Monday, March 30, 2009

Islamic NGOs - a shadow government in Bangladesh

Photo: A UK based Green Crescent Islamic charity busted for suspected Jihadi activities after security forces hauled huge cache of arms in Bhola, a coastal district in south Bangladesh

WILLIAM GOMES

NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS (NGOs) play a vital role in a developing country like Bangladesh. The number of NGOs in Bangladesh is in excess of 78,000 by the midst of the year 2009 registered with five different government instruments.

The news that Islamic NGOs with foreign funds are fuelling the Islamic militancy was bubbling all over Bangladesh. The Daily Star said that suspected NGOs include Rabita Al-Alam Al-Islami, Al-Muntada Al- Islami, Society of Social Reforms, Qatar Charitable Society, Islamic Relief Agency, Al-Forkan Foundation, International Relief Organisation, Kuwait Joint Relief Committee, Muslim Aid Bangladesh, Dar Al-Khair, Hayatul Igachha, and Tawheed-e-Noor.

The New Age of Bangladesh wrote, "During the previous BNP-led alliance government, some 473 local and 25 foreign NGOs were enlisted with the NGO Affairs Bureau. One hundred and twenty-nine of them are local and eight foreign NGOs who were enlisted in the financial year 2006-07. Since 1990, the NGO Bureau has approved 2,367 local and foreign NGOs who run on foreign funding."

When the Bangladesh National Party-led alliance government was in power, 90,000 core taka (approx. US$1,300) in foreign donations, in the name of 11,000 NGOs came into Bangladesh. That amount is nearly equal to the government's financial budget for the year 2009, which is 99,962 core taka (approx. US$1,450).

The main process of registering an NGO and funding its operations is highly dependent upon the bureaucracy. That was and is the main reason that NGO activities in Bangladesh have become politicized. As a result of this, during the term of the BNP-led alliance government, the institutional outfit of the Islamic fascist interest triumphed.

The NGO registration process involves some powerful intelligence instruments of the government, such as the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI), the National Security Intelligence (NSI), and the Special Branch of the Bangladesh Police.

There is clear evidence of corruption and political interference in the NGO registration process. The government’s policy is tricky on the issue of NGO registration, especially the NGO affairs bureau, which is under the prime minister's office in name, but is mainly controlled by intelligence instruments like the DGFI and the NSI. It is notable that there are several Islamic fascist proponents placed in various important government instruments, including intelligence organizations, during the term of the BNP alliance government.

We have had a past record of 34 foreign funded major Islamic non-governmental organizations (NGO) and 15 are very active NGO’s back in year 2005. In 1999, the intelligence agencies tracked an NGO named Suffering Humanity International, which had vibrant relations with Islamic fascists to establish an Islamic dictatorship in Bangladesh.

The Islamic fascists have fully succeeded in forming a shadow government in Bangladesh. The Islamic fascist outfit Ngo turned the money in several long time investments such as in Banking, health and hospital and education sector. In the time of need they will control the market and destabilize country. Even the same quarter has engulfed in the print and media sector with an ulterior motive to play ideological propaganda.

The same quarter is nursing to bring new crisis before the government where the treatment of government is very poor. After the Pilkhana revolt the prisons are the next target of the vested quarter to destabilize the country. The vested quarter is using prisons as recruiting office to strengthen their terrorist activities. The young people come out from the prison and join the source outside and take part in destructive works.

The government should make it very clear to make the whole NGO activities free from the influence of the Intelligence and politics to safe the country from further massive failure. The Islamic NGOs has turned into shadow government in Bangladesh and the highest threat before Bangladesh as well as to the security of south Asian region. #

For more articles click: http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=80287

William Gomes is an independent human rights activist, a Catholic ecumenical activist, and a political analyst. He is also the Executive Director of the Christian Development Alternative (CDA), a national organization against torture and human rights violations