In a digital age, hateful and bigoted sentiments can spread faster than ever
A little over five years ago, the horrifying attack inside Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka reminded all of us that extremism was alive and well in the country. No doubt, great strides have been made in many spheres of life in the country, with a greater emphasis on gender equality and secular values. Women lead the way all across the board, from politics, to business, to science and technology. Extremists wish to erase that progress, and their methods are anything but peaceful.
It is clear from the uptick in extremist online activity that many of these dangerous sentiments are gaining ground. Now, in a digital age, hateful and bigoted sentiments can spread faster than ever. According to a report in this newspaper, a recent video calling for jihad has gained wide visibility among like-minded people, and this account, denouncing democratic ways, may be just the tip of the iceberg.
With the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, jihadist sentiments may be easily set off all over the world. We must now stay more vigilant than ever, particularly within the borders of Bangladesh. There is no use remaining in denial about the existence of extremist cells in our country that threaten to undo the progress we have made in recent years.
We do not wish to live in fear and paranoia, as many did in the immediate aftermath of the Holey Artisan attacks, but build a community of vigilance where we safeguard each other’s rights, and stand strong against extremism.