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This cannot stand

  • Published at 07:25 pm March 3rd, 2018
  • Last updated at 02:19 am March 4th, 2018
This cannot stand
It is a great disgrace that Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, a celebrated author and professor, has been stabbed on the campus of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in Sylhet. Whatever the motives of the attackers, we demand justice. The perpetrators and their accomplices must be brought to book swiftly, so that something like this never happens again. When one of our most prominent educationists and liberal minds gets attacked in a public place, it is a deep shame for all of us in our failure to protect him. Truly, this was nothing if not an attack on the enlightened, progressive values which Professor Zafar Iqbal stood for, and fearlessly spoke for his whole life. We have seen this before. From the stabbing and eventual death of writer Humayun Azad, to a slew of killings of bloggers, journalists, authors, and activists, the space for free speech has been shrinking in Bangladesh at a terrifying rate. Being the voice of reason can turn a person into a walking target. Make no mistake -- the attack of Zafar Iqbal was an attack on all of us, and if we do not stand with him, there is no telling who could be next. Writers of Professor Iqbal’s caliber are truly the best that this country has to offer. Bangladesh will not stand for such a disgraceful, cowardly attack on this great man. How many more attacks will it take to realize that the soul of this country is at stake? Enough is enough: We want justice and we want it without delay. We pray for a speedy recovery of the professor.