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     Volume 8 Issue 74 | June 19, 2009 |

  Cover Story
  Special Feature
  Food for Thought
  One Off
  Writers Block
  Star Diary
  Book Review
  Book Review
  Post Script

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Terrorism and Islam
Islam is a religion of peace. It is one of the most widespread religions in the world. It cuts across states, races and nationalities. There is no discrimination in Islam. It teaches us to be polite, honest, punctual, pious etc. The people of the Indian sub-continent became Muslim having been oppressed by the land lords and the caste system. In the reign of Islamic leaders of the past, people could lead peaceful lives. But nowadays some extremist Muslims have become the cause of fear in the world. Because of their offensive movement the prestige of Islam is going down in the eyes of the world. But Islam says, "He who has killed a person unjustly has killed the whole of humanity". So those who are creating the atmosphere of terror are the enemies of Islam. They are the victim of a sick mentality. We know that extremism never brings happiness. So we should be conscious of this global problem.
Rashedul Hasan (Sayem).
Hospital Road, Atpara.

Leaking the Budget
Every year even before the official announcement of our national budget, many people can sense what will become costlier and what will come down in the market thanks to the forecast by newspapers and the electronic media. However, in this process some unscrupulous businessmen take advantage of this pre-budget forecast and do brisk business depriving the government of due duty and tax, and hurting the consumers in the process. This year as well we came to know from the newspapers that the import duty on the motorised vehicles would rise in the upcoming budget. We saw the finance minister himself talking about what taxes and duties he will introduce in the new budget.
Some dishonest car importers have already opened millions of dollars worth of LCs in various banks to import new vehicles and some have already stocked a large number of reconditioned cars and are selling them at high prices thus depriving the government from getting the proper share of tax from these cars. It is certainly strange when government ministers themselves open the door to this.
Whatever might be the reason, the consequences of this will not be good for the government or for the people as a whole. Leaking the budget in advance opens the way for market manipulation, and both the state and the consumers suffer in the process.
Sheikh Iraj
Dept.Of English,
Stamford University, Dhanmondi

Reviving Our Rivers

I would like to thank The Daily Star and also its partner Channel-i for their awareness campaign against river, lake and canal encroachment. This is a vital step to protect the environment. The main flow of the Turag has been able to draw attention but a part of the Turag which flows beside the Manikdi, Dewanpara, Baunia, Polas Nagar and ends near the Police Staff College at Mirpur-14 is still away from the media spotlight. Mirpur-Uttara connecting road is constructed through (not over) this part. An embankment named Baunia Bandh was made to protect the Mirpur area from its water. A few years ago, the river was encroached upon in the name of pisci-culture and there were several bamboo boundaries. But now the river is grabbed directly with concrete boundaries and land (river) is being purchased with fake documents. A huge portion was fully blocked by a private residential development project beside Palash Nagar. To keep the river flowing, a bridge should be constructed on Mirpur-Uttara link road besides retrieving the grabbed land. Hopefully the water channels of Dhaka will regain their freedom very soon.
M. R. Kabir
Mirpur, Dhaka

Tangled Wires and Shaky Billboards

If anyone observes the streets of Dhaka, they would notice the tangled electric and telephone wires hanging overhead. In recent years the amount of these wires has increased so much that they now form tangles and knots at places and are hanging very low endangering the lives of the dwellers. Our past and present governments had as usual ignored such dangerous problems but now it is time to pay attention, especially with cyclones constantly hitting Bangladesh. Another problem in Dhaka are the billboards that seem to be everywhere. For billboards, specific spaces should be allocated for specific time periods keeping in mind the critical issue of safety.
Nishat binte Mohiuddin
Maple Leaf International School

Gossiping in the Library
I am a student of a public university. We have many amenities here. The access to a huge library is one of them. There are certain rules of using this library. It is generally asserted that library is for academic purposes and not the place for gossiping. But the students who are supposed to obey the rule violate it most of the time. The library becomes the hotspot of chatting for couples now-a-days. We need to remember that common sense is an uncommon qualification that is not included in your academic certificates. So the combined effort of the students and the authorities is a must in order to preserve the academic atmosphere in our libraries.
Ahsan Uddin Tohel
Department of English
Shah Jalal University of Science and Technology

In Praise of Postscript
I am a regular reader of the Star and I really like Postscript by Ms. Aasha Mehreen Amin. This lighthearted column seems to me like a breath of fresh air at the end of the magazine. I am usually laughing to myself while reading it on Friday morning. I have often wondered about the culture of pet names in our society. In the villages a gentleman with a name like Tofajjal Hossain Chowdhury may simply be known as Kala Mia (literally The Black Man). If you refer to him by his real name, people may not know him! I myself have an uncle by marriage who is called Basa Mia. Basa is the name of a small fish like Mola Dhela. It's a strange world indeed!
Dr. Mansura Akhtar Shammi
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University

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