An overland Bermuda Triangle
LATIF'S calculated heresy, British citizen Samiun Rahman's detention as a suspect recruiter for IS in Dhaka, the Islamic state phenomenon and the loosely-knit 54-country coalition going aerial against the IS as the latter holds the ground even on the run are a mixture of opposites in the world of absurdities.
By his own admission, Latif chose to make those surreal and irreligious remarks as though dancing to the tune of freedom and free speech overseas (interpretation mine but facts are his)! Remember the metaphor of a crow wearing the plume of a peacock to mix with the latter. Besides, the temperature is hardly ambient, he may have imagined, to the Western liking with the ISIS threat looming large in the Middle East. Perhaps Latif thought, what if it were a Tangail association reception, the words raring to find an utterance through his mouth would curry favour with a Western audience. Utterly naive, the Western world is no longer gullible to deliberate acts of indiscretions; moreover, they have garnered coalition with many Arab states to stymie the advance of ISIS.
Let's credit him with that much of intelligence to have foreseen a backlash his statements would have at home, some of which making it to the wider world. So it was a calculated risk on his part, although he is making brave face to return to the country to what he over-ambitiously puts to 'clear his name.'
But with serious corruption allegations stalking him, his falling foul of the government irreversibly, and now court summons having been issued against him on writs seeking justice for hurting people's religious sentiments grievously, he may join the ranks of Bangladeshi fugitives.
Samiun Rahman's alleged involvement in recruiting Bangladeshis for IS might soon be a matter for British counsellor assistance, according to Vienna Convention. This could also help with British side of the investigation. Thus the drama is yet to unfold its fuller ramifications and underlying veracities.
The titling of the piece with Bermuda Triangle is because of the paranormal connotation associated with it. Although a number of plane and boat disappearances have been linked to the 'Bermuda Triangle mystery,' investigations indicate that bad weather and human errors were the more likely culprits. Research has pointed out that 'the actual number of incidents in the area is similar to that of other parts of the ocean.'
Whilst Western and coalitional air raids on northern Iraq and eastern Syria are doing hit and run missions, IS has come up-close within ten miles radius of Baghdad. A realisation is taking hold that aerial attack alone can't dislodge the IS fighters; yet the US and UK are reluctant to put their boots on the soil having been twice bitten, thrice shy -- Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria making for a triangle. Obama has confessed to an underestimation of the IS' strength. So, there is a mystic about the overall operation on either side. On the IS side they are being brutally ruthless with their injunctions closing down educational institutions and tabooing study of certain subjects wherever they go.
The debacles of western invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq for their peoples; the state of Syria being in a war with its own people; the revolutionary Arab Spring turning into a winter of despair across the Arab Crescent and the fomenting of the sectarian divide fertilised the ground in the Middle East for the unbridled jihadi surge we face today.
The disenfranchised voice of the people in totalitarian regimes craved for a new enfranchisement underpinned by egalitarian distribution of wealth, equality of opportunities and rights to basic freedoms in a people's government. About the Arab Spring falling short of desired attainments, recall the following dilemma in the publication titled Tremendous Trifles: “You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy, you must have a democracy in order to have a revolution.”
Somehow this phase of century can be called an age of absurdities. The doctrine of absurdity refers to, “Any strict interpretation of something to the point of violating common sense, e.g., following religious dictates, such as in pharisaism -- emphasising or observing something's exact rules or words, but not its spirit.”
Hobbes was worried about absurdity -- “Only human beings can embrace an absurdity, because only human beings have language, and philosophers are more susceptible to it than others.”
To end with a conclusive quote from Theodore Roosevelt: “Nine-tenth of wisdom is being wise in time.”
The writer is Associate Editor, The Daily Star.
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