On Ghuznavi's piece
This refers to Iftekhar Sayeed's letter on Farah Ghuznavi's article (SWM, June 3). It appears to me that, in fact, he agrees with her contention that history is rewritten and changed by people with power. So, we read and hear about the genocide of the Jews in the holocaust, but not about the gypsies, the disabled and homosexuals (none of whom have the same external influence) who were also very much a part of what took place in Nazi Germany.
I feel that Ghuznavi made it very clear that, as a result, the Palestinians are paying a price by losing their homeland to the Israelis. She has in no way ignored their plight. As she mentions, one would have assumed that as the Jews suffered they would be more compassionate to the suffering of others. Therefore it is not clear to me the point which Sayeed is trying to make.
Mohammad Islam Dhanmondi
I refer to Iftekhar Sayeed's letter in last week's SWM about my piece on the lessons of history. I agree with some other points Sayeed has made, including the fact that the Holocaust took the lives of millions of non-Jewish people, including the handicapped and gypsies (who he mentions), as well as millions of Russians, communists, political dissidents and those who the Nazis considered deviant or dangerous (whom Sayeed does NOT mention in his letter). I also agree that the compensation paid for the Holocaust fail to reach many of its direct (Jewish) victims, which is undoubtedly a disgrace, but was not the subject of this particular column.
The point that I was trying to make - and one that Sayeed does partially make - is that "Holocaust industry" and the Jewish lobby have succeeded in keeping alive the memory of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, while those of the non-Jewish victims have long ago faded away. I was not suggesting that the latter fact is in any way a good thing, rather I was lamenting the fact that others with equally valid grievances do not have the place in our collective memory that they deserve, and I personally feel this is because those victims have not had the power and influence to do that. I also made the point in the article, that Israel should have learnt the lessons of its violent past, and ensured that it, in turn, does not inflict the same suffering and discrimination on others i.e., the Palestinians. Unfortunately, to date, that has not been the case.
Finally, I disagree with Sayeed's point about lack of public awareness in Germany and its link to the aid given to Israel. The efforts made to educate young Germans about Germany's Nazi past is well-documented, as is the sense of collective guilt inflicted upon and experienced by many Germans in the post-war period. The recent completion of the multi-million dollar Holocaust memorial in Berlin is but one example of that.
Farah Ghuznavi London
We should know about Islam
I am a voracious reader of SWM. We can learn so many things through this exceptional magazine but I think it isn't complete because it lacks an Islamic page. Eighty percent of the people of this land are Muslim but we don't know enough about this great religion. Taking advantage of our ignorance, people abuse our religion, making money and other gains by issuing fatwas, and misinforming people at various so-called religious rituals and the like. If we don't gain a clear concept about Islam we will remain suppressed by the so-called Mullahs who are actually enemies of Islam.
Saif University of Dhaka
On an excellent cover story
Thanks to Aasha Mehreen Amin and Ahmede Hussain for their cover story on Cats Eye in the May 20 issue of SWM. Indeed, it was an excellent article through which we got to know about a successful endeavour. I believe this write-up will greatly help those who are suffering from indecision about starting family businesses. Nowadays, Cats Eye is not only a brand name in business but also a symbol of love, patriotism, fashion and passion of many Bangladeshis who responded in the thousands to the brand, the young in particular. Cats Eye has beaten the foreign brands. It is true that many Bangladeshis didn't know before the publication of this write-up that Cats Eye is a Bangladeshi brand. Many of my friends and I used to purchase and wear Cats Eye products and feel proud at the fact that such an eminent brand is our own. I congratulate SWM and encourage it to publish these sort of writings. I also congratulate Zahedul I Khan for his vivid, excellent snaps of Cats Eye.
Khan Md. Mominul Hasan Lecturer, Dept. of Business Administration College of Technology (COT)
The British media and Bangladesh cricket
The Bangladesh cricket team lost the first test against England at Lord's by a big margin. It was a shameful performance, indeed. We expected some show of fight from our boys but things were completely different. We all know Bangladesh has been struggling since entering the test arena. We beat Zimbabwe and that is our only mentionable success. But what the British print media is writing about us and our cricket is very unexpected. They wrote that the Bangladesh cricket team should not have been allowed anywhere near Lord's. Besides throwing light on Bangladesh's inability to play good cricket, some dailies brought up irrelevant issues such as Bangladesh's extreme poverty. They said that Bangladesh is a country where on average people do not earn even a dollar a day, so how can they play cricket? The approach of the British media did not uphold a respectable standard of journalism. They just poured out their bitterness against Bangladesh. But British journalists must remember that England itself won only one ODI tournament (if I am not wrong) in the history of one day cricket and that the World Cup still eludes them. And just a few months back, they were the number six test nation in the ICC ranking table. So, the English don't really have much to be proud of as far as their cricket goes.
Wajahat Anwar IBA, DU
Is education the answer?
On May 13, my writing "Woman's Role" was published in SWM and two of my college-mates Wasi and Shoaib M Siddique commented on it. I want to thank them but I cannot fully agree with Shoaib. He wrote, "Illiteracy is the main reason…" Actually most women in our society are very submissive. They are very bothered about what other people think. Take a middle-aged woman (a mother of two or three) who is being tortured by her husband. She will hesitate a thousand times to divorce him because of the security of her children. In our society, the mistakes of educated women are highlighted more than men's. Many educated women do not protest any harassment because of social stigma. Gender discrimination also exists in many educated families. Many educated men feel uncomfortable watching an educated woman working. Again, many poor, uneducated fathers send their female children to free schools. So illiteracy is not the main reason behind gender discrimination. First, women have to be brave and the social system reformed for changes to happen.
Iffat Tarannum (Nandini) Dhaka City College
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