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May 17

Thoughts of a roving mind….

Recent events in Bangladesh have been the cause of distress for many. The idealistic human likes to believe that he is not at all prejudiced. That is true to every person irrespective of who he is. Whether politically and morally conscious or not, every person tends to believe that deep within, he is just and rational. A major factor in defining who we are rests on the events that make us cry and those that make us laugh. Many people have viewed the demands of Hefazat-e-Islam with favour and felt heartbroken at the atrocious measures on the 6th of May by the government. Others have felt relieved at these actions by the government and justified them as being necessary to combat religious extremism. The latter group has found the action of the arrest of 4 bloggers for online writings defaming Islam and the Prophet by the government to be a more grave violation of freedom of speech than the indefinite shutdown of two pro-opposition TV channels by the government since 6th May (which they believe is completely rational and necessary). The emergence of Shahbag since February has been a catalyst in providing a popular appeal to the ideas of the latter, giving shelter and voice to the many who purportedly hate the government of Bangladesh but strive to accept it because of a greater fear of the unknown; of ‘Islamist radicals’ who they believe are a greater threat due to their ‘radical, unknown and unpredictable character’; who, in their minds have become synonymous with the hated backdated Taliban of Afghanistan, something more a product of media manipulation than of reality.
This is not to say that the rival camp (identified by the Seculibs as Islamists) is pure angel. Overzealous misrepresentation by ‘Islamists’ of the opposite group (Seculibs) as kafirs, murtaads and people unworthy of talking to has only increased the gap between the two camps. I’m not ashamed to say it; that sharing fake horrific photos, making up facts, and sometimes using bad language and obscene words; tactics long used by overzealous enthusiasts of the seculib camp, are all part of this. Add into the fray human rights organizations and individuals who purport to be neutral but who selectively grieve and you have a cocktail; a cocktail where the true nature of the human being comes out into the open.
Forget all those characters and values that we purport to be, it all comes down to the ideology we subscribe to. Deep down, it is inevitable that we, entities of Homo Sapiens, are inherently prejudiced. That is where I want to have my final say. When an ideology is a product of man himself, it is bound to be prejudiced. Deep down, we all know that we are weak. We are not as strong as the big cats, nor do we have the ability to regenerate ourselves like starfish, neither can we fly like the birds. But we have the greatest gift of them all, the ability to think, and to think rationally. This is indeed one of the greatest gifts of the Almighty; the gift that shot us to the apex of the ecological pyramid. The moment we acknowledge this, we shall also be bound to acknowledge that He who created us knows what is best for us. Hence Islam. How you choose to adapt to it is your choice but the fact that you choose the Almighty and the teachings of his Prophet over all your inherently prejudiced ideologies may just be the edge that saves you on that Final Day of Judgement.
And Allah knows Best.