• Monday, Jul 22, 2019
  • Last Update : 02:11 am

Zero tolerance for communal violence

  • Published at 11:59 pm February 14th, 2019
Photo: DHAKA TRIBUNE
Photo: DHAKA TRIBUNE

It is a duty of the state and law enforcement to ensure the rights of every single individual, regardless of religion

The fact that, even in this day and age, extremist groups can get away with threatening religious minority groups is a sad commentary on the state of democracy in our country.

On Tuesday, a co-ordinated attack by Islamist groups on Ahmadiyyas in Panchagarh left 50 people injured -- a travesty of the secular ideals on which Bangladesh was founded. 

The cowardly attack was in response to the “jalsha,” an annual gathering of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which the Islamist groups had protested beforehand and, as a result, had been cancelled. 

From every possible angle, this terrible attack has highlighted the violation of the rights of a single minority community that has been going on for a long time, and it is not something that we as a nation can afford to let slide. 

It is a duty of the state and law enforcement to ensure the rights of every single individual, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or creed. 

The fact that there are groups residing in the country who do not believe in the equal treatment of all religions -- with these groups demanding the removal of “Muslim” status for the Ahamdiyyas -- highlights the pressing need to address communalism and communalistic traits in our society.

At the end of the day, if the government remains stoic regarding this incident, it will only embolden groups such as these to become more violent, be it against other religions or against other fellow Muslims who they do not approve of.

It must be made clear that the rest of the country will not stand for the violent threats and demands of groups who only wish to spread hatred and increase strife between communities.