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May 17, 2016

ICNA’s Selective Outrage on Bangladesh Violence


The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), a non-profit organization that claims to represent the interests of Muslims in America, has selectively condemned violence in Bangladesh. Although ICNA denounced the execution of Maluana Motiur Rahman Nizami, a Bangladeshi Islamist, the organization has been silent about Islamist attacks against secular writers and religious minorities in the country.

ICNA called the execution of Nizami “another shameful act of judicial killing which is part of the ongoing brutal persecution of political opponents by Sheikh Hasina’s [Hasina Wazed, the current prime minister of Bangladesh] government.?

The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), a Washington D.C.-based organization that monitors extremist groups, noted that Nizami “was a top leader of Bangladesh’s Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) party and a former president of its student affiliate, Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba Pakistan. He was also a permanent member of the Muslim World League, a Saudi-funded organization created in 1962 for the global propagation of Wahhabi Islam.?

IPT noted that “ICNA’s strong condemnation of Nizami’s execution and those of other JI-tied Bangladeshi Islamists in the past stands in sharp contrast to the Islamist group’s notable silence following recent horrific terror attacks in Bangladesh that have included the hacking to death of a Bangladeshi academic, gay rights activist, Hindu tailor, and Sufi leader. Some of these attacks have been linked to the Islamic State and al-Qaida, raising the total number of terrorist slayings of secular bloggers and critics of radical Islam in Bangladesh to 20 since 2013.?

ICNA has shown a willingness to speak with many in the U.S. news media—who often treat the group as a credible source, failing to fully identify the Circle’s radical roots, associations and activities (see, for example “Baltimore Sun Gives Islamic Circle a Free Pass,? CAMERA, June 3, 2015).

As CAMERA has noted, the Islamic Circle is a subsidiary of the Islamic Society of North America, a Muslim Brotherhood spin-off. The Egyptian-based, Sunni Brotherhood seeks to spread sharia (Islamic law) globally. ICNA is part of a network of groups, including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) that stemmed from the Brotherhood’s North American initiatives.

In 2010, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) noted that a December 2009 ICNA conference featured calls to destroy Israel and distributed the writings of Anwar al-Awlaki—an American-born leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who was later killed by a U.S. drone strike.

ICNA’s magazines have featured interviews with terrorist leaders in Pakistan and encouraged jihadi recruitment in Kashmir. In December 2009, five young members of a JI mosque in Virginia were arrested and convicted on terrorism charges after trying to join a Pakistani terrorist group.

In Dec. 6, 2010 report, IPT pointed out that a 2010 ICNA Member’s Hand Book spelled out that “the organizations ultimate goal is ‘the Establishment of Islam’ as the sole basis of global society and governance. It also encourages members to deceive people in its proselytizing campaign to help fulfill this goal.?

Nizami was a violent man. IPT reported that he was convicted in 2014 by a Bangladeshi war crimes tribunal for leading a “secret killing squad called Al-Badar Bahini, which was created by the JI under orders from Pakistani intelligence? during Bangladesh’s 1971 war.

The Islamic Circle’s selective outrage over violence in Bangladesh is newsworthy. Media failure to note it is worrisome.

Posted by SD at May 17, 2016 11:56 AM


ICNA claims that Nizami was denied a fair trial. Other sources report that his trial was not up to international standards.

It is important to note, however, that Nizami who was convicted of war crimes, was a leader in the organization called Jamat i Islami, which is well understood to be guilty of a genocide of approximately 3 million people during Pakistan's civil war in the early 1970s.

He was also chief of the Al Badr Brigade, a paramilitary organization that engaged in terrible acts of violence.

Posted by: A Reader at May 18, 2016 02:34 PM

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