Religion


Photo: Saiful Islam

Photo: Saiful Islam

The whole country is still in a standstill after the Long March and Dhaka rally of Hefazate Islam. Hefazate Islam, a conglomerate of several thousands Madrassahs across the country, announced this long march program to press their 13 point demand. Their 13 point demands are the following,

1. Reinstate the phrase ” Complete trust and faith in Allah” in the constitution and abolish all laws contradicting the dictates of Quran and Sunnah.
2. National Parliament must pass new law with provision of highest capital punishment for blasphemy.
3. The Murtad atheist bloggers who are leading Shahbag movement and speaking ill of prophet Muhammad ( SM) and Islam must be punished and all the anti Islam campaign must be stopped. (more…)

Source: bdnews24

Let me start by asking you all a question. You may have a very strong religious affiliation; your faith may be impeccable. Or you may be deeply indoctrinated with a political ideology. Passion runs deep in your vain in favor of your faith or ideology. But does this passion permit you to break the basic law of humanity, i.e. kill innocent people? And if you do any such act out of this strong political of religious conviction, can you get away saying that it’s not my fault, some religious or political leader used my passion to make me commit such crime?

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Ramu Upazilla of Cox’s Bazaar district of Bangladesh usually comes to news when mad wild elephants attack localities and trample people to death. But this time, news of a different madness sent a chill through the spine of the whole nation. Through a night long mob attack and violence, dozens of Budhdhist temples, religious structures, monasteries, households were destroyed and burnt to ashes.

This is apparently the first communal attack on Buddhist minorities in Bangladesh. As Hindu and Pahari minorities used to be at the receiving end of almost all communal atrocities in Bangladesh, Buddhists coexisted peacefully with mainstream Muslims for centuries.
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Dear Editor Mahmudur Rahman

You lost me today.

Since early days of 2007, I have been a very attentive follower of your writings and at the same time a great admirer of your courage and honesty. During those days of post 1/11 early euphoria; as a blogger I tried my best to tell the truth and expose the facade of the rulers. We had little support from mainstream media. You were one glorious exception.

I am following your Jail diary with great interest. This is the first thing I read daily. But in todays episode, your exeggerate ভক্তি to Maolana Delwar Hossain Saidee raised many eyebrows. Neither does it help you, nor the cause you are fighting for. Even if you contest allegations of Saidee’s 71 role, even if we presume he is innocent until proven guilty– there is no contesting of the fact that he is a religion trader ( ধর্ম ব্যবসায়ী) . If you ever listened to his Quran Tafsirs, will would have noticed that 70% of what he says are pure divisive politics and bigotry. He would use raw bad taste jokes demeaning women and minorities etc. Few years ago, I was listening to one of his speeches being played by Microphone in a public place. Until I stopped counting, he pronounced the word, ধর্ষণ (rape) at least 75 times. He would use the words with a sexually explicit tone to arouse some raw passion among his listeners.

Please don’t dismiss me as another susil/ AL supporter. I am with you in all your struggle.

But I did not like the way you hated to even ride the same van with Businessman Giasuddin Al Mamun or how you refused to take food from him. Mamun defiitely did some corruption. Who does not do that in Bangladesh except a few rare exceptions like you? Don’t you feel you have not been fair with Mamun? You know how much torture this Mamun has suffered since 1/11? Your ordeal is nothing compared to Mamun’s.

Or simiarly I wish you showed at least a part of the respect to your assessment of Mirza Abbas as you showed to Maolana Saidee.

Mamun is a businessman who fought way up from the ditches and Abbas is a street raised politician. They may have many lapses, but none of those are comparable to those of Maola Saidee.

In 2008 Jamaat connection pulled BNP down to the bottom of the ocean. BNP desperately needs to dossociate itself from Jamaat to build a popular coalition and attract educated middle class back to it’s rank and file. Your excssively soft corner for Maolana Saidee would only make the educated middle class suspicious of BNP and push the coalition effort backwards.

Indeed, a very bad precedent you are creating Dear prime Minister Hasina.

It started with the arrest of an elected Dhaka City Ward Commissioner ( Councilor) Mr Chowdhury Alam.

Removal of Chowdhury Alam was very important to ruling Awami League Government’s political strategy. Mr Chowdhury Alam, as elected representative from Dhaka’s city center area, was the key field level organizer of all the city center rallies/ programs of opposition of BNP. Awami League takes opposition activities very seriously. They simply don’t want opposition to exist or act in any form. Departure of Mr. Alam came as a big debacle for opposition BNP as Mr. Alam was their key figure in it’s efforts to organize street agitation in Dhaka.

It has been nearly a year Mr. Alam went missing. Nobody accounted for his whereabouts.

In this list of missing under the current regime, Chowdhury Alam definitely was not the only name. The list became long quickly within first two years of this regime.

Last name in this list is the son of an opposition political figure. A rightwing orthodox islamic political leader and a Madrassa principle, Mr Fazlul Haque Amini had been protesting, peacefully, against the new fuggy inheritance policy of the government. A nationwide strike was organized last week and rallies are taking place on regular interval. Government’s top leadership reflected the whole issue personally on Amini. Statements made by the the prime Minister as well as other senior ministers were clear indication of the level of discomfort this government is experiencing in Handling this Amini trouble.

So not sure how to handle Amini, as any direct crackdown on Amini led madrassa based politics may be perceived as attack on political Islam by rural Bangladeshis, this prime Minister seemed to have taken the Chowdhury Alam route. Like Chowdhury Alam, the news broke as an arrest of Fazlul Haque Amini’s son Abul Hasanat by plain clothed policemen. Multiple news outlets carried this news.

And exactly like Chowdhury Alam case, since his abduction, Mr Abul Hasnath remained unaccounted for. Except for denying that he was arrested, there has not been any statement from any corner of the government regarding this incident. There has not been any visible action by law enforcement agencies to solve the problem by rescuing the abducted person. Mr. Amini, the father of the victim, has been complaining that he is regularly been threatened from the mobile phone belonging to his son. Bangladesh law enforcement agencies has the capabilities to track the phone records and locate from where the calls are made. Using this system, they solve most of the crimes these days. The silence from government quarters about the abduction, Prime Minister Hasina’s continued verbal attack on Amini ( Her last statement about Amini was that Khaleda Zia let Amini loose on the government), absolute absence of any action by law enforcement men to rescue or at least trace the abducted — should be enough evidence to suspect government’s hand behind the abduction of Amini’s son.

The government must understand that denying the abduction does not let them off the hook. It is the responsibility of the government to protect the safety of it’s citizen. A man suddenly can be whisked away in broad daylight from mains street Dhaka and Government will not have any say in it — this cannot happen in a civilized society.

Abducted and missing opposition activists and their families have been the historical hallmark of all the fascist governments in history. We don’t want to believe that our country is heading the fascist way. But the series of events, starting from Dr Yunus saga to the abduction of the son of Fazlul Haque Amini force us to fear about impending fascism.

BNP observes November 7 as a national day and a rally is held in Dhaka annually by BNP to commemorate the event.  As usual, BNP has been planning on the event for quite a long time. Today it was revealed that BNP was not allowed hold the rally in the two main public meeting places in Dhaka. After not getting permission for Paltan and Muktangan, BNP decided to hold it’s rally in  the limited space in front of it’s office.

However in the same newspapers that published this news, also published were reports and photos of  a grand rally  that took place in Muktangan today.  Here is a photo of the grand rally…

While the government talks about secularism and banning of religion based politics, in practicality it prefers the religion based Taliban themed political outfits over the main opposition party.  Refusing main opposition permission to hold rally in Muktangan, the site of the above rally of today, is an evidence of the double standard of this government.

PM declares war on terror . This is how The daily Star highlights the opening remarks of the newly elected Prime minister of Bangladesh. This is definitely a move to please/ payback the benefactors of PM’s government that include neighborhood powerhouse India and global powerhouse USA. However in USA, per an AFP report, the newly elected President Obama ‘declared end’ to war on terror.

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