Jamaat-e-Islami is now at a crossroads when the rift within it over the question of clinging to its role during the Liberation War of 1971 and justifying it or disowning the disdainful act and seeking apology from the nation has come to the surface. This theocratic political organisation, still reluctant to budge an inch from its pro-Pakistani stances, will have to decide what political and ideological course it is going to opt for in future.
Nothing in this world is without contradiction, not even Jamaat. The differences of opinion within it over a host of vitally important issues usually did not come to the surface due to strict political and organisational regimentation. It is now clear that it is in a process of disintegration as is evidenced by the resignation of its Assistant Secretary General Barrister Abdur Razzaq. Such a contradiction and process of disintegration is not a bad thing; it may help draw a line of demarcation between its old political and ideological position and an altogether new one suited to the present reality of Bangladesh.The new generation of Jamaat activists – most of who were born after independence of Bangladesh and thus were in no way actively involved in the killing of innocent freedom-loving Bangalees and raping Bangladeshi women – is now faced with the task of deciding their future course of action. Will they own and take responsibility of the atrocious activities perpetrated by the hated war criminals who happen to be their political and ideological mentors or disown them? Will they remain loyal to Pakistan or shun that scornful path?
So, the issue at hand of the new generation Jamaat activists is not one of changing the name of the organisation while upholding and taking pride in their bloody role in 1971 and maintaining secret allegiance to Pakistan or any such other country; it is rather an ardent task of bringing fundamental changes in their political and ideological agenda and shifting their allegiance to their motherland – of course, if they think to have one. The new generation of Jamaat activists are free to choose one from the two opposing paths as the countrymen are free to evaluate and treat them accordingly.