All Hearts are dead except those with knowledge... All those with knowledge are asleep except those who perform good actions... All those who perform good actions are deceived except those with sincerity... And all those with sincerity are in a constant state of anxiety... [Imam Shafi'i]

Saturday, November 05, 2005



I have been a part of this group called "Probashi" for a while now. What we do is raise funds for acid victims in Bangladesh. I haven't really read up much on acid abuse in BD but I have been doing some reading on it lately. I was not so shocked because i knew the extent of this crime in BD. But even then, everytime I read the info and saw some of the (very graphic) pics I was very hurt, angry, frustrated and touched all at the same time. I'll post up some stuff on that today insha Allah. But I just want to warn u guys from before, some of the fotos are extremely graphic! So if u a squeamish, dont go right to the end.

SOURCE: Acid Survivors Foundation

Acid throwing is a vicious form of violence against women. Although we know that violence against women is a universal phenomenon, what many of us may not know is the extent and form the violence takes. This differs from one society to another. ACID THROWING is a particularly vicious and damaging form of violence against women in Bangladesh. There are cases of acid throwing in other countries but these are isolated incidents, nowhere near the number of attacks that occur in Bangladesh.

When acid is thrown on a person, the results are horrific. Nitric or Sulphuric Acid has a catastrophic effect on the human flesh. It causes the skin tissue to melt, often exposing the bones below the flesh, sometimes even dissolving the bone. When acid attacks the eyes, it damages these vital organs permanently. Many acid attack survivors have lost the use of one or both eyes. The victim is traumatized physically, psychologically and socially.

An acid attack on your body would dramatically change your life. Most survivors of an acid attack are forced to give up their education, their occupation and other important activities in their lives. This is because recovering from the trauma takes up most of their time and because the disfigurement they have to bear debilitates and handicaps them in every conceivable way.

The scars left by acid are not just skin deep- victims are most often faced with social isolation and ostracisation that further damages their self esteem, self-confidence and seriously undermines their professional and personal future. Women who have survived acid attacks have great difficulty in finding work and if unmarried, as many victims tend to be, they have very little chance of ever getting married, which in a country like Bangladesh is socially isolating.

It is difficult to obtain accurate statistics because most people in Bangladesh live in rural communities that are relatively isolated and mechanisms to gather information from these communities is weak. But there is evidence to indicate that there is an alarming increase in the number of reported acid attacks incidents in Bangladesh.

In 1996, there were 47 reported cases of acid violence. In 1997, the number rose to 130. In 1998, there were over 200 reported cases. It is highly likely that the number of actual cases is considerably higher. In 1999 the Acid Survivors Foundation started to collect data and in its first year documented 139 known cases. It is highly likely that the number of actual cases is higher.In 2000, 2001 we documented 226, 343 cases and in 2002 the highest number recorded as 484 which had been lower a little bit in the last year - 2003 - the number was 410 cases.

The first documented case of acid violence was in 1967 when a young girl had acid poured on her by her admirer when his proposal of marriage was refused by her mother. So acid violence is a fairly recent phenomenon in Bangladesh.

The victims are attacked for many reasons. In some cases, the attack takes place because a young girl or woman has spurned the sexual advances of a male or has rejected a proposal of marriage. Recently, however, there have been acid attacks on children, older women and sometimes also men. These attacks are often the result of family or land disputes, dowry demands or a desire for revenge.

Reasons for acid attacks during the years, the highest rate of occurrence took place over Land Disputes and Family dispute, the next highest rate of these brutal incidents are due to refusal of relationship/sex throughout the country.

The major victim of attacked is Women(47%) and Men(26%). Children(27%) could not escape from the attack. Sometimes domestic animals or birds are also victimized.

If any of u Sydney siders would like to join "Probashi" u can let me know. The thing is, a lot of the fundraising is done at mela's and stuff, which I know many of you dont go to or completely disapprove of. What i do is, I help with the preparation of the foods or whatever we r selling at the mela. And usually my parents drag me to the mela so I end up going anyways.

Plus, we sold cadbury chocolates to raise money for the flood victims in BD in 2004. So there are so many ways we do fundraising. So if any1's interested lemme no. I'll let khushbu no (she's the 1 in charge i think).



Blogger »|n|i|r|a|« said...

I would like to donate, but not join the group directly I think..mainly because of the venues they operate and the company they keep. But I believe in the cause whole heartedly! So, if I give you the money, is it ok?

6:20 pm

Blogger -iishii- said...

Wow, thats great! Alhamdulillah! Sure, that shud be fine I think. U c, after being with probashi I have really come 2 enjoy fundraising. I have some ideas on how we could raise funds 4 YMSA as well :D but some of them mite be a bit lame and kiddy, lol.

10:45 pm

Blogger Chimichanga said...

when will it stop though? Those "men" in Bangladesh. Sigh!

7:45 am

Blogger ashes2ashes said...

It's horryfying to think one human being can do that to another and for what? Being spurned? It's beyond pathetic.
It shows that those men have no respect for women, none at all! I think what needs to be done is mass education and media campaign and preventative measures such as harsh laws need to be implemented!
Of course the victims need to be helped, but you guys should start thinking about "prevention" as well!
What you are doing sounds great, ishii...but like nira, I know I can't join the group...but would be more than happy to donate!

5:19 pm

Blogger flynn.t said...

Mass education? It depends on what kind of education you're talking about. I mean, there's no harm in educaiting about the debilitatiing effects this has on human beings & society as a whole, but what they REALLY need to be educated about is the religion they've forgotten or blatantly rejected.
Bring back Islam, and you'll not be hearing about acid victims...

9:17 pm

Blogger ashes2ashes said...

Islam, of course...but if that doesn't work...just plain humanity! Sometimes I think, religion at the hands of these people can be more destructive than good. I mean...these people need to understand that they are destroying other people's lives...they don't need religion to understand that- they need brains!

12:28 am

Blogger HijabiPrincess said...

i am soooo angry now!!!! i wrote a long post and its gone for my own stupidity. :(. okay lets try shaking my brain...

i think the main problem is in poverty and the closed environment they r in. the only outlet they get to the outer world is through bangladeshi pathetic cinemas which induces more of these things because all they show is, you have to take protishodh for everything. they take protishodh for the broken heart they are left with! the closed environment leaves them nothing to do but to think about their carnal hungers. these hungers are never met coz of poverty. if they r denied love too, they know they can take revenge, at least that is something they can control. all is gone, their pride has to be saved eh?
learning about humanity? yeah they do know about good things from religious instituions, through TV and all... but the effect doesnt last long. poverty makes ppl dishonest and selfish. they see corruption everywhere, starting from the political figures they worship. its not easy job saving these ppl!

the govt has a tough new law called "nari o shishu nirjaton ain" by which anyone accused of abusing a woman/child can be arrested and kept in jail. the sentences induced from this law are apparantly pretty harsh too. dont know how much can this law achieve in a corrupt environment.

the most disgusting thing of all is, the acid victims are social outcasts. ppl r scared/disgusted by their sight. no one marries them... can u imagine the lonely life they lead thereafter? just few days ago i came across a bengali story about acid vitims with touching reality in this site . i was in tears upon reading that. i just hope allah forgives these ppl for the anguish they go through and accepts them for eternity... i wish there were endeavours from islamic orgs to save the acid victims through shelter and all... but NO! apparantly they have better things to do. personally i think mosque buildings can wait, but these women need to be saved. afterall isnt islam there for saving humanity?

ishi, put up a bank account number where ppl can transfer money through net banking, inshallah there will be lots of donations.

9:45 am

Blogger -iishii- said...

HP, I cant access the article. I would like to read it very much. Can u email it to me please?

I think there has been a LOT more education abt this issue in BD now. And alhamdulillah it is decreasing but not at all greatly. U no what else I found out, the acid that is used in these attacks can be brought from the thousands of corner shops in BD costing around 50 cents in Australian Money. And u no the law in BD, even if they try to ban all these shops, who will obey it? No one. Plus the ppl that run these shops, this is often their only income. So they wont leave unless a better alternative is provided (which should also be done by the govt!).

I agree with u HP abt poverty + tv = dishonesty and selfishness. I was listening to Sheikh Anwar al Awlaki's "lives of the prophets" series and he mentioned the EXACT same thing abt poverty and the Bani Israeel (how they became so selfish and dishonest because of poverty).

I was also thinking the same thing as u HP. I know that probashi isnt an islamic org. but there are many like that who are fundraising for this cause. I was hoping that there wud be some Islamic grps that do the same but I didnt find any :(. Not only is money needed for mass education, but also for proper rehabilitation of these women and children (and men in some cases). It IS very tragic the lives these women live. Amader society ta eto superficial! Its all abt looks in the end, isnt it?

Insha Allah I will talk 2 the girls @ probashi and get them 2 set up the netbank account. Jazakallahu khairan for ur strong support in the cause :D

1:18 pm

Blogger Chimichanga said...

Well. Do we have any sort of tough punishment for the perpetrators? Like in Saudi, they REALLY cut off the hand of a thief, and therefore that problem is well taken care of. Can/do we have something harsh? How about implementing Capital Punishment, so that they know they better not mess with other people's lives?

Education ain't going to do anything. They KNOW very well what this acid can do. They have no humanity inthe first place to begin with. They were raised as "boys" of the family. Boys- the privileged. They were NEVER taught to compromise. Boys never compromise in Bangladesh (I am talking about the class in which we even have this kind of incidents, not all families, certainly!) How in the world we will be able to teach them compassion at their adulthood when from the beginning of their lvies they grew up hearing, "amaar cheler eta hote hobe".. "amr chele this.. amar chele that".
Get rid of them. The world is a better place without them. No one needs these bastards. Excuse my language.
Also, why do we have acid available everywhere? These chamicals need to be restricted to legitimate buyers only.

10:58 am

Blogger ashes2ashes said...

I happen to disagree strongly with you, pseudoarab...EDUCATION is the KEY. There is no alternative, none at all and NO not even capital punishment will work. ONLY education and EDUCATION only (religious and general) will be able to transform the narrow-minded perspective that these people have of the world, not of just women only. The need to learn that there are worse things in this world than being spurned by someone...and we need more educated women who love Islam as well. But, most importantly, we need to stop the overall corruption that has become an integral part of BD. We can only do this through education. I see NO other way.
Now, I know some of you will say- 'well, the people in power are educated, but they are corrupt as well'...this is where "real" religious (includes moral, of course) education comes in...just general education won't be enough to alter BDeshi perspective of life!
If you don't agree, please suggest something...I would really like to hear what you all have to say!

11:34 am

Blogger Em said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:21 pm

Blogger -iishii- said...

Stay on em, I dont have a porb with it at all :D and as far as i can see no1 else does either insha Allah. By the way, what does o-prottashito and o-banjchito mean? My bangla is really weak...

I am 100% with u there PA abt educating the mothers. Chelederke ora raja badshahr moto kore rakhe ar meyera tade chakorder thekeo nicher level e thake sometimes (believe me, i've seen families like that with my own eyes). But I dont know how much I'd agree to the capital punishment thing. Although EDUCATION is the key, i do think that a more effective and less corrupt police force is needed. Ekhon jei punishment gula ache in the law, they would be ok i think, only if they were implemented like they are written. But they're not, because police ke ghush diye any1 can get out of these situations.

I was just watching episode 81 - 90 of the natok 69 with abbu ammu the other nite. There is quite a bit covered on this acid abuse issue and it was SO realistic! I wont tell what happened in the natok here coz HP wont want me to wreck the story 4 her :P but lemme tell you, some of these men can be real PIGS! And i guess corruption does come into this because the ones dealing with the punishment of these people are corrupt to the worst degree! Manush eto shoitan hote pare, dekhe khub raag lagchilo!

11:25 am

Blogger ashes2ashes said...

Ok, let me clarify this for eveyone. You would all have to agree that corruption is a part of BD society...and as far as i can see, this 'corruption' is a psychological thing- meaning all BDeshi's can do is think about themselves and how they can get richer, faster...too marrow-minded-I mean hardly anyone does anything to improve the state of the country. So, if we can deal with this - root out corruption- I think other things will slowly fall into place. And to me the word "corruption" signifies everything that is wrong with BDeshi mentality, not just politically, but personality-wise as well...especially with regards to women. I have to say, I haven't come across too many men like that b/c alH all the males in my family are absolutely brilliant (although my dad is a bit overprotective...but if we consider Flynn... it's understandable!:).
So I hope it clarifies things...sorry about the confusion and was glad to see that you all agree. BTW...does anyone know what the punishment for an action such acid-throwing is, Islamically?
However, here's my opinion on "capital punishment" is NOT the answer. Sure, people might stop inflicting such pain on others- but it won't be b/c the suddenly started respecting women, but rather b/c they are scared of the law. But, the root of our problem lies in men's attitude to women- that can only be solved by educating the men and the WOMEN (here's where I agree with PA:)! But getting rid of men who throw acid, etc, as PA suggested...will NOT solve anything long-term- I'm sure immoral men will always find other ways to continue the cycle of violence/abuse!
So we only have two options - education or getting rid of the whole lot of them :) (except for all the men in my family, of course!)!!

3:00 pm

Blogger ashes2ashes said...

"Educate the mothers. If they can raise healthy children, we will have a healthy nation. Morally speaking.'

Brilliant quote and I totally agree!

3:03 pm

Blogger ashes2ashes said...

Answer to: "how education can surmount corruption?"...Ok I thought I was pretty clear on what I regard education as being- both religious and general. So once people begin to be educated, their perspective of life changes...materialism and say seeking "revenge" for instance, stops being their aim in life. People will then want to help others around them. At least this is what I think will happen....or maybe I'm just an optimist!

3:10 pm

Blogger flynn.t said...

Lordy Ash- you ARE an optimist.

I'll just put in my two cents worht and say- GET RID OF THOSE HIDEOUSLY USELESS INDIAN MOVIES!!

I know there are fans (millions, billions...) but the repugnant movies are soooo influential on people. (can't say I understand why, they're the same bloody theme/storyline over and over and over again!)
Detestable (but very ingenous) brainwashing tool.

Ash: have to disagree with your seperating educationof "religion" and "in general". when I say education about Islam, I mean that in a very holistic sense. Islam isn't just a religion, but a WAY OF LIFE. So education in general & OF RELIGION, should in fact be education of Islam.

"although my dad is a bit overprotective...but if we consider Flynn... it's understandable!" HEY!! You lot enjoy my frustration, don't you! So much for the unshakeable moral support of my friends.

"i'm not sure i understand how education can surmount corruption". Em, if education can't, then what can?? Corruption stems from ignorance, and ignorace is NOT bliss (althoughI'd love to be an advocate of such a philosophy). The only way to eliminate ignorance is to educate. If you follow the logic, then it's apparent that education can & will surmount corruption.
In my way of thinking, this is exactly what the Prophet (saw) did in Mecca/Madinah. He rooted out ignorance (jahiliyyah), educated the masses, voila- we had the golden age of Islam!

3:47 pm

Blogger ashes2ashes said...

I never said we should separate the two...all I wanted to say was that we should have both, instead of just one, as we do now!

3:56 pm

Blogger -iishii- said...

Why is every1 deleting their comments????

5:45 pm

Blogger Em said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:00 pm

Blogger Em said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:00 pm

Blogger flynn.t said...

Poor Em, lol- dude, you need to chill and relax... I haven't taken offence... and I'm sure we're all old enough to understand that you have a right to voice your own opinion. In fact, there's no such thing as a good discussion if everyone becomes "yes-men".

Seriously, I'm not one to take offence easily. Had a major headache after trying to read your banglish, but rest assured that Flynn is never that easily offended. And besides, I'm the kind of blunt person who would tell you in an "in-your-face" kind of manner, if I was truly offended.

Sheesh... people- can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

Ishi- people are deleting their comments because they feel like it... as I'm going to do with mine, but not because I'm afraid that it'll offend someone ;)

4:05 pm

Blogger flynn.t said...

One more thing...
*ahem*... ignore the fact that I announced that I was about to take an "extended leave of absence"
*sheepishly grins*

Couldn't help it- had too much to say. :D

4:10 pm

Blogger flynn.t said...

Ah well... walaikum salaam Em... if you gotta go, you gotta go...
byez, but realx a little if/when you can... might make life seem more...ermmm- fun.


Btw Em (assuming you're gonna be back :P- to glance through the comments)- what made you think I was offended?? I thought I was fairly light hearted...

4:14 pm

Blogger flynn.t said...

Ok- I know I said I had just one more thing to say already, but I just realised something freaky:

Ishi, you know how Em wrote "okay, i'll banish myself"- that is SUCH an EMU-thing to say!! Lol... I had a weird de-ja-vu ( is that how it's spelt??) moment! Sorry Em & EMU- I still get you 2 mixed up :S

4:20 pm

Blogger flynn.t said...

Ok, ok... bear with me- I think & realise things in fragments... & I have one question to ask:
What's "naptami" and "pathok" and "chhagol-marka "?? Is that even Bangla??

4:23 pm

Blogger Emu said...

"Emu Woz Here"

9:03 pm

Blogger -iishii- said...

Eije em bhai! I dont know what u cudve sed that wud offen flynn! Like she sed, its a rare occassion that our flynn-deary is offended. And whether ur a bad guy or not is not up 2 any of us 2 judge, not even u. Its up 2 Allah (SWT). So i just wanna say that u r welcome bak here. Many of the sisters have benefitted from ur comments and insights into a lot of things. So dont let one "mistake" keep u from making more right decisions. Choto mukhe boro kotha, i no. But just wanna tell u, if u left coz u think u offended sum1, then i think u shud cum bak. But if u left 4 other reasons u did not wish 2 share with us, then thats ur decision and we all shud respect that. But nevertheless, come back and explain 2 flynn and me what "naptami" and "pathok" means.

10:55 am

Blogger Em said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:04 pm

Blogger flynn.t said...

"when flynn makes time amidst her hectic revision schedule"


*ahem*... eeerrr- yes. Hectic revision... absolutely ;D

2:52 pm

Blogger ashes2ashes said...

what happened to the original convo? who offended flynn? i didn't know flynn could even be offended! if you did manage to offend her - somehow, miraculously-you have my congrats ...I've been trying to do that ever since she was born! and i tell ain't an easy task- she's very thick-skinned!
P.S. I, on the other hand, get offended quite easily :) you guys got lucky, i think!:):)

3:54 pm

Blogger ashes2ashes said...

P.S.S who is em? all this time i thought it was emu! i'm sooooo lost!

3:56 pm

Blogger Bump said...

ash, u silly silly girl. u'v been visiting flynnland haven't u. emu observes but is unable to contribute due to slight inabilities with the wernicke's area. but nottoworry, she still lives.

5:48 pm

Blogger Em said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:37 am

Blogger HijabiPrincess said...

I love to see confused people being confused, cozing confusion. :D. can't believe i missed so much in few days!
I should get back to maths. :(.

12:48 pm

Blogger ashes2ashes said... very excited and have to say that...i shall be medic soon, iA!
and i'll read the articles after my exams and before i go to bd!

2:20 pm


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