When you are intelligent, I must be a fool!

(Jahed Ahmed responds again to Ms Setara Hashem)


The only thing I know of myself for sure is that- I know nothing.


Firstly, Ms Hashem said, “Mr. Jahed stated that Setara Hashem entitles schizophrenia”. This is a clear example of misquoting my original sentence, which I said in the context of her statement abusing Avijit. Nevertheless, funnily, she accused both Avijit and I of twisting the words.  Did we, really? Who, in abusing Avijit, like a psychic (!), went as far as saying “ Some time family trouble makes man mentally sick and starts talking nonsense. Hate grows out of suffering from inferiority complex. Unable to exercise intelligence is the main cause of inferiority complex. I feel you are suffering from that also”? (Question # 1) 

Secondly, she has again repeated herself over: we should not blame religion and referred us to read “Dialectic materialism” and “Glimpse of World History” by Nehru. How else you define dogma when somebody merely relies on “Dialectic materialism” of Marx and a book by Neheru without ever using his/her own brain to decide upon the role of religion in instigating enormous atrocities throughout human history? (Question # 2) 

Here an old excerpt from an article of mine about the violence caused directly/indirectly by religion*.



It's thought that the number of people killed in religious conflicts through the centuries exceeds 100 million (in early civilization various religious killing were in epidemic proportion all over the world), but an exact number would be impossible for any historian to learn. Nevertheless, within whatever has been recorded in the history, some examples are as follows: 

Non-Islamic religious war:

·         The Taiping Rebellion was launched in China in the 1850s by a Christian convert who said God appeared to him in a vision, told him he was a younger brother of Jesus, and told him to "kill demons." He raised a religious army and waged a horrendous war that killed as many as 20 million people, most encyclopedia say. The uprising finally was quelled by defense forces such as one led by the Englishman "Chinese" Gordon - who later went to the Nile Valley to resist a Muslim holy war, and was killed when the fanatics overran Khartoum.


·         The Thirty Years War between Protestants and Catholics in the 1600s killed an estimated one-third of Germany's population and left the region devastated.


·         A half-dozen religious wars between France's Catholics and Protestant Huguenots killed hundreds of thousands. This was part of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, which caused bloodshed all over Europe.


·         The half-dozen Christian Crusades into the Holy Land butchered an untold number of people - and then popes began waging "internal crusades" against deviant Christians around Europe. The Hussite Wars were part of this nightmare. So was the Catholic war against Cathari Christians, which killed an estimated 20,000 people at the French city of Beziers.


·         Christian pogroms and massacres of Jews recurred for centuries, fueling the anti-Semitism that culminated in Hitler's Holocaust. Many theologians say the Holocaust was a natural outgrowth of Christian hatred for Jews.


·         A Buddhist-Hindu civil war is killing great numbers on the island of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon).


·         Don't forget Ulster, where Catholics and Protestants murder each other


Islamic war: 

·         In ancient Arab, people were very very less in number. But
still 10,000 Muslims were killed by Muslims themselves by civil war of Jamal. Another 70,000 were killed in siffen war between Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Muaiba. One would get horrified by calculating the ratio between the number of people killed and the number of people living at that time.


·         Muslim holy wars spread Islam westward across North Africa and up through Spain - and eastward into India - and northward through the Balkans into Austria. God only knows how many died in all those centuries of fighting.
The recent horror in the Balkans (between Catholic Croatians, Orthodox Serbs and Muslim Bosnians and Kosovars) is historic fallout from the ancient Muslim conquest.


·         Around 1 million Hindus and Muslims were killed in rioting when India and Pakistan split in the late 1940s - and murder among Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs has continued sporadically ever since.


·         The Muslim-Christian civil war in Sudan has been recurring since the 1960s, and has killed about 2 million. Civil war between religious militias devastated Lebanon during the 1980s.


·         Second world war though was not a holy war BUT no body can deny the fact that it caused several millions of death in the name of removing all Jews from the face of earth.


·         Besides above example- within Islam itself, we do know examples of the intra-religious cruel mass killings, where common people’s so called ‘sacred’ and ‘holy blind belief’ toward Islam was one of the chief causes. E.g. killings of Quadiyani (1960s)/Shia in Pakistan, killings of shia/kurds in Iraq, recent persecutions/tortures of Quadiyanis in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia etc. Even in 1971 Pak vs. East Pakistan (present Bangladesh) war where 3 million people were killed, religion was a main factor. West Pakistani rulers barely, if at all, considered majority of East Pakistanis as Muslims. For them, then East Pakistan was full of ‘filthy Hindus’ and ‘impure Muslims’.


Thirdly, Ms Hashem DIDN’T ANSWER TO MY QUESTIONS that even among pivotal Muslim thinkers many didn’t believe in Muhammad and Islam, and openly spoke against including those belonging to Golden Age (9th to 13th century “mutazilla”, for instance). Were they “Islam bashers”? Al Razi, Al Maa’ari, Omar Khayam, poet Al Muntaabi, Ali Dasti, Mirza Ghalib et al? (Question # 3)



Fourthly, Ms Hashem said, “Religion played an important role in advancement of human civilization. Some one talk about evolution theory, but what happen when human being was came into being. What made them separate from other animal, why family was grown? Why concept of religion was came into human mind?”


  Are we, the freethinkers, or humanists, you think, against it? Nope and never!  Such study and analysis enhance human knowledge and, indeed, we encourage it. But if any religion (be it Hindu/Islam/Judaism/Christianity etc) preaches parochial views, hatred and violence, should we keep quite and instead refer ourselves to “Dialectic materialism” and Neheru’s “Glimpse of World History”? How much have you seen of the religion-based instigations in violence, Ms Hashem? Why did you keep quite on Muhammad’s sha’heeh Bukhari’s infamous hadeeth “Whoever changes his religion, kill him” ( al-Bukhaari, al-Fath,# 3017)? (Question # 4) 



Fifth- Ms Hashem said “Religion cannot be brushed out but can be regulated under secularism. Time will brush out religion.”


My simple question: what do you mean by simply “Time” here? Time without people/movements?  Was there any such time in history? If so, when/where, Madam?



   Lastly, when I called upon to join hands in our fight against religion-rooted violence & hatred, Ms Hashem replied, “The world problem is not religion. So fight against religion is foolish idea. The fools are fighting against it. I am not a fool. Sorry, I can’t accept your offer.” Furthermore, she said, “Now it appears that your blind love for America and its propaganda has disabled your sense and intelligence.”


My last comments- PLEASE NOTE-


1.    I am not a blind supporter or opponent of any particular country/race/culture/ethnicity, etc. At least one thing I have learnt by my own experience(s)- generalizations/over simplifications about a race/country/ethnicity could be, sometimes, very detrimental to enhancement of self-knowledge.   

2.    Since you are “not a fool”; I am assuming you are an intelligent person, however, doubt arises when you blasted with anger at Avijit** while accusing him of blocking (?) your mails when the fact is all the mails you sent got returned to you because your own e-mail ID automatically was on bouncing list as your mail box was filled beyond quota limit along with 1000+ such members. Avijit had nothing to do personally. Still Marxist Ms Hashem called him the great thinker Brahmin but an atheist and so-called freethinker ghost who had ate up my mails and later on blocked it.”  Don’t you, Ms Hashem, think, the gentleman, deserves a sorry from you, to say the least? What stopped you from acknowledging your mistakes, if not total ignorance? Is it “Dialectic materialism”, I wonder? (Question # 5) 


It’s a pleasure to admit- indeed it’s NOT Ms Hashem but me, who is fool. 

 (I won’t respond any further UNLESS Ms Hashem answers explicitly to the questions I‘ve raised here including some old ones, which she didn’t answer so far. Thanks to all!)


-Jahed Ahmed

New York

1 May 2004  



* Acknowledgement- www.secularhumanism.org and fatemolla

**  at vinnomot ( www.vinnomot.com )


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