Global media is reporting on violent demonstrations held by supporters of the Jamaat-i-Islami in Bangladesh protesting the war crimes conviction of party’s fourth most senior official. According to a Dawn.com report:
Police fired rubber bullets Wednesday at hundreds of activists from Bangladesh’s largest Islamic party during a second day of rioting sparked by the conviction of a top opposition figure for war crimes. After four people were killed during violence that flared late into the night on Tuesday, dozens more Jamaat-i-Islami supporters were wounded when riot police tried to disperse fresh protests on Wednesday near Dhaka and the southwestern district of Khulna. The violence erupted after the party’s fourth most senior official, Abdul Quader Molla, was jailed for life on Tuesday for committing mass murder during the 1971 war of independence against Pakistan. The sentence was handed down by a domestic war crimes tribunals which lacks any international oversight. Jamaat says the war crimes charges against Molla and eight other senior party officials due to face trial — including its leader and deputy leader — are bogus and part of a wider political vendetta. The party enforced a nationwide strike on Tuesday and Wednesday and threatened to call indefinite protests if the trials are not halted. It had called a series of protests last week that left at least three people dead. The government maintains the trials are needed to heal the wounds of the deadly nine-month war in which it says three million people were killed, many by pro-Pakistani militia whose members allegedly included Jamaat officials.
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A post from last October reported that the war crimes tribunal in Bangladesh was planning to charge U.K. Jamaat-e-Islami leader Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin with 18 counts of murder and will be facing the death penalty in Bangladesh. A post from April initially reported on the investigation and charges against Mr. Mueen-Uddin.
The Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI )was founded in 1941 and 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.