From the Editor-in-Chief: No two ways against terror

Enayetullah Khan
Thursday, July 28th, 2016
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A few days ago, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner informed us that the backers of the terrorists who caused the carnage in a Gulshan restaurant on 1 July have been identified and will be taken into custody soon. We hope the news is credible enough for us to believe that the truth will emerge behind the killings. It is rather surprising that despite knowing of the facts related to the educational background of some of the killers, we know next to nothing about them or their patrons. Obviously, these young men could not have embarked on their gruesome mission without encouragement and support from outside. Since we have been told repeatedly that those who have gone around killing people, all the way from murdering bloggers, Hindus, Christians, Muslims, foreigners to murdering policemen in Sholakia on Eid day, are homegrown terrorists, it now becomes the moral responsibility of the police and other security agencies in the country to bust their dens without pity.

 

As we write, we have before us reports of the police killing as many as nine militants in the nation’s capital Dhaka on Tuesday. The DMP has told citizens that the dead men were all members of the banned JMB, although we understand that the lone survivor in the police raid has claimed that he is a member of the so-called Islamic State. Be that as it may, there can be no denying that Bangladesh today is under the concentrated assault of Islamist terror elements determined to upset the social and political order. Fear, let us say without inhibition or ambiguity, stalks citizens. The other day, a young woman travelling on a CNG-driven three-wheeler was shocked when the driver of the vehicle asked her if she knew the verses of the Quran. In fear, she stammered a yes and then had to recite the kalima for the driver. When she reached her destination, the driver would not take the fare but before leaving advised her to be a good Muslim. That driver, let us be clear about it, is the one to watch out for. Indeed, there may be others like him, secret operatives of terrorism who have infiltrated various areas of social life in this country. To what degree are the law enforcers aware of them or are ready to smoke them out of their dens?

 

That question comes with another thought: in their justified zeal to have elitist private educational institutions under watch for signs of any terrorism-related activities by teachers and students, the police, RAB and other organizations of the state must not neglect the thousands of madrasahs all over the country. There are reasons to think that many of these madrasahs, especially those which come in the category of qaumi madrasahs, harbor ideas and pupils who do not correspond to our visions of society and culture. It will be terrible, indeed suicidal, for the state to look away from them. They must be put under the scanner immediately.

 

Terrorism must not be allowed to rear its head in this country. If it does try that, there is a simple solution: strike off the head, immediately and ruthlessly.

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