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Monday, July 16, 2012

Re: [mukto-mona] Rokeya and Taslima

Thanks for your opinions on this.

I think a little context is needed. Taslima and Begum Rokeya are from two DIFFERENT generations. Even among Hindus or Christians no one could get away with what Taslima did if she was from Begum Rokeya's time.

Taslima is beyond "Withdrawing" any misinformation. After telling so many lies, I am pretty sure she does not have a clue where to start today. While I do NOT support forcing her out of our country, I think she should explain her behavior and disturbing attitude to her fans.

I have women in my family who fought with their own family to have education and won that fight. They did not have to say nasty things about religion or their own family to do that. They simply had to present their cases to family elders and negotiate with them.

Taslima took advantage of lack of knowledge about Islam in the west and some Indians used her to validate their biases against Islam and Muslims. I mean it would be impossible to find a country or community which do not have any flaw. Despite our "Flaws" we have elected women as heads of states for two decades. I don't think they have done any extraordinary work to improve conditions of women in our country. In fact the NGOs (For example: Grameen and BRAC) who did were targeted by the establishment openly.

Everything Taslima said about Islam has been copied from orientalists comments (They were equally hateful towards Hindus) and tried to take stuff our of CONTEXT!

If you use this techniques against any book, you can easily distort information.

I have no problem with "Most rational people". However most people are not rational rather emotional. Often influenced by their own life experiences. For example, if a Hindu boy was verbally abused by his "Friends" for being "Hindu", I cannot expect him to have positive ideas about Islam. Unfortunately this is very common in our country. Our elders do not encourage such behavior but I have not seen much efforts to discourage it either. However the Qur'an clearly said, this sort of behavior is UN-ISLAMIC.

Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance. Thus have We made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end will they return to their Lord, and We shall then tell them the truth of all that they did.

[ Source: Al Qur'an 6:108]

That is why, I try to offer sources from the scriptures. I also gave links to the whole chapter, so people can go there and verify it for themselves.

Here in Mukto-mona forum there are people who do not agree with my religious views. However there are couple of people they "Hate" it without anyways to justify it and there are people who do not agree without spreading lies against Islam.

Taslima falls into the first kind. She just made up explanations/translations of the Qur'an and devoted a lot of time and energy to spread her "Ignorance". Begum Rokeya just wanted to educate Muslim girls who were victims of ignorance of the then Muslim community. Both were rebels of their times with a huge difference in approach.


-----Original Message-----
From: Sukhamaya Bain <>
To: mukto-mona <>
Sent: Mon, Jul 16, 2012 2:37 am
Subject: Re: [mukto-mona] Rokeya and Taslima

Indeed, Taslima and Rokeya are quite different. It is also not surprising that to the religious Muslims Rokeya remains more likable than Taslima. After all Rokeya used to appear in public only with her burqa (full body cover) on, in spite of her stand against confining women inside home and inside full body cover.
I do realize that the facebook page information that I have cited might not be fully accurate, and would certainly welcome anyone to provide more reliable references.
In any case, Rokeya's substance and style of reform was much too mild compared to those of Taslima. While I would insist Taslima to withdraw any misinformation against any religion that is found in any of her writings, my readings of her writings do not tell me that she used misinformation against any religion. I would be willing to correct myself if I am shown misinformation in her writings.
However, any direct quotation from a religious book would be neither distortion nor misinformation, even when the so-called religious scholars could dig out contexts by which the quoted hateful statement could be interpreted to be OK. I have read quite a few of the religious books with absolutely no malice in my mind, and found that there are 'teachings' in them that can not be called anything but hatred and injustice. I have no interest in arguing with one-track minded brainwashed 'religious scholars' on those 'teachings'.
'People who hate religion' is a pretty foolish phrase. I think most rational people neither hate nor love religions. They use their common sense to judge statements in religious books; and often find that many religious utterances are hateful, unjust and nonsense. They are not out there to destroy religions; all they care about is humanity – justice, peace, comfort and continued improvement of the life standards for humanity. I will comment more on this in a different thread.
As for Taslima, let me assert that most people who would not chase her out of Bangladesh are not 'people who hate Islam'.
Sukhamaya Bain

From: qar <>
Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 11:56 AM
Subject: Re: [mukto-mona] Rokeya and Taslima

Taslima has written a lot more than how much Rokeya did. While I can see some poor quality in Taslima's writings, she is much more of a revolutionary than what Rokeya was.

>>>>>>>>> I know about a bit about this topic.

Here is my two cents...

Taslima and Rokeya are two DIFFERENT people with VERY different goals. Begum Rokeya devoted her life to improve lives of Muslim women. Taslima used these women as her "Cause to fame". Taslima repeatedly used people (Even those who came to her aid in Bangladesh and west Bengal) to get to her "Spot" on spot light.

It is interesting when we see begum Rokeya broke some of her social custom but people like her. I think people see the sincere soul in her. Her steps to give a hand to a helpless community (Even males were in the dark).

In Taslima he see a person who does not have knowledge of the subject she discusses and often give out WRONG information to support her campaign of distortion.

Taslima is very popular among people who hates religion and who does not know a lot about the Qur'an of Islam. Because people with some basic knowledge of Islam knows a fraud easily. She was also used by certain people to validate their ignorance/hate about Islam.

Despite of our many shortcomings, it is nice to see average people are able to recognize and respect Begum Rokeya and reject Taslima. Both were rebels but one with a noble cause and the later with a personal cause.


-----Original Message-----
From: Sukhamaya Bain <>
To: mukto-mona <>
Sent: Tue, Jul 10, 2012 6:47 am
Subject: [mukto-mona] Rokeya and Taslima

I missed the following discussion on Begum Rokeya and Taslima Nasrin. I believe a comparative study on these two great ladies would be interesting and educational.
I believe Rokeya is more popular among religious Muslims because she was very much a Muslim woman. During her time, Muslim women were practically under house arrest, and absolutely no challenge to the male domination. She saw the captivity of women and other forms of injustice as distortions of the true Islam. She was the founder of an Islamic women's association; too far behind on looking at Islam with an open mind.
On the other hand, Taslima came at a time when women had already come quite a bit out of the captivity, and started to challenge the male domination. She does not call herself a Muslim woman; she is more comfortable being just a human. She has certainly opened the Islamic books with an open mind. She not only criticized the treatments of women in Muslim societies, she also criticized Muslims for hating and discriminating against non-Muslims.
Taslima has written a lot more than how much Rokeya did. While I can see some poor quality in Taslima's writings, she is much more of a revolutionary than what Rokeya was.
My knowledge in the subject is very limited. But I believe the information and rationale that I have presented above are correct. I would be happy to learn more.
Sukhamaya Bain
From: subimal chakrabarty <>
To: "" <>
Sent: Friday, June 29, 2012 10:05 AM
Subject: Re: [mukto-mona] Can we discuss religion freely?
No doubt Rokeya and Taslima are not comparable in many respects. Without going into that debate (we had enough of this and it is already overwrought) I simply quote from Rokeya: "In order to keep us (women) in dark, males have published (prakash koriachhen) those holy books (dharmagranthagulike) as the promulgations (adeshpatra) of God." (Ref: "Narir Sahitya o sahitye nari" by Selina Hossain published in Ogrobeej December 2009, edited by Subimal Chakrabarty). I must say that by saying this, Rokeya has vehemently defied the so called divine authorities and expressed a simple but unpleasant truth. I need to add that a holy book does not need to be claimed to be divine. Every thing good in it is being and surely will be gladly accepted by. Only merchants of religion need this extra certificate as they suffer from lack of self esteem the reason being that the whole package they offer to the followers contains teachings that are time barred and are not universally acceptable.
From: qar <>
Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2012 11:28 AM
Subject: Re: [mukto-mona] Can we discuss religion freely?
Begum Rokeya does not get caught for saying that religion was created by males but Taslima Nasrin is not spared for echoing the same!
>>>>>>>> I think Begum Rokeya said it in context of improving conditions of Muslims. Taslima (Not worth comparing her with anyone like Begum Rokeya) on the other hand knowingly spread wrong information about Islam. I mean Begum Rokeya was a human being and we are error prone. But if you do not agree with everything she said, one has to respect her "INTENTION" to improve the then backward Muslim communities. She was a noble lady with a good cause. Taslima on the other hand, whipped up some inserted orientalist opinions of Islam and "Profited" from it. She even spread falsehood about the very people who protected her in west Bengal (As if all males are going to hit on her!!). A person with any kind of honor or value would not do such a thing. If you sum up her life's work, it is nothing but sensational and (Pardon my word) "Whoring" for another "Headline". In plain Bangla we say, Koi agortola ar koi choukeer tola.... NO comparison between these two characters. Shalom!
-----Original Message----- From: subimal chakrabarty <> To: mukto-mona <> Sent: Thu, Jun 28, 2012 4:55 am Subject: Re: [mukto-mona] Can we discuss religion freely?
2.  Given our socio-economic condition, although admittedly there is risk involved in critiquing a religion, we cannot help doing it. The reason is that when fallen in the hands of a reactionary force (a fanatic, a fundamentalist, or a dictator), it can create havoc. How would you explain to the religious Hindus that Fida's painting of the nude Saraswati was born out of a great artistic inspiration? What would you say to solace the religious Muslims that Satanic Verses was a great piece of literary work? Begum Rokeya does not get caught for saying that religion was created by males but Taslima Nasrin is not spared for echoing the same! You cannot but critique (I mean reinterpret it in the light of new realities) Islam if you really do not want the Islamists to implement discriminatory Shariah law in the name of a divine law? Could Vidyasagar really advocate for widow-marriage without angering the orthodox Hindus? You can come up with innumerable examples to show that without critiquing religion in a positive manner, science, literature, and society would not have reached the present stage. Merchants of religion are trying to change the direction of history.          


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"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".
               -Beatrice Hall [pseudonym: S.G. Tallentyre], 190

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