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Feb 21 2013

Bangladeshi Democracy

While at work today I had the distinct pleasure of a short conversation with someone who believed that Atheists (and Communists!!!) were responsible for stirring up unnecessary trouble in Bangladesh.

And this lead me to an important question.

Does Bangladesh remember their own History? Do the people trying to reduce the secularism withing their country and follow in the footsteps of Pakistan remember why they won their freedom?

Pakistan at one point consisted of East and West Pakistan. Now the issue was that East Pakistan had little political power and was pretty much dominated by Western Pakistan. Pakistan was ruled by a dictator called General Zhia and the good General was an ally of the USA due to the Pakistani involvement in the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan. Under this yoke the Bangladeshi people  rebelled and paid a pretty horrific cost. Some estimates place the death toll of that conflict in the 1 to 2 million range. The massacres were of the middle class and intellectual class. Many families escaping from East Pakistan spoke of soldiers killing people with glasses. It was a distinct plan to destroy any middle class there so as to destroy any intellectual disagreement with Zhia’s rule.

India proceeded to arm and equip refugees who wished to fight for Bangladesh and helped liberate Bangladesh while simultaneously fighting off Pakistan in the Kashmir and Punjab. The end result was a liberated Bangladesh. (If you want to hear what the USA did during this time you would be terribly shocked if you aren’t American. The Americans kept selling arms to Zhia and kept supporting him. It was so shocking that the american diplomat to Pakistan wrote a letter of dissent. The infamous “Blood Telegram“. When Bangladesh won it’s freedom it made steps forward but ultimately fell into the same problem that any theocracy has.

You see, many people wish for an Islamic Democracy because they consider themselves “good Muslims”. But they forget that they are “only good” Muslims because they think so and because they are liberals. Why would they be affected by such laws? Here’s the thing.

A secular system means you can live together and be Muslim or Hindu or Atheist. It means you are free to worship what you wish. It means that your country isn’t basing it’s laws on a religious and therefore inflexible text.

When you try to base your entire nation’s function on a religious text then the people most fit to lead are fundies because they adhere to said texts the closest. Which is why Pakistan is struggling to not tear itself to pieces. Which is why Iran, Saudi and Yemen are led by fairly fundie governments. Which is why the other nations deeply struggle to maintain a liberal society and are regularly beset by fundies.

If you keep Bangladesh as a Muslim Nation you will eventually be a dictatorship or a theocracy again. You will eventually lose the ability to play on Twitter or Facebook or even complain. Hell, if you are particularly unlucky you may even end up like Pakistan. Torn by violence between moderates and extremists. I

6 comments

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  1. 1
    Marcus Ranum

    If you want to hear what the USA did during this time you would be terribly shocked if you aren’t American. The Americans kept selling arms to Zhia and kept supporting him.

    … While simultaneously slapping him around regarding Pakistan’s development of nukclear weapons and patting India on the back for their successful violation of the non-proliferation treaty. The history of US/Pakistan relationship sounds like a story of a bipolar battered spouse living with a psychotic who occasionally binge-drinks.

  2. 2
    naturalcynic

    In 1971 Pakistan was ruled by President Yahya Khan and the genocide was instigated by him along with Gen. Tikka Khan, chief of staff General Pirzada, security chief General Umar Khan, and intelligence chief General Akbar Khan. source. General and subsequently President Zia al-haq was only a minor role and was not, at the time, high enough among the staff and probably spent most of the time in West Pakistan, fighting in the India-Pakistan conflict of 1971. General Zia overthrew Bhutto in ’78 and supported the mujahadeen after the soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

  3. 3
    left0ver1under

    What happened in Iran and Pakistan is exactly the same thing that happened in Cuba, Argentina, Chile and elsewhere. The US armed pro-US fascist regimes who murdered those who wanted democracy, and then the US acts surprised when a violent, extremist opposition rises up.

    As the saying goes, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The US has a looooooong history of opposing secular governments and democracies in the name of short term gain and “US interests” (read: corporate profits).

  4. 4
    B-Lar

    …then the US acts surprised when a violent, extremist opposition rises up.

    It is faux surprise. You get the short term goal (profit), and the long term goal of manageable instability.

    Keep fighting wars. There is a lot a governing body can gain by making sure that another war is just around the corner.

  5. 5
    abandonwoo

    Dictatorship. Theocracy. Totalitarianism by any other name is still totalitarianism.

  6. 6
    rentAwawayKar

    Disposition disability is any virus or contingency that influences the nature a person thinks, feels, behaves, and/or relates to others and to his or her surroundings.
    Deranged disability is any disease or prepare that influences the way a person thinks, feels, behaves, and/or relates to others and to his or her surroundings.
    Deranged ailment is any virus or environment that influences the approach a in the flesh thinks, feels, behaves, and/or relates to others and to his or her surroundings
    Disturbed affliction is any disease or prepare that influences the nature a in the flesh thinks, feels, behaves, and/or relates to others and to his or her surroundings.Deranged illness is any bug or prepare that influences the modus vivendi = ‘lifestyle’ a in the flesh thinks, feels, behaves, and/or relates to others and to his or her surroundings.

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