By Habib Rahman
Professor Ghulam Azam chose to stay in his own country instead of living as a foreigner, and it was for this love of his motherland that he is targeted for the gallows.
Professor Azam is a very prominent leader in the Muslim world. Members of many countries, including Saudi Arabia, have shown great respect for him, owing to his contributions to the Islamic movement and Islamic scholarship. This leader, though he is currently being oppressed in his own country, is a valuable asset to the Muslim Ummah.
But oh how humiliated he has been! Professor Azam has not even been shown the least respect that a common citizen deserves! And still he did not leave his motherland. He did not leave Bangladesh. He fought for the right to his citizenship, and now he fights for his right to live. If he had wished, Professor Azam could have lived without humiliation in Saudi Arabia or any country of the Arab world. He could have taken the citizenship of Britain or Canada. But, he rejected all of these options for the love of his country’s Islamic movement. He could not deny the instinct and urge to love the soil from whence he came, and he could not resist the yearning to return to his roots. Sadly, this soil could not give him what he deserves.
This ninety year old man has been jailed by this allegedly civilized government. Dangling in front of him is the rope of the gallows. We know for sure that this government is going to hang him. This is the wish of the leaders of India, our neighboring country, and Hasina has no alternative since she has already gone so far in fulfilling the wishes of this close ally.
Yet we can foresee our victory despite the impending execution, and despite this humiliation and oppression. This is all reminiscent of the situation of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 50s and 60s.
Their oppressors, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat, are now hated by so many people, and for many, Hasan al Banna and Sayyid Qutb are now the role models and heroes. The truth always prevails. And I would like to see that in Bangladesh too.