The 4 Freedoms Library

It takes a nation to protect the nation

When muslims in Tower Hamlets held a demonstration in support of those in Bangladesh demanding that those in Jamaat e Islami be punished for crimes against humanity, hundreds of religious muslims poured out of East London Mosque and assaulted the demonstrators (I heard that 6 of those protesting against the genocidal Jamaat e Islami were hospitalised).  Of course, this demonstration & attack in Whitechapel was ignored by both the mainstream media and the local media.

One of the few to report on the events in Whitechapel was Nick Cohen. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/17/bagladeshi-prot...

As Tower Hamlets Watch points out, the East London Advertiser has completely ignored what happened in their area. http://towerhamletswatch.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/violence-against-...


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/23/protest-death-penalty-b...

Protest demanding death penalty for 1971 war criminals divides Bangladesh

Gulf widens between those who think Shahbag Square rallies are righting historical wrong and those who see them as anti-Islam

Shahbag square protest
A Bangladeshi boy waves a liberation war flag as ruling party supporters and others gather during a protest against the Jamaat-e-Islami party in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Photograph: Pavel Rahman/AP

Najmul Hossain had never been to a protest before. But for the past fortnight, the 45-year-old Bangladeshi banker has regularly made the short journey to Shahbag Square, a broad, tree-lined thoroughfare in the heart of Dhaka, the capital, to call for the hangings of Islamist politicians accused of war crimes during the country's 1971 war of independence.

On Saturday, Hossain took his six-year-old son with him to the protest, holding a banner with the message, "Razakars [Islamist collaborators] must be hanged". The child carried a toy gun. "My uncle was killed in 1971 by the Pakistan army," Hossain said. "I cannot forgive those who killed and stood with the killers."

On the other side of town, Shamsuz Zaman, a 58-year-old timber trader, is equally fired up but for different reasons when discussing Shahbag. "War crimes are just an excuse," he said. "Bangladesh has so many problems. The people who are leading these mobs are atheists who insult Islam, God and the prophet." The gulf between those who think the Shahbag protests – the largest in two decades, that some are calling the Bangladesh spring – is a movement for righting a historical wrong and those who consider it to be a veiled, government-sponsored attempt to curb the influence of Islam has never been wider.

At least five people have been killed since Friday in countrywide violence, including two opposition activists who were shot dead by police on Saturday morning, local police officials confirmed. The violence began when conservative Islamists clashed with police after Friday prayers, protesting against what they said were blasphemous online posts by bloggers at the forefront of the Shahbag protests.

An alliance of Islamist parties called for a general strike on Sunday to protest at what they see as the use of excessive force against opposition activists. The police said they were trying to maintain law and order.

Much of the mistrust is rooted in Bangladesh's tumultuous past. Bangladesh declared independence from Pakistan in 1971. The Pakistani army fought and lost a brutal nine-month war with Bengali fighters and Indian forces that had intervened. Hundreds of thousands of civilians died, many of them at the hands of Islamist militia groups who wanted the country to remain part of Pakistan.

In 2010, Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister, and daughter of wartime political leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, set up a war crimes tribunal to investigate atrocities committed during the 1971 conflict – a move she said would bring closure for victims and families and heal the rifts of war.

The leader of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Khaleda Zia, the widow of the independence war's best-known military commander, has accused Hasina of politicising the tribunal and conveniently using it to hound her political enemies. All of the 10 people indicted for war crimes by the tribunal are opposition politicians, eight of them from the Jamaat-e-Islami, the country's largest Islamist party and an ally of Zia's BNP.

Despite criticism from human rights groups about politicisation and procedural flaws, the war crimes tribunal has remained broadly popular. Last month the tribunal sentenced a former member of the Jamaat-e-Islami to death for his role in the 1971 war. On 5 February, a verdict of life imprisonment was delivered against Abdul Quader Molla, a senior leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami, sparking the Shahbag protests. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have converged on Shahbag, the hub of protests, adamant that all of the men on trial for war crimes must receive the death penalty.

This week President Zillur Rahman signed into law an amendment to the statute that governs two functioning war crimes tribunals, giving prosecutors the power to seek stiffer sentences on appeal, a key demand of the protesters. The new law also gives the government the power to charge entire organisations with war crimes, another Shahbag demand.

The protesters, however, have ratcheted up the pressure, saying they will remain camped out in Shahbag until all of the accused currently before the war crimes tribunal are given the death sentence. They have pushed a broader set of demands, including banning the Jamaat-e-Islami and confiscating businesses linked to Islamist groups.

"We are protesting 40 years of injustice," said Lucky Akter, 23, a student and member of a leftwing political party who has become one of the faces of the protest with her fiery slogans. "We want those who collaborated with the Pakistan army hanged and their finances cut off."

Analysts say the broader demands from the Shahbag gathering show how the rifts of the past continue to play a major role in Bangladesh's present. "There is an ideological basis to protests," said Muhammad Musa, a political commentator and former newspaper editor. "There is the widespread perception that the Jamaat-e-Islami supported Pakistan during the war and should answer for this."

On Saturday a crowd in the thousands gathered in Shahbag, joining a hardcore group of activists, waving flags and chanting slogans such as, "Hang, hang, hang them all!" and, "The weapons of '71 must fire again!"

The Jamaat-e-Islami, whose activists have waged violent street agitations against the tribunal, says it is being scapegoated. Shafiqul Islam Masud, a party leader, said many people were blurring the difference between a political position and war crimes. "There are only about 50 people active in the party now who took any kind of a political position 42 years ago," he said. "It's possible some of them did not want to secede from Pakistan, but that's a far cry from war crimes. The party accepted the sovereignty of Bangladesh and is a registered political party, represented in parliament."

Sam Zarifi, the Asia director for the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), a Geneva-based legal advocacy, said a fair trial process was necessary to heal the wounds of the war. "It is very important that victims of 1971 get justice," he said. "But justice must be ensured through a fair and transparent trial process. Unfortunately, if judges are intimidated by mass protests into handing out death sentences, that's not justice and may unleash yet another cycle of violence."

Such words of caution are dismissed by Shahbag protesters as intellectual posturing. The crimes of 1971, which have been thrust into the spotlight by the tribunals, have dominated Bangladeshi newspapers, airwaves and websites, uniting the youth of Dhaka in an unprecedented manner.

"The people have spoken," said Akter. "Now it is up to the courts and the politicians to implement."

Analysts say the protests have worked to the government's advantage and distracted attention from economic and governance issues the opposition had been agitating about. Last year, Hasina scrapped a constitutional provision under which a non-partisan caretaker government oversees elections, leading to the opposition threatening a boycott of parliamentary elections due in early 2014.

"Had it not been for the protests, now we would all be focusing on next year's elections and looking at the government's record in office and the opposition's pledges," said Zafar Sobhan, editor of the Dhaka Tribune, an English daily. "Now, all bets are off and elections seem a distant concern. It is hard to see how things will revert to politics as usual after this."

Asif Mohiuddin, a co-ordinator of the bloggers' network that called for the Shahbag protests, is keen to point out the group's struggle did not start with Shahbag. "We have been waging war on religious fundamentalists on the blogs for years," he said. "Shahbag has been successful because people are so outraged by the war crimes."

Yet some analysts say the narrative of a secular revolution leading the country towards a democratic future may be simplistic. The protests have polarised the country and led to tensions between those who identify themselves as progressive.

"Many are worried about the Shahbag protest's aggressive tone and narrow focus on the death penalty," said one of the editors of alalodulal.org, an English language blog. "I wish the unique energy of Shahbag could be channelled into the energy and desire to do thorough research, digging out solid evidence that can result in fair trials that do not require government contortions."

Tags: elm, hamlets, tower, whitechapel, zBangladesh

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Here is the report from CNN on the events in Whitechapel on February 6.  Strange that they can report on it whilst BBC, East London Advertiser, etc. ignore it.  (I know that this iReport section of CNN is basically a blog, or "user-generated content")

The details in this report fully accord with what I heard at a public meeting, addressed by a leftwing muslim secularist with 20 years of political activism.  When you read about the behaviour of the police, it makes total sense when he says that the police in Britain simply hand over community control to the mosques.

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-925713

Sheer Jamaat-e-Islami aggression on UK-based Shahbag Solidarity Protesters

 

Solidarity Protest with Shahbag Movement took place in the Altab Ali Park, London from February 6, 2013 through a protest rally till present day by organizing different programs, rallies and processions. The third consecutive day of the Protest, February 8, Bangladeshi expatriates who were with Shahbag Movement got terribly abused, threatened and beaten by the Jamaat-e-Islami supporters of East London. Moreover, the Jamaat-e-Islami party of London is hiding their misdeeds, misusing international and UK media for getting public support and hiring some big shots for providing misleading information about the protest and the protesters’ motto via those media.

The protesters in Britain planned a sit-in at “Central Shahid Minar” in Altab Ali Park on February 8, noon under the banner of ‘Voice of Bangladesh’ while Shahbag protesters were staging a grand rally in Dhaka. The Jamaat-e-Islami party of East London got this gathering information and took furious action by rushing to Altab Ali Park right after the Jumu’ah prayer. They blocked the Park area entrance and took position underneath the Central Shahid Minar. Just like 1971, they tried to interpret the movement from a religious point of view which stance has no relevance with the protest motto. The protesters gathered for demanding the just verdict of war criminals and the Jamaat-e-Islami suporters tagged them as the enemy of Islam. As the park area was occupied, the protesters then made a rectangular human-chain in Whitechapel Road just beside the Altab Ali Park and protested with loud slogans. The Jamaat-e-Islami supporters deliberately abused the protesters with sheer disrespectful tags, threatened them to kill and beat some of the protesters. Some of the protesters complained to police but did not get any response. Afterwards, the protesters wanted assistance of Police to enter the park as they planned to show respect the martyrs of 1971 with flowers and sing our national anthem in front of the Central Shahid Minar and leave for that day. This time the police made the Jamaat-e-Islami supporters leave the park. The Jamaat-e-Islami supporters created a chaos while singing the national anthem and during the whole time the protesters were inside the park. Then the protesters prepared leave the park and the Jamaat-e-Islami supporters followed them from behind. Protesters were trying to save the female protesters from the Jamaat-e-Islami supporters as they were continuously abusing them with insolent slangs. The Jamaat-e-Islami supporters attack the protesters who were trying to provide protection. The protesters were badly beaten by those Jamaat-e-Islami supporters and one of the protesters got absconded for a while. After some hours protesters found him badly beaten and wounded by Jamaat-e-Islami supporters.

Jamaat-e-Islami party of East London wanted bail of all the war criminals. Especially, bail of the three archenemies of Bangladesh - Ghulam Azam, Delwar Hussain Sayeedi and Motiur Rahman Nizami; who are alleged for creating mass killing back in 1971. These homicidal maniacs kill infants, raped daughters in front of parents, raped and tortured numerous women brutally, killed countless civilians and freedom fighters and did thousands of such heinous activities in the name of Islam during the liberation war in 1971. The International Crimes Tribunal (Bangladesh) rejected the bail plea to Ghulam Azam noting that there were formal charges against Azam which it had taken cognizance of. Jamaat-e-Islami party of East London is manipulating the protest in name of Islam the same way the war criminals did. They are supporting those war criminals on while in Bangladesh now Imams of mosques are joining hands for demanding the highest punishment of the war criminals. People from all walk joined the mass movement of Shahbag as the war criminals’ misdeeds are against humanity and they should have to get the highest punishment for their sheer offense.

THE SHAHBAG MOVEMENT

The Shahbag Mass Movement began on February 5, 2013 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with the demand of highest punishment for Abdul Quader Mollah and all other accused war criminals of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. On February 5, 2013, the Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal sentenced Mollah to life in prison because he was proved guilty of committing genocide, murder and rape of under-age girls during the liberation war. More specifically, Mollah slaughtered poet Meherunnisa and tie the head outside to terrify others, raped an eleven-year old girl who died after this dreadful torture and killed 365 innocent people which earned him the nickname of “Butcher of Mirpur”. Thus, the youth raised questions about the conduct of the tribunal as it is riddled with questions about the independence and impartiality of the judges and fairness of the process. Thousands have been holding vigil from February 5, 2013 till this present day demanding that they will not leave the streets until Mollah and all other war criminals receive the highest punishment.

The students of Bangladesh from different states around the globe expressed their unity with Shahbag movement through the solidarity protests. Bangali community of UK is one of the most activist communities which expressed solidarity and uphold their protest till the present date like Shahbag in Altab Ali Park. The Jamayate-Islam Party of UK is continuously torturing the protesters and manipulating the Shahbag Movement motto by misusing international along with the UK media.

THE WAR CRIMINALS A.K.A. RAJAKARS

In Shahbag Mass Movement, they are defined as war criminal who deliberately committed genocide, murder, rape (including rape of underage girls) and other inhuman massacres in the name of Islam during the liberation war period of Bangladesh. Ghulam Azam, Delwar Hussain Sayeedi, Motiur Rahman Nizami, Kader Siddiqi, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed are the names of some of the most fanatic war criminals of 1971.

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Mission Overview

Most Western societies are based on Secular Democracy, which itself is based on the concept that the open marketplace of ideas leads to the optimum government. Whilst that model has been very successful, it has defects. The 4 Freedoms address 4 of the principal vulnerabilities, and gives corrections to them. 

At the moment, one of the main actors exploiting these defects, is Islam, so this site pays particular attention to that threat.

Islam, operating at the micro and macro levels, is unstoppable by individuals, hence: "It takes a nation to protect the nation". There is not enough time to fight all its attacks, nor to read them nor even to record them. So the members of 4F try to curate a representative subset of these events.

We need to capture this information before it is removed.  The site already contains sufficient information to cover most issues, but our members add further updates when possible.

We hope that free nations will wake up to stop the threat, and force the separation of (Islamic) Church and State. This will also allow moderate Muslims to escape from their totalitarian political system.

The 4 Freedoms

These 4 freedoms are designed to close 4 vulnerabilities in Secular Democracy, by making them SP or Self-Protecting (see Hobbes's first law of nature). But Democracy also requires - in addition to the standard divisions of Executive, Legislature & Judiciary - a fourth body, Protector of the Open Society (POS), to monitor all its vulnerabilities (see also Popper). 
1. SP Freedom of Speech
Any speech is allowed - except that advocating the end of these freedoms
2. SP Freedom of Election
Any party is allowed - except one advocating the end of these freedoms
3. SP Freedom from Voter Importation
Immigration is allowed - except where that changes the political demography (this is electoral fraud)
4. SP Freedom from Debt
The Central Bank is allowed to create debt - except where that debt burden can pass across a generation (25 years).

An additional Freedom from Religion is deducible if the law is applied equally to everyone:

  • Religious and cultural activities are exempt from legal oversight except where they intrude into the public sphere (Res Publica)"

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