Sent to DS by the author, thank you, Badrul.
by Badrul Islam
April 3, 2009
BBC headlines reports” Banned Dutch MP held at Heathrow -A Dutch MP who called the Koran a “fascist book” is to be sent back to the Netherlands after attempting to defy a ban on entering the UK. We wish to congratulate the British Home Secretary and Immigration Authorities at Heathrow Airport for their wise decision. We appreciate BBC’s continuous efforts to keep the World informed. This happened on February 12, 2009.
BBC reports that Freedom Party MP Geert Wilders was invited to show his controversial film-(which links the Islamic holy book to terrorism) – in the UK’s House of Lords. But Wilders who faces trial in his own country for inciting hatred, has been denied entry by the Home 0ffice. The MP was invited to the House of Lords by the UK Independence Party’s Lord Pearson.
“We’re coming to this from the angle of freedom of speech,” Lord Pearson said. “This man must be allowed to say what he wants, he must answer questions and then everyone can make up their minds. I think this man is raising one of the most important issues of our time. I think it should be discussed more, particularly by the vast majority of the mild Muslim community. They should talk about what the Koran really means. These people are using verses in one of the great religious tracts in history to blow up innocent people. That’s what we want to talk about… whether these acts of violence can be rooted in the Koran.”
I wonder whether Lord Pearson, as Member of the British Parliament, is aware of the discriminatory treatments mooted out to the British Citizens, often so harshly, that world wide such acts are termed “RACIAL”; does he think that Western society as a whole is free from racialism? Why doesn’t he venture to compare those acts with the teachings as inscribed in the Torah, Judaism and the Bible? If he wants to set good example he should begin by first comparing these discriminatory acts with that of his religious beliefs or personal beliefs. Normally a person is inclined to know his/hers own religion; Why Lord Pearson, exceptionally, is interested in a religion that he doesn’t believe in?
Purely “from the angle of freedom of speech”, I would want to draw the attention of Lord Pearson, to the following for his knowledge:-
1. The Late US President Thomas Jefferson said, “”Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites”
2. The MP Wilder’s film “FITNA”, and earlier the display of a racial film, “SUBMISSION” by the Dutch film maker, late Theo Van Gogh and the controversial “CARTOON” display by Rose, the Editor of Jyllands-Posten, caused outrage across the Muslim world …
The New Year, 2009 began with Muslims around the world being taught a lesson in the crudity of racial equations; yes, I am referring to the onslaught by Israel on the Gaza strip. Following the cease fire, the Muslims just heaved a sigh of relief, while the Palestinians in Gaza are yet to recover from the trauma of the war. When the world Leaders are busy in their efforts to find a permanent peace plan, why at this particular time was the Dutch MP Wilders invited by the British Lord Pearson?
Two lessons, the Leaders and the conscious Citizens, of the world, learn from the above incidents; (1) there are bad Westerners like Lord Pearson, Dutch MP Wilders, late Theo and Rose; these category of people strongly oppose the policy of “Peaceful Co- Existence” in this world and (2) there are intelligent and good Westerners like the British Home Secretary and Immigration Authorities who would correctly and strongly defend the policy and thwart their activities. Fortunately, the majority of the world’s Citizens favor the policy.
If, Lord Pearson and the Dutch MP Wilder, have any humane quality, within themselves, I would advise them that it’s imperative they examine their own conscience in the light of the “Golden Rule :Treat others as you want to be treated.” The same as in written in Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31. In Islam, Hadith is a compilation of the sayings of the Prophet (SWS); and one of it states, “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself”.
Let’s consider an example of how the rule is used. President Kennedy in 1963 appealed to the golden rule in an anti-segregation speech at the time of the first black enrollment at the University of Alabama. He asked whites to consider what it would be like to be treated as second-class citizens because of skin color. Whites were to imagine themselves being black – and being told that they couldn’t vote, or go to the best public schools, or eat at most public restaurants, or sit in the front of the bus. Would whites be content to be treated that way? He was sure that they wouldn’t – and yet this is how they treated others. He said the “heart of the question is … whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated.”
Can we, as conscious Citizen of Bangladesh, draw the attention of the Dutch Government, that in the light of the Golden Rule, the above example quoted of the Late President Kennedy of USA, the British Government’s policy of, “Opposing extremism in all forms” and to maintain a respectful and peaceful relations with other Countries, to sincerely examine their existing laws? To encourage “Freedom of Speech” is good; we do so in our Country as well. But inflammatory words and incorrect analysis of verses of the religion that is not of one’s belief and or acts that hurts the sentiments of human beings should be prohibited and subject to punishments as per law of the Country.
We understand that this Dutch MP is facing trial under Dutch Laws for inciting hatred. But will he, like the Dutch Author Gerard Reve, be acquitted? In Wikipedia , it is stated that, “In 1966, Dutch author Gerard Reve was prosecuted for blasphemy, after a piece of prose he wrote described making love to God, incarnated in a three year old donkey. He was acquitted on the grounds that this was an artistic expression protected by freedom of speech. Artistic indeed!!
We have read in newspaper that late Theo V.Gogh was murdered by a person identified as an Islamic extremist of dual Dutch-Moroccan nationality. In reply to questions by Police and Journalists, this man said that the Film had hurt his feeling and so he acted to defend his religion. We condemn his actions because his actions do not reflect the true values of Muslims and the teachings of Islam. I mention this here because; it is evident, that neither has achieved anything of “moral value”. If this trend continues, than an “Eye for an Eye” would leave this world blind.
The Dalai Lama stated that, “Every religion emphasizes human improvement, love, respect for others, sharing other people’s suffering. On these lines every religion had more or less the same viewpoint and the same goal.”
With knowledge, correct attitude, and the golden rule we can progress in our moral thinking and build a peaceful and friendlier world. The winds of Change are blowing in the air; let us all, the Leaders and Citizens of the world, pledge to change ourselves, to build a peaceful and friendlier world.