A big proportion of educated Muslims in Bangladesh read Qur’an without knowing the meaning and background of the verses. As true Muslims, they just believe that Qur’an contains the words of Allah (which is the highest knowledge of the world) and also includes science and miracle. They just believe whatever the Alim tells them about Qur’an. And why an Alim should dilute the absolute importance of Qur’an from where all his authority comes? So Qur’an is sacrosanct to vast majority of Bangladeshi Muslims (many educated and all uneducated) without being understood at all.
When Muslim population in a particular geographical area becomes substantial in proportion or strength, they can take up arms to impose Islamic hegemony on the people of other religions of the area. Bangladesh is no exception. However, when they are grossly minority in number or weak, they bide their time. This is not any strategy. This is the teaching of Islam. This aspect of Islam becomes more apparent when we find how the nature, tone and content of Qur’anic revelations changed with the life of prophet from a tolerant persecuted preacher in Mecca to a conquering warlord of Madina.
Islam permits Muslims to lie, cheat and deliberately bluff non-Muslims to protect or promote Islam. This tactic is known as “Taqiyya”. It was originally used by the prophet of Islam. He repeatedly told “War is a deception”. With this unholy tactic, the prophet had established the religion of Islam which is most intolerant and violent in nature and content. Glorification and observance of Taqiyya propagated by a 7th century warlord of Bedouin tribe is obligatory to all Muslims even today. Jamaat and Hefazat will understand this better. Common Bangladeshis cannot deny Taqiyya because of the simple reason that if they go against Taqiyya, they go against prophet and will become apostates from Islam.
Muslims are entitled to attack any non-Muslim area/population without provocation or without being harmed to impose Islam there (through killing, plunder and sexual violation). This (Jihad) is approved in Islam. In early period, a successful Jihad used to bring booty for Muslims. As per Qur’an if in Jihad any Muslim dies, then he goes straight to Islamic paradise (? with his physical body) to have uninterrupted sex with Houries. Thus Islam has projected Jihad as a win-win situation. Any rational person may consider this to be weird. But for Jamaat and Hefajat it is part of Iman.
Democracy and nation state are antitheses of Islam. Section 2(5) of the charter of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh is in conflict with article 65(1) of the constitution of Bangladesh. Jamaat’s charter does not acknowledge the sovereignty and absolute power of the people of Bangladesh. It does not accept the irrefutable power of the people’s representatives to make laws. Jamaat and Hefazat believe in Ummah. Given the opportunity Jamaat-Hefazat will drive away democracy from Bangladesh.
Jamaat-Shibir supporters become violent when their religious sentiment is hurt. Anything allegedly or otherwise said or done against the prophet or Islam is never contested at intellectual level by Ulema because of fear of defeat. So violence becomes the only means of protest. Jamaat-Shibir does not have other mode of protest. But do Muslims care about the religious sentiment of the followers of other religions? Does Jamaat-Hefazat accept that people of other religions also have the same right of not to be dishonoured by the Muslims? The answer to both the questions is a big ‘NO’. To Jamaat-Hefazat, religious sentiment is the monopoly of Muslims only.
There is a dangerous tendency in Islamic pseudo-intellectuals to label Islam as ‘religion of peace and tolerance’. There is another group of people in Bangladesh who are extra-cautious about the religious sentiment of Muslims and deliver sermons that no one should hurt the religious sentiment of Muslims. The whole gamut of such discourse comes out of two groups of Bangladeshi people. The first group is ignorant about Islam and its understanding from Islamic perspective and the second group suffers from intellectual bankruptcy with full knowledge of Islam. Both the groups further divide Muslims into liberal, moderate and orthodox. But the fact is Muslims are guided only by Qur’an, Hadith & Sunnah and none of these three sources has any reference to the degree of being Muslims (liberal, moderate & orthodox). So such apologetic classification of Bangladeshi Muslims is artificial and false.
From its inception, Islam has been an imperialistic creed of violence and convenience. Collective acceptance or denial of anything to promote and protect Allah and prophet has been the main thrust area of Islam. It has all along been maintaining a highly selective memory (satanic verses of Qur’an). Dissemination of information in Islam is also highly selective with booster dose of fictitious things (Miraj). Coupled with these, Islam promotes regimented rituals, shunning of doubts about Allah and prophet, fear of blasphemy, dictates of Ulema and obsession with (mostly) male populated super erotic paradise. Since Islam itself is a violent religion Jamaat-Hefazat cannot afford to be anything but violent. Peace in Islam means the rule of Shariya and tolerance means Dhimmitude.
There has been a serious disagreement between Ulama and secular intellectuals about the position of women in Islam. The former group tells that the position of women is made much better in Islam than other religions and pre-Islamic Arabia. But the latter group argues that women are put under subjugation and misery in Islam in current context in comparison with other religions. We know that the first wife of prophet was a business woman with high social standing in pre-Islamic era of Mecca. But as per one of the most respected and influential theologian of Islam Al-Ghazzali, women were punished by Allah in eighteen ways including menstruation, pregnancy, labour pain, marriage to stranger, separation from parents, inability to divorce, presence of co-wives in family, half value of testimony and half share in property etc.. The women folk of the families of Jamaat and Hefazat leaders have no alternative but to accept such opinion as fact. Within such claustrophobic atmosphere when some modern, urban and educated Muslim women suddenly find them to be liberated behind Hijab, one only sees a picture of mass auto-deception by such women.
Islam tells Muslims how to eat a date palm. Islam can tell Muslims how many times one should blow nose in a day. For every conceivable and inconceivable issue in the life of Muslims, Islam has a prescription or answer as per Shariya. But at any cost, no Muslim can ask any question doubting about the Allah and prophet. The Allah, as per Islam, is beyond human comprehension and the prophet is the most ideal human who ever lived. Against this background Jamaat and Hefazat promote that Shariya is the law of Allah. One simply needs to look at the genesis, time frame, compilers and contents of Shariya only to call it a bunch of crude and primitive tribal laws of Arabia.
Islam tells Muslims to emulate the habits and life style of Prophet. A look at Jamaat and Hefazat leaders will explain this. Muhammad did not bring anything new to the 7th century Bedouin habits and life style. So the practice of Islam as we see it today is nothing but 7th century Bedouin life style with its dos and don’ts. Thus aping of old Arabic culture has been equated with observance of Islamic faith by Jamaat & Hefazat. However, among many other things, the Islamic goodness of open air defecation may not be advocated now as selective Islamic amnesia. One should understand that Bangladeshi Dar al-Islam means Dar al-Arab. It is the brute imposition of an old desert culture upon river fed and lush green Bangladesh (conquered religiously through conversion during past centuries). History has also not forgotten the thriving non-Muslim civilization of Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Algeria, Afghanistan and Indonesia before Islam engulfed those countries.
The Shahada of Islam has two parts. The first part (La ilaha il-lallah) is pre-Islamic. A monotheistic group called the ‘Sabians’, who lived in Iraq, recited this as their confession of faith. The second part (Muhammadur rasulullah) was incorporated by prophet for consolidating his personal authority only. The conditionality of second part of Shahada is a pointer to that effect. For additional proof one may look at Qur’anic verses 4:150-152. When Muhammad started preaching his new religion, the polytheists used to call the prophet and his companions ‘Sabians’. Among all monotheisms the main distinguishing feature of Islam is Jihad. Islamic apologists may cry hoarse about ‘Internal Jihad’, but ‘external Jihad’ is the theme song of Islam.
As per Sahih al-Bukhari No. 6924: Allah’s Messenger said, “I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: La ilaha il-lallah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and whoever said La ilaha il-lallah, Allah will save his property and his life from me.” What a ruthless warlord in the disguise of prophet was Muhammad? Islam means ‘surrender’, i.e. surrender before Allah. Islam’s Allah directs the believers to forcefully surrender the non-believers before HIM through Jihad or putting the non-believers under Dhimmitude (Mohammad himself did these).
It is therefore but natural to introspect as to how the prophet of the religion who was ordered by his Allah to fight (Jihad) the non-believers till all of them submit before HIM; how the prophet of the religion who practiced slavery, plunder, murder, sexual exploitation, treachery and deceit; how the religion whose first three of four ‘rightly guided’ Caliphs were murdered; how the religion which contemptuously advocates hatred towards non-believers; how the religion which considers non-believers as evils and hell goers (to be converted, killed or put under ‘Dhimmitude’); how the religion which promotes brotherhood only among Muslims can be termed as ‘religion of peace and tolerance’?
Muhammad was the messenger of Allah- so said the Qur’an and Qur’an was the revelation from Allah,- so said Muhammad: Muslims could never come out of this circular fallacy in last 1400 years. The activities and behaviours of Muhammad (child marriage, sex with slave girls, collecting one-fifth of booty, keeping multiple wives, pedophilia and killing of people etc) are neither worthy of following nor worthy of mention in today’s perspective. Islam is a package of 7th century Arabic culture passed on as a religion and used as a tool for geographical and political expansion. There is nothing spiritual about Islam. Arabic (not necessarily Islamic) Azan, Namaz, Roza, Haj, circumcision, beard, skull cap, Hijab at external level and intolerance, as well as, hatred towards non-believers at both psychological and physical levels are important dos for Jamaat-Hefazat.
[In India, some pseudo-secular Hindu political leaders are perpetually anxious about the cause of Indian Muslims and leave no chance to project them as the champions of Muslim cause in India. But these so called Hindu leaders of Muslim community will never press for the separate electorate of Indian Muslims or autonomy of Muslim majority Talukas. They try to use Indian Muslims only for vote bank politics. These leaders are, however, ignorant of the fact that Muslims, as per Islam, can never offer any Kafir the position of leader of Muslims. They will always remain Kafir and inferior to even any criminal Muslim. The statement of Maulana Muhammad Ali (of famous Ali brothers) is pertinent in this connection: “However pure Mr Gandhi’s (Mahatma Gandhi’s) character may be, he must appear to me from the point of view of religion inferior to any Mussalman though he may be without character”.]
Qur’an, in all certainty, contains the utterances of the prophet to justify his actions and teachings as supernaturally ordained. A liberal dose of ambiguity, falsity, ‘person’ confusion, contradiction, threat, repetition, biblical stories and cruelty etc. is found in Qur’an. Allah was at the back and call of prophet to help him with an Ayaat or two in every need including his marriage and sex life. Allah was Muhammad imaginary alter ego.
The prophet had forbidden Muslims to enquire and examine too much about Allah and Islam. The inquisitive Muslims, in respect of Islam, prophet and Allah were admonished by Muhammad. He asked Muslims only to believe in what he said and did. Whatever reasoning in support of such prophetic dictate may be put forward by the Ulema, prophet definitely knew about the falsity of his Islam which he used for his dictatorial and imperialistic agenda (within the wrapper of religion).
Muhammad started preaching Islam when he was about 40 years old. There is no record in the much publicized recorded history of Islam to tell that Muhammad was circumcised. Some Muslims foolishly argue that Muhammad was born circumcised which amounted to congenital anomaly. Moreover, Muhammad cannot also be hundred per cent credited for Allah sent Islam we find today. The compilation of Qur’an, Hadith and Sunnah by companions of prophet and scholars; writing of commentaries by hundreds of theologians, as well as, influence of personal interests and bias of Caliphs (and other Muslim rulers) and scholars in past 1400 years had shaped the Allah sent and violently claimed “uncorrupted Islam”.
Prophet’s Allah is the best of all schemers (Qur’an 3:54). HE seems to be in competition with all other schemers. Who are the other schemers? May be they are non-believers. But the best of schemers did not make any scheme for the smooth succession of Muhammad. In certain situation Muhammad expressed his special liking for Ali. However, during his illness before death prophet called Abu Bakr to lead the prayer. Muhammad never made any successor. Was Muhammad clueless about his death? Was he not sure about the prospect of Islam after his death and wanted to leave it as it was? Was there tension among his companions about who would be the successor of prophet? Did Muhammad hesitate to name his successor because of diverse opinion among the early followers? It is anybody’s guess. But the power struggle that followed the death of Muhammad reminds one of dynastic power struggle rather than that of Bandas of Allah.
Any rational person will accept that many teachings of Islam were possibly true and justified for the time, place and society of prophet. In other words many teachings of Islam, if taken as ‘descriptive’ of prophet’s time place and society, can give some tolerant face to Islam. But accepting those as ‘prescriptive’ and ultimate truths for eternity, Jamaat and Hefazat have driven the final nail in the coffin of Islamic tolerance and reforms in Bangladesh.
Jamaat-Hefazat combination of Bangladesh on being challenged by Shahbag (Gono Jagoron Mancho) took the century old and stereotype Islamic way of calling the young Bangladeshi nationalist agitators as ‘atheists’ and ‘anti-Islam’. Some went further to call them Hindu India’s spies. In Islam, anybody who does not conform to the 1400 years old Arabic concepts and actions is an apostate from Islam. Apostates are considered as enemies of Islam and should be wiped out by believers with force. Thus the attention and efforts of the Shahbag youths got diverted to neutralizing the religious allegation labeled against them. The common Bangladeshis, pre-occupied with the scare of going to hell after death, for not condemning atheists left the Shahbag youths high and dry. In Bangladesh nothing is more important than Islam and Jamaat-Hefazat are the major contractors of Islam in the country.
The actual situation for the Bangladeshi Muslims of twenty-first century has become very tight. Centuries of false boasting about the un-changeability of 7th century “Arabic Islam” has put them against the concepts and practices of democracy, secularism, multiculturalism, human rights and rule of law etc.. The more a so called (?) liberal Bangladeshi tries to reconcile Islam with these, more he makes a fool out of him. In worse case Jamaat-Hefazat can call him a Kafir or apostate from Islam.
In spite of every negativity of Islam, a good proportion Bangladeshi over the decades has changed much against the un-changeability of Islamic teachings. There are mainly two groups of such Muslims. The first group identifies ethno-culturally with non-Muslims of the country and thus finds the practice of Jihad and hatred towards non-believes to be against the Bengalee social order of Bangladesh. The second group actually finds such practices as in-humane and uncivilized independent of ethno-cultural affiliation. If all the Muslims of the world today start practicing Islam in letter and spirit, the world will turn into inferno due to Islamic Jihad. During last one century, the brunt of Jihad, however, has been directed towards the non-Muslims of Islamic countries including East Pakistan/Bangladesh.
Jamaat founder had very little concern about Muslims of Dar al-Harb. However present day Jamaat followers of Bangladesh expect that they should be not only be tolerated but pampered in Dar al-Harb though Muslims everywhere in the world should remain highly communal. Against the above mentioned information and background why non-Muslims should honour the religious sentiment of Muslims when Muslims, as per the teaching of Islam, repeat, as per the teaching of Islam are asked to treat non-believers with utmost contempt, hatred and aggression?
It is not a question before Jamaat and Hefazat as they look at the world through the tinted glass of 7th century “Arabic Islam” only. Bangladesh judiciary has banned Jamaat but the later is an extremely strong fighter and can ignite blind religious passion among common Bangladeshis. The bottom line is: either Jamaat-Hefazat or Shahbag will come stronger in Bangladesh in coming years as the main driving force of the country. Co-existence of both is theoretical and may lead to more conflict and confusion.
Bangladeshis have to decide between Jamaat-Hefazat (Dar al-Islam) and Shahbag (Dar al-Insaan).