Its chief Ayman
al-Zawahiri in the clip interprets the Bengali struggle for freedom from
Pakistan in a way that is chillingly similar to the one offered by the
Again, the global terror network is on the same
wavelength with the Islamist party, which is facing calls for a ban for 1971
atrocities, that the ongoing war crimes trial only aims to harass Islamic
scholars . The militant leader in the clip can be heard charging the
government with killing ‘thousands of people’ during last year’s crackdown on
the violent rally by Hifazat-e Islam – in an echo of claims made by the
Chittagong-based outfit along with the BNP and the Jamaat.
with the call to arms has hurried the Hifazat, perceived to be bankrolled by the
Jamaat, into denying any ties with the al-Qaeda.
Speaking in Arabic on
the tape released on a website used for militant audios and videos, the
Egyptian-born surgeon derides the Bangladesh government for being anti-Islam and
secular. The terror outfit’s outrage at the trial of the Jamaat-e-Islami leaders
is also palpable.
The entire clip lasting 28 minutes and 58 seconds
titled "Bangladesh: Massacre Behind a Wall of Silence" features message by
al-Zawahiri, who appears only in a still image, along with other images,
including the Hifazat rally.
A copy of the supposed al-Zawahiri recording
is available with bdnews24.com.
There, he claims that "a massacre of
Muslims is being carried out these days” and “the western media is colluding
with the killers to belittle its significance and hide the facts”.
is the bloodbath taking place in Bangladesh, without the Muslims paying least
attention to it,” the Egyptian-born eye surgeon, thought to be in hiding in
Pakistan or Afghanistan, observes.
The first two minutes of the clip
screen footage of last year's May 5 police action at a Hifazat-e Islam rally in
Dhaka. Then speaks Zawahiri, hitting out at the Western media's alleged silence
on 'how Muslims are massacred in Bangladesh'.
Letting rip at the creation
of Bangladesh, he says it has not worked as a nation born more than 40 years ago
‘to protect the independence, glory, honour and freedom of its
The al-Qaeda chief’s tirade appears to have been provoked by the
war crimes trials.
Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Molla has already been
hanged, drawing condolences in Pakistan’s Parliament which said he was hanged to
death because “he was loyal to Pakistan and supported Pakistan army during the
Several other Jamaat leaders face death and life sentences. In
addition, many Jamaat leaders and activists are in jail on charges of
involvement with violence last year.
Zawahiri in the clip says:
“Bangladesh is the victim of a conspiracy in which the agents of India, the
corrupt leadership of Pakistan Army, and treacherous power-hungry politicians of
Bangladesh and Pakistan…
“However the real victim was the Muslim Ummah in
the subcontinent generally, and in Bangladesh and Pakistan
“The crimes that are being committed in Bangladesh today
against the core beliefs of Islam, the prophet of Islam (peace be upon him), and
the Muslim Ummah are only the fruits of the rotten seeds sown by these
“Their purpose was not independence from Pakistan, stopping
the aggression against the people of Bangladesh or getting rid of military rule
Continues the 62-year old: “None of these was the real
objective... The real purpose was weathering the Muslim Ummah in the
“It was to rip the Ummah apart into pieces, bleed it to
death by getting it entangled in mutual strife, regional conflicts and
“Above all, their purpose was to attack the real capital of this
Ummah, and the secret of its strength, the Islamic faith,” the man is heard
saying in the audio tape.
“Those who allied with India against Pakistan
by claiming that they sought to defend the honour and sanctities of Bengalis are
the same people who are attacking the sanctities, beliefs, honour, lives and
properties of Bengalis today.
“Bangladesh, which they claimed to have won
from Pakistan so that it may get its freedom, is being turned into a subjugated
surrogate of India.” The al-Qaeda boss then launches a passionate
“My Muslim brothers in Bangladesh, I invite you to confront this
crusader onslaught against Islam, which is being orchestrated by the leading
criminals in the subcontinent and the West against Islam, the prophet of Islam
and the Islamic creed, so that they may turn you into slaves of a despotic and
disbelieving system,” he says.
The Jamaat, Hifazat and other ultra-right
groups in Bangladesh and elsewhere over the past months and years also called
for 'uprising' against the Awami League government and attacked it for upholding
secularism, equating it with atheism.
Zawahiri does not threaten specific
attacks but the hatred of the pro-independence government among the Islamists
shows how dangerously it is living. Describing Bangladesh as a ‘huge prison’,
the audio tape says the honour and dignity of Muslims is at stake in the
Zawahiri, who is believed to have clandestinely visited
Bangladesh many times, called on Bangladeshis “to gather around the true
scholars of Islam, support them and protect them.”
“I invite you to back
them and support them and guard them. And I invite you to launch a massive
public uprising in defence of Islam against the enemies of Islam,” the Al Qaeda
chief says in the audio.
“I invite the leading Islamic scholars [Ulamaye
keram] of Bangladesh to fulfil the role that Islam has given them.”
al-Qaeda leader used the word ‘intifada’ in his message, which in Arabic
literally means shaking-off, but is usually translated in English as uprising,
resistance or rebellion.
“I invite you to lead the masses in a vast and
inclusive proper uprising [intifada] whose tide does not recedes, nor its
dynamism subsides, until the Shariah of Islam governs the land of Islam, instead
of being governed over until it becomes the authority, instead of being
subjected to ‘authority’, and until it leads the way, instead of being