To Mo: On my country my religion
Submitted by Plato (United Arab Emirates), Jan 27, 2007 at 06:28
I gave you some specific examples of how you are adopting Arabian customs. One specific one. Greeting each other with Salam Alaykum instead of Namaste. Why is namaste against Islamic principles. All Muslims all over the world do it inspite of the fact that they have their ways of greeting people. And another, Why do you take Arabic names which carry no meaning in your language when you have such beautiful sounding names in Bengali. None of these questions have you answered. None of those cultural practices you rejected contradicted Islamic principles, and yet you did it. Do a thought experiment Mo, imagine yourself in a crowd of your countrymen and someone, you, stands up and says he is proud of his Hindu ancestry, its culture, its history. Next imagine the reaction of your proud Bangladeshi countrymen. Not wannabe Arabs? Oh sure I know you sing Rabindra Sangeet in Bangladesh.
Let us take look at superstitious actions. As a Bangladeshi you would have heard of Durga puja. The Hindus used to sacrifice animals and sometimes even humans to Durga. You will agree, most surely , superstitution of the worst kind. Human sacrifices are a rarity and severely punished if discovered now. The animal sacrifice part has been slowly replaced with vegetables, flowers etc. They, the Hindus have begun to abhor shedding blood to please any of their deities. But you Bangladeshi Muslims celebrate Eid alAdha with great fervour slitting animals throats to commemorate Allah's joke on Abraham several thousand years ago far far away from Bengal. Not being wannabe Arab? Oh sure it is part of the Arab religion you were hoodwinked or forced to adopt.I love my country respective to my faith, because I love the holy places as well, in fact more than my own country. My country has history, a lot of history, especially relating to Islam and how it was conquered
Even after writing that you don't see why you are a wannabe Arab? You love the holy place in Arabia more than your country. And you seem proud of the fact that Islam coquored your country. Can't you see why that attitude of yours and your brothers in Islam scares the hell out of others. Mo, I guess you are located somewhere in the West now. With that attitude of yours don't be surprised when the natives look at and treat you with fear and suspicion. But my guess is you will be surprised. Guess why."...every single Muslim on the face of this earth knows Arabic to some extend and it is not alien to them, they know its values because of the Quran and Islam; the basic Shahadah is in Arabic and so everyone is somehow connected to the Arabic language. I believe it to be a good thing, because there is a sense of unity amongst us Muslims
The large majority just know how to recite from memory with not a clue to what they are saying, not very different from a baby's babbling. Saying La ilaha illallah... in English There is no god but god...what difference does it make to Allah, unless Allah's language capabilities are limited to Arabic. What unity are you looking for. You are Bangladeshi, someone is Indonesian. Why are you looking for transnational unity. What purpose would it serve except explosions of anger all over the world for something a Danish cartoonist did. Does the world need this kind of unity. Despite that unity you claim a tiny nation like Israel can walk all over you. That unity also helps you to shut your eyes when Muslims kill Muslims as in Darfur, Iraq, Pakistan, Algeria. And also when Muslims kill infidels as in Sudan, Nigeria, Indonesia."...while my country is my life and livelihood literally, all my extended family are there and I will never undermine them in any way."
But not when it come to the holy places which are far away from Bangladesh as you yourself said before. Where does your loyalty lie with your holy places or your country. If tomorrow people from the holy places attacked your country what would you do? They would be out to undermine your family. Just a thought experiment as Einstein used to do."...The people who flee to neighbouring country do this because of their interests and have nothing to do with Islam...."
Your are so right. Their interests are their empty stomachs and their security which Islam could not provide but they expect an idol-worshipping nation can. And they are right too. Infidel India does provide food and shelter to nearly a million of your countrymen despite itself being dirt poor."...The place that I come from in a very peaceful countryside area, where everything is calm and free from politics..."
I am sure if you look you will come across such places even in today's Iraq.
"You make a very unfair point which really shows in real light your shallow understanding of our country. Although great literature, science, art and cinema does resonate from Bengal, Bangladesh is not few of these achievements, I suggest you stop being so bigoted and actually do some research. It's sad that you would make such comments.."
Even though I do not come from Bengal I can reel off internationally recognised names from the Indian side. Satyajit Ray, Amitav Ghosh, Amartya Sen (he was originally from your side of the border) and so on but from your side Taslima Nasrin has been hounded out by people who follow the 'pure' religion and she is honoured and seeking residence in India. Younus Mohammed is not well liked by your imams for empowering your womenfolk with his micro-credit. Is that an unfair assessment.
I feel sad about making such comments too. Pointing out what ails you is not bigotry it is empathy. It is just that I know man for man, woman for woman people on the east side are equal to those on the west. The difference is, the imams of your pure religion have addled Bangladesh's thinking by focussing them on the afterworld rather than this world. That is why one of the most fertile regions of the world is still haunted by hunger. That is sad.
Ittalics your words Mo.
"...we (Bangladeshi Muslims) revere and come to realise our own culture and traditions. I see time and time again you jumping into your conclusions without understanding the other point of view."
Firstly we do not undermine our language culture and traditions in anyway, except if it contradict and goes against Islamic principles. Because our culture is somewhat similar to Hindu cultures, as we have stemmed from them originally; superstitious actions is something we do not endorse and do not consider it to be part of our normal lifestyle. Other than that, anything else which does not compromise our faith is ok.
Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".
Reader comments (2099) on this item
Comment on this item
Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes