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Apr
17

U.K. Islamic Leader Facing War Crimes Charges In Bangladesh

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Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin

U.K. media is reporting that Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, an Islamic leader close to the Global Muslim Brotherhood, will be facing war crimes charges in Bangladesh. According to a Daily Telegraph report:

15 Apr 2012 Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, director of Muslim spiritual care provision in the NHS, a trustee of the major British charity Muslim Aid and a central figure in setting up the Muslim Council of Britain, fiercely denies any involvement in a number of abductions and “disappearances” during Bangladesh’s independence struggle in the 1970s. He says the claims are “politically-motivated” and false. However, Mohammad Abdul Hannan Khan, the chief investigator for the country’s International Crimes Tribunal, said: “There is prima facie evidence of Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin being involved in a series of killings of intellectuals. “We have made substantial progress in the case against him. There is no chance that he will not be indicted and prosecuted. We expect charges in June.” Mr Mueen-Uddin could face the death penalty if convicted.  Bangladesh’s Law and Justice Minister, Shafique Ahmed, said: “He was an instrument of killing intellectuals. He will be charged, for sure.” For 25 years after independence from Britain, the country now known as Bangladesh was part of Pakistan, even though the two halves were a thousand miles apart with India between them. In 1971, Bangla resentment at the “colonial” nature of Pakistani rule broke out into a full-scale revolt. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were massacred by Pakistani troops. Mr Mueen-Uddin, then a journalist on the Purbodesh newspaper in Dhaka, was a member of a fundamentalist party, Jamaat-e-Islami, which supported Pakistan in the war. In the closing days, as it became clear that Pakistan had lost, he is accused of being part of a collaborationist Bangla militia, the Al-Badr Brigade, which rounded up, tortured and killed prominent citizens to deprive the new state of its intellectual and cultural elite. The sister-in-law of one such victim, Dolly Chaudhury, claims to have identified Mr Mueen-Uddin as one of three men who abducted her husband, Mufazzal Haider Chaudhury, a prominent scholar of Bengali literature, on the night of 14 December 1971. “I was able to identify one [of the abductors], Mueen-Uddin,” she said in video testimony, seen by The Sunday Telegraph, which will form part of the prosecution case. “He was wearing a scarf but my husband pulled it down as he was taken away. When he was a student, he often used to go to my brother in law’s house. My husband, my sister-in-law, my brother-in-law, we all recognised that man.” Professor Chaudhury was never seen again. Also among the as yet untested testimony is the widow of another victim, who claims that Mr Mueen-Uddin was in the group that abducted her husband, Sirajuddin Hussain, another journalist, from their home on the night of 10 December 1971.

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The Telegraph report provides the following biographical information about Mr. Mueen-Uddin:

Since moving to the UK in the early 1970s, Mr Mueen-Uddin has taken British citizenship and built a successful career as a community activist and Muslim leader. In 1989 he was a key leader of protests against the Salman Rushdie book, The Satanic Verses. Around the same time he helped to found the extremist Islamic Forum of Europe, Jamaat-e-Islami’s European wing, which believes in creating a sharia state in Europe and in 2010 was accused by a Labour minister, Jim Fitzpatrick, of infiltrating the Labour Party. Tower Hamlets’ directly-elected mayor, Lutfur Rahman, was expelled from Labour for his close links with the IFE. Until 2010 Mr Mueen-Uddin was vice-chairman of the controversial East London Mosque, controlled by the IFE, in which capacity he greeted Prince Charles when the heir to the throne opened an extension to the mosque. He was also closely involved with the Muslim Council of Britain, which has been dominated by the IFE. He was chairman and remains a trustee of the IFE-linked charity, Muslim Aid, which has a budget of £20 million. He has also been closely involved in the Markfield Institute, the key institution of Islamist higher education in the UK.

The Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI )was founded in 1941 and is Pakistan’s oldest religious party. The party had it’s origins in the thoughts of Maulana Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi (1903-79), the most important Islamist intellectual in the history of Southeast Asia. Maududi was also a major influence on the global Muslim Brotherhood with whom the JEI has long enjoyed close relations. In the United States, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is generally considered to represent the JEI.

A post from August 2011 discussed claims by Muslim Aid that the organization has never been a member of the Union of Good. Despite the denial by Muslim Aid, the charity was listed as a founding member of the Union of Good in 2001 and as a member circa 2009. The Union of Good itself is a charity coalition headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and described in a NEFA Foundation report as:

The Union of Good is a coalition of Islamic charities that provides financial support to both the Hamas “social” infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities. It is headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, and most of the trustees and member organizations are associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood. The Union of Good was banned by Israel in 2002 and was recently designated a terrorist entity by the United States, although neither Youssef Qaradawi nor any of the Trustees were similarly designated. Despite the fact that action has been taken against some of its member organizations in Europe, many of its other European member organizations continue to operate. Further, the Union of Good itself does not appear to be under investigation in Europe.

Another NEFA report discusses the four U.K. Union of Good charities in detail, including Muslim Aid, stating:

As with the UG itself, the U.K. member organizations, their donors, and their leaders are often associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood and are themselves frequently inter-related, sometimes sharing Trustees, banks, and in some cases, using each other to deliver aid and/or donating to each other. The U.K. member organizations appear to also deliver aid in a similar manner, donating to “partner” organizations in the Palestinian Territories, many of which are associated with Hamas and who are responsible for use of the aid money. It is often difficult to understand how the UG member charity money is actually used, as funded projects are described in only general terms.

The NEFA report reviews the evidence at that time linking Muslim Aid to terrorism. Another earlier post discussed comments by the same journalist who wrote the Telegraph report on a decision by UK charity regulators that links between the charity known as Muslim Aid and terrorists are unsubstantiated, calling the decision a “whitewash.”

The MCB is a U.K. umbrella group that has been dominated by the Jaamat-I-Islami and usually acts in concert with the Global Brotherhood. An earlier post discussed the 2010 election of Farooq Murad as the new Secretary-General of the organization. In addition to his role at the MCB, Mr. Murad is a current trustee and former chairman of Muslim Aid.

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