U.K. media is reporting that a war crimes tribunal in Bangladesh will charge U.K. Jamaat-e-Islami leader Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin with 18 counts of murder and will be facing the death penalty in Bangladesh. According to a Mail Online report:
UPDATED: 21:09 GMT, 13 October 2012 One of Britain’s most important Muslim leaders – who has a senior role in the NHS – is to be charged with 18 murders by a war crimes tribunal in his native Bangladesh, investigators have told The Mail on Sunday. Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, who is director of Muslim Spiritual Care Provision in the NHS and is also a chairman of the Multi-Faith Group for Healthcare Chaplaincy, is accused of abducting, torturing and killing 18 journalists, academics and doctors during the bloody war of independence in Bangladesh in 1971. Mr Mueen-Uddin, 63, who strongly denies the allegations, is believed to have fled Bangladesh shortly after the war ended, and has been living in London since the early Seventies. As Deputy Director of the Islamic Foundation Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, pictured left, met Prince Charles in 2003 but now he is accused of murder and faces the death penalty in Bangladesh Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) – which has been set up to try the country’s most notorious war criminals still alive – has announced that it has completed its year-long investigation into Mr Mueen-Uddin. The ICT’s prosecution wing will announce formal charges against him in the next few days, said a senior official at the tribunal. Sanaul Huq, the Inspector-General of Bangladesh’s national police force, who is co-ordinating the ICT investigation, said his investigators believe that Mr Mueen-Uddin killed dozens of people during the independence war, but they can link him only to 18 murders with evidence and eyewitness testimonies. The ICT said Mr Mueen-Uddin and his associates allegedly subjected their victims to horrendous torture before killing them and dumping their bodies in sports grounds which earned the nickname ‘killing fields’. More… Powerful bomb blast kills 17 at crowded market in Pakistani town close to Afghan border.
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A post from April initially reported on the investigation and charges against Mr. Mueen-Uddin.
A Daily 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. A 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 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.
Lebanese media is reporting that in addition to Mr. Mueen-Uddin, also facing similar charges is Ashrafuzzaman Khan:
“Investigation agency of the International Crimes Tribunal has found 18 allegations against Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan in connection with their alleged crimes against humanity committed during the country’s Liberation War. ….Hannan said the investigation found that both of them were active members of the Islami Chhatra Sangha, the then student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami, which later turned into Al Badr Bahini on the instruction of the organisation’s high command. Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin was operation-in-charge of Al Badr Bahini while Ashrafuzzaman Khan was chief executor of the anti-liberation force who directly took part in the killing of the intellectuals at the fag end of the Liberation War, he said. M Sanaul Huq, senior member of the agency, told journalists that Ashrafuzzaman is now in America while Mueen is in the UK. On queries, Sanaul said now it depends on the tribunal whether it would issue arrest warrant against them. If they were not arrested, the tribunal could start trial against them in absentia.
In 2009, the Investigative Project reported that Ashrafuzzaman Khan was an active leader of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and was under federal investigation to determine whether he failed to disclose his history with a paramilitary group when he applied for U.S. naturalization.