Home Deliberation The Secular Fanaticism

The Secular Fanaticism

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#shahbagh Demand to kill. Demand for blood, to quench the thirst. Thirst for what? 1971 war crimes perpetrated by the religious extremists.

Interestingly, Shahbagh protests are supported by the secular and liberal voices of the world and the protestors identify themselves as secularists. Isn’t this an irony? If the demand to kill in the name of religion is extremism and fanaticism then how do we categorize the same demand “to kill” by the secularists and the liberalists? And the demands are not limited to the death sentence only but to shut down the opposition voices forever.

The above deliberation is not to defend anyone but the discomfort is on the path taken by secularists and liberalists. It doesn’t look any different from the religious extremism against which they stand. Kill them, shut them down for ever – that’s the demand of the people who wants to see a secular and peaceful world. Is this not depressing for the honest moderate and liberal voices?Imagine the world in the hands of people who are blood thirsty, who want to forcefully shut the oppositions – and they are called the peace loving liberals.

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So on what roots are these secular voices standing? Is this not self-annihilation when their ways are against their own mottos? Or have they always been like that as their premise is paradoxical? No belief, no dogmas, no faith, no god. “If you love your belief so much please keep it to yourself”. Are these not beliefs? Not dogmas? What about the blind belief in the power of science and technology in which today’s secular and liberal society is entrapped? Does this not suggest that secularism and liberalism also slip into the trap of extremism and violence against which they exist?

Secularists and liberalists have problems with the idea of deification and they hate its entry into the social domain. But do they also not fall for it? So the question is: does deification itself lead to extremism and fanaticism? Or the problem lies in the enigma of deification and the unwillingness to understand its diverse perspectives?

History tells us that human being has the inbuilt tendency to deify. It can’t and has never been able to come out of that pursuit. Neil Postman, in his seminal book, “The End of Education” claims that human being is always in the pursuit of god. By god he doesn’t necessarily mean the God as creator but he puts it in the form of great narrative, “one that has sufficient credibility, complexity, and symbolic power to enable one to organize one’s life around it”. These narratives can take the form of myths (Joseph Campbell), illusions (Freud), ideologies (Marx) and so on.

The 20th century has seen the gods of communism, fascism and nationalism – with their own sets of faith and dogmas and their own punishments for blasphemy. History tells us what followed afterwards- world war,Nazi Germany, cold war – a never ending fight.The worst form of inhuman treatment in the last century was not meted out by religious fanatics but the believers of Science and technology. World cannot forget Hiroshima and Nagasaki and then Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. What oppressive form did Communism take in countries like USSR and China? History tells us so many stories about the movement against oppression becoming itself oppressive.

 

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Mujahidul Islam works in the field of Educational Technology and E-learning at Azim Premji University, Bangalore.

1 COMMENT

  1. *Applause of moderate of loudness* Very well put. The thing about extremism of *any* sort is that it’s a universal trait. I simply cannot imagine an era in which humans will ever stop deifying things, even if they do fulfill their hubristic fantasies and eradicate all forms of theism in the world. Humans who aren’t 100% hedonistic, amoral, and selfish need to believe in something “greater,” something good to “stand up for,” so to speak. The only way I could imagine humans living without this belief in a goodness that is greater than them is essentially Laveyan Satanism — basically living only for yourself because you are the god of your own life and everyone and everything else is secondary.

    Secularists have done this with their values, and they have created secular gods as a result to the attempt to antipathy towards God or any sort of serious thought of divine authority. Secular humanism has decided, from what I’ve gathered, out of nowhere that humans are moral, rational and good enough to create reliable and just moral laws and be wiser than any godly moral decree, which is why I say with absolute sincerity “God help them.” This, thinking, basically elevating man to the point of apotheosis, can rather handily explain why the social justices are so absolutely hypocritical and myopic in vicious and self-serving ways. After all, if man is more suited to decide what is good and evil than God Himself, who can argue with them if they genuinely believe it?

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