Taliban killed a Bengali woman.

I personally knew Sushmita Banerjee. She came to my home to tell her stories when I lived in Kolkata in 2004-2007. She told me many horror stories of her life– how she a Bengali woman married an Afghan and how she escaped from Afghanistan, came back to Kolkata, wrote her memoir, and became popular overnight.

I was really shocked when I heard that Sushmita was shot dead by the Taliban in Afghanistan. I have no idea why she went to Afghanistan. Her decision of going back to that country was no doubt wrong. Was that for love? Love kills women.

Sushmita escaped the Taliban in 1995. This year she returned to Afghanistan, the country which was supposed to be better now, and started working as a health assistence at a local hospital. After months of working quite peacefully, Sushmta had to die. The Taliban came to her husband’s house at night, tied up her husband and others, dragged her out of the house and killed her! Do the Taliban need to tie up others when they kill one? May be they need. Or maybe they don’t. Maybe someone from her in-laws informed the Taliban that Sushmita, the ‘immoral woman’, who fled husband’s house and wrote bad about them was there, maybe those men knew about her deeds and whereabouts from other sources. Or they were angry with her because she worked outside home and gave vaccines. Polio activists get killed in those areas. Maybe she did not wear her burqa properly. I can’t stop thinking of her.

I do not know about the conspiracy behind killing Sushmita, but I know why she was killed. She was killed, no matter by whom, the Taliban or not, because of patriarchy , misogyny and religion.



Almost 80% of Egyptian Muslims say they favour religious freedom and a similar number favour sharia law. Of that group, almost 90% also think people who renounce Islam should be put to death.

Probably we do not expect much from Afghanistan and Pakistan. But What about Bangladesh? Atheists and Islamists have recently been fighting in that country, officially people’s republic with a bizarre state religion. I have no idea whether Bangladesh showed the same conservatism like Egypt or liberal like Turkey. If you do not secularize your country for decades, you will get a disturbing data soon or later. Mubarak didn’t actually do much for secularization. If he did, Egypt would not have become a country of Islamists so quickly. Ex-communist countries are showing the best results so far. Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Bosnia, Russia, Albania are making a bit of sense than most Muslim countries. It is the reward of practicing atheism during communist era. Turkey is also better than many others. It is the result of, I believe, Kamal Ataturk’s efforts on secularization of Turkey that started almost a century ago.

You are wrong if you believe you as an authority should continue building religious schools and prayer halls and continue indoctrinating people to accept that ‘god exists, religion is true, it is a crime to hurt anyone’s religious feelings, infidels should die,’ but people should not turn to be religious terrorists.

Islamic countries are shifting themselves away from the civilized world. They will soon be an isolated monster with their sharia laws and laws against blasphemy. They will either destroy the entire world or they will be destroyed by themselves. It is so alarming!

I know it is politically incorrect to say against democracy. But I am not worried for being called incorrect. The truth is, I sometimes think democracy is not good for some countries, specially not for Muslim countries, where most people are brainwashed with Islamic doctrine. I know I am wrong, I am going against people’s freedom. I must not deny even the brainwashed people’s right to choose. But I can not totally wipe out my thoughts, that, it would be ultimately good for Muslim countries if they get dedicated and honest, non-corrupt and super-strict atheist or secular dictators. May be they do not want to be good. They want to be worst. They want to make their wheels go backwards. I am just a stupid dreamer!

Our men throw acid in our faces, destroy our lives but we never stop loving men. (Warning: Violent images)

Men throw acid on us with the intention of injuring or disfiguring us. Men throw acid on our bodies, burn our faces, smash our noses, melt our eyes, and walk away as happy men.
Acid attack is common in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Afghanistan, Nepal, Cambodia, and a few other countries. Men throw acid on us because men are angry with us for ending relationships and for refusing sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, proposals of marriage, demands for dowry. They throw acid on us for attending schools, for not wearing Islamic veils, for not behaving well, for speaking too much, for laughing loudly.


She was 18, a college student. Three of her neighbors sexually harassed her for more than two years and then threw acid on her. Her skin on the skull, face, neck, chest and back were melted away. After nine years of that attack Sonali Mukherjee is now blind in both eyes and partially deaf. Her father spent millions of rupees for her treatment. They have now no money. The attackers got bail from the High Court, continued threatening to kill her. She is now asking the government to help her or allow her to end her life.


The face of Sokreun Mean, who was blinded and disfigured by an acid attack.

Carsten Stormer, a German journalist & photographer said,

“Acid attacks deprive people of more than their looks and sight. Families are torn apart. Husbands leave their wives. Children are separated from their parents. Jobs vanish overnight, turning professionals into beggars. Many victims cannot get through a day without constant assistance, becoming burdens on their families. All bear the mark of the pariah.
“What remains is a traumatized society in which domestic disputes, unhappy love affairs, and professional rivalries are nearly always resolved through violence. Hardly a family without its members lost to the ideological battles of the Khmer Rouge – a curse that is passed on from parents to children. Battery acid is known to be most uncomplicated way of causing lifelong suffering. A dollar will buy you a quart of acid on any street corner. The perpetrators are seldom punished. Their targets become outcasts.”


Fakhra Younus was attacked by her husband Bilal Khar, ex-MPA of the Punjab Assembly and the son of Pakistani Politician Ghulam Mustafa Khar. He threw acid in her face after they split up. Tehmina Durrani, the author of ‘My Feudal Lord’, the former step mother of Bilal Khar tried to help Fakhra. She was sent to Italy for treatment. After having 39 re-constructive surgeries, Fakhra committed suicide.

The stories of the girls, from left to right:
Ten years ago Shahnaz Bibi was burned with acid by a relative due to a familial dispute. She has never undergone plastic surgery. Najaf Sultana is now 16. At the age of five Najaf was burned by her father while she was sleeping. Her father didn’t want to have another girl in the family. Najaf became blind. Shameem Akhter (20) was kidnapped and raped by a gang of men who then threw acid on her 3 years ago. Kanwal Kayum, now 26, was burned with acid one year ago by a man whom she rejected for marriage. Bashiran Bibi was burned at her husband’s house just after her marriage. Nasreen Sharif was a beautiful girl. When she was 14, her cousin poured a bottle of sulphuric acid in her face. He did it because he couldn’t stand boys whistling at her when she crossed the street. Her skin melted away, her hair burned away. She is now blind, she has no ears and she has no sense of smell.

Among others, there is Shaziya Abdulsattar, an eight-year-old girl. Shaziya’s father threw acid on her and her mother Azim last year after the mother refused to sell their two boys to a man in Dubai to use as camel racers.

It is very easy for a man to get sulphuric acid if he wants to attack a woman he does not like. The country has become a hot spot for acid attacks. A disfigured woman is not able to get married or get a job. She becomes a financial and social burden on her family.

Neela was forced to marry when she was 12 years old. Her husband threw acid on her face when she was 14. He was angry with Neela because her family was unable to give him the dowry money he asked for.


Akriti Rai, 22, was attacked by her husband, a Nepali soldier.


Ameneh Bahrami rejected the offer of having a relationship with Majid Movahedi, a fellow student at the University of Tehran. He then threw a bottle of acid in her face.


A man threw acid on a 13-year-old girl’s face to take a revenge. The older sister of the girl said: “You have to grow crocodile skin to clean the wounds of an acid survivor. The worst ordeal was while in the hospital, as the skin kept peeling off. I didn’t realize that the tongue skin was also peeling off. The young girl was pushing something in her mouth. I opened her mouth to see and found that almost the whole tongue had come off. I had to pull it out like you do with a cow and only a little red thing (tongue) remained.’

Nitric acid, sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid are today’s weapons of choice for criminals who hate women. These acids are easy to buy, easy to hide, easy to carry, and easy to throw. A person who witnessed many acid attacks , said, ‘in a less than a minute the bone under the skin can start to be exposed. If there is enough acid, the bone itself can become a soft mass of non-distinguishable jelly. Internal organs can dissolve. Fingers, noses and ears can melt away like chocolate on a hot day.’


Twenty-one-year-old woman Kamilat Mehdi’s life was changed forever when a stalker threw sulphuric acid in her face. Ismail, Kamilat’s brother said: “The man who attacked her stalked her for a few years. He gave her a hard time but she didn’t tell the family for fear that something would happen to them. He was always saying he would use a gun on them.” Ultimately the stalker’s weapon of choice was not a gun, but a bottle of acid. He used it on Kamilat and destroyed her entire life in one second.


Her lover did it. Richard Remes threw sulphuric acid on Patricia Lefranc. Her nose and eyelids were melted away, she lost sight in one eye and hearing in one ear, she also lost a finger. She came close to death, as the corrosive substance nearly burned through her heart and lungs.The horrific attack physically and emotionally scarred her for life. What was her crime? She ended her relationship with Richard Remes, a married man.

We are more abused, harassed, exploited, kidnapped, raped, trafficked, murdered by our lovers, husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, friends, or men we know well than by strangers. Whatever happens to us, we never stop loving men.

She was executed for the crime of being raped.

Taliban publicly executed an Afghan woman last week. The villagers cheered and shouted joyfully while watching the execution. The woman was accused of adultery. Her crime was she was either raped or she was in love with someone.

A lawmaker saw the video of the execution. She cried for the woman. She could not accept the cruel, barbaric, unethical and inhumane practices of religion.

The men who enjoyed the killing and the woman who blamed the killers are both humans. We will be unkind or kind depends very much on our upbringings. Little boys get brainwashed to become Talibans. They do not learn anything about love and compassion. All they were provided to learn was the Quran and the Hadith. All they were asked to become was the servants of Allah and the soldiers of Muhammad.

If we want to make the world a better place, we have to stop the system that forces our children to read the books of barbarism and lies and believe everything without asking questions. If we do not inspire our children to study science and have a thinking mind, we will see the crowds of ignorant people everywhere. If we do not encourage our children to study secularism and humanism, we will not be able to stop fanaticism, caste-ism,racism, sectarianism. If we do not let our children’s interests in feminism, women’s rights, equality and justice grow, it will be difficult for us to stop violence against women, rape, sex trafficking, sexual slavery, stoning or shooting women to death.

Is Noam Chomsky Right or Wrong?

Noam Chomsky was asked, ‘What do you think of the U.S. increased reliance—President Obama increasingly using drones to attack people in Pakistan, in Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and beyond?’

He answered: ‘Good comment about that made by Yochi Dreazen. He’s the military correspondent—was the military correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, is now for some other outfit, a military analyst. He pointed out accurately—this after the killing of Osama bin Laden, which he approved of, but he said that there’s an interesting difference between Bush and Obama. I mean, I’m now paraphrasing in my own terms, not his terms, so the way I would have said it is: Bush—if Bush, the Bush administration, didn’t like somebody, they’d kidnap them and send them to torture chambers; if the Obama administration decides they don’t like somebody, they murder them, so you don’t have to have torture chambers all over.

Actually, that tells us something else. Just take a look at the first Guantánamo detainee to go to trial under Obama. Trial means military commission, whatever that is. The first one was a very interesting case and tells us a lot. The first one was Omar Khadr. And what was his crime? His crime was that when he was 15 years old, he tried to defend his village against an attack by U.S. forces in Afghanistan. So that’s the crime, therefore he’s a terrorist. So he was sent to Bagram, then to Guantánamo, eight years in these torture chambers. And then he came up for trial under Obama. And he was given a choice: you can plead not guilty and stay in Guantánamo for the rest of your life, or you can plead guilty and get another eight years. So his lawyers advised him to plead guilty. Well, that’s justice under our constitutional law president, for a 15-year-old kid defending his village against an attacking army. And there was nothing said—the worst part is, there’s nothing said about it.

Actually, the same is true of the Awlaki killing, you know, this American cleric in Yemen who was killed by drones. He was killed. The guy next to him was killed. Shortly after, his son was killed. Now, there was a little talk about the fact that he was an American citizen: you shouldn’t just murder American citizens. But, you know, the New York Times headline, for example, when he was killed, said something like “West celebrates death of radical cleric.” First of all, it wasn’t death, it was murder. And the West celebrates the murder of a suspect. He’s a suspect, after all. There was something done almost 800 years ago called the Magna Carta, which is the foundation of Anglo-American law, that says that no one shall be subjected to a violation of rights without due process of law and a fair and speedy trial. It doesn’t say, if you think somebody’s a suspect, you should kill them.’