March 19, 2013 Mir Quasem Ali Mir Quasem Ali serves as the de facto treasurer of Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI or simply ‘Jamaat’), the Islamist political party in Bangladesh with close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and militant causes. He has served for nearly 40 years as Saudi Arabia’s money man in Bangladesh, being involved major Wahhabi-backed institutions since the 1970s.Mir Quasem Ali (also often spelled Mir Kashem Ali) is in jail at the moment for war crimes he and his Al-Badr group committed during Bangladesh’s struggle for independence in 1971, but he is still sometimes touted as the party’s next leader. According to one account, Mir Quasem Ali fled to Saudi Arabia after Bangladesh secured its independence, and returned after amnesty was offered in 1974. He landed a job at the newly founded Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, Bangladesh’s biggest sharia bank (which itself has close ties to Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi Bank), and he became IBBL’s director for many years according to an article by Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury: …IBBL provides JEI an opportunity to launder money from abroad and also channel un-audited funds to various militant groups in the country and abroad. Islamic Bank Foundation (IBF), a JEI floated organization oversees all the projects of IBBL and profits generated by it and the interest / commission accrued on foreign donations goes to the IBBL account of IBF. The IBF is headed by Mir Qasem Ali, JEI Executive Committee member and Country Director of the Saudi based Islamic NGO Rabeta-al-alam-al-Islami that funds a number of projects in Bangladesh. Mir Quasem Ali, the main brain behind JEI’s finances, is now in jail facing trial on war crimes charges. He remained Director of IBBL for a number of years since its inception in 1975…Money Jihad readers will recall that Bangladeshi authorities say that IBBL has diverted 8 percent of its corporate zakat to terrorists. The U.S. Senate also blasted HSBC last year for its banking relationships with IBBL.
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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.
Recent posts have discussed the current war crimes trials of JEI leaders.