This past September, Ashrafuzzaman Khan, an accused former leader of a South Asian death squad, joined a controversial group of American Muslim community leaders to speak out against what has been said to be the hatred of those who practice the religion of Islam. Was this very public showing indeed a sign of strength in opposition to a form of bigotry, or could it have been meant as a brazen message targeted at those who are convinced that Khan should receive justice for past unthinkable acts?
In 1971, as many as three million citizens of Bangladesh were systematically slaughtered at the hands of the Pakistani army in collaboration with Islamist groups linked to the international Muslim Brotherhood. The perpetrators included the paramilitary wing of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), al-Badr.
At the time, al-Badr was led by Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid, the present Secretary General of JI Bangladesh. Mojahid, along with a number of other JI officials, was arrested this past June and is in prison facing charges stemming from his role in the 1971 massacres. According to the International Crimes Tribunal, the legal body that is handling the case, there is evidence which proves that Mojahid and his colleagues are guilty of "genocide and crimes against humanity."