Monday, August 30, 2010

Lincoln, the mass murderer

The Lincoln Memorial shows how Americans honour their murderers and warmongers. Lincoln has been guilty of war crimes: The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War, (Three Rivers Press/Random House)

He did not start the civil war to end slavery, but to prevent southern states from exercising their right to secession. If the European Union today bludgeoned member states into similar submission, would we accept it?

The barbarity of the Unionists under Lincoln is brought out in this line quoted from Sir John Keegan's recent book on the Civil War: "Even during the world wars, the British and French buried the German dead, the Germans buried their enemies…The Union treated those who died in rebellion against it as non-people." They just dumped the Confederate dead into mass graves.

In proportion to casualties to population, the Civil War “bears comparison only with the European losses in the Great War and Russia’s in the Second World War.”

By preserving the Union, Lincoln helped create a monster across North America, from one ocean to the other. Today, most of us are slaves to this monster.

The Flames of Freedom (short story)

The Flames of Freedom

(click on title for short story)

Opening paragraph:

"I shall always feel affection and respect for the man who wanted to destroy western civilisation. I remember clearly how we met – that was an adventure in itself. We met through Faria, and I met her at Hotel Poshur at Mongla."

This is a story of how western foreign policy affects the lives of distant people: it begins by the Poshur River at Mongla and ends at Teknaf. The themes are an insatiable longing for peace and the inevitability of violence.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ershad's rule illegal - like all the others?

Gulf Times – Qatar’s top-selling English daily newspaper - SriLanka/Bangladesh: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

When Chief Justice Shahabuddin took over the presidency after Ershad's resignation on December 6 1990, he raped the constitution - according to which the vice-president should have taken over power. Therefore, Shahabuddin's reign was illegal, and elections held under him were illegal too. So were the amendments he had passed by parliament - all illegal.

According to Walter Mebane of Cornell*, mathematical analysis has shown that both the elections of 1996 and those of 2001 were rigged - they were, therefore, illegal. Hence every government in the last 15 years has been illegal.

The last caretaker government stayed in power for two years and did not hold elections within 90 days of the BNP handing over power: that was illegal.

There is a wide consensus that the army rigged the election of 2008 in favour of the Awami League - hence, that election was also illegal.

Furthermore, Sheikh Mujib himself trashed the constitution and introduced one-party rule - so he started the entire train of illegal governments.

If every government in our history has been illegal, does it matter? One illegal government is as good as another!

*"One example concerns an analysis of the last three elections in Bangladesh. The 1991 election showed no strange results. For the 1996 election some 2% of results were problematic. And fully 9% of the results in 2001 failed the test. The 2001 election was fiercely contested. Yet monitors from the Carter Centre and the European Union found the election to be acceptably, if not entirely, free and fair. Tests like Dr. Mebane's one could provide monitors with quantitative estimates of exactly how free and fair an election has been.... [The Economist, February 24 2007, p 82]"

Friday, August 20, 2010

amal khayal ast

'amal khayal ast'

'the world is an illusion' says the poet. And how can it be otherwise?

We admire murderers, and seek awards from them: the harmless people we regard with contempt. We admire the criminal, and vote for him in great numbers and defend him in our living rooms; we respect the hypocrite, the dishonest, the downright bad.

The world bestows honours on the wicked, and scorn on the good. We call the evil, good, and the good, evil.

Assuredly, 'amal khayal ast'.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

the beauty of Shakespeare

My compatriots are always going on and on about the beauty of Shakespeare, but how did this beauty get here?

We hadn't always known about Shakespeare. Before 1757, we had never even heard of him. Then after we were conquered, we learned English and began to study English literature, ignoring our very own Persian literature.

Thus, as a conquered people, we discovered the beauty of Shakespeare.

Now, after learning Persian, I see what we have lost: what is Shakespeare compared to Sheikh Sa'di?

But thousands of my compatriots each year will 'discover' Shakespeare and never think about our loss of freedom.

That is the tragedy of history.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bangladesh Bans Use of National Anthem As a Ringtone

Bangladesh Bans Use of National Anthem As a Ringtone: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

So it's official: the country's religion is Nationalism, not Islam.

You can use suras from the Koran as your answering ring-tone, but not the national anthem.

This goes hand in hand with the recent banning of Islam from the political sphere: anti-Islamism has become rampant after the Awami League came to power.

The courts have judged half of our national history to be illegal: military rule from 1975 to 1990. That is, the benign period of our history is illegitimate, while the malign periods are legitimate.

This is a morality stood on its head: how long can it stand there? Not long.

That military rule should be declared illegal testifies to how far the intelligentsia have deviated from Muslim political history and philosophy, scorning such luminaries as al-Mawardi and al-Ghazali, who defended military autocracy unconditionally. This also explain how a Muslim society can deligitimise the benevolent part of its history, and sacralise the wicked years.