down the spine of Bangladeshi journalist Mizanur Rahman when a neatly folded white cloth symbolizing an Islamic burial shroud tumbled out of the package he received in the mail last month.
An accompanying letter to Rahman, a correspondent for the Dhaka daily Janakantha (People's Voice), said his days were numbered because of his "anti-Islamic" reporting and he would soon need a burial cloth.

Eight other journalists in the southern Satkhira district received white shrouds and death threats on the same day.

The letters were signed with the names of leaders of the outlawed Islamic militant group JMJB (for Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh, or Awakened Muslim Citizens of Bangladesh), the orthodox Islamic movement Ahl-e-Hadith (Followers of Sayings of the Prophet) and Jamat-e-Islami Bangladesh, an Islamic political party that is a partner in the ruling federal coalition in Bangladesh.

The letters threatened that the journalists would be "slaughtered" because their writings were attacking leaders who wanted to transform the country into an Islamist nation.

"We are determined to bring a total Islamic rule in Bangladesh through an armed revolution," the letters said. "You are some of the obstacles on our way to achieve the goals. You are the country's enemies, so you face removal from this Earth."

Of the nine journalists who received the latest death threats, five happened to be Hindus and the letters said they thus had no rights to write on Islamic issues.

Kalyan Banerjee, a Hindu correspondent of popular Dhaka daily Pratham Alo (First Light) said: "In the letter accompanying the kafan (burial shroud), they said to me: Hindu religious functions would not be allowed in Pak Bangla (Holy Bangladesh) and no Hindu would be allowed to vote in next parliamentary election in Bangladesh (and) will be slaughtered if they go for voting."

Banerjee, who exposed growing extremist activities by Muslims in a series of recent reports, said he also received threatening calls on his cellphone.

Along with other groups, JMJB and Ahl-e-Hadith were accused of masterminding the Aug. 17 violence in which more than 400 bombs exploded simultaneously across the country, killing two and injuring more than 200.

Last week, JMJB claimed responsibility for the deadly Oct. 3 courtroom bombings that killed two people and injured more than 50 in three different towns.

Last month, authorities announced a reward equivalent to about $18,000 for information leading to the arrest of underground JMJB chief Siddikul Islam, whose followers want strict Islamic rule in Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority country governed by secular laws.
In the last 10 years, at least 19 journalists have been murdered and more than 800 injured in attacks blamed on groups ranging from Muslim fundamentalists and political parties to government agencies including police.

Dipankar Chakrabarty, editor of the regional Durjoy Bangla (Invincible Bangla), was hacked to death with machetes in the central town of Sherpur in October of last year. Before the attack, he had phoned Reporters Without Borders and said he had been receiving death threats from anonymous callers who demanded he stop reporting on the connection between powerful area politicians and an organized criminal racket.

A banned extremist Maoist group called Purba Bangla Communist Party (PBCP) has claimed responsibility for killing four journalists, all "enemies of the poor", and says more than two dozen reporters remain on its hit list.

Investigative magazine Weekly 2000 executive editor Golam Mortoza, who recently received an anonymous death threat, says a number of politically frustrated former ultra-left Maoist cadres have formed criminal gangs that target the journalists for their reporting on extortion and racketeering.

Agrees Sumi Khan, a Weekly 2000 crime reporter who was stabbed by unidentified assailants last year: "I have been targeted because I reported how religious extremists, criminal mafias and illegal gunrunners were thriving in my area. Such attacks on the media throughout the country are an infringement on the free flow of information."

Khan, who escaped death by a whisker, received the Index/Guardian Hugo Young Award for her courageous journalism in London this year.
Although the greatest threat to Bangladeshi journalists comes from reporting on endemic corruption, spiralling crime and growing religious extremism, some members of the press have been targeted for exposing politicians and their underground activities.

"During election time, the major political parties take help of underground political elements to win over elections," says Naim Islam Khan, president of the Bangladesh Centre for Development, Journalism and Communication.

"Some even take donations from criminal gangs to fund election campaigns, providing protection in exchange," so journalists exposing such politician-criminal connections face threats to their lives.

Although police have registered more than 1,000 cases of violence against journalists in the last 10 years, almost all cases remain unsolved.

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