Editors note: Nargis Rahman is an associate member of Muslim Ummah of North America, Michigan Chapter.
A community gathering for supplications (dua mahfil) was held at Masjid Al-Falah in Detroit on Feb. 12, for Muslims killed, jailed, and missing in Bangladesh, Syria and other countries, said Waliur Rahman.
The supplications came after tension from arrests of six political leaders of Bangladeshâ€™s Jamaat-e-Islami who have been jailed: Ghulam Azom, Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami, Delwar Hossain Sayedee, Ali Ahsan Kader, Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, Abdul Kader Mullah, and two Bangladesh Nationalist Party leaders Salauddin Qauder Chowdhury, and Abdul Alim who is on conditional bail, for war crimes in the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.
Critics said the tribunal is a political tug-of-war among the ruling party Bangladesh Awami League and opposing parties Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jamaat-e-Islami. Awami League came into office in 2009 and pledged to try war criminals from the Liberation. So far no Awami League or ally Jatiya League war criminals have been arrested.
Political mayhem has led to several protests by BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami against Awami League, walk-outs during parliamentary meetings, and fights between the student wings of Jamaat-e-Islami, Islami Chhatra Shibir, and Awami Leagueâ€™s Bangladesh Chhatra League.
On Feb. 4, two students, Al Mukaddas and Waliullah of the Islamic University (who were Shibir) in Bangladesh were reported missing after they were taken off a bus in Savar by Rapid Action Battalion 4, a government agency, according to the bus driver. A RAB 4 representative said he does not know of the arrests according to The Daily Star, a daily Bangla newspaper. They have not been found.
On Feb. 8, two Chittagong University students of Shibir (general secretary of Chhatra League said one of the students was in Chhatra League) were killed after a fight broke out between a member of Shibir and Chhatra League escalated to a battle with iron rods and sticks, reported The Daily Star. About 40 students were injured. The university has been shut down until Feb. 16 to prevent a backlash. The universityâ€™s president of Shibir said police overlooked the fight and did not take action.
The community gathering was sponsored by the non-profit socio-religious group Muslim Ummah of North America, Michigan Chapter.