Bangladesh’s Long Road to Islamist Violence

Jul 10, 2016

By Krishnadev Calamur

On Thursday, three people died in an attack at an Eid celebration near the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka. That incident follows another outburst of violence last Friday, when gunmen stormed a restaurant in Dhaka’s diplomatic quarter, killing 20 in the worst terrorist attack in the country’s history. These were only the latest in a series of dozens of deadly attacks over the past few years in the predominantly Muslim nation of 156 million people, as Islamist militants there have targeted bloggers, secular activists, and others.

Since 2005, Bangladesh has seen about 60 major attacks that have claimed approximately 600 lives—and about 90 percent of the attacks have occurred since 2013.

“We are seeing something qualitatively and quantitatively quite different than what we’ve seen before,” C. Christine Fair, an associate professor at Georgetown University, told me in an interview. “This is worrisome.”


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2 comments on “Bangladesh’s Long Road to Islamist Violence

  • Humanity must learn that religious delusions are potentially damaging, – with the more venomous forms running riot, where unconstrained.

    We simply can’t afford to tolerate intolerable intolerance!

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    Bangladesh has said it intends to ban the Islamic television channel, Peace TV, in the wake of the deadly attack on a cafe in the capital, Dhaka.

    The government’s decision comes amid fears that hardline views on the channel could radicalise youth.

    A preacher on the channel, Zakir Naik, denied allegations his words could have inspired the attackers.

    Gunmen killed 22 people when they stormed the Holey Artisan bakery in Dhaka earlier this month.

    Bangladesh’s Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said that “administrative steps” would be taken towards the banning of the channel.

    Peace TV is not consistent with Muslim society, the Quran, Sunnah, Hadith, Bangladesh’s Constitution, our culture, customs and rituals,” Mr Inu told online news outlet Bdnews24 hours after the cabinet committee on law and order decided to ban the channel.

    The 24-hour TV channel, is broadcast from Dubai in English, Urdu and Bangla.

    Mr Naik, 50, is the founder and president of the Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation, which owns Peace TV.

    He was once banned from entering the UK for what was described as “unacceptable behaviour”.

    But he has denied an allegation that one of the gunmen in the cafe attack was inspired by his speeches, accusing Bangladeshi media of sensationalism.

    It looks like the Bangladesh government, is at least trying to curb the militant propaganda from the self proclaimed “peace preachers” of “the religion of peace”!

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