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        Society for Policy Studies

Now, in the wake of the first ever hostage crisis in Bangladesh that shook the country to its core, and subsequent threats from IS headquarters in Raqqa, our policy-makers have had to make counter-terrorism their priority, and it is the topic of conversation in every household.  

All hell broke loose on the July 1 inside Holey Artisan Bakery with many precious lives lost, a few local but mostly foreign. Social media in Bangladesh got flooded with both criticism and praise for the government -- starting from how successful the military operation was, to the time taken to unmask the true attackers from the government’s end.


Bangladesh has a long history of resilience and of beating the odds. From a country of disasters we became a country of achievers, almost always proving our skeptics wrong. I deeply believe that in fighting extremism, we can be equally successful. The balance between religion and culture in our society, our unique blend of Islamic heritage and Bengali heritage, our fundamental nature of tolerance, our thousand-year tradition of openness and acceptance of the “other,” our rich heritage of political struggle—all have prepared us well to resist a fundamentalist and extremist upheaval.

Will this struggle go on even when the list of the martyrs keep growing? I asked Siddhartha, as we were walking through the streets of Stockholm. “They will never be able to scare us into silence. When we signed up for this, we knew there would be threats against our lives. We accepted it as a fact,” he told me. The fact, of course, is that free-thought can never be assassinated. 


For the past year, Bangladesh’s government and political commentators have spent a lot of time speculating about whether the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has a presence in the country. This month’s bloody attack at an upscale café in Dhaka’s diplomatic zone registered telltale signs of the form of terrorism common to transnational terrorist organizations such as ISIS.


He reached into his rucksack and said with a smile: “I have something for you.” I extended my hand and took the gift. A small book, 96 pages -- a Bengali translation of Am I a Monkey?: Six Big Questions About Evolution by Spanish-American evolutionary biologist and philosopher Fransico J Ayala.


The Dhaka terrorist attack has sufficiently confirmed with evidence that we are in a crisis. After some contemplation, I think I can come up with the following four steps that we should immediately, as immediately as possible that is, partake in order to restore parity of common sense. I personally recognise myself as a committed Muslim, and an ardent student of the faith, the effect of which can be obviously noticed in this writing.


University students with English medium education are allegedly connected with extremism in Bangladesh. The critics have made this comment after the attackers in the two recent terror strikes in Bangladesh were identified as university students.


As an impressionable teenager, Dhaka in the 90s was a great place to grow up in. The urban divide was apparent among income classes much like in the present, but the ideological divide did not have much room for hate, violence, or heinousness as we are witnessing in the present.


A hostage situation of such a huge magnitude in Dhaka’s diplomatic zone has never been experienced.This probably explains why it took more than nine hours to put in place a rescue operation. The attack has been an eyeopener for the entire nation. Not only did the terrorists slaughter 20 hostages but their brutal actions symbolised a complete rejection of our liberal way of life.


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