- Innalillahi wa inna ilayhi rajiun
- More than 200 people have been killed by callousness from the corrupt business-politics nexus in Bangladesh. Thats thousands of people affected, bereaved, orphaned and widowed. In the words of one of the seculib twat I read disregarding the police killings of young Islamists recently, 'thats less than a ferry accident'
- Awami League leader Sohel Rana's Rana Plaza in Savar wasn't built to Buliding Code and wasn't evacuated when BUET experts said it wasn't fit for use. The Bank (BRAC Bank) on the two lower floors didn't make its employees come into work on Wednesday, but the garments factories did, under threat of dismissal.
- The distribution of distress (worker, bereaved, orphaned) and duress (architect-client, factory-buyer, factory-worker) is discussed with fervour in virtual, professional and business communities.
- The Garments owners Association, the BGMEA, have offered 1 lakh Tk (less than £1000) for each of the dead and expelled the five factories.
- People are doing what they can to clear rubble, rescue, offer free medical treatment, donate blood and erm, retweet.
- Leadership from the top is sorely lacking. This puts a dampener on the governments plan to use the garments workers against Hefazots rally, this makes an anti government, pro transform coalition more possible.
- The deeper causes of the dangerous conditions are inherent to the interacting cultures of capitalism that make the garments and construction industries. Blaming Primark must not be a distraction from the politics of more-than-just-cleaning-up, and neither should protecting brand bangladesh, if there ever was such a thing.
I was mulling over the word hifz, which means protection, and the higher objectives, the maqasid, of the shariah, which I've often argued should shape Muslim societies, organisations and selves. They speak of protection and promotion of faith, life, dignity, lineage, intellect and property.
Now Begum Rokeya, Maulanas Bhashani and Madani might be credible moral authorities to invoke when we might imagine a cooperative movement called "Hefazat un Nisa" that secures safety, dignity, family friendliness and vertical mobility to the labour force, in the spirit with which Aminul Islam worked
Far off right? deshi Islamism is pretty indistinguishable from neoliberalism, right? Maybe now, but was heartening to hear about Farida Akhter's engagement with Hefazat's demands.