Bangladesh, as we all know is moving fast towards an Islamic state. Arabisation pushes ahead on all fronts. Political parties are in favour of it, people are so gullible to a point that explaing about ill effects of religion falls into deaf ears. Bangladesh is fast loosing it’s Bangla-ness. The land our forefathers fought to curve out of old Pakistan to cultivate humanity, secularism, democracy and social and economic equilibrium has fallen back to a Pakistan. Only this time people like our forefathers, the fighters, Atheists, are socially outcast. We are subject to death, both physically, and socially.  

Since 2013, since the first killing of our friend, an outspoken Atheist, a witty blogger who wrote ‘Nurani Chapa’ (divine bullshit), the word Atheist has become targets of repeated demonization. Both of Islamists, obviously. But surprisingly, from the rest as well. The so called progressives, who may or may not be Atheist themselves won’t voice their conviction, but cave when Islamists or their allies throw any kind of challenge. This so called progressives, are too timid to stand for their own self respect. 

fast forward to 2015, another spell of killing started. Every-time someone looses his life, a fresh dose of vile rhetoric spills across the national media. Be it newspaper op-ed, be it social media celebrities, be it TV talk shows. Across the board, everyone, in unison, agreed on one thing. That they are not Athiests. And being an Athiest is the worst thing anyone can accuse anyone of. At least that is the reality in Bangladesh. 

Islamists are said to have lost powers recently. Bangladesh Government, police, elite forces, boast a few ‘operation’ here and there. Rest of the world is made aware of this huge achievements

But one thing we forget easily. Islamists no longer need to kill anyone, no need to blast any bombs. As they have already wan. Atheists are no longer welcomed anywhere. Islamists have achieved what they wanted to, they have altered the narrative. With the help of spineless progressives. 

Our progressives, including the government gave in, to the threats of violence. They declared openly, that no Atheist exist in the midst of any progressive movements. 

When a society admits fear, adheres to rules established by Islamists, that society has already lost it’s soul. The soul, the spirit is no more, they have killed it. 

Police, ministers are now echoing the demands of Islamists to a degree, that Islamists no longer need to demonstrate, we have become Islamists ourselves. Brava! 

 

Arif Rahman

London, UK

21 Aug 2015

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