Siddhartha Dhar

The Harbingers of a Bygone Utopia

Hizb ut-Tahrir stands out from the myriad of pan-Islamic political organisations for its fundamentally consistent methodology, its neutral stance on the issue of sectarian conflicts in Islam and its explicit refusal to the use of violence. As a global Islamic movement, Tahrir seeks an intellectual revival across the Islamic world in its aim of establishing a unitary Islamic Caliphate. Reza Pankhurst's book, Hizb Ut-Tahrir: The Untold History of the Liberation Party provides an erudite account of the history of the liberation party which over the years has remained rather abstruse to comprehend. Based on personal interviews conducted across several countries, ardent studying of party documents and materials Pankhurst seeks to fill the void in understanding the implications of Tahrir's intellectual culture and its adopted methodologies in Tahrir's aim of establishing the Islamic Caliphate. Pankhurst book delivers a perception-shifting yet coherent narrative on an incredibly resilient political movement that continues to thrive withstanding tremendous state repressions across the globe.

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Avijit Roy - The Gadfly voice of reason

Avijit Roy(1972-2015) was a voice of reason in an age when people boast of their ignorance and lies are claimed as alternatives to universal truths. A software engineer by profession and a writer by passion Avijit Roy was a leading Bangladeshi-American human rights activist, author and a pioneer in Bengali free-thought movement.

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An Occidental Islam - Between Culturalist and Reformist Expediencies

In the west, the discourse on Islam has been greatly shaped by contentious debates on the role of the state. The germination of radical ideas among the European-Muslim millennials and recent terrorist attacks across Europe has bolstered the edifice of the populist right-wing ideas, and there is a rising trend in the popularity of the far-right political parties who promulgate such ideas. The current scenario in the Western world is pretty much an evocative picture of the pre-Second World War political turmoil. The shadow of a disintegrated European Union looms on the horizon. Across the Atlantic, Donald Trump rose to power hurling disparaging remarks towards Muslims while promising a Muslim ban and extreme vetting of the Muslim immigrants. In these altercations, the culturalists and the reformists, the two different schools of thought gained prominence offering very different connotations of the Islamic pedigrees and culture in their attempt to dispense with the problem of "Radical Islam."

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Remembering the life and legacy of Avijit Roy

A software engineer by profession and a writer by passion Avijit Roy(1972-2015) was a leading Bangladeshi-American human rights activist, author and a pioneer in Bengali free-thought movement. In 2001, Avijit launched a virtual discussion group of freethinkers of mainly Bengali and South Asian descent. This small discussion group would eventually lead to the inception of the first secular humanist website in the Bengali language, called 'Mukto-mona.' The literal English translation of 'Mukto-Mona' is 'Free-thinker.' As an Internet congregation of freethinkers, rationalists, skeptics, atheists & humanists Mukto-Mona gave a platform for the secular ethos of Bangladeshi culture to be reinvigorated. In an interview with a daily newspaper, Avijit described his organization's aspirations by the following lines,

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Ansarullah Bangla Team - Genesis and Beyond

In Bangladesh, a climate of fear has engulfed the secular activists of the country with the advent of a radical Islamist group. Known under the name of "Ansarullah Bangla Team," its members are believed to be highly engaged in social media and also tech-savvy. Over the past few years, this youth-oriented radical Islamist group stole global media attention after successfully carrying out some fatal attacks on prominent secular activists, bloggers, writers, and publishers.  Contrary to ISIS, so far ABT has been meticulous in choosing their targets. ABT has even condemned the atrocities committed by ISIS, standing from its self-defined higher moral ground.

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