Humayun Azad: The marked man
A H Jaffor Ullah
Only few days ago a nervous but determined writer, Prof. Humayun Azad, sent e-mail to the moderator of a forum for freethinkers by the name Mukto-Mona. Prof. Azad is a member of the forum. He wrote, "Dear Rahul, The Ittefaq published a novel by me named Pak Sar Jamin Sad Bad in the Eid Issue in December 03. It deals with the condition of Bangladesh for the last two years. Now the fundamentalists are bringing out regular processions against me, demanding exemplary punishment. Attached two files with this letter will help you understand." Dr. Azad enclosed to JPG files that contained news items including a photo of fundamentalists protesting against him outside the national mosque in downtown Dhaka.
Prof. Azad's premonition came true. The goons perhaps hired by the bunch that hates Prof. Azad struck outside Boi Mela (Book Exhibition Center). Hours after a bunch of assailants descended on Prof. Humayun Azad's body to silence his voice for ever, I received an e-mail from news forum "Future of Bangladesh." A kind member from Dhaka frantically wrote, "A little while back (Dhaka, February 27, 2004 at 9:30) eminent writer Humayun Azad was attacked in front of Bangla Academy by a group of unknown assailants with chopping knives and has been grievously injured. Channel I has just now showed a completely blood drenched Azad being brought by the police to Dhaka Medical College Hospital and given primary treatment. His face, hands, T-shirt, trouser everything was soaked in blood. His condition is serious."
An hour later, the same person from Dhaka who sent earlier an e-mail sent a grim message: "Humayun Azad has been shifted to CMH as his condition turned worse." My telephone started to ring immediately. My friends who write passionately on liberal issues pertaining to Bangladesh were very much perturbed hearing the sad news of an attempt on Prof. Azad's life.
Unless you are out of sync with news from Bangladesh, you perhaps are well acquainted with the fact that the tiny country of 140 million has become very intolerant as of late. Only years ago, another Bangalee writer, Poet Shamsur Rahman, was attacked by some goons in the privacy of his own house. The attackers could not do more harm then because of the immediate action by the poet's neighbors. The Mullahs in Bangladesh have also given threats to Taslima Nasrin. Mind you, these are not idle threats.
This time the goons have targeted Prof. Azad. It is worth mentioning here that Prof. Azad's recent writings included in his book "Pak Sar Zamin Saad Baad" have drawn attention from Jamaat leaders. Maulana Delwar Hossain Saidee, one of the most garrulous Jamaat MP, and his followers have asked the Khaleda Zia Administration to ban Prof. Azad's book. On February 28, 2004, the Daily Star reporting on attempted assassination of Prof. Azad wrote, "Addressing a demonstration at Baitul Mukarram National Mosque on December 12, leaders of an anti-Ahmadiyya outfit demanded arrest and trial of Prof Azad for the novel."
Freedom loving Bangalees from all walks of life should denounce this heinous attack on one of the luminaries of Bangladesh's literati, Prof. Humayun Azad. Intolerance against liberal writers is on the rise in Bangladesh, which is symptomatic of a wholesale Islamisation of Bangladesh. I am confident other freethinkers and secularists would pen protest notes against this barbaric attack on Professor Azad. The government should apprehend the perpetrators of this crime and bring an end to this kind of attack on intelligentsia and freethinkers.
Free speech is a hallmark of liberal democracy and Bangladesh society should go an extra mile to foster free speech everywhere in our ancestral land. Prof. Humayun Azad has many followers in expatriate communities who would express their anger through posting in myriad Internet forums. I urge the Bangladesh government to investigate the matter thoroughly and see what role avowed detractors of liberal writers have played in this barbaric attack.
Dr. A.H. Jaffor Ullah, a research scientist and columnist, writes from New Orleans, USA
Eti Kon Desh? Dr. Jaffar Iqbal
Jege Uthun [bangla pdf] Nondini Hussain
Tyag chai, Mrasiya Krondon Chai na Sagir Ali
Kafone mora oshru bindu [Bangla pd] Sadera Sujan
Gtatok der kachey daabe janai na: Krodh o ghrina prokash korchi : Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury
Halla Bol for Humayun Azad
By Naeem Mohaiemen
Humayun Azad lies in a coma at CMH. Rumours fly about his situation. Dhaka University has exploded with rage, and the rest of the city looks ready to boil over. In a desperate back-pedal to avoid blame, the government claims ignorance about who Azad's attackers may be. The Home Minister has even said: "We are engaging all-out efforts to find out whether he was attacked for personal enmity or there were other schemes."
Everyone knows who is ultimately responsible for this grisly incident. Azaad's assassins were actively or passively created by the virulent religious hatred being promoted by Jamaat, Islami Oikkyo Jote and other Islamist parties. On December 12, members of Khatme Nabuwwot addressed a gigantic demonstration of anti-Ahmadiyya fundamentalists at Baitul Mukarram Mosque. At that gathering, fiery speakers demanded the arrest and trial of Professor Azad for his novel "Pak Sar Zamin Sad Bad". A month later, on January 25, Jamaat MP Delwar Hossain Sayeedi demanded introduction of a Blasphemy Act in parliament to block the publication of such books. Can there still be doubt about who has encouraged this bloody attack?
A glance at Humayun Azad's recent book "Amra Ki Ey Bangladesh Cheyechilam? (Is This The Bangladesh We Wanted?)" reveal clear clues about the author's enemies.
Discussing the insertion of Islam as State Religion into our constitution, Azad wrote:
"[Constitution says] 'Absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah shall be the basis of all state actions.' This is a clever trick to deceive the common, God-fearing man. In this country, Muslims have always followed their faith, and always will-- no one is stopping them. But using religion as a tool is trickery, a ploy to give the people nothing. They will promise the people heaven, but will not give them economic self-sufficiency. From the time of Zia, all our government functions have become competitions of religious sermons. If using religion [in government] was useful, Bangladesh should have become the world's most holy and developed nation. Instead, it has become the world's most corrupt nation. The corruption of religious politicians has destroyed the country."
Turning his attention to the Jamaat and its allies, Humayun blasted those who opposed Bangladesh's liberation and feel nostalgia for "united Pakistan":
"Our fathers committed a deadly mistake, a crime-- they made Bengal Pakistan. We did not want to stay sons of slaves, so we created Bangladesh. Now, let us imagine Bangladesh never became independent, we were still East Pakistan. What would we see around us? We would see the flag with moon and stars, we would hear 'Pak Sar Zamin Sad Bad', the Ministers would all be Punjabis, the army would be filled with Pathan and Punjabi Generals. Those who roar around in Pajeros today-- they would be standing on the roadside shaking in front of those same jeeps. The Adamjis, Dauds, Bawanis, and Kabuliwalas would run this country. We would be happy to lick the dust off their feet."
From the 1970s, the BNP has actively rehabilitated the Jamaat and other Islamic parties. Today that party has grown into a snake that is preparing the groundwork to devour the entire nation. The attack on Azad represents a continuum of a growing menace that has expressed itself through attacks on Shamsur Rahman, Udichi, Ramna Botomool, Ahmadiyyas, Hindus and now the push for a Blasphemy Law. Where will it strike next?
Azad is not the first author to fall foul of religious extremists. In 1994, in a startlingly similar attack, a man plunged a knife into the neck of Egyptian Nobel winner Naguib Mahfouz. The assailant was quickly identified as a sympathizer of the militant Islamic group al-Gama'a al-Islam. Mahfouz had been a target of the religious fanatics since the 1959 publication of his novel "Awlad haratina (Children of Gebelawi )", in which key characters were modeled after historical religious figures. The attacker confessed before he was hanged that he had never read the book, but had been inspired by a sheikh's fatwa.
Similar to today's Bangladesh, Egypt saw a rapid growth of religious parties, and an associated growth in violence in the 1990s. In 1992, the Gama'a al-Islamiyya launched violent attacks on the minority Coptic Christians. These attacks were linked with a campaign for Islamic rule in Egypt, resulting in pitched street battles with the police. This is a direct parallel to recent anti-Ahmadiyya agitations in Bangladesh and street warfare between members of Khatme Nabuwwot and the police. In Egypt, al-Gama'a soon upped the ante, assassinating secular intellectual Farag Foda and taking over the working class neighborhood of Imbaba and declared it an "Islamic Republic." In December 1992, 14,000 Egyptian troops stormed and occupied Imbaba, putting an end to the "Republic." Driven underground, Al-Gama'a redirected its attention towards high-profile terrorist attacks, massacring hundreds of foreign and local tourists between 1993 and 1997.
The attack on Naguib Mahfouz was a watershed, turning the majority of public opinion against the extremists of al-Gama'a and Islamic Brotherhood. When the Interior Minister was assigned the task of rooting out Muslim militants, Mahfouz told him from his hospital bed, "You are leading a battle in defense of true Islam. This incident is an opportunity to ask God to make the police defeat terrorists and to plead for the country to be purified of this evil in defense of people, liberty and Islam."
Gamal Ghitani, editor of Akhbar al-Adab, wrote, "This attack defames Islam and Arabs in a way that the worst of our enemies have not been able to inflict upon us." An Egyptian literary critic added, "When the assailant stuck the knife in the neck of our Nobel Laureate, Naguib Mahfouz, it wasn't just an attack on our country's most prominent literary personage, but an assault on Egypt itself."
Most significantly, even religous leaders joined the outcry, with Grand Mufti Sheik Said Tantawi pronouncing, "The sharia forbids a Muslim from pointing a weapon at his fellow Muslim, not to mention using this weapon in killing."
Faced with a decisive government crackdown, the militant groups slowly disintegrated. Today, an uneasy stability prevails in Egypt, but militant Islamic groups are no longer tolerated or supported by the government. Rather than silencing Naguib Mahfouz, the 1994 attack made him more determined. Suffering from nerve damage as a result of the attack, Mahfouz can no longer write. But each week he dictates his column to his friend Mohamed Salmawy. Since the incident, the government has also relaxed its unofficial ban on "Awlad haratina." The book has now been serialized in newspapers, broadcast on radio and published in its entirety. Even the authorities at al-Azhar mosque-university recommended its publication so that it could be read and debated by people.
Can we hope for a similar positive result from this tragic incident? Will the Bangladeshi people finally rise up in outrage and demand accountability from both the BNP and the AL? It is time to reign in those who play politics in the name of religion. Time to remove Jamaat ministers from their powerful posts, remove the ban on Ahmadiyya books, and strike down the proposed Blasphemy Act. To quote Safdar Hashmi, the Indian playwright murdered by government thugs in 1989, "Halla Bol (Raise Hell)".
And get results!
Obscurantists hell bent on killing freethinkers in Bangladesh!
Stop Bangladesh’s retrogressive journey ushered in by obscurantists
By A.H. Jaffor Ullah
It may surprise many readers to know that Humayun Azad’s attackers wanted to slit his throat on February 27, 2004 a la jihadi fashion. A Murtaad or apostate is a fare game. Once a person is labeled Murtaad, beheading that person is considered no crime. You see, the Islamists in Bangladesh declared Dr. Azad a Murtaad. For some thoughts on Dr. Azad’s plight in the hands of his assailants, please peruse the rest of my article.
On February 27, 2004, about half a dozen would be assassin of Prof. Humayun Azad struck up a conversation with him inside the Bangla Academy compound where the annual Book Fair, Boi Mela, was going on. This was reported in many vernacular newspapers on February 28, 2004. At about 9:30 p.m. this group of assassins came out from Bangla Academy compound with Prof. Azad. They crossed the main road. The professor was talking to them for few minutes. Three of the young men from the group entered the dimly lighted park while two followed Prof. Azad. All of a sudden, these two men started to strike Dr. Azad in the neck region. The place where this incident happened was not desolated. There was a Chatpati vendor there. Three eyewitnesses came forward that gave a detail account of the attack on Prof. Azad. The color photo of Dr. Azad taken at the hospital also revealed that most of the wounds due to hacking were localized in Prof. Azad’s head and neck. Therefore, it follows that the attackers perhaps wanted to slit the throat of Prof. Azad or behead him. Now, does that ring a warning bell? To me it does.
In December 2001, some Islamists abducted the WSJ reporter Daniel Pearl in Karachi. They took him to a suburban house and kept him there for few more days. At the end, some Arab men came and slit the throat of Mr. Pearl a la jihadi style. Now, why should one label the slitting of throat a jihadi style? Killing someone by slitting throat was the “proper way,” according to some dictums. If the Islamists wanted to silence Daniel Pearl, they could have easily done it by pumping bullet in his body. That would have been too clean. However, Pearl’s abductor had other motives. They wanted a messy killing, instead. The WSJ reporter admitted to his captors that he was a Jew. Therefore, Pearl’s abductors wanted to kill him as per Arab style. According to news report, some Arab men came to the house where Daniel Pearl was kept hostage. They not only slit his throat cowardly but they recorded the ghastly act using a video camera. How disgusting!
Now let us analyze how the Bangladeshi freethinker and writer, Prof. Humayun Azad was attacked by his assailants. As per the description provided by roadside food vendors, one of the two attackers was a bearded person. The two attackers were aiming Dr. Azad’s neck and head. They kept on striking his neck by sharp object, which the local papers reported as “chapati.” I was not familiar with the term. Bangla standard dictionary did not contain that word. Therefore, it must a slang term. The correct Bangla word is “Dao” or “Da.” This sharp object is used in the village for slitting bamboos and coconut. Mind you, the attackers of Dr. Azad wanted to kill him by slitting his throat. They chose wrong place to fulfill their wish because the killing ground was crowded with Book Fair-goers. Or else, they would have completed their job. And Bangladesh would have lost a freethinker, teacher, and writer.
It is noteworthy here that only few weeks ago the Islamists held a meeting outside the national mosque, Bait-ul-Mukarram, a popular hangout of Mullahs and jihadis, where speakers have openly given death threats to Prof. Humayun Azad. One of the Islamists, Maulana Delwar Hossain Saidee, had brazenly asked the Khaleda Zia Administration to ban Dr. Azad’s latest novel, “Pak Sar Zamin Sad Baad,” which poked fun at the Mullahs for siding with marauding Pakistani soldiers during our Liberation War. The Jamaati politicians were incensed hearing that Dr. Azad’s book pointed fingers at them for their involvement in intellectual killings in the fag end of 1971 war. The Mullahs in Bangladesh has acquired this bad habit of labeling anyone a Murtaad or apostate who practices freethinking. Therefore, Prof. Azad has already become a Murtaad in the eyes of hard-core Islamists. The punishment reserved for being a Murtaad is death by slitting throat or beheading. Dr. Azad’s family told the reporters on February 29, 2004 that the family had received numerous death threats lately by phone. To add insult to the injury, a unanimous caller left a message at Dr. Azad’s phone on February 29 that next time the professor would not be so lucky. The chilling call points out the malevolence some people have for freethinkers in Bangladesh.
Out of curiosity, I started to read vernacular and English newspapers published a day after Dr. Azad was attacked outside the Bangla Academy. All the newspapers that I read with the exception of one by the name Inquilab had denounced the vicious attack on Prof. Azad. Even though Inquilab has published the account of Dr. Azad’s maltreatment in the hands of the goons, the editorial staff had decided to remain reticent about the crime.
On the Net, I have seen some apologists of Maulana Saidee and Islamists who wrote that Dr. Azad’s incendiary writings should be blamed for this attack. These apologists of Jamaat and other fanatics in Bangladesh fail to see that free speech and freethinking is at stake in Bangladesh. The dark forces of 1971 want to silence the voices of freethinkers and pro-1971 activists. Dr. Humayun Azad, a noted Bangla linguist, has this unusual combination of a free thinker who often writes on 1971 freedom struggle. Naturally, the Mullahs ire was on him; therefore, he paid very dearly for his strong views. The assailants were aiming for his neck but due to the presence of fair-goers at the Boi Mela, his life was spared this time.
On February 29, 2004, a day after the attack on Prof. Azad’s life, many protest meetings were staged. One of them was at the Dhaka University campus. Many politicians and retired teachers of the university took part in the meeting. Many speakers have reiterated that there is no harm being a freethinker. No one should be singled out for being a freethinker. Most speakers have opined that what Bangladesh now needs urgently is the culture of freethinking. The traditional way of thinking, they opined, has led the country to a rut. Islamism is rife in Bangladesh; it has paved the way for intolerance. Under this backdrop, many Islamists want to silence the voice of freethinkers. The vicious attack on Prof. Azad in which his assailants were going after his head is a grim reminder that the attackers were hell bent on decapitating Dr. Azad.
A wave of protests in Bangladesh against this mindless brutality is a healthy sign. Perhaps one could wish that attack on Dr. Azad could trigger something big in Bangladesh. Democracy-loving free spirits of this nation of 140 million will now rise up to rid the nation of all obscurantists who were helping Bangladesh to take a retrogressive journey to the abysses of darkness and despairs.
Dr. A.H. Jaffor Ullah, a researcher and columnist, writes from New Orleans, USA
Attack on Professor Humayun Azad – a Twisty Forewarning?
By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)
February 28, 2004
How to contemplate on the vicious attack on Bangladeshi Professor Humayun Azad? Several minutes passed by. And several hours are gone. Only things come into mind are expletives detesting the maddening profanity engulfing our world, not to be written for the civil consumption.
The horrific images published in several Bangladeshi newspapers, showing the blood soaked shirt, the deep wounds in his left jaw, dazedly walking, still conscious, but looked in pain.
Professor Humayun Azad is fighting for his life in Combined Military Hospital.
Professor Humayun Azad is unconscious; his blood seeped through his shirt, heartbeat unstable, for expressing views against communalism and fundamentalism’s resurrection.
What is happening in Bangladesh?
A nation born out from the oppression and colonialism filled past, fought a gruesome battle against sadistic subjugation, a proud nation for its national identity, its cultural vibrancy, is in the grip of recurrence of defeated forces of the past, “the collaborators” and their successors, long thought to be buried in the trash-bin of history.
Is communalism, religious fundamentalism the only responsible entity in degradation of moral and political fabric?
Indeed there are resurgence of fundamentalists, the bearded and non-bearded mullahs, many of them are engaged in their conniving onslaught of grabbing power, like the others, in the name of almighty, the provocation on behalf of omnipotence, materializing the ultimate goal of eradicating the intrinsic tranquil nature of Bangladesh.
Power is corrupting. Power insinuates political leaders of all hues distort facts.
The political culture in Bangladesh is puzzling. Some say, there is no veracity in contemporary political leaders. Their allegiance shifts, their ideals reshaped and repackaged for the suitability of their fierce desire. The major political parties, mainly the two, in the past had shook hands with diametrically opposite mullahs or corrupted and convicted leaders of the past for the sake of shoddy political gain.
There are also allegations of embracing violence under the cloak of political agitation, hired guns, the goons and thugs have been nourished and fed, protected under official seal. Like changing sports team, these highly coveted bullies are lured from one political entity to another. The top guns, the pack of the brutes, are given grand choice: face extinction, or shift your allegiance. When the government changes, brutes hop or rot in the mortuary.
There is the unmistakable linkage among the attack on Professor Humayun Azad, the exploding bombs in Romna Batamul and movie theaters, killings of liberal journalists, uncompromising political leaders, and activists in various parts, suppressions of minorities and ransacking or burning of their religious places. Not long ago the scorching of eleven Hindus of the same family stirred the soul of this nation. The same can be said on killings of people with opposing views, mostly occurred in the past governments.
Is the hacking of Professor Humayun Azad an isolated incident? In most likelihood: No. He was hacked for his intrepid views on freedom, the defeated force and fundamentalism.
In the waning days of 1971, along with the killings of hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshis from all level, there was a systematic approach in eliminating the doctors, professors, engineers, writers, journalists and the overall intelligentsias.
The terror, that almighty word of our time, acts as a forewarning: rescind from your unpalatable views on liberty, or you are the next.
But the nation that has tasted the flavor of liberty, the victorious terror is never a certainty.
Professor Humayun Azad, the 56-year-old Bengali teacher at Dhaka University, rested on the cold hospital bed, is struggling, and in enormous pain, but the shocking imagery of butchery may very well boost the struggle against terror and the twisty powerful “leaders” behind its cryptic design.
Mahbubul Karim (Sohel) is a freelance writer. His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We Need to Fight the Disease, Not the Symptoms
Sukhamaya BainA lot of outrage against the attack on Dr. Humayun Azad two days back has been expressed in the Bangladeshi internet forums. Dr. Azad is a noted secular intellectual of Bangladesh who has written against the growing Islamic fanaticism in the country. He is in a critical condition at a hospital in Dhaka. His life could end anytime.A few days back, a renowned and respected leader of the country, Dr. Kamal Hossain, was attacked by armed thugs. Dr. Hossain also is against Islamization of the state of Bangladesh.Because of the severity of the condition of Dr. Azad, a lot of people have been expressing their anger and frustration with the prevailing lawlessness and Islamic hatred that the country has succumbed to. The attack on Dr. Hossain did not get as much attention, because he is not fighting for his life in a hospital bed.The question is, what is the point of all these anger and frustration? How long will these last? Dr. Azad will most likely die in a number of days. All these emotions will fade away, probably in a number of weeks. Life will go on in Bangladesh. The country will go deeper into the darkness of Islamic hatred.These emotions of anger and frustration are nothing but talks about the symptoms of a severe disease. The country really has very little force that is engaged in fighting this disease of Islamic fanaticism.The government is a coalition of BNP and two professed Islamic parties. Much of the Bangladesh intelligentsia is corrupt to the core. They try to convince the world that BNP is not an Islamic fanatic party, that BNP is not Jamat-e-Islam. They try to tell the world that the 'bismillah' at the beginning of the constitution in no way degrades the non-Muslims of the land. They do not see any problem with having a 'state religion' (which obviously is Islam).This attack on Dr. Azad has caused a lot of loud noise among Bangladeshis all over the world against Islamic fanaticism and against the government of Khaleda Zia. Much of this noise has come from Awami Leaguers.The fact of the matter is, when BNP wants to show its Islamic character by using 'bismillah' as a political slogan, Awami League wants to show its Islamic nature by using 'allahu akbar' as its political slogan. The fact of the matter is Sheikh Hasina tries to compete with Khaleda Zia on who can do the 'hajj' more number of times. The fact of the matter is, Islam is the overwhelming political force of the country. The genuine fighters of Islamic fanaticism in the country are very few and far between.Awami League had a record of being considerably secular during Mujib's time. That record has been tainted by the leadership of his daughter. Instead of asking people to keep religion out of politics, the party has engaged in appeasing Islamic fanaticism.What Bangladesh needs is a real fight against the disease of Islamic fanaticism. Crying about symptoms, such as the serious injury and possibly death of Dr. Azad, would not really help. People who genuinely feel that they are secular need to stop appeasing the so-called religious sentiments of the fanatics and the idiots. They need to fight the fanatics and educate the idiots.The fact that the number of secular people are small is not the real problem, the real problem is their lack of conviction. The number could never grow without lasting conviction of the few. The country is badly in need of "a few good men and women" who would maintain and propagate respect for the human and citizenship rights of all its people.
Replies Name/Email Yahoo! ID Date 15421 Re: We Need to Fight the Disease, Not the Symptoms audrey hbtharle Sun 2/29/2004
Expose the true colors of Islamic intellectuals in post Humayun Azad stabbing days!
By Mizanur Rahman Milon
As of late, Bangladesh is going through a very tough time, politically, socially, and economically speaking. However, the thing that scares me the most is the rise in Islamism. For example, only 3 days ago the fascist Islamist cadres have shown their Islamo-fascist face - they have jumped on Humayun Azad, a respected academician and writer, to kill him. The Islamo-fascists stabbed him repeatedly with crude sharp object to decapitate him. The self-proclaimed butchers of Islam enticed by the fiery speech of Jamaat stalwart Delwar Hossain Saidee who gave fatwa to declare writer Humayun Azad have decided to kill all the learned men of Bangladesh. The fundy Razakars got money from the Wahhabis to create second Afghanistan in South Asia. Bangladesh has become their playground under the patronage of government of fundamentalist Jamaat-i-Islami and Neo-Muslim League BNP. Uncle Sam is not watching them closely to monitor the Bangladeshi Islamic killers. The pentagon is too busy in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq hunting down al-Qaeda soldiers and operatives of Osama bin Laden.
A unique protest
The Islamists in Bangladesh have gained power in recent days under the leadership of BNP - headed by Khaleda Zia who is not terribly a bright person, academically and otherwise. The soft supporters of the killer Jamaatis are keeping their mouth shut. They will come out though later to denounce us - the Bangladeshi freethinkers as Bangladeshi Zionists when we will criticize Islamic force for their barbarity against writer Humayun Azad. Then all of us will be under the similar threats of the Islamists. In fact, we are under the threats of the Islamo-fascists for quite some time in the Internet. Once the Islamists label someone as a Bangladeshi Zionist then what would be his or her fate. Islamists will single out that person; only thing they would need would be a fatwa from the likes of Delwar Hossain Saidee. Attempts will then be made on the life of that freethinker. Once a freethinker is silenced, then the soft supporters of Jamaat will remain silent again. This cycle will go on and on. You see, these soft supporters are bad news for free society.
The attempt on the life writer Humayun Azad has opened everyone’s eyes. Time has finally come to identify the Jamaati supporters in the USA. The Jamaati outfit in USA - the NABIC's self-proclaimed spokesperson Mohammad Omar Farooq called us Bangladeshi Zionists. I am not making this up. In many articles, he has characterized the writers who critiqued Palestinian leaders Yassir Arafat as Zionist supporters. This gentleman is silent now; possibly hibernating somewhere in America. Dear readers, some of you have called for making Bangladesh free from Jamaatis. Be aware of the soft Jamaatis like Mr. Omar Farooq. They call us Zionists and Murtaads (apostates) to make us the prey of the Islamic beasts. They later get satisfaction by keeping a silence. Must we not free our country USA from the Islamic wolves? Bangladeshi American freethinkers, please do get involved and write against the Islamic wolves living in the USA under sheep’s skin. You can influence more on freeing Bangladesh from the Islamic wolves from here. Bangladeshi freethinkers are protesting the criminals belonging to Jamaat against all odds. Here you do not have the odd situation as it is in Bangladesh. Expose the soft and hard criminals of Jamaat bravely. These pseudo-intellectuals in abroad provide the needed support for the rank-and-files of Jamaat organization in Bangladesh.
While the soft Islamic wolves are keeping silence, the hard wolves are cheering for the life threatening condition of Humayun Azad. Check for yourself the Jamaati hyenas dance in the web link http://bdsdf.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=762.
The Islamic beasts in Dhaka took a snipe at Humayun Azad near Boi Mela in late February this year. The time has come for us, the freethinkers, to identify the pseudo-intellectuals who provide scriptural support for such mindless attempts on the life of our fellow comrades in Bangladesh. Write and speak vociferously against the attacks on freethinkers. The world should know the true color of Islamists especially those who are in America.
Mizanur Rahman Milon writes from Arlington, Virginia, USA
From: "Jahed Ahmed"
Date: Sun Feb 29, 2004 3:12 pm
Subject: Freethinkers: Their one and only target
Subject: Freethinkers: Their one and only target
Now Militant Islamist's biggest and first-to-annihilate target is freethinkers such as all liberal writers, poets, human rights activist, novelist and likes.Bangladesh, my beloved motherland! I dream to see you awake before I die!! Will you please grant me such a privilege??Jahed Ahmed
Subject: dormancy is no death!!"It's the high time, friends, we all get on the street", say Poet Shamsur Rahman/Prof. Kabir Choudhury/Dr. Muntasir Mamun/Shahriar Kabir/Poet Belal Chowdhury/ Burhan Uddin Khan Jahangir/Mahmud Selim/Kamal Lohani & Dipankar Goutam.Dormancy should not be mistaken for death. Am I wrong, my dear Bangladesh??Jahed Ahmed
From: "Bibhangshu Adhikari"
Date: Sun Feb 29, 2004 3:11 am
Subject: BD Prime minister on stabbing of Prof. Azad
The readers, please note what the prime minister of BD said about stabbing of
Prof. Azad. A few words cited here "Hartaler Jonyoi Eta Kora Hoyechhe" (
http://www.dailyjanakantha.com/hn5.pdf ), February 29, 2004 ).
The readers may remember the "threatnings" of the Government of BD prior to the
latest hartal (general strike) by the opposition on February 28, 2004. Although
I personally against shutting down the wheels under any circumstances but what a
criminal way to resist ? The consceince of the "Humanity" must take a notice of
Subject Name/Email Date 15430 Re: Shame on BD PM Robin Khundkar 9:44 pm 15424 Re: Shame on BD PM shabbir ahmed 9:26 pm 15423 Re: Shame on BD PM fatemolla . 9:22 pm 15419 Re: Shame on BD PM Ghulam Murshid 6:05 am
From: "jisnu akhter"
Date: Sun Feb 29, 2004 8:08 am
Subject: NOT PROF. AZAD BUT OUR AZADI (SWADHINOTA) IS ATTACKED!
NOT PROF. AZAD BUT OUR AZADI (SWADHINOTA) IS ATTACKED!
Humayun Azad a famous outspoken,freethinking liberal Author,Poet,Novelist has been attacked by the jamati-FUNDAMENTALISTS as claimed by his wife Latifa Kohinoor.She emphatically said, "Fundamentalists have done this". "Who else would do this? You know an MP even spat venom against him in parliament.Why didn't you take security measures to protect him after such an outrage in parliament?" an incensed Latifa asked Dhaka Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka and State Minister for Home Lutfozzaman Babar at the hospital. The ministers kept mum in embarrassment, but later promised action to hunt down the attackers.
As a Mukto Mona, I strongly condemn this savage act of brutality express oneness with the feeling og the wife of Azad, that some "a-manush-o-mukto mona fundamentalists'' have done it. Actually who have done it,--- is yet to be ascertained by Police through proper investigation.But Prime Minister like many other serious incidents of the past, to shield the gang of Jamati-Islami-killers of her partner in politics power have declared that Awami League has done it!! This is the "Action that was promised by Mayor State Minister for Home to the wife of Azad''.
It is the duty of the State to unearth the identity of the killers,book send the involved to Justice.Instead of doing that she has given a long rope to the killers.It amounts to giving indulgence to killers.State failed measurably to save Humayun Azad from the attack of the killers but taken immediate instantenious actions to "PROTECT'' the killers.It is nothing but rewarding the criminals. Of course it is the fundamental policy of the fundamentalist JOTE. They have rewarded the killers of the Father of the Nation Jail killing.
It was the bounden duty of the State to give physical protection to Prof.Humayun Azad. As the State failed measurably,criminals have won! Experts maintain,after an outrage in Parliament by Fundamentalist MP Sayeedi if our Intellegence would have come forward then such a serious incident would not have happened.Of course this is an ideal situation but in Jote regime it is a forgotten tune far cry! They are busy in annihalating opposition Awami League members minting money! Good governance has fled away by the behind doors due to the attack of the Jamati-killers.Now a host of killers god-fathers are rulling the Country!
What is written in Law Books could only be quoted but that does not carry any meaning value unless the State means business. State is now a party to wrong doings all sort of the violation of Human Rights with impunity! If society,people cannot put their trust then it is taken that State's breathing has reached the state of a critical condition.It can be said,Prof. Humayun Azad means Bangladesh is passing the most critical condition of its existance in the operation theatre of iron-curtain CMH of Dhaka Cantonment! BONGO NETRI SHEIKH HASINA was not allowed to enter in the CMH.But why? Is it as because Prof.Humayun Azad is in a very very critical condition of his life death! We think while Prof. Azad is in coma Bangladesh is at coma! Jote must remember the killing of Dr.Milon, killed by the Killers of Ho.Mo.Ershad on 27th.November,1990.What happened next? Ershad had to declare his abdication from power on 4, December on 6,December he had to step down! Jote's glass is full with blood.They should follow now the footprint of Ershad.Time is ripe.God's nemesis will befall on them at any time Insa Allah.
They are performing "JAN KOBOCH DUTY'' for the last two years now they have started to kill our Bangali-Voice. Enough is enough.We know you have drawn the Road Map of killing.People will Block you in all fronts from all directions.Remember, it is not AZAD but with him our AZADI has been attacked.Bangalis fought against the Paki friends without arms.I want to remind that Bangalis Iman, courage to fight against"al-badars-rajakers rapist criminal killers'' will bring total defeat to them soon.Bangalis would give a lesson to the killers protect AZADI with the spirit of " Amar sonar Bangla ami tomay bhalobashi'' like Prof.Azad whole Bangalis(not the Bangladeshis) would burry the bloody followers of "pak sar jomin sad bad''. AZAD'S SPIRIT OF PATRIOTISM WOULD PREVAIL.THREE CHEERS FOR AZAD.LONG LIVE AZAD WITH AZAD OUR AZADI,----"AMADER PRANER SWADHINOTA.EKATTUR''.
Jisnu Akhter, Professor of the School of Current Political Thoughts Culture.
Factoid galore by the PM won't help apprehend Humayun Azad's assailants
By Shabbir Ahmed
It should not come as a surprise that expatriate Bangalees throughout the world are deeply saddened by the news of the attack Dr. Humayun Azad had sustained from some coward goons. In addition to the Bangalees, a number of humanist individuals of the world are deeply shocked and concerned about the condition of this renowned scholar. While the people of Bangladesh are very much aware of the perpetrators of the crimes, the Prime Minster Begum Khaleda Zia made a statement that needs some probing to unmask her paranoiac mindset. She blamed the major opposition party for the crime without even reading a single line from the detective branch of the police. As the head of the government, she should’ve absolute access to the information on the crimes committed against a notable thinker/philosopher like Professor Humayun Azad. So far, the law enforcement department has the slightest clue; thus, they haven’t revealed any information whatsoever as to who did the attack against this eminent person even though the conscious people have very clear guess about the criminals and their godfather. Nevertheless, concerned people of Bangladesh and intellectuals who follow the events in Bangladesh from outside world will pay heed to what the Prime Minister had said thus far. In this case, she shouldn’t make statements that are nothing but factoids at best.
In any murder or attempted murder case, the investigators first investigate the motive of the criminals. If they don’t find first hand clue, then they take into account about the beneficiaries of the crime. The beneficiaries could be of political/economical/ideological nature depending the type of crimes. The losers/sufferers because of the crimes don’t automatically become the suspects. The beneficiaries could however be the prime suspects. In the case of the attempted murder of Dr. Humayun Azad, the losers are the pro-liberation forces/freethinkers/secularists of Bangladesh. The beneficiaries are the anti-liberation forces/fundamentalists/political Islamists of Bangladesh. The major opposition party Awami League led the war of liberation against the killer Pakistani regime and their fundamentalists/political Islamist partners in 1971. The writings of Dr. Humayun Azad enhance the strengths of the pro-liberation forces, who fought a war against the brutal pro-Pakistani forces under the elected government in exile formed by Awami League. Hence, the political party in question loses for the demise of writers/philosophers like Dr. Humayun Azad. Why on earth should their supporters attack him? It beats any logic, you see!
Prof. Azad’s writings certainly harm the anti-liberation forces politically and ideologically. They’re now sharing power with the party governed by the Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia. They’ve the power and means to talk against an educationist for writing a book even in parliament. Some of the fundamentalist/pro-Pakistani partners of the government expressed their outrage against Dr. Humayun Azad for writing a book titled “Pak Sar Zamin Sad Bad.” Many of these notorious political Islamists issued Fatwas to kill the intellectuals who differ with them on religious/political views in the past. Based on the rhetoric and past violent attitude of the fundamentalists/political Islamists, it is rather easy to conclude that they’ll be the beneficiaries if an eminent writer like Dr. Azad can’t write anymore. If he is killed, then their true color won’t be exposed any more. They can continue to be in power by keeping the present-day Bangalees in dark and confusion about them. They’ve achieved this mastery after their defeat in 1971. It is a survival tactics on their part.
Does the Prime Minister fail to analyze simple facts or is she going to rely on factoids to make up stories about who are behind the attack of Prof. Azad? It is possible though that she doesn’t want to embarrass her coalition partners especially Jamaat-i-Islami. However, she can hardly avoid the background information and the political motives of her coalition government. So far, it is observed that the deceptive policies are used randomly by the present government in suppressing information about the activities of the miscreants. This does not help improve the law and order situation in the country, which is out of kilter now. Instead, the perpetrators get encouraged. Come to think of it, a guess by the Prime Minister should be solidly based on some logic and facts. Unfortunately, truth is seldom seen to come out of the present administration because it is buried with prevarications. After all, the Prime Minister and her government aren’t truthful about the history of our liberation war. They are good at manufacturing fibs about who gave the clarion call for our freedom movement. Lately, textbooks have been re-written in Bangladesh to favor the PMs pet view. This doctoring of books will have their adverse effect; the nation will produce some confused citizens in years to come.
In summary, making fib, prevarication, etc., has become a pastime of our present day Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Evading truth to settle some old score with her opponent, ex-PM Sheikh Hasina, keeps her ever busy. The PM won’t admit in public that kowtowing the Islamists to win the election has its pitfall. Very soon, Bangladesh’s citizens are going to be disenchanted with her fib-making exercises. When push comes to shove, the people of Bangladesh will dump her and the Islamists in favor of a secular party. I hear the rumblings in the distant horizon.
Dr. Shabbir Ahmed, a researcher, writes from Naples, Florida. His e-mail address: email@example.com
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