After more than two weeks of barbaric atrocities on nonviolent and innocent Hindus by Muslim mobs in many parts of Bangladesh, the foreign minister of the country, A. K. Abdul Momen, has issued a statement in his ministry’s website.
The statement is full of falsehood and downplaying of the atrocities on a religious minority community, obviously with two aims: 1) to deceive the community of civilized nations and 2) to encourage the domestic Islamic fanatics by signaling that the impunity that they have historically enjoyed remains in full force.
I was actually acquainted with Momen about three decades back in the greater Boston area, USA. He had a PhD degree and was teaching at a college in that area. I was teaching at Northeastern University at that time. However, I do not remember much about him, due to my limited interactions with him.
The first and obvious question about his statement on the recent brutal atrocities on a nonviolent minority population of his country would be, why the talk from the foreign minister? The horrific incidents did not involve any foreign country or any foreign criminal or victim. The obvious answer to the question would be that he wanted to control the damage to the image of his government/nation. But, obviously, he either did not understand or did not want to acknowledge that lying is not the way to make a good image of whatever one focuses on - an individual, a family, a community, a government or a nation. A good image actually needs good thoughts and deeds.
Now let us see what Momen actually said. Without going into what I know through personal communications and through social media, let us assume that what Momen said were the facts and talk about them.
Momen said, “Contrary to all the ongoing propaganda, only 6 people died during recent violence of which 4 were Muslims, killed during the encounters with law enforcing authorities, and 2 were Hindus, one of whom had normal death and another when he jumped in a pond. None was raped and not a single Mandir was destroyed.”
How dishonest and disgusting for a PhD degree holding former college professor! To Momen, 6 people being dead does not matter much! But by civilized standards, it does; the deaths of even the Muslim mob members are regrettable - the religiously brainwashed mentally sick criminals needed psychological treatments with factual and logical thoughts, not death. How idiotic that he talked about one ‘normal death’. Since when a normal death of an ordinary citizen is a matter of news and attention by a government minister? How idiotic that he talked about one ‘jumped in a pond’!! Did that person willingly jump in the pond for committing suicide? Was he not too scared of the barbaric mob? Again, I have argued here with the assumption that Momen’s statements are factual – which in reality are far from the total facts.
Momen talked about the government taking immediate action and arresting the perpetrators! How many thousand did his government arrest? Why are such arrests, including the numbers, not in the newspapers in Bangladesh? Talking about actions against the barbaric acts by Muslim criminals, why is there never news in the news media about the actual punishments for similar criminals in Ramu (September 2012), Nasirnagar (October 2016), Shalla (March 2021), and in many more places in Bangladesh during governments led by Momen’s party, Awami League? Of course, because no significant punishment was given to such criminals. Momen’s words mean nothing but disgraceful deception.
Momen talked about compensation to the victims by his government! There is a saying in Bangla, “viksar dorkar nai, kutta thekao” (do not need the alms, restrain the dog). The disgrace of a minster obviously could not comprehend the pain and trauma of the victims! Compensation is nothing to the victims when there is no guarantee that such atrocities on them would not be repeated in the country. Even if the present places of atrocities were fortified, which is unlikely, there is no basis to think that such atrocities would not happen again soon at some other places in the country.
The minister talked about the image of his government! In international politics, world powers play games with corrupt and deplorable nations, even when they have no respect for such nations. They know what Bangladesh is, even when they do not take punitive actions against that country. Lying is not how good images can be made; good images are made through good thoughts and deeds.
Momen talked about his government supporting religious activities (Puja Mondop) of Hindus in Bangladesh! Here are a couple of facts. The Religious Affairs Ministry of Bangladesh has an allocation of Tk 290.08 crore for religious minorities in its most recent budget. The same budget has a total of Tk 15,054.03 crore allocated (Annual Development Program, ADP) for all religious groups, including Muslims. So, the non-Muslims of the country get just 1.9%, while they represent about 10% of the population! They are deprived of 81% of their fair share!
Momen talked about the Quran being placed near the feet of a deity sparking outrage in the country - meaning too many Muslims with too much of Islamic sentiments would be too angered over the matter! Obviously, no Hindu in his right mind could have done that, as they are fully aware of the excessive Islamic sentiments in the country, which have been behind the Muslim mobs making their life hell in their homeland of centuries.
But who are behind the excessive Islamic sentiments in the country? It surely includes Momen’s party that claims to be secular (blatantly false) but uses ‘allahu akbar’ as its motto, keeps Islam as the state religions, and promotes and protects Islam in many different ways, including with financing Islamic activities through APD and with laws to punish people who criticize Islam or Mohammad.
It is an utter disgrace that too many people in Bangladesh with high academic qualifications, cannot apply their human intelligence, knowledge and rational thinking on religions. Instead, they keep promoting the absurdities, injustices, and hatreds of religions, making the lives of too many innocent people miserable! Bangladesh not only does not need protection and promotion of Islam; it also does not need supporting non-Muslim religious activities. It needs humanity. It needs applications of human intelligence. It needs common senses of good and bad, of right and wrong, of justice and injustice and of compassion and cruelty, for all its citizens to be worthy human beings - to live and let others live with human dignity, rights, peace and prosperity.