Leaving Islam





A nation so strange albeit with a bizarre mentality

By Jamal Hasan
One may surmise that the
information superhighway is like a double-edged sword. While Internet is being utilized as a powerful tool to break age-old religious dogma, its Midas touch can very well be exploited by would-be Islamic terrorists who mastered the art of sending encrypted messages with a very familiar method of up-linking.  Lest we forget, the perpetrators of September 11 tragedy successfully took advantage of this modern invention with disastrous result, to put it in milder terms.

For the last seven years I had been an avid reader of a superb non-conformist e-journal from Bangladesh , the News from Bangladesh . During this period I contributed my write-ups on myriad topics. The 1971 Bangladesh genocide issue had always been the focus of my writings since I am an unabashed pro-1971 activist.  Even five years ago, I remember that we had quite a few receptive readers who would comment in the Readers’ Opinion column about the need for war crime tribunal, the need for Pakistani regime’s apology for the crime they had committed in occupied Bangladesh , etc. But lately, when I open the same Opinion column, I am not only stunned I am totally dumbfounded. What is going on with the new trend of Bangladesh born readers?  Why not a single voice among Bangladeshi Muslims wants to talk about 1971? Let us take into account the last three four days’ postings in NFB Readers’ opinion section.  Four letters came from countries like Austria , USA and UK . Three of the writers were women and one was a man. But the comments about 1971 episode coming from their computer keyboard were quite shocking!  One lady wrote, “ Bangladesh can’t go with the inane discussion about 1971. It has hardly produced any intellectual vigor into Bengali culture.”  Another lady lamented, “I want to stop creating hatred between us over 1971.” A cavalcade of ladies comes in the forefront to denounce discussions on 1971.  The other individual of fair sex commented, We know your are all hung-up over 1971 and all that.” Of course man should not be left out of this unique cacophony.  One gentleman felt the urge of giving his vacuous opinion by saying, “1971 means little to me just as the World War I and WW2 mean little to the generation before me.”  What a banal comment!

Who are these people?  Where they all are coming from?  Are they the perfect example of a Munafeq (treacherous) nation?  Or, are they so much Islamized that they do not want to discuss the name of an in-law, in Bangla whom we call Bhashur?  Remember, most of these individuals came to the West in search of greener pasture where they live now but they fail to see a la proverbial ostrich the on going debates the westerners have to dissect the past mistakes or tragic events. The West is making a conscious effort to make morrow a better day.  Yet, why are they (the Bangladeshi expats) so much nonchalant?  There are different theories for this sordid state of affairs. One theory some analysts say that this happened due to heavy dosage of Islamization in Bangladesh in their formative years.   Some analysts would argue in the realm of political Islam, if a Muslim becomes a vicious killer and killed another Muslim there is scope for forgiveness.  That is not so in case of infidels versus Muslims, though.  So, the 1971 Liberation War and the crime against humanity perpetrated by Yahya junta and theirs Jamaati cohorts is now diluted to be like a friendly wrestling match between two Muslim brothers. That is why 1971 appears to be like a World War I to some Bangladeshi Muslims, which happened eons ago.

We can cite many examples where genocide issue is still very much alive in civilized nations’ collective psyche.  For example the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Turkish Sultanate more than 113 years ago.  [http://www.cilicia.com/armo10.html]  [http://www.armenian-genocide.org/]   

Even today, Armenian Diaspora scattered all around the globe keep the memory of the Armenian Genocide victims alive.  In USA , the Armenian-Americans became such a powerful lobby that they can influence U.S. Congress in decision-making. Armenian Genocide issue is a widely talked about subject in U.S. Capitol.  Already the very significant lobby of the Armenian Diaspora initiated a number of U.S. Congressional Hearings on Armenian Genocide.  I am very much aware of the activism of this very proud nation.  I have serious doubt
if a single individual of Armenian descent would ever comment anything close to an outrageous remark by Bangladeshi Muslims as displayed in the Readers’ Opinion page of NFB.

Yes, the situation in Bangladesh is extremely in dire strait. Two Islamist military dictators changed the course of the nation to Ummatic Utopia.  That is why, as time goes by, Bangladeshi Muslims are becoming more and more intolerant and communal.  In an Ummatic worldview, all crime committed by a Muslim brother has to be forgotten.  That is why crime against humanity committed by Jamaat-i-Islami war criminals has become a taboo subject amongst Bangladeshi Muslims.  But should the Jamaati criminals get off the hook from international public opinion so easily?  They are the perpetrators of crime against humanity.   Still now, many of the victims are alive who can testify against the criminals.  Their misdeeds can still be traced in various documents scattered all around the world. [http://members.tripod.com/scohel/page42.html]

If we look into the history of genocidal maniacs or mass murderers worldwide, we may find a few examples where the criminal admitted his or her crime and showed remorse.  A few years ago one military guard in Chile expressed his deep regrets for killing innocent people in a stadium.  We also see examples where offspring of killers admitted their parents’ crime openly and expressed deep regrets for the victims.  A few years ago, ABC News’ Nightline program showed a group of visitors from Germany who were on a tour in Israel.  They were the children of Nazi officers. We know, unlike Bangladesh, Israel is a nation, which cherishes the memory of Holocaust victims greatly.  The German visitors on the record expressed their emotional outburst for the crime their forefathers had committed some sixty plus years ago from now.  They even apologized to the Israeli people. Could this ever happen in Bangladeshi Jamaatis case?  It is most unlikely.  Maybe pigs will fly if Delwar Hussain Sayedee or Ashrafuzzaman Khan will say they are sorry for they killed or were instrumental in killing many innocent civilians.

In political Islam, there is no scope for such remorse when it is well established the killer committed the crime to save Islam.  The war criminals of Bangladesh Jamaat-i-Islami were convinced whatever killing they did was to save the religion of peace.  They believe in the axiom “end justifies the means.”  In 1971, their conviction was to save Jinnah’s Pakistan, which was analogous to saving Islam. They wanted to save Pakistan by hook or by crook.  So, Ashrafuzzaman Khan, who killed seven Dhaka University teachers in cold blood in December of 1971, could have a sound sleep in his modest house in Queens, New York.  Such is the result of a dogmatic mindset! See link

Let me
go back to the young generation of our native land once again.  I mentioned in the beginning a few individual’s strange psychological outburst on the pages of NFB.  In my opinion they are the product of a dogmatic political entity.  Today’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party is not a secular nationalist organization.  It has been hijacked by the nemesis of Bangladesh liberation - the notorious Jamaat-i-Islami party.  No wonder an average BNP supporter would be very defensive of Jamaati war criminals. In this case, I want to make a parallel with the September 11 hijackers.  The 9/11 hijackers did not have remorse knowing that their action could result in numerous losses of civilian lives.  Similarly, the defenders of Jamaati war criminals would not care if someone describes them the gravity of the crime committed by their favorite godfathers. Their immediate attitude would be to push the issue under the rug.  They do not want to be hung-up over 1971, do not want to go with inane discussion about 1971 or do not like to create hatred between them over 1971.  Now, the question arises about the hatred between whom?  If a serial killer kills 12 people, even after 20 years the perpetrator gets the punishment.  Isn’t it so?  Today the Roman Catholic Church in USA is facing a serious financial melt down.  This is due to the paying for litigation of a number of Catholic priests’ pedophilic behavior.  Many of those crimes were committed more than thirty years ago.  In Bangladesh’s case, the Jamaati apologists become very nervous when somebody wants to expose the dirty laundry of their religious heroes.

I had no idea that Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jamaat-i-Islami are now more than a conjoined twin. I did not have any idea that BNP is like the sugarcoated cover of a capsule and the Jamaat-i-Islami is the main bitter ingredients until I encountered an interesting fellow on the Net.  This person like many other Bangladeshis are openly BNP activists who would jump to defend Jamaatis in a second.  This is a very unique situation. I doubt if a typical Awami Leaguer would be any degree defensive for Rashed Khan Menon’s Worker’s Party or Dr. Kamal Hossain’s Gono Forum.  Anyway, going back to the young gentleman who claims to be non-fundamentalist and a follower of Bangladesh Nationalist Party.  Two years ago, I used to post messages in different forums, some of which were critical of Jamaati war criminals.  Once I put a short comment about the notorious war criminal Abdul Kader Molla who was planning to visit USA. This is the same Kader Molla who was alleged to be the ringleader in killing innocent Bengalis in Mirpur area. [http://members.tripod.com/scohel/page42.html]  This young man, a PhD student at a prestigious Ivy League college in USA jumped from nowhere and attacked me viciously, of course on the Net.  First I was surprised to see the person lives in USA and apparently did not look like a typical molla (his image was very much visible on his website).  I did not understand why he had to be so much defensive about a mass murderer!  I did not realize the person is a die-hard supporter of BNP/Jamaat-i-Islami.  I was far from being aware that Bangladesh has become enough Talibanized nowadays.  I then became more and more interested in knowing more about this apparently modern young man from Bangladesh.  He is a web maker and I visited the site he used to advertise in all his postings. When I first visited the site, I was startled. It was a unique creation.  There was sound animation, cartoon and the whole nine-yards.  Nonetheless, there was an interesting slant in content management.  The characters he chose to caricature are not known to be Islamic fundamentalists, nor any of them had any reputation of being war criminals.  Rather quite a few of the subjects gained fame to uphold the causes of Bangladesh Liberation War. 

More surprisingly, the website had a computer game which allows the players to “kill” Indian Border Security Force personnel.  I thought this could be an ideal creation of a typical young Bangladeshi whose hatred towards India (read Infidel) is so much so that they hate anything and anybody dealing with “embarrassing” 1971 genocide issue.  After all, the 1971 issue cannot be a part of any Ummatic mindset. The web maker and I recently communicated.  We had quite a few lengthy exchanges.  In some of my communications I tried to feed him information about the crime committed by Jamaati war criminals.  Later on, I realized I was talking to a wall.  Bangladesh has been a breeding ground of confused young generation who does not want to listen anything derogatory about Jamaati leaders, who are in great reverence.  In
this context one Bangladeshi Ummah watcher sarcastically commented, “If Jamaatis were Hindus or Jews, I bet my bottom dollar, most young die-hard Islamists would curse them to the hell”. I thought maybe he is right.

The mindset I have been witnessing among young Bangladeshis is symptomatic of a sickening state of mind. With each passing day, the country is proceeding to another step towards darkness.  Death threat against liberals by the Islamic fanatics has been jumping up in geometric progression.  In a sense, Bangladesh is becoming an emerging neo-Taliban factory.  The secular voice is becoming marginalized. Once dominant, the secular people are now laughing stock amongst young generation, who are becoming more and more religious zealots.  Anybody who wants to raise the war crime issue of 1971 is taunted as a “Chetonized” person.  Such sick nation is sending young people abroad.  Many of them came here to stay in Western countries for the rest of their life dreaming of settling in those infidel lands someday.  But will they ever change their infirm mindset or would they driven by their Ummatic zeal continue to be a security threat in their adoptive lands, is everybody’s guess.  In the television advertisement to get more funding for Black universities the slogan says, “Mind is a terrible thing to waste.”  Now I see what has happened to zillions of post-Zia generations.  Lord have mercy on them.  
Jamal Hasan writes from Washington DC . His email address is [email protected]







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