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The realm of the eff-able

  • Published at 12:48 pm May 6th, 2013
The realm of the eff-able

The latest shenanigans of Hefazat must have the famous philosopher Søren Kierkegaard rolling in his grave. To Kierkegaard, the concept of God is rooted in infinity, and by implication cannot be comprehended through words invented by human beings who are, in contrast, finite.

God is beyond verbal comprehension, which is why, according to Kierkegaard, God can only be understood through silent contemplation, or the realm of the ineffable. Of course, to the Hefazat ilk, God is not only describable - they can describe Him better than anybody else.

To be fair to Hefazat, they are just one of many religious cabals throughout history who claim to own the exclusive truth about God. Moreover, such absolutism has usually been defended and promoted through violence and terror.

The beliefs of Hefazat not only emanate from the realm of vulgarity, these are blasphemous as well because they ascribe their own personality traits on to God. To make God in a person’s image is the worst form of idolatry conceivable.

The texts of monotheistic religions take a very dim view of idolatry. In an allegorical sense, idol worshipping is likely to put one on an express lane to Hell with absolutely no chance of having even a wink at the 72 virgins.

Of course, no one knows whether the Hefazat lot are doomed to Hell - and that’s the point. No one, except God knows that. In a similar vein, it is up to God to deal with unbelievers.

Through their caterwauling speeches, Hefazat has been trying to convince us that the unbelievers of Shahbagh deserve to be lynched. This form of vulgar absolutism comes from a very selective reading of religious texts where revelation pertained to specific historical circumstances.

For all the Quranic references that Hefazat can show about punishing unbelievers, it is possible to demonstrate many other passages where it clearly states that unbelievers should be forgiven. Moreover, there are even sections in the Quran where believers are admonished that whether a person believes is none of our business.

It is this gentleness and kindness espoused by religion that predominantly defines the beliefs of Bangladeshi Muslims. And this is why the form of Islam espoused by Hefazat is so alien to us.

In fact, religion is so deeply embedded in our lives that anyone who claims that Islam is in danger in our nation is probably blind, mad, deaf, or more likely, someone with a venomous political agenda.

There was very little evidence of religious spirit at Shapla Chottor.

However, there was plenty of it at Savar where people from all religions, socio-economic classes, and ages risked their lives to rescue people they had never even met. And this is precisely why Hefazat shall never represent us. The fact that they chose to turn Dhaka into a warzone at a time the entire nation is mourning Savar shows just how alienated they are from public sentiment.

There may have been hundreds of thousands of Hefazat people at Shapla Chottor, but there are tens of millions of us throughout the country. With God on our side, we shall overcome. 

Kaiser Kabir is CEO, Renata Limited.  

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