From the Editor-in-Chief: We share America’s pain

Enayetullah Khan
Thursday, June 16th, 2016
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The tragedy perpetrated in Orlando, Florida, is once again a sign that the merchants of hate are yet in circulation. Worse, the fact that it was again a Muslim, this time a man of Afghan extraction, behind the ghastly deed only worsens conditions for the followers of the Islamic faith not only in the West but around the world as well. Men like Omar Mateen, with their twisted views of faith, indeed with their fanatical hatred of people of other religious or social persuasions, are a menace to their own religious beliefs. What Mateen did in Orlando was a negation of all religion and all morality. No fewer than 49 people died at his hands and more than 50 were wounded. He himself was killed by the police in order to prevent him from murdering any more innocent people.


The carnage in Orlando has had its ramifications. It has left an entire world reeling in shock. For Americans in this election year, the question of how to deal with Islamist bigotry gets a new dimension since one of the two leading presidential candidates is already known for his extreme views on Muslims in America or trying to get into it. The Orlando tragedy has given fresh impetus to Donald Trump’s call for a ban to be imposed on Muslims entering the United States. He has now demanded that all immigration from countries with a history of terrorism be put under the lid. In contrast, his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton has been more sober in her assessment of the situation and has urged a decent, carefully calibrated approach to the issue. For his part, President Obama has noted the home-grown nature of the terrorism in Orlando and has once more raised the issue of the degree to which America’s easy gun culture has been contributing to such acts as that perpetrated by the likes of Mateen.


There can be little doubt that terrorism is today a menace which confronts not just America but nations across the globe. We in Bangladesh have observed the ferocity with which terrorists have been operating in the country, especially over the last two years. The murder of Hindus, Christians, secular Muslims and foreigners are clear lessons to us of what we must do to roll back the fanaticism which today threatens to upset our social order and undermine our values. Beyond our frontiers, countries such as India and Pakistan have been trying to cope with their own terrorism-related issues. In Europe, notably France and Belgium, terrorists have in the recent past struck with vehemence, enough to make us realize the enormity of the task that must be undertaken if the world as a whole is to be cleansed of religious bigotry and its purveyors.


Our prayers go out to the families of those who died and were wounded in the tragedy in Orlando. We feel the pain of Americans, for we are part of a world that must tackle terrorism together. Their pain is ours as well.

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