I don’t remember about the attack, but the prices are my husband’s bloody, motionless body on the street, I next to him, begging for help, four large wounds on the head and chopped from the finger, it will remind me forever of the hatred and intolerance that changed my life.
Our attackers, armed with machetes, were the Islamists, who on February 26, 2015, attacked us when we visited our Homeland, Bangladesh autograph journey. They hacked my husband Avijit Roy to death and left me seriously injured.
Why we deserve such violence? Because fundamentalists threatened our work – about science, philosophy, and criticism of religious dogmas and they are defined by us as the enemies of Islam. This week I attended another book fair in the Hague organised by the Hague peace project and Muktomona (our blog, which was created by Avijit as a free platform) to commemorate the second anniversary of the death of Avijit – at a time when our world seems more polarized than ever.
Islamism has the upper hand even once to suppress freedom of speech | Nick Cohen
Although the different groups of people – atheist bloggers from Bangladesh who fled the country to avoid the fate of Avijit, threatened and tortured, LGBT activists from different parts of the Muslim world, representatives of the marginalized Muslim immigrants in the Netherlands, interested Dutch activists and intellectuals – we’ve all been victims of this kind of hatred and fear.
Because while on the one hand, we are witnessing the rise of religious fundamentalism in different parts of the world, on the other we are witnessing the revival of xenophobic nationalism in the West. Although these bands are like polar opposites, they actually share many core beliefs and actions.
Religious fundamentalist movements are reactive. They are the enemy or set of enemies (real, semi-real or fictitious) that they perceive as an existential threat and to whom they are very hostile. Fundamentalists like to see the world in binary fashion: us, them, good into evil, moral immoral, right from wrong.
We haven’t heard the same kind of rhetoric in the UK out of the EU, during the election campaign of Donald trump or the statements of right-wing European leaders like marine Le Pen, Frauke Petry in Germany or Geert Wilders in the Netherlands? I think so. Because they also react to what they see as “Islamic fundamentalism” – in reality, immigrants, minorities, you name it.
Consider a travel ban on trump. Why Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which together have lived for 17 of the 19 September 11 attackers, was excluded from the list of seven countries? These countries are too rich, too important to American business or strategic interests? Why is it there is a prohibition of actual policy? Because such a populist decision plays on the fears of his core right-wing voters. If the “Islamic state” or “al Qaeda” refers to Western “modernity,” imperialism and the national-cultural resentment, the trump doesn’t react to the answer?
The President has also created a lot of enemies. He says that Americans are under attack from Muslims that the Mexican rapists and “bad guys” steal jobs and create an existential crisis for the United States.
It supports the classic dualistic vision of us in them. This can take various forms: the West in the Muslim American migrants in the liberal media it men in women. In his world, minorities are forced to live as second-class citizens in the countries, religious fundamentalist. He successfully instilled the same fear in the minds of many minority communities, including Muslims, African Americans and Hispanics.
And just as the Wahhabis-fundamentalists want to return to the times of Muhammad, when the world operated under a strict Moral code and they can re-make Islam great, trump wants to make America great. In Europe, too, we hear the same kind of reasoning: to regain power, regain our sovereignty, give Holland back to the Dutch, and so on.
Victories in the quarter and the month and trump are already helping to legitimize the false notion that terrorism, Immigration, and refugees of the big problems people face. Now the hated reactionary populist message threatening to dominate the world order. Seems unreal for many of us, but it should not be a surprise. We saw pictures of history, dogma and hatred overtake reality during the crisis is perceived.
Neo-liberal policies and global mobility of labour, information and capital within the framework of globalization has created the current economic crisis on a global scale, characterized by the inconceivable level of income inequality. This economic model has failed not only the vast majority of people in poor countries, but also of the working class in the West. This gave rise to an intense distrust of the main political systems.
Avijit Roy was hacked to death for his secular views. Let’s share his story | ALOM friend
Muslim majority countries are facing their own problems. Post-Imperial social and economic heritage, and also politics, religion and oil, are often blamed, but the lack of reform in Islam played an important role in the rise of fundamentalism, which flourished in the countries that lack Mature economic and political structures.
I saw a new and vulnerable country such as Bangladesh slowly succumbed to fundamentalism, does not depend on religion as on local and national political struggle for power.
I’m afraid we are witnessing the revival of the damaging “civilizational” conflict from all sides. Osama bin Laden also filed. But pay attention to their main argument and it becomes clear that we really are not experiencing a clash of civilizations, but a clash of two populist and reactionary ideologies exacerbated by the global crisis. The irony is that, despite the use of different rhetoric, they share so much in common.