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Confronting propaganda about the Lalkhan Madrasa fire

Written By: BUETian
08/10/2013 4:24 08/10/2013 4:23

Bangladesh is currently a highly polarized nation – divided into loosely a self-described “Bengali Nationalist” or “secularist” camp consisting of those with leftist tendencies and an “Islamist” or “Bangladeshi Nationalist” camp consisting of the majority of religious Muslims of Bangladesh. The main battlefield so far has been the field of the media, barring sporadic clashes on the streets which have somewhat subsided recently.

Obviously, being in power does grant great advantages to the self-described secularists, who have not shown any signs of following the great ideals they always preach to everyone else about, such as freedom of expression, human rights, freedom of assembly, and other rights, especially when the opposition is in power and their own members are in jail. Every single credible opposition newspaper, TV station and online news sites have been shut down, with secularists cheering on, despite their previous slogans about liberalism and freedom of expression.

The latest battle in the media war is about an explosion and fire at a room in a madrasa. Naturally the secularists dislike madrasa and madrasa students with a passion, they being the representatives of everything which secularists hate. Secularists have proudly cheered on the cold-blooded massacre of hundreds of madrasa students on the night of 5th May, as they have the massacre of hundreds of protestors on 28th of February.

The main events seem are thus: An explosion occurred, followed by a fire in a room which contained, among other things, a kerosene stove (along with a tank), some electronics, such as laptops, their chargers, power supply systems and such. Nobody was killed, nor were there any serious injuries. Firefighters at the scene said that a fire which originated in the electronics had caused the kerosene tank to explode.

However, secularist media outlets have jumped on the event with great glee, pushing their own narrative that explosives were the cause for the fire. With no regard for honesty, something which is not surprising, secularist TV outlets have even published that they recovered “grenade skins” from the room. This would nicely fit in with their narrative, which they use to get Western patronization and support, of being defenders of the West against “Islamic terrorism”.

However, when we examine the facts, their story seems somewhat fantastic and unlikely. They have alleged that grenade skins were recovered from the room. Well, those madrasa students must have invented a new type of grenade because grenades do not leave behind “skins” when they explode. Then again, if the explosion was caused by a grenade or grenades then it would be expected that the other grenades would have been somewhat damaged, or set off, in which case the police would not have been able to recover the “grenade skins”. There is also the matter of nobody being killed, which is very unlikely had a grenade exploded. However, the media outlets are not interested in presenting a credible story. No doubt they themselves do not have any faith in what they are reporting, but they are just reporting various vague facts in order to create a cloud of suspicion, and slander their object of hate, which are madrasa students and religious Bangladeshis, in general.

All in all, the grenade story seems to be extremely unlikely and unneeded, when there was a kerosene stove and a tank in the room. Gas cylinder explosions are not something rare, and occur with regularity even in the developed world. The nasty attempt to twist it into some criminal or terrorist activity is proof of the deep divisions between sections of Bangladeshi society, which show no signs of healing in the near future.

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About BUETian

  • Name: Lord Smith
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    Bangladeshi, student of BUET

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