Friday, October 01, 2004

Where is the love and concern for our brethren in Bangladesh?

Where is the love and concern for our brethren in Bangladesh? What does it take for Americans to comprehend what is happening in Bangladesh?

For years we have watched the debacle and devastation in Pakistan, as intolerance and Mullah dictated fundamentalism, has resulted in violence and lawlessness against members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

The Pakistani template for wanton destruction to basic human rights has become a guiding force in the nightmarish subjugation and suppression of minorities in a country that was founded on freedom and protection of human rights for all people. Islamic principles were touted and hailed as the unique umbrella of freedom for Pakistani citizens, but now that very country is redefining the meaning of Islam, as drafted by architects of fundamentalism. Government influenced by intolerant bigots and religious zealots now decide who is a Muslim and who is not a Muslim.

Now, in Bangladesh, a similar dark scenario is being imitated, as the world looks on while mob action, assassinations at the hands of crazed zealots armed with bombs, machetes and guns terrorize the peace-loving people of that country.

There are more than 100,000 Ahmadi Muslims in Bangladesh. They are in the middle of this madness and are threatened weekly by mullahs and instigators who want them declared “non-Muslim.” Ahmadis have sacrificed lives and property as they endure and prevail over the dictates of the pompous and self-absorbed mad mullahs.

And as you read these brief words, Bangladesh society is being sabotaged and shortchanged by known and unknown political fundamentalists who seek to destroy religious freedom and expression in the name of Islam.

It is heart breaking as we watch this draconian plot, but it is even more heart breaking if we sit by in America and distance ourselves from the plight of our brethren in Bangladesh. We cannot let this madness go on regulating it to a mere news item in our humdrum daily lives – a distraction to our so-called overwhelming theological and worldly concerns in America.

American concerns about the latest movie, same-sex marriage or the dilemma of Catholics and sexual abuse, should not supersede our collective effort to tighten the screws on the Bangladeshi government. As we sit comfortably in our homes, a wave of violence is threatening to overwhelm Bangladesh cities and communal violence is slowly taking shape.

The enemies of freedom are gaining ground as they become bolder in their assaults on those tolerant voices that speak out and protest forcefully against the Mullahs and extreme elements of intolerance in Bangladesh.

We cannot sit back in the comfort of America and allow thugs and miscreants to destroy Bangladesh. Our Jama’at is an easy target for the mischievous mullah and our inaction gives him license to spread the infectious virus of his beliefs. How can we sit back and enjoy life and ignore the growing madness in Bangladesh? We have to send a message to the elected leadership of Bangladesh and to those fighting to protect and maintain freedom in that country.

We have to continue to write letters, knock on the doors of our elected representatives with enthusiasm and passion until our voices are heard. We seek justice and protection for our brethren in Bangladesh. There is no shame in using every ounce of energy we have to bring this issue before federal, state and local elected representatives. We will not and cannot marginalize this issue while members of our community are living under the threat of death.

How do we go about it? We have to be unbending and relentless in seeking absolute justice for all Bangladeshis. It is the Ahmadis who are going to be the most vulnerable to attacks by bloodthirsty mobs in Dhaka. Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community can never forget the 1999 deaths and devastation from a time bomb that was planted in a Khulna Ahmadi mosque. The Bangladesh government, so far, has failed to protect Ahmadis and bring to justice those who are responsible for inciting attacks and the murder of our latest Ahmadi martyr.

There exists a very tense situation in Bangladesh. Oppresive opponents of peace-loving people have given warnings that they will attack Ahmadiyya Muslims. May Allah protect us and save us from evil.

Now is the time to show some love for Bangladesh. Contact me if you can help in the fight against oppression in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Ahmadis


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