Before Shahbag. Police pepper spray and water cannon Communist Party strike. Source: BdNews24.com
by Naeem Mohaiemen
[Edited version of this was published in Dhaka Tribune]
When you ask an already powerful state to expand their powers further, so as to pummel those you oppose, don’t be surprised if the state also decides to use that power against you. Continue reading
I will not be as sensational, as dramatic and as much a pessimist to compare current day Bangladesh to Syria. Bangladesh is not Syria and I strongly believe Bangladesh will NOT become Syria or even Sri Lanka. Bangladsh will move on, leave these mess behind and keep on with life, a difficult life- but Bangladeshis are very much used to that life.
But, the way our government is behaving like giving up on rest of Bangladesh, even the second and third largest cities Chittagong and Rajshahi, the commercial capital and the capital of North Bengal respectively, only to somehow keep capital Dhaka isolated from opposition forces, I see an eerie similarity with Syrian Government hunkering down to safeguard its last remaining bastion, Damascus. Continue reading
“I, the other, the uniquely dressed, the lone man in these hours, I speak of humanity,” Ferdaus told the court. “No dehumanisation can serve as justification for inhumanity in other places.“
Let me start by asking you all a question. You may have a very strong religious affiliation; your faith may be impeccable. Or you may be deeply indoctrinated with a political ideology. Passion runs deep in your vain in favor of your faith or ideology. But does this passion permit you to break the basic law of humanity, i.e. kill innocent people? And if you do any such act out of this strong political of religious conviction, can you get away saying that it’s not my fault, some religious or political leader used my passion to make me commit such crime?
Fourth, we condemn the racial scapegoating of the entire Bangladeshi community. When a violent incident targeting a public institution is carried out by a white male, such as James Eagan Holmes, Anders Behring Breivik, Timothy McVeigh, Jared Loughner, Andrew Joseph Stack, John Patrick Bedell, David Adkisson, Eric Robert Rudolph, or James Von Brunn, the media calls him a “lone gunman,” explaining the incident as individual pathology and “aberration,” not the product of any particular culture. But when the alleged perpetrator is of non-white origin, especially Arab or Muslim, then the analysis is framed solely in terms of cultural or religious backwardness and lack of tolerance, and used as a rationale for stereotyping, scapegoating, surveillance, racial profiling, and discrimination against entire communities. Such scapegoating neither helps to solve the problem of violence, nor do they move us toward a peaceful society. Instead, they create a scenario of collective, racialized punishment for individual crimes.
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Shoe protest at Press Club against sending Bangladesh team to Pakistan.
Update 3: We have decided to remove a potentially offensive image posted from facebook. That criticism of all things Pakistani inevitably takes on racist undertones is something that might be the subject of a future post.