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Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin Faces Death Penalty In Bangladesh

Andrew Gilligan, in the Daily Telegraph reports:

Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, director of Muslim spiritual care provision in the NHS, a trustee of the major British charity Muslim Aid and a central figure in setting up the Muslim Council of Britain, fiercely denies any involvement in a number of abductions and “disappearances” during Bangladesh’s independence struggle in the 1970s.

He says the claims are “politically-motivated” and false.

However, Mohammad Abdul Hannan Khan, the chief investigator for the country’s International Crimes Tribunal, said: “There is prima facie evidence of Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin being involved in a series of killings of intellectuals.

“We have made substantial progress in the case against him. There is no chance that he will not be indicted and prosecuted. We expect charges in June.”

Mr Mueen-Uddin could face the death penalty if convicted.

Readers of Harry’s Place will be well aware of the nature of the evidence against Mr Mueen-Uddin, which has been extensively covered on this and other blogs. It was the subject of a documentary on Channel 4, and has also been reported on by The Guardian. On each occasion that such allegations were reported, Carter Ruck would swoop, and the offending article swiftly removed, pending litigation.

It is an inevitable peculiarity of any system of libel law that, the more serious the allegation, the more serious the potential libel. Where facts are easily proved, that is no deterrent to reporting of the evidence. But where the alleged wrong-doing has taken place overseas, the costs of defending any litigation make such matters effectively unreportable.

It is, perhaps, for that reason that Mr Mueen-Uddin managed to establish, in the United Kingdom, a British ‘Jamaat-e-Islami’: the organisation which ran death squads in Bangladesh in the 1970s, that murdered intellectuals, patriots and democrats. Here is a snapshot of the organisational reach of the man:

Since moving to the UK in the early 1970s, Mr Mueen-Uddin has taken British citizenship and built a successful career as a community activist and Muslim leader.

In 1989 he was a key leader of protests against the Salman Rushdie book, The Satanic Verses.

Around the same time he helped to found the extremist Islamic Forum of Europe, Jamaat-e-Islami’s European wing, which believes in creating a sharia state in Europe and in 2010 was accused by a Labour minister, Jim Fitzpatrick, of infiltrating the Labour Party.

Tower Hamlets’ directly-elected mayor, Lutfur Rahman, was expelled from Labour for his close links with the IFE.

Until 2010 Mr Mueen-Uddin was vice-chairman of the controversial East London Mosque, controlled by the IFE, in which capacity he greeted Prince Charles when the heir to the throne opened an extension to the mosque. He was also closely involved with the Muslim Council of Britain, which has been dominated by the IFE.

He was chairman and remains a trustee of the IFE-linked charity, Muslim Aid, which has a budget of £20 million. He has also been closely involved in the Markfield Institute, the key institution of Islamist higher education in the UK.

Here, from the Daily Mail, is a photograph that says it all:

It goes without saying that Mr Mueen-Uddin’s lawyer is Toby Cadman, who will also be familiar to readers of this site as a speaker at Jamaat-e-Islami and Muslim Brotherhood dominated rallies. In this instance, however, his activities are entirely respectable. He is representing a man who is awaiting charges on a serious criminal matter. Moreover, the criticisms that Toby Cadman makes of the conduct of the International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh are wholly proper and, indeed, correct. There is no way that Mr Mueen-Uddin should be extradited to Bangladesh, and I would oppose and indeed campaign against any such extradition myself, despite what I know about this man. It is fair to say, sadly, that Bangladesh has pointlessly and stupidly vandalised a process which ought to have brought justice and closure to the victims of the Bangladesh genocide.

Notwithstanding the dismal failure of the Bangladesh process, it does appear to be the case that it is now possible to write about, and discuss, the evidence against Mr Mueen-Uddin. I encourage you to do so.

If these allegations are true, they throw a stark light on this man’s legacy in the United Kingdom. He left his home country, wrecked by religious extremism, sectarianism and bloodsheed. So we should be wholly unsurprised at what he has achieved, here.