Terror struck Bangladesh again on the day of Eid in Kishoreganj, just 140 km from the capital city Dhaka, where seven terrorists attacked a popular cafe visited mostly by expats last Friday, killing atleast 22 people.
The attack was the first of its kind on Muslims during Eid celebrations in Bangladesh.
A group of attackers reportedly threw homemade bombs at a police team at a school near a prayer ground where at least 200,000 people had gathered.
Reports indicate that the attack was targeted at the imam or chief cleric of Kishoreganj, who is known for his liberal views.
Terrorism, in its entirety, is unexplainable by any rational argument or discourse. Though suicide terrorism has been considered as a “rational behaviour” by several experts on the subject, it is often beyond the understanding of normal people.
The country has had its own history of its association with the Afghan Jihad, Taliban, al-Qaeda, and in recent years, to the ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Hundreds and thousands of Bangladeshi nationals, both men and women, may have already joined the ISIS in Syria.
But what is interesting to note is that all these people who end up joining terrorist outfits are quite educated and belong to well-to-do families. It has been noted that many young men from wealthy, educated families were going missing. For example, one of the recent Dhaka terror suspects was a Bangladeshi politician’s son and his father had no inkling of him being radicalized before he disappeared last December. Hence, it is important to understand what provokes them to join such radical outfits and spearhead mass killings and destruction.
Such acts of violence are justifiable for terrorists. But it is a compulsive disturbance to normal life for those who wish to live in peace with their friends and family.
But what Bangladesh’s politicians need to understand is ongoing squabbles and vendettas do not stop terror and militants tend to use such differences to drive a wedge into societies.
The need of the hour, therefore, is a concerted foreign policy and an urgency to understand that the polity has already been thoroughly “Islamised.”
There is no point in blaming Muslim preachers like Dr Zakir Naik who has 14,188,164 likes on Facebook. The physician who became a controversial preacher has been held responsible by the Bangladesh authorities to be the main inspiration behind the terror attack at the Dhaka café. He’s a suave doctor who speaks fluent English, but his speeches stir up the young and the impressionable.
But what’s astonishing is the fact that Bangladeshi leaders are in a constant denial mode that their country is serving as a foothold for international terrorist outfits that plan only to expand and do that in style. We hope, they realise the gravity of the situation before it goes beyond redemption.