UK newspaper The Daily Express criticizes Muhammad Yunus


Following the January 1, 2024 verdict by the Bangladesh Labor Court handing six month’s imprisonment to controversial Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, influential UK newspaper The Daily Express in an article has criticized the “unexpected radical Islamist support for” him stating it is “not just a domestic affair but signals a disconcerting trend that could have far-reaching implications”.

The Daily Express said:

This trend underscores the manipulation of public opinion and the narrative by opponents of the ruling party, predominantly radical Islamist factions, representing a perilous attempt to contaminate public discourse.

Such strategies, limited for now to distant shores, have the potential to be exported to other nations, including the UK, which is also on the cusp of significant political change.

In the socio-political fabric of Bangladesh, the legal predicaments of Dr. Muhammad Yunus reflect a wider, troubling pattern threatening democracies. Accused under the Bangladesh Labour Act 2006, Dr. Yunus’s conviction has sparked substantial outcry, notably from radical Islamist factions within the country.

These factions have framed the legal proceedings as politically motivated, portraying Dr. Yunus as a victim of government oppression, a narrative seemingly championing justice but in reality often furthering their own extremist agendas.

Dr. Yunus, once a symbol of innovative economic empowerment, along with his associates, faced severe legal repercussions that have significantly dented his once stellar reputation.

It further said, “If the political accusations held substantial truth, one might expect the charges and penalties against Dr. Yunus to be far more severe or ‘dramatic’.

“The relatively measured nature of the court’s verdict suggests that, contrary to the claims of some critics, justice may have been served without the undue influence of political machinations.

“Most striking of all has been the sheer dismissal of workers’ claims of wrong-doings, a reality one would assume, should have warranted calls for investigations, and not absolute rebuttal.

“Holding true to their propensity to invert realities, radical Islamic groups have exploited the situation to portray the court’s decision as politically motivated, seeking to bolster their agenda under the guise of defending the oppressed.

This narrative, while local in its genesis, has implications that resonate far beyond Bangladesh’s borders”.

The Daily Express further said:

As observers and participants in a global community that values justice and the rule of law, it is incumbent upon us to view such cases with a critical and informed perspective.

Acknowledging Dr. Yunus’s past contributions does not preclude the necessity for accountability in the present.

As the UK, alongside Bangladesh and numerous other nations, nears a critical juncture with the impending elections in 2024, it is vital to grasp the wider international context of these developments.

The year ahead is poised to be a defining moment for democracies across the globe as they face the encroaching threats of obscurantism and authoritarian rule. With its general elections looming, the UK is not shielded from the repercussions of such political manoeuvres. It’s imperative for the country to brace itself against these global undercurrents, reaffirming the need for robust and vigilant democratic processes.

While the legal and political saga of Dr. Yunus might seem remote to the British public, the underlying dynamics are all too familiar.

Within the Commonwealth, built on the principles of democracy and rule of law, our collective history of confronting radicalism and religious obscurantism has shown that such forces can gain a significant foothold if left unchecked.

As a prominent member of the Commonwealth, the UK’s connection with Bangladesh is not just historical or diplomatic but deeply personal, woven into the fabric of our communities through a substantial Bangladeshi diaspora.

The belief that geographical distance provides immunity from overseas turmoil is a dangerous misconception. The evolving situation in Bangladesh, especially in the context of the impending elections, mirrors the challenges we face on our own soil, highlighting the interconnectedness of our struggles for democracy and pluralism.

While many globally continue to hold Dr. Yunus in high regard for his past achievements and the accolades that followed, it is crucial to remember that no individual, regardless of their fame, fortune, or contributions, is above the law.

Commenting on privileges Muhammad Yunus enjoys in the world, The Daily Express said, “The prestige and high profile enjoyed by Dr. Yunus should not exempt him from scrutiny or accountability, especially when faced with serious legal accusations. Indeed, the very principles of justice and equality demand that he, like any other citizen, is held accountable in a court of law if accused of wrongdoing”.

It may be mentioned here that following court verdict handing six-month’s imprisonment to Muhammad Yunus, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) made frantic bids in capitalizing this in favor of its political agenda. It is also learnt from credible sources, days before the January 7 general elections, at the advice of Muhammad Yunus and few others BNP’s acting chairman Tarique Rahman decided to launch “India Out” movement in Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, according to media reports, BNP has past track record of maintaining connections with Al Qaeda while journalist Alex Perry wrote in TIME magazine, in early March 2002, Al Qaeda kingpin Osama bin Laden’s second-in-command – Egyptian national Ayman al-Zawahiri had been hiding out in Bangladesh for months after arriving in Chittagong. He was accompanied by a group of the global terrorist outfit. Zawahiri even visited Dhaka and met several leaders of Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

During his stay in Dhaka, Zawahiri had meetings with Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, a war-criminal and asset of Pakistani spy agency Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), while Brig Gen Abdur Rahim, then Director General of the National Security Intelligence (NSI) had carried a fruit basket, kebabs and bread on behalf of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s son Tarique Rahman.

During his meeting with Ayman al-Zawahiri, Brig Gen Rahim requested the Al Qaeda kingpin to help BNP government by assassinating Sheikh Hasina’s son Sajeeb Wazed Joy in the United States.

According to Perry, after leaving the Taliban’s headquarters in Kandahar as the city fell in early December 2001 and crossing into Pakistan, the fugitives traveled to Karachi, hired the ‘Mecca’ motor vessel and made the sail around India.

In July, a senior member of Bangladesh’s largest terrorist group, the 2,000-strong Al Qaeda-allied Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI), told TIME magazine the 150 men who entered Bangladesh that on December 21 were Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters from Afghanistan.


  1. This is for the first time any Western media outlet has shown the guts of publishing truth about Prof Muhammad Yunus, who has succeeded in fooling everyone with his lies and falsehood. Can we expect similar coverage in other media outlets in the West, particularly The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Breitbart, NewsMax, Fox News etc?


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