Blogger, rape and refugee: a boat in Bangladesh part 1

In recent months, Bangladesh has hit several times the headlines of renowned media outlets:

Ananta Bijoy Das: Yet another Bangladeshi blogger hacked to death

Yet another is here, the third.

Now, blogging is something of a crime if you look at the general mass’s opinion for the last 2 years, specially after the Shahbagh protest that was initiated by blogging community against the war criminals of Bangladesh. A point to highlight here, which is often not much visualized: All the war criminals convicted, or in jail are Muslim and they mostly supported the same political believe at the time of committing the crime.  

So, why it is a crime in the eyes of common Bangladeshis? Because a big portion of the peaceful religious people who do not take part in any violence and often close their eyes, in places where crimes take place associate blogging with atheism. Which of course is sin to them.

There is an extra layer to that logic, which nails it: These atheist use keyboard to write against the prophet, although many I interviewed never read a single word written by the bloggers already been attacked, killed or threatened.

And it makes sense. The Islamist group systematically chose Rajib, a self-claimed atheist to start there prey to silent the protest against war criminals. The protest got people’s support within days and the only way to turn this around was: to stick the sentiment or value that matters most for Muslim Bangladeshis: Islam and prophet. Before that blogging and atheism was even hard to explain to people. And like a domino effect, and of course with supporters of war criminals and some other religious extremists this was a matter of time:

A hit list was made consisting only of bloggers and they are being killed slowly. Here is wikipedia list of attack on secularist.

I had the pleasure to teach in a school and work in a media house during the Shahbagh protest.And like many other minorities of the country, I refrained myself from commenting, getting involved in any kind of discussion at work place due to my shear  religious identity and inner beliefs. I observed the hatred the educated class have in them (educated: most teachers, some journalists) have in them for a person whose work none witnessed, yet taken as blasphemy by all.

Believe can not be dealt with logic, that I learned.  Bangladesh is not the safest place (not even safe!) to express yourself, express thoughts which even harm nobody yet somebody may harm you in any way possible. Finding people who will at least listen to your words and then declare you are wrong is scarce. For example, I recently shared my views sharing my solidarity with most Irish people that I love them because they gave every people the right to marry the one they really love with both sides consents. Now, this is what happened, in my simple view of the world. To others, this a giving homosexuals the right to get married. I may have to think multiple times before saying this if I were living in Bangladesh. My words here show no disrespect to any community, yet to some (who commented in the post/inboxed) it’s the end of world.

I really love Bangladesh, but I do feel scared there. I only wish people were more humane than peaceful, more open-minded than educated, more tolerant than religious, a little bit logical than whimsical.

(part 1 of 5)

Advertisements