Let me join in with my 2 cents.
Its sad the discussion has deviated from its original purpose. Its ugly seeing Bangladesh being compared with Pakistan. We separated in 1971 for a reason! Now on to your points, thebest:
1. Hijab: I agree with you. Forcing hijab on girls as young as 8 certainly is not advocated by islam. Hijab is for grown up girls and again, gloves are not really a part of it. However, you missed the point. I dont think Banglatiger was attacking you when he said "some people". There is certainly a very vocal minority who think lashing against anything with the practices of Islam attached to it makes them modernized. You might dislike hijab, but you have to respect other women's willingness to accept is, and to dismiss this acceptance as propaganda or brainwashing or lack of enlightenment is surely as bad as it can get. I do not like religious bigots, but I hate secular bigotry with a passion.
2.Dhaka University: Either you do not know the whole picture or you twisted the facts. First, when I said I hate secular bigotry with a passion, I hoped you would not be influenced by it. Either you are influenced, or you are misinformed. To categorize every Madrassah student as "Fundo". the funky word you are so fond of, is no less a smear than saying all Muslims are terrorists. Madrassah system has means of graduating , the Kamil degree, for those who want to pursue a complete Madrassah education. It's only those who seek to change their system midway through the studies who take up Univarsity education. The person is moving away from Madrassah study, towards a more westernized one, and you are trying to deny him that.
The consequences are far fetched than many of you might think. Ultimately, the person who would have finished up as a westernized one, finish up as a person you'd call "Fundo".Only because you denied him the chance. The departments that did this, they twisted the admission rules only to bar madrassah students. there is no other logical explanation. Is Bangla and English taught at Higher secondary level so much necessary for these departments? Any person who had studied the curricula should disagree. At A-level, most students study only 3 subjects, while we were subjected to 6. Did that make us more prepared? The Madrassah students didnt want to get free admission, they wanted a chance to show that they are worth.
And believe me, there are many. In the high ranking positions of the government there are many madrasah educated people who took this path, and many of them transformed, by there looks, there lifestyle, their children's lifestyle, you wont even know they were once madrassah educated. ther are even teachers in those concerned departments who are madrassah educated. Think about this situation, a village student who had to study in madrassah in lower levels, maybe forced, now wants to change his ways. Now that you'd deny him, he wont have a way to leave. This had been a case of secular bigots at their worst, trying to enforce their ways on everyone, purging everything that has the name of Islam attached to it.
Now on to the agitations. I condemn them. But to portray them as militants taking over dhaka is blatant scaremongering. When Chatra dal- Chatra league destroy campuses, there is no such outcry, and happens regularly. After a section of madrassah students took the wrong way to vent their angers out, the media propaganda of talibanism went to new heights. Had it been any other section who did this, there would not have been these outcries. This is victimization. Anyone does a crime, see it as a crime- a person with a beard does the same thing - you call it militant islam . Meh
3. Militancy: The violent part is largely subdued, and the instant action taken against them is Bangladesh is largely unmatched. Now, you can never assume that there is nobody left. But to think Bangladesh of being a place which is insecure because of these people are baseless and false. Had the militants succeeded in killing anyone lately? wounding anyone? Succeeded in threatening any infrastructure? More importantly, if you come to Bangladesh, what are the chances that you'll encounter a militant? Bangladeshi people is moderate, and they dont like or patronize militancy which abuses the name of Islam.Period.
4. Applying for registration: The previous logic applies here, too. These people are saying that they are trying to come back to normal life. If they oblige the rules and stay within them, they surely deserve a chance, though most probably they will not win a seat in the parliament and will be purged within the law. Now accusing anyone only because you have suspicion on his agenda and he has a battered past, is unethical. Read "La Miserable"? written by Victor Hugo, I know none who read the novel and was still unmoved by it. One of my favorites. If they wants to register and are within the law, let them register, and if they are unlawful, they'll get their reprisals.
Now only because they are muslims, these outcries are there. There are much more fundamentalist christian parties that participate and regularly win elections. Nobody says nothing. Look up the wiki page on london mayor Boris Johnson, for example and look what he said about the Quraan. If a muslim leader in BD said the same thing about Bible, I only wonder what would have happened to him.
5.Bangla Bhai: Bangla Bhai got support initially because he did what nobody else was able to do- take the battle against the leftist terrorists. Then he abused the popularity and his actual mission came to fore, and e lost the support. Now on to that, how many people bangla bhai killed and how many has been killed by the leftist terrorists? The newspapers turn a blind eye to the, even sometimes hero worship their theoretical leaders, but they had been terrorizing a big part of the party for a long time. Equality, my crap. When you burn alive humans in brick factories, thats equality, when you decapitate people and say "lal potaka jindabad", thats equality! Taking ransoms is equality! And only because they support the so called secularism, they are praised and their bad deeds are unreported by a quarter. Where are the so called buddhijibies when they recreate the scenes seen in only the Intellectual Day of 1971? And you'd think the people marching against a statue has more to threat you than these terroists?
Good thing is, government has taken action against these terrorists and most of the bigwigs had recently been killed, some were rehabilitated during the AL era. So I'd say a part f the country is actually better of on security aspects than before.
6.Statue: As I have said before, our society is moderate. How many people march during Fridays? A few thousand. there are 150 million people in dhaka. Of them, a few thousand are inclined to have hardline views, this is the same for religious people and secularists. Only the few thousand secularists are better represented. About their demand being instantly met, How many countries you would have where offending the major religions beliefs would not spark a protest. Dont go on the line about statues being a part of Bengali identity. They can be the part for you or some others, but not for me or numerous others. Just think about trying to have a cow slaughtering statue in India, or someting similar offending the christian faith in some christian majority country. The reaction would be the same, if not severe. But because the offended religion is in fact Islam, the propaganda machine clicks and tick-tacks. Islam does not forbid others to practice worshipping statues, but to show it as the identity of a nation with muslim majority is not to be applauded.
Spending tk 5 Crore on a statue? you can subsidize taka 10 each to 5 million Kg's of rice with the money in this inflated market.
In the internet, people with a mindset similar to me are not much represented so if you take sources where atheists burble on, removed from real life, to be representative of the general Bangladeshi people, you are mistaken. There are numerous Bangla sites who represent them, and the vocal minority finds a safe place to prod others there.
Extremely sorry to Dhurr for hijacking your thread. Apologies and if you decide to come back, best of luck to you.
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Last edited by Shafin; October 25, 2008 at 10:23 AM.