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Apr ২৯

Comments on Mukto-mona fanatics – and why I left the hateful group

Every seasoned debater knows well that no matter how credible he may be with all the supporting facts and figures he has shared it is often difficult to change the mind of a die-hard, close-minded opponent who does not care about truth, facts and figures. The latter's poisoned mind is already made up, and he thinks that what he stands on is the right thing. It is a delusional and obsessed, paranoid mind – the kind of things we have seen with fascists and brain-washed zombies. 

I try to avoid getting into debate with such arrogant persons, many of whom are closet or overt fascists. My sad experience with Mukto-mona fanatics, hiding as secular fundamentalists, or more appropriately as fascists, have taught me the lesson quite well. The site is managed by a Bangladeshi Hindu – Avijit Roy, son of Ajoy Roy. I am told that Avijit,  an engineer, eventually managed to earn his doctoral degree; academically, he was not that bright and could not find any prestigious western university to offer him admission and assistantship; so he ended up going to and earning his graduate degree in an Asian university. Ajoy Roy was a faculty at Dhaka university. In my conversation with departmental students, I learned that Ajoy Roy was very delinquent – he hardly taught anything to his students and would rather spend all his time campaigning for Hindu communal causes. It won't be an exaggeration to say that no Muslim student learned anything from his class teachings; inexcusably, he hardly came to the class room for teacing, but would make a habit of missing his classes under some pretext, holier causes that he had to pay attention to instead of the class for which he was paid salary. He was known more for such political activism than, sadly, his contribution in teaching and research, which was nil. Zero. He remains to this day a die-hard communalist and an anti-Muslim activist.

So, like father like son, Avijit has been a die-hard anti-Muslim fanatic. He, as a moderator of the Mukto-mona (literally meaning open minded) discussion group, would routinely stop posting of responses from Muslims on a plethora of subjects that his site was posting to demean billions of Muslims and the Islamic faith. He was just opposite of being mukto-mona, a closet fascist, close-minded anti-Muslim bigot. I did not know of the hateful group's existence until someone – now a deceased senior friend of mine – Mustafa Kamal bhai of Philadelphia – brought to my notice an article by a guy who used a pen name – Abul Kasem. It was at least a decade ago. 

Abul Kasem has made a mastery of the pick and choose game, what I call "cherry picking" with scriptures and hadith manuals, to fulfil his devious agenda to malign everything Islamic and Muslim. In the aftermath of 9/11 when anti-Muslim sentiment ran high many guys like him – with monumental shortcomings and failures in their personal and public life – saw an easy way out to make some money and/or gain overnight notoriety through their newly discovered 'gems' that were hidden, or so they say, unknown for centuries. They became the 'experts' defining Islam and Muslims. There was a mushrooming of internet sites dedicated to demeaning Islam and Muslims. Many were hosted and financed by people with clear anti-Muslim agenda to whom money was not an issue to float a hateful website. 

The hard-core and die-hard Zionists, Buddhist fascists, Hindutvadis and Christian-Zionists – all those with old grudges and monumental hatred of Islam and/or Muslims – collaborated with these so-called former Muslims to flood the Internet – the anti-Muslim websites, some even claiming to be discussion groups – to mock Islam and demean its noble characters. Neither was the zeal lacking in terms of creating such so-called hate discussion groups. The motive was very clear from day one  – selling bigotry and intolerance against Muslims and Islam, creating a kind of hatred and xenophobia. Muktomona was one such group that epitomized hatred, intolerance, and bigotry against the Islamic faith and Muslims, in general. It was like a hate-pornographic site, to say the least.

Abul Kasem became a new pundit in this anti-Muslim and -Islamic, crusading site. In his one of the early articles, he had written an article theorizing that poets and poetry had no place in Islam. After reading the article, I quickly wrote a response which showed that he was absolutely wrong for the Prophet (S) of Islam himself listened to poetry and many of his own companions were well known poets; the prophet's cousin – Ibn Abbas (R) wrote the much read tafsir in a poetic style; many of the latter generation Muslims including some famous mufassirs of the Qur'an (let alone Mowlana Rumi) wrote much poetry. If those early generation Muslims did not know Islam, whom are we kidding? 

However, Mukto-mona, which was dedicated to mocking Islam, won't post my article unless I join the group. So, I had to join this hateful group and endured their filth which was lobbed every day multiple times – hoping that they would be open minded – i.e., mukto-mona – to post my responses to correct their monumental ignorance and reduce their hatred. But what I found out was that Avijit won't post most of my articles, and even the ones that would get posted would take days and weeks before getting posted, after several reminders to him. To paraphrase his reason, he one time told me, "Dr. Siddiqui, as an editor/moderator I have the right to disallow publication of your articles just as your article can get rejected by the New York Times". He had a valid point: not all my articles get posted in newspapers. I have been writing on a plethora of issues, mostly on human rights, since 1980, and while at least a thousand of my articles have seen the air, quite a few have remained unpublished by some of the newspapers where I had sent those. 

But the problem with Mukto-mona was: it allowed posting of everything filthy against Islam and Muslims promptly, but put a selective litmus test (at the will of its Hindu moderator) for my articles, which were aimed at making a more inclusive world to defeat intolerance and bigotry. In all these 34 years of writing since 1980 (when my first article appeared in an international journal, pub. from the USA), no one has ever complained about the quality of my writing. I have written 13 books. Some of my articles are taught in schools, some have been part of encyclopedia, and some part of reference books, and some are treasured by many. 

Avijit's motive was insincere and devious. He can't hide that ugliness. What is also interesting, in my years with Mukto-mona, I never gave up writing and responding to what I considered wrong. In spite of Mukto-mona's fascist policy, I had some luck (not too many though) getting a few of my articles posted there. But today, if one were to search for my articles there, hardly anything would show up; even the links are deliberately distorted or taken out.  [Just try out searching that article about status of poets and poetry in Islam; it will take you nowhere to find my piece.] So, the plan of Mukto-mona has been quite clear: it simply does not want refutation of its filthy discoveries about Islam and Muslims.

 After some years (not days or months), when I had enough of the filthy, stinking Mukta-mona garbage and Avijit's deliberate attempt to not let my responses or articles appear, I discontinued participating in any debate there. What's the point when your sincere attempts to fight bigotry are simply put under the rug by promoters of hatred, while their intent is the spread and merchandising of  hatred and bigotry in our world? 

The pujaris of the mukto-mona site were just the opposite of being open minded; they were closed-minded fanatics, if not fascists!

 

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  1. 3
    FARID

    For your information , Ovijeet was neither A HINDU NOR  A MUSLIM-

    1. 3.1
      নির্ভীক আস্তিক

      ভাই আপনি এ কোন ফরিদ? আপনি কাদের ভাই? আচ্ছা ভাইডু, আমি হিন্দু নিক নিয়ে যদি মহান সৃষ্টিকর্তা থেকে আসা ঐশীবানী হিসেবে কোরআনের বানী প্রচার করি, কোরআনকেই মানব সভ্যতার একমাত্র মুক্তির উপায় বলে প্রচার করি আর প্রচারের শেষে আমি যদি এমনটি লিখি "কিন্তু আমি হিন্দু", তা আপনি কি বিশ্বাস করবেন? একটু সরাসরি উত্তর দিবেন। Action always speaks louder than words: কথাটি মনে রাখা চাই যে ভাইডু। 

      1. 3.1.1
        farid

        one who have faith in " bedah " is an ASTIK--NOW TELL ME WHO YOU ARE ?

        1. 3.1.1.1
          নির্ভীক আস্তিক

          "আই এম ? আই এম নির্ভীক আস্তিক।"

          Those who believe Allah is one and almighty: word must be extended as it sounds, truth should not be mixed with lie, bad should always be condemned irrespective of their ideology.

          এই কথাটিই আমার পরিচয়। আমি অভিজিতের মত ব্যক্তিত্বকে ঘৃণা করি। ঠিক একিভাবে ঘৃণা করি যারা তাকে চোরাগুপ্তা ভাবে হত্যা করেছে তাদেরকেও। অন্যায় অপরাধ নির্মূল করতে হলে সকল খারাপ অন্যায়কারীদের কে "খবিশ" ডাকার মাধ্যমে  সুস্পষ্ট অবস্থান নিতে হবে, কিন্তু আজ আপনার মত অনেকেই তাকে বিজ্ঞানমনষ্ক ডাকছেন। শিক্ষা "নবিশ" ডাকছেন। অভিজিৎকে সিরাম "সত্যবাদী" বলছেন ইত্যাদি ইত্যাদি। কিন্তু যুগের পর যুগ ধরে তার ব্যাপারে যাদের তিক্ত অভিজ্ঞতা রয়েছে, যারা তার এবং তার নিজের গড়া প্ল্যাটফর্মের কাছে লাঞ্ছিত হয়েছেন, যাদের বাক-স্বাধীনতা তিনি নিয়ন্ত্রন করার মাধ্যমে বিদ্বেষের চাষ করেছেন কিন্তু তার বিরুদ্ধে কথা বলতে দেননি সেগুলোকে আগাগোড়া তাচ্ছিল্য করে এড়িয়ে যাচ্ছেন হাজারো কনক্রিট সূর্যের আলোর মত স্পষ্ট প্রমান থাকা সত্ত্বেও।  আফসোস, আফসোস।

          আল্লাহ্‌ আমাদের সঠিক জ্ঞান দান করুক। আল্লাহ্‌ আমাদের সকল ফিতনা থেকে রেহাই দেক।     

  2. 2
    এম_আহমদ

    I had one or two encounter with Avijit, and another with a nick called রফিক, which S. M. Raihan tends to identify as Avijit himself in disguise, but that is neither here or there.  (লিঙ্ক ১: বোকার স্বর্গ, লিঙ্ক ২: প্রাসাদ ষড়যন্ত্র ১,  লিঙ্ক ৩: প্রাসাদ ষড়যন্ত্র পর্ব ৪,  লিঙ্ক ৪, আল্লাহর অস্তিত্ব).  Actually, it was my first entry into the blog world. Before that, I had no experience of blog-sites or blogging. And never talked to such bizarre people called themselves ‘free-thinkers’. I was wondering for a while how could such people not know about nature of language, ‘truth’, paradigms, religious narrative and its form of truth, and science and its form of truth, yet they are in the 21st century. Yet again, these silly people would unashamedly fight, disrespect, and attack other people’s beliefs and values, without realising the social ends of such foolish bigotry, but all these in the name of ‘science and rationality’! How stupid! And there other characters who can find more contradictions in the Qur’ān than the total numbers of it verses! There you are, and the rationalists will go delirious over it. What a circus in the name of science! (My this this blog describes certain facets of their thinking). You have mentioned Avijit’s father. Let me say a few words. Avijit quoted his father in his article বিজ্ঞানময় কোরান saying:

    জ্ঞানের একমাত্র উৎস যদি পবিত্র ধর্মগ্রন্থগুলি হয়, তাহলে সেই সমাজে নেমে আসবে বন্ধ্যাত্ব, সমাজ হবে জড় চেতনা-চিন্তায় আচ্ছন্ন, সৃষ্টিশীলতার স্থান দখল করবে কুসংস্কার, মূর্খতা, কূপমণ্ডূকতা আর অজ্ঞানতা। আমাদের সমাজে দেখা যাচ্ছে কুসংস্কার আর প্রযুক্তিবিদ্যার ফসলকে আত্মস্থ করার পারস্পারিক সহাবস্থান। বিজ্ঞানের যুক্তি চাইনা, চাই তার ফসল, পাশে থাক অন্ধবিশ্বাস আর ভাগ্যের কাছে আত্মসমর্পণ। এই সমাজেই সম্ভব –ড্রয়িংরূপে রঙ্গিন টেলিভিশন সেট স্থাপন, এবং হিস্টিরিয়া-আক্রান্ত কন্যাকে পীরের চিকিৎসা কেন্দ্রে প্রেরণ। এই সমাজেই সম্ভব –রসায়নবিদদের চর্চার পাশাপাশি তথাকথিত পীরের পদচুম্বন।

    Consider the deceptive use of ‘source/knowledge’ here and the deceptive way of relating it to religious scriptures, (the way his son foregrounds his sentence structure, in a different context, to accommodate the idea of a flat world in regard a Qur’ānic verse) first as a hypothesis, but later appropriating the status of the hypothesis as being the case, and to draw conclusion from it.  Considering again the third sentence, do the people having colour TV sets in drawing rooms send, in general, their hysteric daughters to pīrs and rolls on their feet with kisses? Is it a religious dictum of Islām? Is it a case to prove a scientific point against religion or is it more of a case against superstition against which Islam speaks too? This is how nutty they are! He might have chosen the word ‘pīr’ here, on purpose, to bring Islām in association, even though the mainstream Islām and Muslims forbid this practice that is in example (kissing the feet of pīrs). Yet such superstitions, or things in similarity, can be more found in his own religion than that of the others. The fact is if a conversation was to be held between him and us about certain religious superstitions, perhaps we would find more in common to agree with than to disagree, but that would be beside the point about science proper; science hasn’t anything to say about faith, spirit, or social values.  While he had to peddle the silly, 18th century’s misconceived argument of the enlighteners’ about science versus religion. The Muslims are not saying there is no other form of knowledge except the form as availed in the Qu’rān, which would refute the deceptive nature of the premises as set out in the hypothesis. If one reads Avijit’s article, বিজ্ঞানময় কিতাব, one would find similar irrelevances –surely certain traits can migrate from the father to son. O, I remember another. I have a book entitled বাংলা ও বাঙালী by অজয় রায় (বাংলা একাডেমি কর্তৃক প্রকাশিত, ১৯৭৭) to which Dr. Ahmed Sharif, an atheist himself, having been asked most probably to write an introduction to it, did so with a few good words but never failing to notice the fundamentals. They are evidential short coming and erroneous ‘generalised’ tendencies. This, he said: ‘…কিন্তু স্থানে স্থানে অসতর্কতার ছাপ রয়েছে, তথ্যের ভুলও কিছু আছে। সামান্যীকৃত (generalised) সিদ্ধান্ত-প্রবণতা কম হলেই ভালো হত।’ Well, what do we have then? One more on Avijit’s বিজ্ঞানময় কোরান। He begins spiritedly with a metaphor of his situation of knowledge, him as being a pond-frog in Bangladesh released in America/Canada with wide internet access as being the ocean!  Well, I do not know much about life-science, but there is the likelihood that the animal would behave abnormally and there is certain implication to this effect in his own wording; but let us neither entertain the ‘scientific’ possibility of the pond-frog not surviving in the ocean, nor the Bengali proverbial, কম পানির মাছ বেশ পানিতে। But these, leave them to the rational scientists, the free thinkers who can see the logic of the similitude. If one fancies themselves that they are in the ocean in terms of knowledge who cares if the others think of them as being the same old frogs in the same old ponds! 

  3. 1
    মুহাম্মদ হাসান

    This is very typical of these so called "open-minded" sites be it under any such attractive name such as Mukto-mona or faithfreedom etc. 

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