It’s been 44 years now that Bangladesh has become an independent nation, but it still feels like yesterday. Freedom from Pakistan was won after a long war of nine months and Bangladesh was born with the promise of being a peaceful, tolerant, democratic and secular nation. Though if you talk to Indians, most will say that the 1971 war was fought between India and Pakistan and Bangladesh’s guerrilla forces had no part in it. It was as a result of India’s victory that Bangladesh was born, they aver.
However, the fact is that independence was achieved by the sacrifices and bloodshed of Bangladeshi freedom-fighters. The second partition was the result of the uprising of Bengali muslims of East Pakistan against the constant attacks on them by non-Bengali muslims. The idea of all muslims living happily ever after in one country after separating from India, obviously wasn’t working out.
The nationalists who fought for Bangladesh envisioned a country that would differ from Pakistan in its goals and principles. A nation where everyone, irrespective of religious inclination, would coexist in mutual harmony. However, within a few years of independence, the country’s ugly side emerged. Though Bangladesh is not divided geographically, there is a major division on the basis of principles: at one end there are dogmatic religious fascists and on the other is the liberal secular minority. Religious extremists attack unarmed liberals with impunity, and rising frequency, while the judicial system remains in disarray. So, far from being different from Pakistan, today’s Bangladesh is actually no different from it.
The powers that be in Bangladesh have long fed the masses with catchy words like freedom, democracy and secularism, however, the country is not mature enough to understand and implement these ideals. The day Bangladesh comprehends the value of these words and start to practise them, that would be the day when the national flag fluttering over the memorial of the martyrs in Dhaka would derive its true honour.
I don’t celebrate the independence day of Bangladesh because I am hardly able to see any difference between Bangladesh and Pakistan. Freethinking is prohibited in both countries, so how does that make us free? I strongly feel that Bangladesh does not have the right to celebrate independence day till freethinkers stop getting killed and exiled ones are brought back home. The celebration on February 21 will, therefore, be nothing but a superficial pomp and show as long as Bangladesh does not fix its issues of injustice against the liberals.
I don’t have faith in religion, but in human beings. I place my faith in good work, constructive ideas, dedication, equality and freedom of speech. Do I not have the right to live in Bangladesh? It’s been 21 years now that I have been banished from my motherland. It wasn’t my choice; the government forced me out and the doors of return are closed till date. Why did I have to face this fate? Did I kill or loot anyone? I was a doctor and a writer. All I have done is to write for the people so that the light of knowledge could reach the common masses and they could live a better life.
In 21 years of exile, the definition of a country has changed for me. It’s not a territorial entity anymore, it’s all about people; who are liberal, love each other, believe in freedom of self expression and are not shackled by the inhibitions of religion and superstitions. That is where my motherland is, that is where I belong.
Politicians make the boundaries of the world. If non-political entities had the power, the world would have been a different place altogether. The map wouldn’t have been altered on grounds of partitioning in the name of religion and faith. The world is becoming smaller and people are learning foreign languages as well as adopting food habits, lifestyles and cultures of far away countries. Dividing people on the basis of language and socio-cultural structure does not make sense any more. It’s time that divisions made by politicians for their own benefit be removed. Let there no longer be barbed wires or walls segregating people.
Animalistic tendencies are inherent in humans; we try to rein them in to be social. If we could get rid of these instincts totally, the world would be one; without divisions, borders or countries. The geographical distance between America and Eurasia would always be present but the cultural distance has diminished. The economical gap between the rich and the poor too will get bridged in time. Even if there are socio-political differences, that is no justification to sow seeds of hatred, intolerance, religious dogma, superstition and terrorism. These horrible aspects shouldn’t be a part of the culture of any nation. This is the era of science and technology, let us utilise this for something constructive, and let’s unite with the purpose of being one country, one nation and one world.
In the war of 1971, muslims fought against muslims. It wasn’t a battle between two sects of muslims; sunni muslims took up weapons against another group of sunni muslims. This conflict was one of a kind. A group of bravehearts stood up against their own sect in order to save their mother tongue. This is a great instance of secularism. This is the kind of secular politics that I have tried to propagate through my writings. And this is what other freethinkers of Bangladesh have done as well, yet all those who believe in the idea of a secular country are being exiled, one after another.
I don’t refer to Bangladesh as a country anymore. For me, a country is a sense of shelter, an envelope of protection. A piece of land where people don’t feel protected, where writers and intellectuals don’t have the liberty of self-expression is anything but a country. It is easy to be an independent national in the logbook of the world; but being a country isn’t easy. It requires a sense of responsibility. Just like having the appearance of a human being is inherent, but being human is not.
Ansarullah Bangla team is an Islamic terrorist organization in Bangladesh. The group takes its ideology from Anwar Al-Awlaki, a Yemen-based Al-Qaeda activist, translations of whose Jihadi texts has been found on the Ansarullah Team website.
Bangladesh police detective disclosed important information which was published in yesterday’s Jugantor newspaper. Ansarullah Bangla team planned to murder all the intellectuals whoever criticized Islam. More than 100 intellectuals and writers are in their hit list. They already brutally killed many talented people including blogger Rajib Haider, blogger and writer Avijit Roy, blogger Washiqur Rahman for criticism of Islam. They say that Allah gets happy if they kill nonbelievers with knives or swords rather than pistols or rifles, and it is better if they kill from the behind instead of the front. They also say that they try to do beheading because Allah prefers beheading.
The team has many hundreds of sleeper cells who are trained to murder in the name of Allah. A sleeper cell does not know about the other sleeper cell. They don’t have more than 3 to 5 members in a sleeper cell. Sleeper cells believe it is their religious duty to kill infidels. There is no doubt that they are massively brainwashed. After murdering Avijit Roy, Rezwanul Azad Rana, the current leader of Amsarullah Bangla team left the country for Australia.
After investigating terrorist activities for months, the police said, the terrorist organization decided to go to India to murder Taslima Nasreen, the writer. The news is in the 2nd page of the Jugantor newspaper. The clipping is attached.
Yep, I am their biggest target. And I am bloody worried.
Avijit Roy was brutally murdered in Bangladesh a month ago. The murderers have not yet been arrested. And yesterday another blogger, atheist and secular humanist Washikur Rahman Babu was brutally murdered by Islamists. Their crime was that they criticized Islam. Bangladeshi Islamists have been systemically murdering all freethinkers.
The murderers of Babu are the Madrasa students. They are brainwashed. They were ordered by their madrasa teacher to kill Washikur Babu. Madrasa students just followed their teacher’s order. Madrasas and mosques are the breeding ground for terrorists. But governments still continue building more madrasas and more mosques all over the country to get votes from ignorant masses. I am not surprised when I hear freethinkers are getting murdered in Bangladesh. Bangladesh has laws against blasphemy. Governments don’t spare ministers when they say unsatisfactory comments on Islam. State religion is Islam. Popular media, such as radio and television praise Islam. Family laws are based on Islam. All the established institutions claim that they all are devout Muslims. There is always a competition between major political parties who would be more religious than others. More women are wearing hijabs, and men are becoming more misogynists. It is not the country I knew in my childhood and adolescence.
Let’s see why Islamists killed Washikur Babu. What he really wrote.
On his page, Rahman reposted a cartoon depicting Prophet Mohammed from the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo. He wished a happy birthday to author Taslima Nasreen, who was forced to flee Bangladesh due to death threats from fundamentalists. And he “liked” a picture of sausages wrapped in crescent rolls that someone had captioned, “Pigs in burqas.” Posts threatening him were numerous. “Get ready for the afterlife,” one person commented on one of his posts. “See you in hell,” said another. He used to write under the pseudonym “Stupid Man” on a blog but switched to posting on Facebook after 2011. On Facebook, he is credited for a series, “Jaw-crushing answers to insulting comments of atheists.” There, he posted questions that critics of Islam often raised and then answered them. But he paired the answers in such a way that they highlighted the contradiction within Islam. For example, one question asked what proof was there that the Quran was the word of God. The answer, “Mohammed said in his own words that the Quran is the word of God. Since Mohammed is the messenger of Allah, his claims are true.” He placed the question next to one that asked, “What is the proof that Mohammed was the messenger of Allah?” The answer, “The Quran claims that Mohammed was the messenger of Allah. And since the Quran is God’s word, its claims must be true.”
No Bangladesh government takes action against the Muslim terrorists when they kill atheists and freethinkers. Even so called moderate Muslims do not mind if atheists get brutally murdered. They rather blame atheist bloggers for writing blogs.
Dr. Avijit Roy was hacked to death last night by Islamic terrorists. He was lying on the sidewalk in a pool of blood having been viciously attacked, while his wife was asking passers-by for help.
Avijit’s crime was that he wrote some books on science, reason, atheism, evolution, humanism and homosexuality. He also provided hundreds of freethinkers a platform to freely express their views.
Some of his very valuable books:
If one has to say what other people want to hear, then there is no need for freedom of speech or one’s right to express opinions.
What is this? We have to be decent and polite. We need to know where to draw the line, and whatever we do has to make sense. But those who are religious don’t need to be sensible or rational. It’s not a problem if they are crude. They have the right to declare bounty on someone’s head. They have the right to be uncivilised, to be murderers. But we (by we I mean the non-believers) don’t have those rights. In every society, the believers get more advantages than the non-believers.
By now, everyone must already know exactly what the telecommunication and ICT minister, Latif Siddique, said in New York. He lost his ministry for saying what he said. Not only that, Muslim radicals started protesting on the streets against him. They are demanding his execution. A Tk5 lakh bounty has been declared on his head. He is receiving threats from different groups. Apparently, he won’t be allowed back in the country. The media has also humiliated him in different ways.
But what was his fault? It is true that after uttering the Prophet’s name, Latif Siddique did not say “peace be upon him.” Even if one does not utter those words, there is no reason for peace not to be upon the Prophet. Almighty Allah will give his soul peace nevertheless. He was the greatest friend of Allah, and He himself sent Prophet Muhammad. The problem is, most of the Bengali Muslims know very littile about the Qur’an and Hadith. They haven’t read much about the history of Islam either.
More than 90% of the Bangladeshi population is Muslim. Most of them are Muslims because their parents were Muslims. Some converted to Islam, either on their own or by force. Many of these Muslims claimed that Latif Siddique hurt the “religious sentiments of Muslims.” By Muslims, they meant all Muslims or the Muslim community as a whole. However, a group or community doesn’t have feelings, a person does. So, it can be said Latif Siddique’s words hurt some people’s sentiments.
A person doesn’t only have religious sentiments, they experience many kinds of feelings. When their other feelings are hurt, they don’t get so riled up. So it can be asked, are religious sentiments more fragile and dangerous than other feelings? Are they hurt so easily that when someone hurts religious sentiments, anyone can break the pillars of civilisation – democracy, human rights, and freedom of speech?
The Muslim countries might not make necessary arrangements to protect human rights, but each of those countries take measures to protect Islam. If anyone raises any question about Islam, then capital punishment, execution, getting slaughtered, life imprisonment, life in exile, harassment, etc are inevitable.
Muslim extremists stone women. They slaughter people brutally. They whip girls for wearing trousers and cane them for driving. People all over the world see these barbaric acts. At one time, there was barbarity all over the world, but such behaviour has been made illegal by the establishment of laws in almost all countries.
Whether someone admits it or not, it is true that the number of Muslim extremists and Muslim terrorists has increased critically in the last two decades. Large and small groups like al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hezbollah, and ISIS have been formed. They are dreaming of turning the entire world into a “caliphate,” where only Muslims will live, no one else.
According to a report by Pew Research Centre, most of the Muslims of the world want Sharia law. Today, a sense of disgust has been created about Islam around the world. Hatred has been cultivated towards Muslims. Non-Muslims in many countries express their lack of interest in becoming friends with Muslims, giving them jobs, and maintaining professional and social relationships with them. A dreadful distrust has been developed towards Muslims.
But human rights laws in the West are so strong that Muslims can live their lives as they wish. No country has plans to drive them away by beating and killing them. The West stops racism in their countries on their own.
Democracy becomes pointless if people lose their right to express their opinions or freedom of speech. If we try to change society, various feelings of various people get hurt. A society cannot be changed if we want to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings. People’s religious sentiments get hurt even when you try to separate state from religion or get rid of laws against women.
Too many good deeds haven’t been done till now without hurting religious sentiments. When the clerical rule in Europe was stopped, the religious sentiments of numerous people were hurt too. The discoveries of Galileo and Darwin hurt people’s religious sentiments as well. Scientific advancements hurt the religious sentiments of superstitious people.
But if we stop expressing our opinions, ban scientific discoveries and usage, and stop the progression of civilisation in the fear that it’ll hurt them, then the society will be left as a puddle of water, it will never turn into a spontaneously-flowing stream. Many say that since the majority of the people of the country are Muslims, Latif Siddique should have talked sensibly, keeping that in mind.
If one has to say what other people want to hear, then there is no need for freedom of speech or one’s right to express opinions. Freedom of speech is for those whose opinions don’t correspond with the opinions of most others. Freedom of speech is saying what you don’t want to hear. Those whose opinions don’t hurt anyone’s feelings don’t need freedon of speech. When the government takes the side of people who are against freedom of speech, it brings about the ruin of its own country.
Nowadays, religious extremists are doing very good business by exploiting people’s religious sentiments. They have always profited from this business in Bangladesh. Every time they scream on the streets demanding someone’s execution for religious dissent and start burning public property, the government takes their side and starts oppressing the people who hold different opinions. This strengthens the power of religious exploiters a hundredfold, and takes the country back 100 years.
The government did exactly the same thing in my case. The friendship between the government and extremists has forever remained the same. Back then, if the Khaleda-led government had punished the Muslim radicals instead of taking their side, they wouldn’t be so powerful now. I could have stayed in my own country as well. There would have been freedom of speech in the country.
It’s not only the Muslim fundamentalists, even the government has deprived free-thinkers of their democratic rights for their own insignificant interests. If Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had not dismissed Latif Siddique from his ministerial post, then he could have returned to the country. The storm would have died down eventually.
The clever religious exploiters would have understood that the politics of religious sentiments would not work in this government’s tenure. The expulsion of Latif Siddique only added fuel to the fire of Muslim fundamentalists. This will strengthen their evil forces a hundredfold. The country will again move backwards a hundredfold.
Various details about Latif Siddique are being disclosed these days. Apparently, he was a horrible person. When the government goes against someone, the number of his friends goes down to zero. My situation was the same. I had to leave the country. My friends vanished. Limitless rumours were spread about me.
Latif Siddique probably did many horrible things. I am not saying that he is a very good person. All I am saying is that he has the right to express his own opinions. Just as I support Latif Siddique’s right to express himself, I similarly respect the rights of his opposers to share their opinions at an equal measure.
If you don’t like his opinion, write and talk against his views and use logic to refute his arguments. But declaring a bounty on his head, physically attacking him, talking about hanging, executing, killing, and beheading him – I am against these barbaric threats.
Bangladesh did it to me long ago. Twenty years have passed. The country hasn’t learnt anything. It hasn’t stopped harassing thinking minds. Now the country’s new fucking laws gave the fucking authorities the fucking right to fucking arrest two teenagers for writing about fucking religion on their facebook and blogs. I am sick and tired of the fucking news of fucking harassment of atheists almost every fucking day.
The audiovisual message purported to be from al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has urged the Muslims in Bangladesh to wage an intifada (popular uprising) to confront the “crusader onslaught against Islam”.
Posted in Jihadology.net, the message alleged thousands of people were being killed in the streets of Bangladesh for protesting the “collusion of the anti-Islam secular government with a bunch of transgressing secularists”.
“I invite you to lead the masses in a vast and inclusive popular uprising (intifada) whose tide dose not recede, nor its dynamism subsides, until the Shariah of Islam governs the land of Islam, instead of being governed over,” it went on.
Titled “Bangladesh: A Massacre behind a Wall of Silence”, the message was released on January 14, but it surfaced in the media only yesterday.
In it, the voice of an unseen narrator is placed over still images including Zawahiri’s and video clips along with English subtitle. Not a single shot does show the al-Qaeda chief speaking on camera.
Jihadology, which describes itself as a clearinghouse for Jihadi source materials, said this was a new message of Zawahiri and it was presented by As-Saḥab, known as the media house of al-Qaeda.
Zawahiri, an Egyptian physician, took the helm of the much-feared global militant organisation after US Navy SEALS killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011.
The audiovisual material starts with photographs from the May 5, 2013 Hefajat-e Islam rally in Dhaka and the subsequent crackdown by law enforcers on it.
“A massacre of Muslims is being carried out these days, and the Muslim world is totally oblivious to it. The western media is colluding with the killers to belittle its significance and hide the facts,” the message said.
“Hundreds of callers to the religion and scholars are also facing hardships, manhunts, imprisonment, trials, death sentences and life imprisonments without any guilt,” it said.
“My Muslim brothers in Bangladesh, I invite you to confront this crusader onslaught against Islam, which is being orchestrated by the leading criminals in the subcontinent and the West…
The release went on, “Bangladesh is the victim of the conspiracy in which the agents of India, the corrupt leadership of the Pakistan army, and treacherous power hungry politicians of Bangladesh and Pakistan, who are always prepared to sacrifice everything for the sake of fulfilling their ambitions and desires, were all equal participants.”
Turning to the Liberation War, 1971, the message said, “Their purpose was not independence from Pakistan, stopping the aggression against the people of Bangladesh, or getting rid of military rule in Pakistan.” The real purpose was weakening the Muslim Ummah in the subcontinent, the release claimed.
Bangladesh is being turned into “a subjugated surrogate of India”, it also said.
“Those who massacred the Muslims in Bangladesh only yesterday are the same people who are massacring the Muslims in Pakistan today. Similarly, those who allied with India against Pakistan by claiming that they sought to defend the honour and sanctities of Bengalis are the same people who are attacking the sanctities, beliefs, honour, lives and properties of Bengalis today.”
While accusing the media for downplaying the alleged attacks, he also criticised the West for remaining “unmoved”.
The events in Bangladesh enjoy the blessings of both India and America, “since their interests in fighting Islam overlap, and this is why their bilateral relations are becoming stronger day by day”.
When people of Afghanistan, Mali, and Somalia “decide to implement” Shariah”, “they are then met with a full-fledged military onslaught, in which the leading international criminals and their local surrogates take part”.
“But when Salman Rushdie, Taslima Nasrin and Ali Rajib Haider insult Islam, the Prophet of Islam (pbuh), and the beliefs of Islam, they are treated as heroes who must be defended, honoured, and given awards,” said the al-Qaeda chief.
Comparing the situation in Bangladesh with the attacks on Muslims in Myanmar, he said, “The events in Bangladesh and Burma are not too distant from the oppression and killings of Muslims in Kashmir or the racial cleansing in Assam, Gujarat and Ahmadabad either.”
There are more than enough ignorant Islamists in Bangladesh who will get influenced by Al-Qaeda chief and turn the country into a fucked up Islamic hell. They should be fought now without any compromise. Don’t sit on your fat ass, lazy bum.
Full text of al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri’s audio message:
My dear Muslim brothers! May peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you! A massacre of Muslims is being carried out these days, and the Muslim world is totally oblivious to it. The western media is colluding with the killers to belittle its significance and hide the facts.
This is the bloodbath taking place in Bangladesh, without the Muslims paying the least attention to it.
Bangladesh is the victim of the conspiracy in which the agents of India, the corrupt leadership of the Pakistan army, and treacherous power hungry politicians of Bangladesh and Pakistan, who are always prepared to sacrifice everything for the sake of fulfilling their ambitions and desires, were all equal participants.
However, the real victim was the Muslim Ummah in the subcontinent generally, and in Pakistan and Bangladesh specifically.
The crimes that are being committed in Bangladesh today against the core beliefs of Islam, the Prophet of Islam (pbuh), and the Muslim Ummah are only the fruits of the rotten seeds sown by these criminals.
Their purpose was not independence from Pakistan, stopping the aggression against the people of Bangladesh, or getting rid of military rule in Pakistan. None of these was the real objectives, even if these criminals took cover behind these slogans, parroted these lines, and propagated these out of their malevolence or stupidity, or due to both. None of this was the real purpose.
The real purpose was weakening the Muslim Ummah in the subcontinent. It was to rip the Muslim Ummah apart into pieces, and lead it to death by getting it entangled in mutual strife, regional conflicts and wars.
Above all, their purpose was to attack the real capital of this Ummah, and the secret of its strength: the Islamic faith.
What is taking place today in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Afghanistan is only a prelude to the execution of this evil plan, and the aforementioned criminals are the tools of the enemies of Islam in this vile conspiracy.
Those who massacred the Muslims in Bangladesh only yesterday are the same people who are massacring the Muslims in Pakistan today. Similarly, those who allied with India against Pakistan by claiming that they sought to defend the honour and sanctities of Bengalis are the same people who are attacking the sanctities, beliefs, honour, lives and properties of Bengalis today.
They claimed that they created Pakistan more than 60 years ago to defend Islam and Muslims in the subcontinent. Today we have a Pakistan that has no Shariah, no independence and no honour. Its government, army, intelligence, police and judiciary act as mercenaries hired to defend the interests of the crusader onslaught in South Asia.
Similarly, they claimed that they created Bangladesh more than 40 years ago to protect the independence, glory, honour and freedom of its people. But today we see Bangladesh turning into a huge prison in which the sanctities, honour, dignity and sacred places of Muslims are violated. Their lives are put at stake, and they are tortured in defence of the crusader onslaught, which is fighting Islam politically, militarily and ideologically.
Bangladesh, which they claimed to have won from Pakistan so that it may get its freedom, is being turned into a subjugated surrogate of India. These anti-Islamic policies that assail Islamic beliefs, symbols and the noble Prophet of Islam (pbuh), are only a manifestation of complete subjugation to India.
The events in Bangladesh enjoy the blessings of both India and America, since their interests in fighting Islam overlap, and this is why their bilateral relations are becoming stronger day by day.
This is the bitter truth that we must be aware of, so that we can take the first step on the road to freeing ourselves from this misfortune, humiliation and subservience to foreign powers.
It is so easy to harass women, molest women, rape women, sell women, buy women, exploit women. It is so easy to throw acid on women’s body, beaten women up, burn them down. It is so easy to kill women.
It is in Bangladesh. I was born and brought up in that country, unfortunately.