The latest news from Bangladesh is that a gang of seven Islamic terrorists, shouting Allahu Akbar (Allah is great), have murdered 20+ people, mostly foreigners, at a posh restaurant in the diplomatic area of the capital city, Dhaka. The victims were slaughtered in the Islamic way, by hacking. According to a BBC report, the terrorists tortured anyone who was unable to recite the Koran.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the act. But, of course, there is skepticism about that claim; and al-Qaeda and home-grown terrorists are two parties that have also been mentioned in the news media.
In the background, the murder spree on secular humanists and non-Muslims continue in Bangladesh. The government has been a vehement denier of the presence of the Islamic State in the country. The denial by the government leaders is clearly to demonstrate to the world that they have been successful in containing Islamic State in their land.
But does it really matter if Islamic State jihadists are present or not present in Bangladesh? Is it any better that the jihadists are home-grown?
The massacre in the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe in Dhaka late on July 1, 2016, has been getting a lot of attention in the international news media; obviously because of the restaurant being located in a better secured diplomatic enclave, because of the number of deaths, and because of the death of many foreigners.
However, what I consider as more serious and nagging is the fact that Bangladesh has been surely going down the Islamic way. The country now has too many mosques and madrasas (Islamic schools) that have been cranking out hundreds of thousands of blind followers of Islam, all of whom are potential Islamic terrorists. Beyond that, the socio-political environment in the country is filled with submission to Islam. Even the Prime Minister, who supposedly leads a secular political party, plans to build a ‘model mosque’ in every sub-district of the country with state funding. That would be close to 500 new and higher capacity mosques.
Thus, it is no wonder that the murder of secular humanists and non-Muslims continue in Bangladesh, and it can be predicted to grow.
Here is an example where there is no indication that the victim criticized Islam or promoted any competing religion. Mrinmoy Majumder is a university student, and he was going to his village home for the holidays. While he was riding a three-wheeler close to his village, three criminals attacked him. He was asked to take his pants off, so that the criminals could check if he was circumcised (Muslim) or not. Seeing that he was not a Muslim, they hacked him. He fell down on the ground and pretended to be dead. That is how he survived with serious injuries. What was his fault? He was born in a non-Muslim family.
Of course, the largest non-Muslim minority community in the country, the Hindus, is increasingly being targeted in Bangladesh. Here is a recent BBC news item on that.
The corrupt claim of the government in Bangladesh that the Islamic State jihadists are not present in Bangladesh, or that the opposition political parties are to be blamed, or that foreign conspiracies are involved in the criminal acts that have been going on in the country in the name of Islam would not alleviate the serious trouble that the country is in. Responsible world leaders need to seriously address the problem of blind following of Islam that is a curse not on just Bangladesh, it is like a cancer that is spreading in many other countries as well.