FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF A MUSLIM APOSTATE
Hello, My name is S. A. [Editor's note: name of author concealed for his protection] and I am from Bangladesh.
I am a Muslim apostate and an atheist living in Bangladesh.
Like most Muslim apostates the reason behind my apostasy is the cruel and imperialistic nature of Islam, the so called “Religion of Peace”.
It is known at all that Muslim societies are dysfunctional and built on the personality cult of Muhammad, who is apparently the very image of the religion of “Peace”. My beliefs would flourish naturally in any other normal country and I would enjoy the right to freely express my views on Islam and religion in general, if I were to live in a country not politicized by the one “True” religion.
I would like to tell the outside world what it is like to live as an apostate in an already Islamized country and how our country fell into the hands of the “Protecters of Islam”.
The Islamization of Bangladesh began in the early eighties and the process continues to this day. A demonstration of the Islamization of this country began with riots over books such as Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses” and the sending of several Bangladeshi nationals into exile for expressing their scepticism and disbelief in Islam and religion in general. Among them are prominent writers such as Taslima Nasreen and South Asian linguistic genius Humayun Azad – who was later stabbed to death for “blasphemous” remarks.
During this Islamization process,we have noticed that our written constitution is being ripped apart so that the Islamizing powers can substitute the articles of secularism with “Absolute Faith In Almighty Allah”.
Last but not least, the government, which claims to be ‘secular’, has vowed to protect Allah’s “Honour” in Cyberspace! Yes. You heard me! In cyberspace!
A recently proposed ICT law is designed to punish those who “Defame Allah and his prophet“! Any sane person’s reaction to this would be “Why would a God need protection from the words of men?”
Asif Mohiuddin, one of the four bloggers bloggers previously arrested for his blasphemous remarks gives the answer in one of his blogs named “Almighty only in name“. He, along with three of his companions, Subrata Shuvo, Rasel Pervez and Moshiur Rahman are set to be the first victims of this oppressive law, which gives the government the right to imprison anyone who posts “offensive” items in cyberspace and keep him imprisoned for at least fourteen years without parole. What is even more discouraging for us is that our media is too politicized to let our voices be heard. So, we feel abandoned and prefer to remain silent under the social strictures which are getting more irrational and misogynistic day by day, our free thoughts are swiftly silenced and therefore we are unable to voice our opposition to these radical changes which will eventually take our society back to the dark ages, if not worse.
The reason the state got the opportunity to bring these laws into consideration is our constitution which declares secularism as a basic principle of the republic but also establishes Islam as the state religion. (Talk about doublethink!)
What has contributed to this distressful situation is the rise of an ultra puritanical religious group named “Hefazat-E-Islam”(the protectors of Islam). This group’s demand of the death penalty for blasphemers and (sadly) immense public support for this group, partly out of fear, is the very reason the government is considering this decision in the first place. The objective is to win votes and silence any voice that opposes the government and it’s policies.
So you can deduce that it is this nature of Islam,which makes it not only a religion but also a political ideology, that bars the practice of free speech in Muslim countries.
“Blasphemy” is just a deception to convince the everyday Guy that his rights are being respected. But in realit, everyone has to pay a price if we let Islamists continue their expansionist ideology and the capture of Countries “for Allah”.
Under these circumstances, one can easily imagine how hard it is for a Muslim apostate to live safely in an Islamized country like this, while expressing his views on religion freely.
Bangladesh was once considered as a hope for democracy and free speech in the third world. Many still do. But with laws like this coming into place, we ,the “Godless” may have to be strangers in our own country very soon. Only because of what we believe and what we say.