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ED: Four years after Holey, the fight against radicalization is not over

  • Published at 02:04 pm July 1st, 2020
Photo: Bigstock

We must ensure an environment where young, impressionable people do not fall prey to such extremist ideologies

Four years ago, Bangladesh saw one of its darkest days in recent memory. On the night of July 1, 2016, armed militants stormed into Holey Artisan Bakery, holding customers hostage. What followed was a 12-hour stand-off, and ultimately left 23 dead.

Nothing will ever make up for the lives lost, and no words could ever explain the suffering and grief of families and loved ones of their loved ones.

And though it is difficult to assess and look deeper into something that is inherently so tragic, look deeper we must, so that we may be better prepared and ensure that we never ever have to experience such horrors again.

It is no secret that radicalization and extremist thinking was the reason why such a terrible incident could occur in the first place. The Holey Artisan attackers were identified to be young, educated men of affluent backgrounds, and it is a question that must be addressed -- that is, why such men were falling victim to radicalization in the first place.

What must also be asked, and indeed assessed, is where we stand today when it comes to militancy in the country. Bangladesh has made remarkable progress, and it is true that in the wake of the attack on Holey Artisan Bakery, the authorities concerned have made a concerted effort to root out militancy from the country, which must be commended.

However, the fight against radicalization is never-ending; we must continue to monitor the country for any signs. Above all, we must ensure an environment where young, impressionable people do not fall prey to such extremist ideologies and become involved in unthinkable acts of terror.

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