By Abul Kasem
Mindset of Pakistanis favouring 1971 Genocide
This re-count starts when I was in Thailand in 1973 to do my post graduate studies in Engineering. The Institution was AIT and being an international institution for post graduate study there were students from many parts of the world, though the majority were from the Asian countries. There was sizable number of Bangladeshi as well as Pakistani and Indian students. Bangladesh was just liberated and most of us still had the fresh memories of the holocaust and never expected the Pakistanis to be friendly with us. But to our surprise, we found that most Pakistanis were quite nice a bunch of friendly helpful people. They were extremely curious about what had happened in Bangladesh during that turbulent nine-month period.
Many a time we used to have lengthy chat sessions with them. These Pakistanis were extremely religious. And they used to preach on us on all aspects of the last revelations of God, that is Islam. They used to think that our knowledge of Islam was incomplete, erroneous and filled with Hindu practices. They used to preach on us like a priest gives sermons on the followers. Their devotion to Islam was so strong that they forced the canteen manager to open counter for Muslim students so that they (the Muslims) can eat the food sanctioned by Islam. Naturally, many Bangalees who are religious minded were greatly impressed by their words and practices. But a sinner like me was very skeptical about their words and actions right from the very beginning.
Then came the topic of creation of Bangladesh. Naturally, they sided with the Pak army although they expressed sorrow for the lives lost. When they heard that 3 million people were massacred and that the action of Pak army cannot be dismissed simply as an act of restoration of peace and order they simply laughed. The reason was that they did not believe what had happened to our people in occupied Bangladesh. When we asked them how many Bangalees were killed, they quoted a figure of 3,000 or to that order. They also insisted that those killed were mostly Hindus so we should not bother too much about the massacre. That was to say that the killing of Hindus was all right. We pointed out that the figure of 3 million was not invented by the Government of Bangladesh but the figure was from reliable foreign sources such as AFP, Reuters, Time magazine, etc. We also told them that a Pakistani journalist by the name of Anthony Mascarenhas has written a book titled ‘The Rape of Bangladesh’ where he had quoted a similar figure. The Pakistanis simply dismissed those facts and said that the foreign journalists were bribed by India to write these figures. When we asked them how did they get the figure of 3,000, they said that that figure was released by the military authorities. And how about the 200, 000 rape cases? They were adamant that not a single woman was raped. Such is the power of Pak oligarchy and Pak military to condition peoples’ mind.
Now, the interesting point was that whenever the atrocities of the Pak army were mentioned to them, they were all adamant that we (the Bangalees) are to blame for that. Why? Simply because we were not good Muslims. How? If we were good Muslims, we should not have voted for the Awami League. They told us that the right parties to vote were Pakistan Muslim League or Jamat-i-Islami. It was no secret to guess that most Pakistanis considered us (Bangalees) as non Muslims as almost all of us voted for Awami League. Therefore they opined that the genocide was not really a genocide! It was getting rid of the non-Muslims. After all, they (the non-Muslims) were not really human beings.
Everyone knows that Thailand and especially Bangkok has plenty of seedy joints to have fun and frolic with young women. I shall admit that I went to one of those joints along with a couple of friends of mine. Being a sinner I did not have serious problem with those things. However, one day we got the shock of our lives when we found these Pakistani Islamists sitting comfortably and blithely at the massage parlour and ogling at the scantily dressed amorous Thai sex kittens. Then they saw us. To our surprise, they expressed no shame or they even did not try to hide their faces. They openly welcomed us and shook hands with us as per Islamic style. We were simply stunned and lost for any word. The Pakistanis even told us which girls were good and sexually attractive, etc. etc. They were not ashamed or afraid to admit that they visited those joints quite frequently. Most of them had their favourite girls with whom they had plenty of erotic fun. Those things were unbelievable to me and I thought that I must have been in Mars or another planet or that God has changed his mind on sins and virtues.
After a few weeks, an opportunity came for me to ask one of these Islamists as to what would happen to them since they have committed the sin of zina. They were very surprised at me for this impertinence. He told me that they have committed no sin. What? No sin! My brain must have failed to work! I simply could not hold my breath any longer to listen to what they had to say. He told me that Thais were not Muslims; so having fun with their girls were all right. In fact, he told me that that had been the practice in Islam for centuries. Whenever the Muslims defeated the non-Muslims, they could do whatever they (the Muslims) wanted with the non-Muslims. The Muslims can use the non-Muslim women as sex slaves and please themselves as they wished. A Muslim even had the right to kill the women if he wished. In simple language the non-Muslims were not really human beings. They (the non-Muslims) were inferior even to cattle and animals. Moreover, the Pakistani told me that the Prophet had allowed to have sex if a man is living overseas. I could not believe of what I was hearing! He then quoted me from his memory many verses from Koran and Hadith to support his views. Then I reminded my Pakistani friend that there was quite a small minority of Muslims in Thailand. So, if by accident he had sex with one of the Thai Muslim prostitutes what will befall him. He answered glibly, “No problem.” When I return to Pakistan I shall have a Milad Mehfil and ask for forgiveness. Finally, the Hajj is there for him to receive the forgiveness. But he said that that might not be necessary because he was very sure that none of the girls he had sex with were Muslims.
If a Pakistani reads this re-count he/she may be greatly offended, no doubt about it. Many Pakistanis will defend that the view by one person does not mean any thing. No apology will be sought. Any Pakistani can form whatever opinion he thinks is suitable. It is up to him/her. Let us look at the wider implications of what my Pakistani Islamists had said. Was it an individual’s wrong interpretations of the holy books of Islam? Was it the mindset of a mentally sick person? Do not be fooled by these thoughts. For when we look back, we see that that was the mindset of Pakistani army recruits who unleashed a reign of terror leading into massacring millions of Bangalees. Pakistanis may differ on many matters but when the question of Islamic superiority comes, they are unanimous. This was the work of the Oligarchy, the army and the clerics of Pakistan. These groups have rigidly programmed the vast majority of Pakistanis with the thought that they (the Pakistanis) have the absolute superiority in Islamic matters. And this thinking got a further boost with the detonation of Islamic bomb in 1998. We Bangalees have no problem with their superior thinking. The only trouble is that these dangerous thoughts have cost 3 million dear lives of Bangalees.
So, to put everything in a simple language, the Pakistani army did not kill any human being in Bangladesh. They only cleared the field from pest; just like a farmer spreads insecticide to free his crops from devastation. So, is the case of the Pak army. They simply eliminated the non-Muslims and the not so good Muslims to protect the good Muslims those who would follow them. The question of remorse or guilt feeling does not arise at all. You see, the Pak army did not rape any women. They simply enjoyed the flesh of non-Muslims. Even if there were some excessive force being applied, there is no need to feel guilty about that. The ubiquitous Milad is there; the Hajj is there too to remove even the slightest trace of culpability. A serial killer is a psychologically sick person. He gets pleasure in seeing the suffering of a dying person in his hands. But deep down, the serial killer knows that what he is doing is wrong. He is surely aware of the eventual punishment if he is caught. That is why, most serial killers readily admit their crime and on many occasions regret of their actions when he recovers from his sickness. How about the perpetrators of a genocide? They are perfectly normal. Most of them are really very nice, polite, and soft spoken (like the Islamic Circle of North America’s leader Ashrafuzzaman Khan). But there is one trait that separates them from the rest of us and that is, the uncompromising faith in the supremacy of what they belief and their inability to accept the existence of others if they do not follow them. Any means is justified to advance their belief even if that means the annihilation of an entire race. That is why no Pakistani has ever condemned the genocide of the Bangalees. That is why they will do that again if an opportunity lends itself. Since no crime has been committed, the question of trial of the perpetrators of genocide does not arise at all. Isn’t it so?
This is the mindset of the planners and executioners of Bangladesh genocide. This is the mindset of Yahya Khan, Tikka Khan, Golam Azam, Ayatollah, Ashrafuzzaman ——-. This why we have Auswitcz, Kosovo, Bosnia, Palestine, East Timor —–.
Is Islam the only religion responsible for the genocide? Surely not. Every organised religion on earth has sanctioned murder, rape loot, plunder —etc. as long as that is directed towards the non-believers. Religion has a cousin to go with it. That is racism. Religion and racism go hand in hand. That is why we have Hitler, Radovan Karadzic, Slobodan Milosevic, Ratko Mladic and so on.
Karl Marx said, “Religion is the opium of the masses.” In today’s world that is a very understatement. If people take opium they become addicted and ruin their health. There should not be any problem for humanity on that. Today, religion has become a vermin (read pest) for humanity. This cancerous virus has spread in every human being on this planet. I am not sure if we will find an antidote for this disease in our life time or not.
Why did I write this essay after all these years? It can be summed up by a quotation from Shakespeare. The famous bard wrote, “A little fire is quickly trodden out;
Which, being suffered, rivers cannot quench. ( Shakespeare, ‘Henry VI, Part Three,’ IV, viii,7. (A fire ‘suffered’ is one permitted to burn.). The fire is still burning inside me although the events of 1971 may be more like some specks of dust in the minds of Bangalees who till this day would not admit that Pakistanis have done excess all in the name of religion.