In a letter dated 10 January 2013, Institute of Islamic Studies, one of the largest and most prominent group of Islamic scholars, slammed Turkish President Mr Abdullah Gul’s interference with the justice process of International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh. Here is the text of the letter:
Institute of Islamic Studies, India, deeply resents the recent letter of the honourable Turkish President Mr Abdullah Gul to honourable President of Bangladesh, Mr Zillur Rahman requesting “to forgive” and “not to hang” Mr Golam Azam, the ex-chief of Jamate Islami the main Islamic political party of Bangladesh. Mr Azam, with few other leaders of Jamate Islami are being tried in ICT (International Crimes Tribunal) in Bangladesh for taking active part in genocide and mass-rape on the innocent people during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. It is one of the most heinous genocides and mass rapes in human history where allegedly 3 million people were killed and about three hundred thousand women were raped by Pakistan army. Please note that while the nature of the crime is International, the court is trying them by Bangladesh law. Mr Gul sent the letter on 17 December 2012 when the trial was still going on and no verdict was given.
Islam strongly ordains trial of all crimes and Turkey as a Muslim nation is expected to uphold Islamic values. Mr Gul’s letter has failed Islam. It also failed Turkey as the historic center of Muslim world. The blood and tear-stained Bangladesh with about a thousand fields of mass-slaughter waited for 40 years to see justice carried out. Many millions still miss their near and dear murdered and raped ones. Mr Gul’s letter has insulted the victims of genocide. It also violated the sovereignty of Bangladesh and international ethics. His request “not to hang” Mr Azam is ridiculous and unfounded because the trial was not over and no verdict was given. His letter is an assault on the sovereignty of Bangladesh and interference to her justice system. It also deceptively implies that Bangladeshi government controls the judiciary while the fact is that the ICT is totally independent.
We hope Turkey as a Muslim nation condemns the anti-Islamic act of its President. To uphold Islamic ethics Turkish people and all Muslims should rather support the trial of heinous crimes of genocide and mass-rape.
Dr Asghar Ali Engineer
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