Change in Islamic Bank of Bangladesh and terrorist money

Most of all, now the million dollars’ question is that, what the government of Bangladesh has done regarding the IBB, will it be successful eventually?

by Swadesh Roy

( January 10, 2017, Dhaka, Sri Lanka Guardian) Bangladesh government has made a big change in a special type of bank, Islamic Bank of Bangladesh (IBB); the bank was accused of Islamic terrorist funding. Last eight years Bangladesh has been suffering from terrorism. Islamic terrorism is two types in Bangladesh. One is organised by some ultra-Islamic terrorist groups another is going with political violence. Even being a democratic country like Bangladesh, why is Islamic terrorism going on with political violence?  In Bangladesh, one of the opposition political parties’ ally is typical, their main party, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and their mentor Jammat –E- Islami (jammat) have people support, but they are very much involved in Islamic terrorism. Jammat is basically terrorist party, their most of the prominent leaders in Bangladesh are awarded death sentences, and they were executed. They are punished for their war crime of 1971. IBB was set up by that Jammat 34 years ago. It is now one of the biggest banks of Bangladesh; the lion portion of shares of this bank hold many Islamic capital of the world.

However, last thirty-four years Jammat was getting terrorist capital from this bank; not only that, they recruited the manpower for this bank from their party members. So, this bank is one kind of financial sectors of their party. Last eight years, IBB not only financed the terrorist, but also some of the Bank officers were directly involved in terrorism. Now the new chairman of the bank said, “it will be inquired, if we get any one of the bank officers was involved with petrol bomb, he will be sacked.” It is to be mentioned here, from 2012 to 2015 BNP and Jammat burnt many innocent people including pregnant women and the children by throwing petrol bomb.   On the other hand, the chairman also said, “now the recruitment policy has changed, the bank will give the appointment, Hindus and the women.” Before this change, Hindus and the women were ban in the job in this bank. Despite, it is not the big issue, the main issue is, to stop the Islamic terrorism finance. The finance minister of Bangladesh, find out it correctly, he said, “we have to find out, where and how the profit of this bank drain out.” Finance minister of Bangladesh, found out the basic point of the way of funding terrorism, because the total capital of IBB is now 80 billion BDT, but last year bank showed their profits only two billion BDT. It is not justified profits. So, it indicates that in any form money is going some hidden places. The new chairman said, “from now on, the bank will invest more in the government projects.” It is a brilliant decision, because it has two very good sides; one, the money of this bank will invest for the infrastructures development of Bangladesh, another is the money will be accountable to government and the bank. Besides, government is a good party to bank who never does the misuse of money.

After this change the finance minister said that “they have to do this change for the pressure of the Islamic Development Bank(IDB).” Finance minister did not disclose why IDB give them pressure? But everyone could understand the cause of the pressure of IDB; because, it is not possible for a world reputed finance institute like IDB to maintain any participation with Islamic terrorist finance. Though, IBB has been financing the Islamic terrorist for a long time, the public and the government of Bangladesh were saying from the beginning; even many books and article published on this issue, but IDB respond late. Why this late? The main cause of it, there was a propaganda in Bangladesh and the abroad, the terrorism which was occurring in Bangladesh, was not the Islamic terrorism, it is a political movement; government coloured it as a terrorism. Even the people who were writing regarding Islamic terrorism in Bangladesh, they were branded as the supporter of the government. This propaganda got more strength because of the western diplomats to Bangladesh. Somehow, western diplomats say BNP and Jammat are the moderate Muslim Party; they are not terrorist? Why they think so, has no justification, it may be purposefully or lack of the knowledge regarding Islamic terrorism. However, after the Islamic terrorist attack in the café Holy Artisan in Dhaka, then the world understood what was going in Bangladesh. So, probably the cause of the pressure of IDB is an effect of Holy Artisan attack in Dhaka.

Most of all, now the million dollars’ question is that, what the government of Bangladesh has done regarding the IBB, will it be successful eventually? The thinking of the society of Bangladesh has been changed, fanatic groups are increasing, and now the progressive groups in Bangladesh are not the majority. On the other hand, all the officers and the mid-level management of IBB are the Jammat people. They are very committed towards so called Jihad. So, is it possible to change only top boss of the IBB to stop the terrorist funding? However, government had no other way, rather what they have done () is a good first step. So, to see the final round, we have to wait.

Swadesh Roy, Executive Editor, The Daily Janakantha, Dhaka, Bangladesh he can be reached            



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