Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Self Vs. State

Faisal Kader makes two very pertinant points (Pls see comments on Hasina ♥ Jamaat) :

1. Do we want to religionise politics or for that matter politicise religion?
2. If we do want an Islamic nation then which model do we follow? (Saudi or Indonesian)

If it was up to me one would keep religion close to my heart and secularism / democracy close to my mind! But it is not up to me! It is in the hands and minds of the Bangladeshi electorate.

Luckily for all of us till date they have been resolute in ensuring Islamic parties do not gather the strength that they have in many countries. But mind you this support cannot be taken for granted. If we look at Pakistan then we can see that while the PPP and ML kept the Islamist elements out, in elections after the General took over they have shown a huge upswing in the strength of the rightwing religious party.

It is inevitable that in a democracy we have to find space for all voices the citizens. And till electoral decides to change the Constitution the green in our flag represents the fields of Bangla and not the colour of their faith.

My worry however is that there exists a far sinister plot in the background. Islamic nation that the JMB and its ilk want to establish does not want to put a King (or Sheikh – Hasina?) in power like in Saudi. Nor does it look for guidance from the moderate and somewhat democratic Muslim states like Malaysia or Indonesia! They want a revolution ala Iran in 1979 or the Taliban regime in Afghanistan! Law and governance will be in accordance to the Quran (actually according to their interpretation of the Quran) with one supreme leader and an advisory council.

Few years ago some Muslim Brotherhood tried to recruit me. (Don’t ask me why but the how hopefully I will write about sometime soon!) Their pitch was that Jamaat is not a true Islamic party as they have forsaken Islam. Their rational being that man cannot elect who should lead them nor can they legislate laws or decide on punishment. All the guidelines have been laid in the holy books and the obligation of every Muslim is to follow that. Jamaat by the virtue of being part of the process has surrendered its right to champion the cause!

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