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No complacency in the face of terror

  • Published at 12:51 am July 2nd, 2018

We must remain vigilant in rooting out extremism

It has been two years since the tragic events of the Holey Artisan terrorist attack shocked the world.

The brutal incident not only took the lives of 22 people but forced an entire country to revaluate itself, and what it stood for.

It brought to the forefront the hidden undercurrent of terrorism which ran through our nation, and which had been bubbling under the surface for the longest time, waiting to burst.

But we as a nation did not sit and surrender.

Since then, Bangladesh has responded and recovered. In the war against terror, the government has acted swiftly, carrying out raids in terrorist dens throughout the country, ensuring that no such incident ever has the chance to recur. 

And, economically, while Holey was a major setback, Bangladesh has never been stronger, with our exports now competing globally, against the best.

While we have risen high in the past two years, we cannot afford to become complacent in the fight against terror. 

We must remain vigilant in rooting out extremism, and this cannot be done through conducting raids alone.

De-radicalization, counselling, and rehabilitation are essential steps towards permanently defanging terrorist organizations -- be they big or small -- which continue to hide within the country, and it is encouraging to note that the heads of our law enforcement agencies are aware of this.

Education, in this regard, remains an important element, which ensures that Islam is not misused and misinterpreted to further violent agendas. 

But, as with all great initiatives, implementation remains key.

The people and the government must understand that terror cannot be fought with bullets alone, and that extremism always possesses cultural and political underpinning, not merely religious ones.

Understanding this is essential to defeat terrorism.