Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bangladesh's Al Capone

When you want to take down a big-time criminal in a round about way, you convict him on a lesser charge. This is how Al Capone was taken down and this, hopefully, how Motiur Rahman Nizami, Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh's largest Islamic political party, will be taken down as well.

Nizami is a war criminal, pure and simple. During 1971, Nizami sided with Pakistan in suppressing forces dedicated to Bengali independence. He formed a shadowy para-military group called Al-Badr, which targeted minorities (mostly Hindus), intellectuals, professionals, secularists, almost anyone with a pro-independence bent. Al-Badr was not above committing rapes, torture, or outright murder in order to smother a popular independence movement.

Al Capone was arrested, indicted and convicted for tax evasion. Nizami has been indicted for corruption. Hopefully, he will be convicted and spend his twilight years in a jail. It's not the exactly the justice his victims deserve, but it will have to do.

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