Woke Islamism in Bangladesh

A lot of people want to know how this new global religion called wokism affects Muslim countries. Since most of them live outside Muslim countries, even the ones with some knowledge on this do not have the first hand experience of an ex Muslim like me who lives here. Bangladesh should be one of the most interesting case studies on the topic. Bangladesh is the 8th most populous country and 4th largest in the list of countries with most Muslims. Bangladesh is unlike the other Desi neighbors of India because it’s one of the fastest growing economies in the world. As Pakistan has lost its way not just in economy but also in cricket, India vs Bangladesh matches generates more intensity than India vs Pakistan matches these days.

Bangladeshis or East Bengalis are people who have been fighting for their soul since last century. They have changed their shirts thrice in the span of last 100 years. Most people don’t know that the first person to start Wahhabi movement in India was a Bengali named Titumir, born in a clerical family in Chandpur region of Bangladesh, who was initially influenced by Syed Ahmed Barelvi. He is someone who should be loathed not just by Hindus but also by moderate section of Bengali Muslims, right? But up until recently it was the opposite that happened. Titumir was revered not just by all sections of Muslims but also by urban educated Bengali Hindus of West Bengal! Anyone who wants a little proof of it should look up now deceased Maheshweta Debi, a female Bengali leftist intellectual who wrote a novella as a tribute to Titumir in 2000. In her novella, she called Titumir “a champion of the subaltern cause”. It was in Dhaka where All India Muslim League was formed in 1906. It was the Bengali Muslim League leader A.K. Fazlul Haq who presented Pakistan resolution in Lahore in 1940. It was Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy who instigated the Great Calcutta Killing in 1946, the riot that culminated in break up of India in 1947 into Hindu majority secular India and Muslim majority Pakistan. After the creation of Pakistan, the very nation whose foundation was laid by Bengali Muslims, the East Bengalis despite being the majority population in then Pakistan (52%), found themselves in trouble when Pakistan government wanted to change the Indic writing script of Bengali into Perso-Arabic along with making Urdu the state lannguage of Pakistan. This incident led to language movement in 1952 and throughout 50s and 60s, Bengali Muslims experienced a great Bengali awakening. They started to feel being Bengali was just as important for them as being Muslim. This period is the reason why Ravindranath Tagore’s song was adopted as the national anthem of Bangladesh when they seperated from Pakistan in 1971. As due to global geopolitics, Pan-Islamism revived in this country after 1980s so to this date, it is fighting over what it truly is – whether being part of the global Muslim Ummat or being Indic/Bengali first.

Fast forward to 2015, a lot of atheist bloggers and free thinkers got killed in Bangladesh. The most renowned of those killed was Avijit Roy, a Bangladeshi-American intellectual. After his death, some of the leading Bangladeshi intellectuals, academics and celebrities justified his murder. Among them the most prominent ones are Pinaki Bhattacharya (who lives in France now, the irony!), Salimullah Khan (an academic) and Mostafa Sarwar Farooqi  (This guy is one of the leading Bangladeshi film makers who also works in Kolkata’s industry and casted renowned Bollywood actor late Irrfan Khan in his movie “Doob”). Farooqi advised atheist bloggers not to satirize the life of Muhammad and instead cultivate vegetables to find meaning in life. You might wonder they are saying this because they are pious Muslims. But no they are not. They are either atheist or irreligious themselves. But they believe in the international identity politics and consider themselves part of the global liberal elite. So even though they themselves lead a Westernized lifestyle, they appease the Islamists in the country. So when they are rebuking atheist bloggers, they are not using conservative Islamist vocabulary. Instead they are using wokespeak or Liberal jargons like colonialism or structural racism. In their eyes, students of madrassas are the subaltern comrades and blasphemers are the agents of Western colonialism and Indian fascism. The same mistake that many Iranian communists made in 1979 and paid the price when Khomeni came to power. Most Bangladeshi so called leftists are the intellectual defenders of Pan-Islamism in this country.

Look at the sharp contrast with India. Unlike Bangladesh, most Indian academics or celebrities who call themselves leftists/postmodernists are against almost anything and everything Hindu. According to both the postmodernists from Kolkata and Dhaka, Ravindranath Tagore is a symbol of “Brahminical Patriarchy”. Some Bollywood celebrities see Hindu patriarchy everywhere but Hijab is feminism. Talking about that, very few Bengali Muslim girls used to wear Hijab back in 80s-90s even when the society was obviously more socially conservative back then. But today a lot of urban girls who get called “thots” by socially conservative zoomers put on the type of fashionable Hijab that gets promoted in the West. They are wearing this because even though it is a symbol of oppression, it gets promoted by the Western feminists. So they feel more comfortable with their Muslim identity than the Bengali one. The Indian Hindu on the other hand has to discard his/her culture to be fully accepted by the global woke. Don’t get me wrong. I am not speaking against people who leave Hinduism. I am speaking out against Western liberal hypocrisy. To the liberal woke global elite, Islam is the tool with which they deconstruct the white man’s world. A cultural Hindu immigrant on the other hand assimilates in Western societies, they have high academic and financial achievements and a lot of them support Republicans. So for them, Indian Hindus despite being brown have a white man problem that needs to be deconstructed and Muslims are model browns that can be used like pets.

Bangladesh today fights a form of Islamism that is not coming from Saudi Arabia, Iran or Pakistan but the one that is coming from UK, USA and Canada.

2021 anti Modi protests against the government led by Woke Leftists and Hefazat Islam

19 thoughts on “Woke Islamism in Bangladesh

  1. I have written numerous times about how apart from climate change, the global unholy alliance between radical islam and radical leftistism is the most dangerous threat to peace and progress in our time.

  2. In one way it is progress. Even Islamists are taking on wokespeak to appeal to the educated. My personal view is that, when Islamist give up quoting Quran, Hadith, Taimiyah and start invoking Chomsky, Said, Talal Asad, Leila Ahmed, the battle is half won.

    1. Where is the progress? They are using what people want to hear when muslims are in minority, look at the big jalsaas that address the real-muslims there is tremendous demand for Hadith, Sunna, falaa-dhikana…

      When in strength Islamists will go full Pakistani cousin on other group’s ass. Islam is cancer. Openly mock, call Muhammad a pedo, and wipe poop with Quran where-ever you can. There can be no compromise or debate. All the quoting Chomsky and Ahmed is only till you carry the bigger stick.

  3. The academia retarded the rate of progress in Islamic world decades ago with their farce called “Islamic Golden Age”. Almost all so called Islamic scientists were heretics, apostates and followers of other faiths. Almost 90% of those scientists were Persians.

    Plus there is nothing called Christian science but somehow there is Islamic science. This lie helps muslim societies to feel good about their Islamic totalitarianism and remain stagnated.

    1. I don’t think so. Muslims themselves cook up BS about ‘Islamic golden age’ or dig obscure references from works on history. Not so different from Hindus in this regard. No one give a shit about such self-congratulatory bullshit.

  4. “A cultural Hindu immigrant on the other hand assimilates in Western societies, they have high academic and financial achievements and a lot of them support Republicans.”

    I think most Indians just vote Democrat to be fair, Republicans are still seen as the White People Party, moreso after Trump.

    Hindus in the West are generally a sorry bunch when it comes to defending their group interests, unlike Muslims who are way more unified and conservative, obviously a lot of this has to do with the Muslims having the backing of the Western liberal elite, hence their hypocrisies are only called out by small Twitter accounts.

    Personally, I don’t think immigrant groups should fork ethnic lobbies of any kind, seems like a recipe for disaster in relation to the obvious backlash that will be generated from the whites.

  5. “deceased Maheshweta Debi, a female Bengali leftist intellectual who wrote a novella as a tribute to Titumir in 2000. In her novella, she called Titumir “a champion of the subaltern cause””

    Indian communists and leftists are scum. Thank God they never came to power in UP or Bihar. The mind-fuckery which Marxism causes takes hundreds of years to eradicate.

  6. @Alex Zurvan (if that is your real name)

    Fantastic piece!

    In their eyes, students of madrassas are the subaltern comrades and blasphemers are the agents of Western colonialism and Indian fascism. The same mistake that many Iranian communists made in 1979 and paid the price when Khomeni came to power.

    This line stood out for me.

    It is the same story among Indian communists – they have fully embraced Islamism while decrying Hindutva. A joke in certain circles goes like this – Western communism is just Judaism without Jehovah. Indian communism is just Islamism without Allah/Mo.

    Starting from Manto to the historian Irfan Habib (RJB fame) to the current day Umar Khalid (tukde-tukde fame), a lot of “atheist” communist Muslims have queered the pitch for a bridge with cultural Hindus who would like to adopt a non-confrontational pitch with alternative economic lifestyles.

    Because Gandhian movements went out of their way to co-opt Islamic elements in society, these entities found a natural pathway to the Centre. For a period of time, they seemed to be winning. Until the excessive energies spun out of control, lurching totally to the left of Centre.

    The summary of Congress decline in India (once upon a time – a Gandhian philosophy) is that they have been fully hijacked by the Islamist and Leftist elements in terms of culture and economic philosophy.

    Internationally Hindutva has much more of a bad image in certain Western capitals than Bangladeshi Islamism. This is because of the “surplus Brahmins” that India has exported. Conversely this has produced a dampening effect on the Congress in India – they are now being championed by the West – this causes the average Hindu to pause and wonder if they are nationalists or compradors.

    Two countries – Same dynamics but different outcomes!!

  7. Radical islamism happens because majority of bangladeshis support sharia form of govt

    https://nationalinterest.org/feature/think-again-islamism-militancy-bangladesh-13567

    “Only 19 percent of surveyed Bangladeshis believed that Islam should not be the official religion of the country out of fairness to non-Muslims (who still comprise about 10 percent of the population) and an overwhelming majority (82 percent) believed that Islam should play a central role in the government. Nearly the same percentage (81 percent) believed that Islam should be the official religion of the country. When asked whether or not they agree that “The Caliphate is a better system of government than” the present Bangladeshi government, a troubling majority (52 percent) agreed with the statement.
    38 percent believed the government should punish those who convert away from Islam compared to 60 percent who did not support such punishment. ”

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/political-islam-and-islamist-terrorism-bangladesh-what-you-need-know
    Political Islam and Islamist Terrorism in Bangladesh: What You Need to Know

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316580206_Who_Supports_Suicide_Terrorism_in_Bangladesh_What_the_Data_Say

  8. Also, the use of the word “islamophobia” is of a big concern. Any form of secular, liberal, or revolutionary ideas is marked as being islamophobic and neo-colonialist and ousted away from the discussion. This is true in the academic conversation. If you say women should have the right to wear anything they want or you criticize theological social structure, you are being marked as neo colonist, Islamophobic and they use that allegation against you to oust you out.

    This is crazzy!

  9. Here is the thing, the Bengali elites even during British rule were the non native Shaikhs having primarily arabic ancestry. Rayachaudhari in his books mentioned the same that though Bengal is considered as an enlightened state during the 19th century it was limited only to 5% of the Islamic population and 8% of the Upper caste Hindus. The white washing of history by making titular names for Muslim elites of “so called freedom struggle” builds a popular perception that the freedom struggle was by the natives. It perpetuates a cycle of glorifying people in their titular names. Titumir who is a Syed Mir Nasir by birth suddenly portrayed as a freedom fighter. Bulleh Shah originally called Syed Abdullah Gilani is seen as a Punjabi sufi poet of liberal nature by many Punjabis who “supposedly spoke against Aurangazeb’s tyrannical rule”. How ganga jamuna tehzeeb or i call it Aligarh movement tried to integrate the demons of partition movement into indian history as freedom fighters. How Syed fazl ul hasan became Hasrat Mohani, Ather Hussain became Kaifi Azmi and Syed Hussaini became Moulana Azad.

  10. This post really brought out the toxic neighbors of Bangladesh and they wonder why people hate them so much.

    1. You have made comments about people you don’t know but your opinion is already prejudiced against “toxic neighbours” without knowing the context. Whatever country you belong to, i hope you get 2 islamic states as your neighbours and the spillover of those venoms in your country and maybe then we may have a decent conversation about the solutions

    2. Steve Lin Gum, please elaborate. Don’t understand your comment. Do you agree that the global nonmuslim woke is a massive threat to liberal muslims all over the world?

  11. An interesting article but I am not entirely convinced by it. Islamism in Bangladesh is a homegrown thing, driven by a strong hatred of the ruling class who follow authoritarian socialism and try to impose a secular ideology. The vast majority of leftists are with the government. There are a few defectors who now use Woke terminology and side with the islamists but they are not the driving force behind the movement.

    Let us look at a specific example that you mentioned, the national anthem of Bangladesh. It was essentially Tagore’s version of Vande Mataram, the national song of India. Contrary to what most people think, “Sonar Bangla” of that song is not Bangladesh or Indian Bengal, it is the entire eastern part of British India including Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, Tripura etc. Islamists are also unhappy with the fact that the “mother” to whom their national anthem is addressed is Bharatmata/Durga. You might or might not agree with them, but you do not need Wokeism to explain their attitude.

    1. Lol the vast majority of leftists are with the government? The anti Modi protests in Bangladesh were LED by the woke leftists together with Hefazat Islamists. The writer is 100% right. When the influential wokes get involved in anything or get arrested, the international so called human rights gang then put pressure on the Bangladesh government and this whole thing benefits the Islamists. Reminds me of this woke photo journalist Shahidul Alam who spread fake news on an interview with Al Jazeera in 2018, got arrested and then Bangladesh gov had to release him due to international pressure.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_Bangladesh_anti-Modi_protests

  12. Questions:
    —difference between Bangladeshi liberals and Bangladeshi left?
    —difference between Bangladesh woke left and Bangladeshi non woke left or Bangladeshi woke lite left?
    —how do Bangladeshi liberals and leftists see Muraqabah Sufis and Baul (they tend to be loved by nonmuslims)?
    —how do the global nonmuslim woke see Muraqabah Sufis and Baul? How does this differ from how Bangladeshi liberal and leftists see Baul and Muraqbah Sufis?
    —how do Bangladehi liberals, Bangladeshi leftists and the global nonmuslim woke see and treat:
    ——agnostic muslims
    ——atheistic muslims
    ——ex muslims
    ———how do Bangladeshi liberals, Bangladeshi leftists and the global nonmuslim woke differ from each other in this regard? Are these three categories of muslims treated differently from each other?

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