The Guardian today carries a letter from Mr Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, the founder of the Islamic Forum Europe, who has been accused in a Channel 4 documentary, and in an article in the Guardian, of involvement in genocide in Bangladesh. In that documentary, Mr Mueen-Uddin is said to have been a leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami’s notorious Badr death squad, which abducted and murdered Bangladeshi intellectuals during their War of Liberation in the 197os.
Here is his letter:
It seems that western powers are slowly beginning to realise that the days of promoting freedom at home and subjugation abroad is becoming unsustainable. Statements proclaiming displeasure with the way their dictator friend in Cairo is treating his compatriots started to emanate from Washington, Berlin, Paris and London. Your report (Polic
e crackdown as protesters defy ban and take to streets, 27 January) quotes statements of world leaders. One word is common in all statements and reveals the west’s priority. We would be fooling ourselves if we think that word could be “democracy”. No, the word on the lips of all world leaders is “stability”.
The US secretary of state Hillary Clinton – rather then criticising the Egyptian government – said that the country was stable and Egyptians had the right to protest. Expressing his “extreme concern”, the German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, said that “a country’s stability is not endangered by granting civil rights”. And the British foreign secretary, William Hague, said: “Openness, transparency and political freedom are important tenets of stability.”
They are not wrong, the dictionary meaning of “stable” includes phrases such as “perpetual”. We know Mubarak rules the country of the Pharaohs, but the long-suffering people of Egypt must be wondering what could be more perpetual for a world leader than 30 years?
A year ago, the Guardian published an article on Islamist politics in the United Kingdom, which recorded the fact that Chowdhury Mueen Uddin has been the subject of these allegations. Mueen Uddin immediately instructed Carter Ruck to silence the Guardian, which ducked the expensive Lawfare, by issuing a grovelling apology.
Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin should take his own advice. He should stop taking advantage of “freedom at home” in the United Kingdom while supporting human rights abusing Islamist parties like Jamaat-e-Islami, which threaten “subjugation abroad” to South Asians.
In fact, better still, he should stop using libel lawyers to silence discussion of his activities in Bangladeshi in the 1970s. After all, the internet means that the allegations in relation to the crimes he is said to have committed are easily accessible on the internet and the documentary containing the eye witnesses to his alleged activity can be viewed online.