I must be dreaming, because I had to ask myself “Is this real life? Or just fantasy?”. Taslima covered it better than me, but if you haven’t been paying attention to Bangladesh then now is a good time to go read up about it. Caught in a landslide of sudden rising Islamic fundamentalism, there has been no escape from a reality of violence that has plagued Bangladesh claiming 15 lives.
How long must moderate and liberal muslims be blind? To them I say “Open your Eyes”. It’s as clear as the sky. We can’t keep thinking of muslims as poor boys (because girls don’t get a say). The Islamic Fundamentalists don’t need anyone’s sympathy. They are fighting for a world where there is no right to free religion or speech.
And atheists have responded with “apathy”. Easy come? Easy go? Atheists in a third world nation are being threatened and most of us are still enthralled by petty drama. Are we high? How low must we go before atheists are more interested in misogyny in games more than the fact that members of our community face a battle where they may lose all rights. Even the right to live. We forget that wew are an international community and even if we aren’t heavily represented we would like to be more important to the community than the direction of the wind.
The Islamic fundamentalists have already killed a man. And we didn’t show our displeasure. Our lack of action and support for the atheists who fight this may as well have us help pull the trigger of the gun against their heads. Any gains we make in our legitimacy are thrown away by petty bickering when there are real battles to be fought.
And now some of you you will cry and will say that you won’t come back to this blog tomorrow. In which case I well tell you to carry on because clearly nothing really matters to you. It’s too late. In Bangladesh atleast our time has come.
It does send shivers down my spine when I have to face down Islamic Right Wingers mainly because they have no sense of free speech. It’s like a dull ache that courses through your body when you have to face them down partly because you fear the backlash from fundamentalist Islam and partly because you fear the backlash of islamophobia accusations. No one wants to die for criticising Islam and while we are relatively safe, these atheists in Bangadesh have to face that every day.
And all for Allah, the tiresome god of Islam. A thorn in the side of progress to large amounts of people under his thrall. A vampire leaving the men fools and women naught but silhouettes of their real selves. And it harms them because we are left with the impression of Islam from it’s stereotypes. We treat them like Scaramouch, a stock figure of clownish danger. And for all the fear of them we treat them as forces of nature no different from thunder and lightning. It’s in their “nature” to be terrorists? It’s in their nature to be luddites. Well? If we look at the way Galileo was treated, is it not in our western nature to be the same and be capable of doing the same things?
I am a poor boy from a relatively small corner of the Internet so I am generally a lot more unloved by it as a whole. I don’t have the armies of readers that other bloggers have. BUT, I know that we should try and spare others from the sort of monstrosities such as islamic fundamentalism. So we should fight by showing our solidarity for Bangladesh and stand united against Islamic fundamentalism.
Islamic activists are worried their immensely powerful magical superbeing needs protection from satire. Hence an anti-blasphemy law. The government so far has stuck to it’s “Secular” laws but this violence is indicative of a growing radicalisation. After all? Only bad muslims have something to fear with blasphemy laws. That is until it becomes blasphemy to challenge whatever a “good muslim” is. In a theocracy the fundamentalist is “king” and with blasphemy laws there is no way to criticise them.
I don’t think atheists should stop making fun of Allah. We cannot just let it go. We cannot put the Allah of violence aside for the sake of people who desperately cling on to him and insist he is the Allah of peace. If they are the same Allah then they must be treated like we treat all gods and the followers who believe in them.
Let them stone people, we will spit in their eyes. Let them claim that Allah loves us, but his followers lead people to die. We can show many Muslims who doubt their faith a way out.
And if we cannot offer them this then all we are suggesting that is that nothing they believe in really matters. Anyone can see it. Nothing really matters to us if it’s not from a western judeo-christian standpoint.
The wind is changing and it may blow against us. So we should care about the direction of the wind if it beaches the progress we have made by denying the rights we consider universal just on the whim of the religious.