As part of its efforts to stem rising Islamic extremism, the Bangladesh government has banned Islamist ideologue Maulana Syed Abdul Ala Maududi's books from libraries across the country. Shamim Mohammad Afjal, who heads the government-funded Islamic Foundation, reportedly told the BBC that Maududi's publications promoted "militancy and terrorism."
Maududi founded the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) party in 1941 in Lahore, Pakistan, which was then a part of British India. The JI is the oldest Islamic religious party and radical Islamist movement in South Asia. The Bangladesh branch of the JI, the largest Islamic party in Bangladesh, seeks to build an Islamist state based on Shariah law and has close ties to the banned terrorist group Jamaat ul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) and al Qaeda. Two members of the JMB were convicted July 14 of attacking Bangladeshi security forces in 2005 and were each sentenced to 50 years in jail. The banned terrorist group has also been implicated in the August 2005 serial bomb blasts that killed at least 26 people and wounded several others. Senior leaders of the JI were recently arrested for collaborating with the Pakistani army and engaging in mass killings and other war crimes during the 1971 war of independence that culminated in Bangladesh ceding from Pakistan and forming a separate independent state.
Maududi is regarded as a leading pioneer of Islamic revivalism in South Asia and Bangladeshi authorities maintain his "writings promote radicalism and his ideological goal was to capture power in the name of Islam." Maududi has been reported to be influenced by the Ikhwan al-Muslimeen or the Muslim Brotherhood, a global Islamic revivalist movement founded in Egypt in 1928 that seeks to establish a worldwide Islamic caliphate based on Islamic law. He is also reported to have been a close associate of Brotherhood luminary Sayyed Qutb.
Maududi's books are often promoted by American Islamist groups, including the Islamic Circle of North America.