Islam been hijacked? The roots and spread of radical Islam
A talk delivered by
at Rutgers University on March 5, 2004
It is good to hear from you. I am
glad to know you were one of the participants at the Rutgers
Like you, many of us, expatriate
Bangladeshis whowere growing up in the seventies were left-leaning
progressives who saw US imperialism as the only evil on earth.
Bangladeshi left in the post indepence period of 1972-1975 were mainly
pro-Moscow and pro-Peking. Many pro-Moscow lefties were grateful and
proud of the Soviet Union for her supporting a just cause of
Bangladesh indepence. The pro-Moscow left got a strong point to
crtique US imperialism because USA (the Nixon-Kissinger group)
supported the genocidal brutal junta of General Yahya Khan and its
cohort, the killer Islamic fundamentalists- Jamat-i-Islami and al-Badr.
I mentioned a few times the term "good cholesterol" which I
meant "good fundamentalists". I clarified in the conference
there was no such thing as good fundamentalists. To thwart Soviet
style communism, USA befriended Jamaatis of Pakistan occupied
Bangladesh in 1971, and later on patronized the predecessors of
Talibans of Afghanistan in the early eighties. My position
regarding this unethical polcy was crystal clear in the
conference, I suppose.
Now, going back to pro-Mosow left
in Bangladesh. Most of them were blind supporters of Kremlin policy.
Leonid Brezhnev was their legal guardian and mentor. They were very
enthusiastic to bring Soviet hegemony on Bangladesh soil. They
befriended the founding father of Bangladesh, the pro-West secular
democratic leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had
extraordinary popularity and even during the time of crisis he could
win any election. The Moscow lobby successfully cultivated
relationship with Sheikh's party Awami League. It is widely believed
that main force behind Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's dismantling of all
political parties, banning free press and establishment of a single
party called Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League (BKSAL) was
the same Moscow lobby. USA at the time was very close with
al-Qaeda and Taliban's roots, that is Saudi-Pakistani axis. In 1975
when a group of army officers with close ties to this axis killed
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members, USA was not unhappy
probably. Interestingly none of the pro-Moscow leadership died during
the coup. In a sense the Soviet lobby sank along with its ally secular
nationalist force. After 1975, the Islamization in Bangladesh got the
biggest boost. Saudi money was pouring in, so came Western aid. Today,
Bangladesh in enough Islamized. But there is hope. The tragedy of
September 11 changed the whole dynamics. Yesterday's friends became
today's enemy. The United States realized the hard way that the
Islamists can never be friends of freedom and secularism.
USA made many mistakes while this
superpower was combating the evil of communism. I do not disagree with
that notion. But in order to prove that point, we should not undermine
or gloss over the danger of Soviet hegemony and the constant human
rights violation that was going on behind the iron curtain for more
than half a century. Left forces in the Western world, unfortunately,
fail to see the devastating impact comes to individual liberty when a
totalitarian communist regime comes into power. Today, Islamism has
taken the place of communism. And people coming from Islamic autocracy
can only say how bitter they feel about Islamism. Western left-leaning
people who may have high idea about global human rights can hardly
understand that like communism of yesteryear, Islamism comes to power
only to continue to subjugate masses forever.
No country on earth has perfect
human rights record. The degree of human rights violation may vary. In
a sense no body is perfect and the earth is not simply black and
white. The people who fled the tyranny of Islamism bear bitter
feelings toward Islam. Ali Sina, a Iranian born native has tremendous
bitterness towards Islamic rule of governance. His site Faith Freedom
International covers many aspect of Islamic tyranny not only to
educate the readers who are Muslims, it is also meant to educate
Western audience as well.
My final conclusion is USA,
although a late comer, made a notable start to combat the evil of
global Islamism. Coming from a society where Islamic fascism has made
a good headway, I can confiently say that radical Islam is the
greatest threat to mankind.
Thank you for listening.
From: A Participant
Subject: Rutgers University follow
Date: Fri, 5 Mar
2004 17:37:53 EST
Dear Mr. Hasan,
There are many
things of which I would like to clarify about the March 5th talk you
gave at Rutgers University.
The first refers back to the
question I asked about Western imperialism ands its role of fueling
the fire of fanatical Islam. We seemed to both agree that it did. The
point where we differ is supporting the Iraq war. If you
remember a fellow student asked a very good question regarding not
only the baselines of the Iraq war, but the affect it will have on
spreading radical Islam. His direct question of "will
it help or hinder the spread of radical Islam" was not answered
by either of you. I think this was so because you know the
answer, and it is contrary to your stated beliefs of fighting radical
Islam. Unless of course you believe that radical Islam can
in fact be defeated militarily, this of course, I hope both of us can
agree, is obscene. It would result is massive collective
punishment, racism, and hundreds of thousands of lives lost (and of
course a force without ulterior motives to wage this barbaric war).
I hope we can
come to agreement that what we have now is a force attempting to
defeat radical Islam militarily with very specific and well documented
ulterior motives. As someone with a human rights background such as
yourself I am sure you are well aware of the background of gross human
rights violations and terrorism on the international scale of this
force. They did not just "turn their back" on progressive
democratic forces but actively participated in the murder, torture,
and terrorism directed at progressive civil society from the Middle
East to Latin America and throughout the Global South. This
force of course being the West, extensively the US.
This is why scholars and critics of
Western imperialism like myself say it is impossible to have a
"war on terror" as it is being led today.
which I would like to pose to you: What is a greater threat to
humanity, US hegemony or radical Islam?
Both I hope we can agree have the
goals of an unjust society and are therefore negative. However,
if we are to agree that Western imperialism is the true fuel to the
fire of radical Islam (and has directly supported it in the past) than
our efforts should be directed towards global human rights, economic
justice, and international law. Do you agree? We should be
working to end the occupation of Palestine, ending wars like the one
in Iraq, the us arms trade to human rights violators such as Turkey
and to make a truly global struggle against imperialism and economic
Then and only
then can we rationally stop radical Islam. There is nothing wrong with
criticizing Islam and there is plenty of need for that, but when you
do this disproportionately or in the total absence of criticizing
imperialism, you are only doing imperialism a favor and are also
dumping fuel on the fire of radical Islam.
Allowing yourself to be used by the
racist right wing(faithfreedom.org) is not the way to fight your
battle, even if it is just against Islam. The other speaker is being
used a fellow at the "foundation for defense of democracies"
on which several terrorists involved in the slaughters in central
america (Jean Kirkpatrick) are on the executive board of directors and
serve as advisors.
I know you agree
that a person who lost their life to Islamic terrorism is not worth
more than a person who lost their lives to terrorism serving the
interests of US hegemony such as in Latin America.
Thank you for your interest and
time and I look forward to your response.