PHOTO FROM INTERNET
It was written just 48 hours after the unjustifiable Jihadist attack on the Holy Artisan Bakery, Gulshan, Dhaka, Bangladesh on July 1/2, 2016 which left 29 people dead and the entire nation shocked.
I’ve a message for all my non-Bangladeshi friends who has showed their concern for the recent Dhaka Attack which is believed to be committed by IS (Dayesh). 20  people have been mercilessly slaughtered, including a pregnant women who was Italian and a young Jaina (a religious community of Indian subcontinent who believe in total non-violence) girl, by those heartless beasts. This is something which is beyond justification, nothing can justify this incomprehensible inhumanity, I repeat: nothing.
I am sure most of you have known about this unforgivable crime from BBC (UK) CNN (USA), Al Jajeera (Qatar), NDTV (India) etc. They have represented the whole affair in the post-9/11 ‘war on terror’ framework. So clarify my position, I don’t believe in this framework, I think you all know why so.
Firstly, the much-used ‘terrorism’ is a misnomer. Terror is a tactical option, an extremely problematic one, to achieve strategic objectives by ideologically motivated people. Throughout modern history, different people from different political ideologies, has used this option against their real/fake enemies. For example, there were Anarchist terrorists in 19th century’s pre-Revolution Russia who wanted to oust the Tsar. Or, there were radical nationalist terrorists in early 20th century when India was under British Raj, who wanted to end British colonial rule. Very recently, we have seen Marxist terrorists of LTTE in Sri Lanka who wanted national rights for their oppressed Tamil brethren. Figures like Vera Zasulich, Pritilota Waddedar or Velupillai Pravakaran were hardly religious, let alone so-called fundamentalists, and still they used terrorist tactics to accomplish their strategic objectives.
So, ‘war on terrorism’ is pure nonsense. One just cannot fight against mere tactics. One has to go a little deep.
Secondly, IS is a religious fascist organization. Before talking about it, let us take a long historical perspective, so that you understand why they and some others want to re-establish Caliphate in 21st century. History is boring, but, it is necessary.
When Sunni Islam’s political institution Caliphate was disbanded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk of Turkey in the early 20th century, certain sections of Muslim society couldn’t accept it. These were mostly the old elites of Ottoman Turkey who saw their downfall by their replacement with modern-minded people in the newly Secularized Turkey. Then there was the Sykes-Picot treaty which partitioned Middle East creating a lot of neocolonial states, and, most of these states followed the example of Turkey’s secularization. This, again, angered their replaced old elite. They took all the class interest motivated misdoings of ultra nationalist rulers as a sign of ‘materialism’s/secularism’s/modernity’s crisis’ and longed for the recently disbanded institution named Caliphate. This gave rise to the now infamous Idea of pan-Islamism which was theorized by Islamist thinkers like Syed Abul Ala Mawdudi of India/Pakistan, Syed Qutb of Egypt, and Takiuddin Naqvi of Palestine etc. Jamaat-e Islami, Justice and Development Party, Muslim Brotherhood, and Hizbut Tahrir these are visibly different organizations; but; all of them have something common: the dream of Caliphate.
However, things went slightly in different direction in the Gulf States and Iran, and of course: Israel. In Saudi Arabia and her likes, the-then British-French colonialists directly supported and empowered their puppet monarchy for oil interest, US imperialism kept this relation intact in the era of neocolonialism for understandable reasons. In Iran, a constitutional monarchy was backed by the neocolonial powers, and when a democratically elected president named Mosaddeg came to power and nationalized Iran’s resources, he feel victim to a CIA-staged coup. Israel was, from the beginning the darling child of US Imperialism, and we know too much about its inhuman crimes against the Palestinians that I would escape details. The Gulf State practices a fundamentalist sect of Islam named Wahabism and preaches it all over the world with the riches made by petro-dollars enjoying Western support. Iran’s constitutional monarchy was brought down by an Iranian—yes, Iranian, it was populist-national in the beginning—revolution which was soon hijacked by the counter-revolution of religious fascists leaded by Ayatullah Ruhullah Khomini. Israel believes in Zionism which is a racist and communal belief, and, this Jewish-majority state uses the old tactics of European fascism against the Palestinians in a brutal irony of history’s repeating itself.
Then there were those good old Communists. Somewhere they made the mistake of joining hand with ultra nationalists (in Iraq), and, somewhere they made the mistake of joining hand with religious fascists (in Iran). These mistakes were horrific; they had to pay with their blood, making friendship with the wrong people for ‘tactical reasons’ never benefited the Left anywhere in the world. Those who tried to fight both ultra nationalism and religious fascism-two stooges of imperialism-, like the Maoists of Iran, could not become successful for different reasons. However, even after the Fukuyama-prophesied ‘End of History’, there are Communists like Kurdistan Workers’s Party (PKK) and Lebanese Communist Party in Middle East. What BBC and CNN don’t tell you is that, these are one of the bravest fighters against both ultra nationalism and religious fascism in that war-torn region. Embedded media has certain presuppositions, you know!
Now, first forward to 20th century’s last two decades, what do you see in those media reports?
Religious fascists were hailed as Brave warriors! If you don’t believe me, please google by typing ‘Independent Report’, ‘Robert Fisk’ and ‘Osama Bin Laden’, what you’ll get is more than enough to shock you.
In those times of anti-Communist hysteria against ‘the Empire of Evil’, religious fascists from the Middle East were overtly seen as tactical friends against the-then Soviet Union and East Europe, and it is no secret that CIA recruited Al Qaeda operatives in Kosovo Liberation Army in 1990s. Communism was the Arch Enemy that time. But the table turned after 9/11 attacks.
The United States of America, with her Gulf and NATO allies bombed country after country using the public sentiment for the innocent victims of 9/11 attacks, under the banner of ‘war on terrorism.’ They have killed millions, most of them civilians with no connection to religious fascism, justifying this spectacular act or war crime with an incomprehensible term: ‘collateral damage’. Worse, they have used communal cards to divide and rule people for the interest of military-industrial complex. Even before invading Iraq in 2003 on the false grounds of possessing WMD and having connection to Al Qaeda, it gave a 15 years long economic sanction under the umbrella of its puppet organization UN, causing the death of 1.5 million Iraqis one-third of who were kids. They have destroyed entire state systems in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Libya, and now they are doing the same in Syria. All these cold-blooded war crimes had been justified with high-sounding terms like ‘Freedom’, ‘Democracy’, or ‘Women Rights.’ The entire world know by now the wholesale rapes of man-women-kids and other inhuman tortures by the ‘liberator forces’ of the West in Abu Gharaib Jail and Guantanamo Bay detention center.
IS (Daesh) was Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in the beginning of this ‘war on terror’, a minor player in that region, with limited capabilities of causing harm. But when the US and Iran-backed Shia Nuri Al-Maliki came to power and his right hand Muktada Al-Sadr guided Shia Militia started witch haunting Sunnis, communalism spread like a disease in that country. A democratic resistance from the Sunnis, minority in Iraq, was mercilessly crashed by the state security forces. IS was waiting for this golden opportunity. They pretended to be the messiahs of the newly oppressed Sunnis and when they almost miraculously captured Mosul in 2010 they were quite popular among the Sunnis. This initial support was gone, however, when they gradually began to impose their harsh Sharia Laws on the daily lives of the Sunnis, not to mention forcing Sunni Men to join IS and forcing Sunni Women to marry them. Apart from that, their merciless treatment of Shia, Kurdi and Yezedi; burning people alive in cage, slaughtering prisoners of war, and forcing women into sexual slavery etc.; made it undeniably clear that they are a barbarian force who are no better than US imperialists or ultra nationalists.**
The hypocrisy of the USA and its allies in ME is, they back anti-Assad ‘moderate’ terrorists (actually, religious fascists), who are not radically different than IS (Dayesh).*** Another point is their support for Saudi Monarchy and ISI of Pakistan, two sponsors of religious fascism. You just cannot fight barbarism with hypocrisy.
Is Dhaka Attack is an integral part of this sad and soulless story of power and prejudice? Unfortunately, it is. For historical-social reasons, Bangladesh had NOT been full of religious fascists like its Middle Eastern counterparts, but after 9/11 global interest and local indifference push my country in this battle of the bastards.
Don’t misunderstand me. Of course there are right-wing political parties in this country who feel deep sympathy with religious fascists. But even Jamaat-e Islami of this country, infamous for its involvement in war crimes during the liberation struggle of Bangladesh against Pakistan as Pakistan’s collaborators, has become a liberal-democratic party for financial reasons. But after 9/11, day by day, support for religious fascism has grown to such an extent that caused the Dhaka attack. This has direct relation to autocratic governments. From BNP-Jamaat government to the AL government, from 2001 to 2016, extreme negligence about dealing with this crisis seriously—for saving their face in the international community—is directly responsible for the recent emergence of religious fascism in Bangladesh. To add insult to injury, extra-judicial killings by Police and RAB (another problematic force, created under the guidance of US State Department in the model of SOA of America and COBRA of India to safeguard corporate interest) in the name of crossfire and gunfight made the situation even worse.
Mourn for the victims of Dhaka Attack as their loss is not recoverable. We all are mourning for those lives. But we need your moral and political support so that the autocratic government of this country (ruling the country unelected since 2014, looting and laundering people’s money like old colonial rulers, dividing the country in the name of SEZs, building live and ecology-threatening power plants for the corporate interest of India-Russia-China, signing TICFA agreement with the USA which directly hit the local industry and business, justifying all these almost-criminal activities under the rhetoric of ‘Vision 2021’, in brief destroying my country silently for their individual-party-class interest in line with neoliberal globalization) cannot make ‘war on terrorism’ an excuse to curb the democratic rights of the Bangladesh’s citizens. Signs are alarming. With mass arrests, public places are being brought under extreme state surveillance under the banner of security, and people are being advised the government to follow the state’s footstep in a fascist-like manner. This is a wrong way to fight religious fascism if its seriously taken. Only a democratic state (a farsighted one, not the liberal-democratic one driven by shortsighted interest of profit maximization without caring about lands/lives), and a humane society can stop the rise of religious fascism.
Deep in my heart I do believe that we shall overcome someday. Thanks for reading. Thank you all.
* Not everyone who lost their life on that sad day was killed by the Jihadists, two policeman (Rabiul Karim and Salauddin Ahmed) died too while in duty. 2 persons (Saiful Choukidar and Jakir Hossain Shawon) killed by the government forces (one was spot dead and the other died in custody) were Holy Artisan Staffs with no connection to the Jihadists. Read this report to know about all the victims of July in detail : http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/dhaka/2017/07/01/remembering-the-victims/
** Read journalist Patrick Cockburn’s THE JIHADIS RETURN to get the full picture of post-aggression developments in Iraq.
*** However, that should not mean anyone who opposes Assad, is a religious fascist. As we know, initially there was the existence of a progressive democratic opposition to Assad’s rule in the beginning of Syrian Arab Spring. But they became marginalized day by day and Imperialism-backed Jihadists became the chief anti-Assad force in Syria.