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     Volume 12 |Issue 09| March 01, 2013 |


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Being Muslim and Muktijoddha


Ever since the life sentence on war criminal Kader Mollah was announced 5 February that was first followed by his insolent, indecent and insensitive exhibition of two fingers as a V-sign attributed to Winston Churchill for quite the opposite reason, then by immediate protest by a small group of people that drew together the Bangalee nation across the world, and then by a ceaseless bantering of a section of bloggers and social net workers whose favourite line was, is, 'What sort of democracy is this? If I speak for you I am a Muktijoddha and if I speak against you I am a razakar'. Some knowledgeable sinners were trying to inject confusion in light of the war crimes trial, fearing that pro-liberation war parties were getting all the credit for fulfilling this popular demand. Why let them? By the very definition of a Bangladeshi citizen, one is supposed to speak in favour of our freedom fighters and against those who committed crimes against our people.

It is expected that in the democracy of Bangladesh, and for that of any country, every citizen, every political party shall individually and collectively strive and sweat for the collective wellbeing and interest of the country, which means shunning anyone or any group that was against our independence in 1971 through the last 42 years up until 2013.

You don't expect the Conservatives in Britain to support an IRA bombing when the Labour party is in power. No! You don't see the BJP siding with the Mumbai attackers just because Congress is in the hot seat. No! You do not imagine that the Democrats in the USA would even remain suspiciously silent when the Bush administration was tackling 9/11. No!

Then how is it possible that there will be an opinion in Bangladesh that favours the mind, body and spirit of those very people that worked zealously and violently against the creation of Bangladesh, on the pretext that Islam was, is, in danger? And Bangladeshis have to tolerate that? This is not about political parties that pursue politics. It is about our nationalism, our patriotism, as Bangladeshis. That is why remote villages, quiet towns, vibrant cities and metropolises have seen the spontaneous emergence of platforms for people's voice. They have discovered a commonness; that is Bangladesh.

For those of you too young to know the “Islam” that existed in West Pakistan when the Pakistan government through its armed forces unleashed the most brutal attack in the history of human civilisation by a military force on any unarmed civilians, men, women and children, in then East Pakistan on the black night of 25 March, there were wine bars and night clubs in Karachi, and the then Dawn newspaper used to carry their graphic ads. The Fajar adhan in Dhaka even then lasted for over half an hour as masjids across the “City of Mosques” urged the Muslims in Dhaka that salat was better than being asleep. The heavily equipped Pakistan forces lost their moral to the Imaan of the Bangalee nation. Victory was nine months away but not before the razakars masterminded the killing of millions, the raping of our mothers, wives and sisters, the torture of the countless who spoke in Bangla and if they were Muslims, did their ibadaat to the best of their ability, as do people now.

It is the Bangalee magnanimity and hospitality that has allowed the coexistence of people, politicians and parties that have supported anti-liberation forces for their selfish political survival and ego trips, at the expense of Bangladeshi nationalism. The fond hope was, is, that they shall understand, repent, and become Bangladeshis.

For those who continue to taunt the Bangalee nation for lack of information, wide-eyed blindness, arrogance, and hatred for Awami League, let it be said that the difference between Muktijoddha and Razakar is clear since 1971. It is a question of being at war for the principles on which this nation was founded, or opposing those. AL (or BAL as some bloggers insist) has nothing to do with it.

One can be in favour of this country as a Muslim/ Hindu/ Christian/ Buddhist/atheist. And the rule of law will apply against anyone hurting the religious sentiment of any other person even if he is the greatest 'patriot'. That is the situation in any country.

Muslim Muktijoddhas shouted not only Joy Bangla during the War of Liberation, but also uttered Bismillah. Many Muslim Muktijoddhas perform salat and fast regularly, offer zakat and many have completed Hajj and Umrah. Muslim Muktijoddhas also resent and condemn anti-Islamic statements and views of atheists, not only from among Bangladeshis but from across the world. Salman Rushdie is not a friend of Muslim Muktijoddhas.

If Muktijoddhas and people supporting them were all “atheists”, how come our Eid Gahs are filled to the brim and beyond? How come the number of Hajis are increasing each year? How come no masjid in Bangladesh is adequate for musullis every Jummah? How come the streets and markets go silent just before Iftaar during Ramadan? They are all Bangalee Muslims in Bangladesh.



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