Radicalization is a complex problem
The threat of radicalization and violent extremism that looms over Bangladesh should not be denied, and although our law enforcement agencies have done a terrific job in cracking down on militancy in the three years since the attack on Holey Artisan Bakery, it is of utmost importance that we continue to stay vigilant.
At a program in Dhaka organized by Bangladesh Enterprise Institute, where the director general of RAB was in attendance, a very pertinent point was made: Radicalization cannot be fought using coercive force alone.
Indeed, radicalization is a complex problem, and taking it out by the roots will involve not just law enforcement agencies, but other institutions and groups that can educate people and change toxic and harmful attitudes that exist in our society.
What is needed is large-scale social awareness -- it is important to watch for signs of radicalization in the early stages, and have programs in place for the reversing and preventing of young minds being brainwashed and sent into a life of senseless violence.
It is not enough, then, to simply capture militants -- the task at hand involves nurturing, educating, and counselling confused young minds vulnerable to falling prey to militant ideology.
In that regard, our large community of Islamic scholars can play a tremendously important role; after all, they speak with authority, and are heard and respected by large crowds.
These imams and religious leaders can clear up any confusion that might exist, and send a strong message that militancy and violent extremism are never OK, and that killing is strongly condemned by Islam.