The holy month of Ramadan is upon us.
Muslims in Bangladesh, and the world over, observe Ramadan as a month of restraint, discipline, patience, and prayer.
Ramadan calls out to us to leave behind our undesirable habits, and cultivate better ones through silent devotion that brings us closer to Allah.
But the rise of extremism has cast a shadow over the true spirit of this month.
We can never forget that last year’s horrific attack at Holey Artisan Bakery took place in the month of Ramadan, followed by an attack on Sholakia Eidgah on Eid day.
While Ramadan is supposed to bring out the best in people, last year’s attack in July showed us some of the worst sides of humanity.
The Holey attack did not just take the lives of 22 people that day -- it was an insult to the month of Ramadan, and an affront to the true teachings of Islam.
But the fight against extremism is global: A suicide attack has just killed 18 people, mostly civilians, in Afghanistan, and the attack on a concert in Manchester is still fresh in people’s minds.
This Ramadan, let us pledge to restore the sanctity of life, and stand against the dangerously misguided group of people who are willing to take life in the name of religion.
There can be no doubt that murder is one of the gravest of sins in Islam, and all Islamic scholars agree that Islam upholds the preservation of life as one of its foremost adjectives.
This Ramadan, let us remember that, and show zero tolerance for those who kill in the name of God.