Bloggar Niloy Chatterjee was murdered in his bedroom at Dhaka in August 2015. His killing is fourth and fifth respectively in this year and since 2013 of extremist attacks. According to media reports, he wrote in blog against religion based extremism.
Already Ansarullah Bangla Team, a local chapter of Al Qadea has claimed the responsibility of Niloy Neel, pen name of Niloy Chatterjee, killing through sending email to media house though it has not been confirmed yet.
The frequent murder of bloggers is not only tarnishing the image current government but also the country’s image. Once Bangladesh was known as a country of natural disaster prone and third world country. But the continuous economic growth and capabilities to fight natural disaster are circulating a good impression to the world about Bangladesh. She also is being seen as the practical example of ensuring women rights in the global arena. But every success is going to under the shed of such barbaric killings. The world is now labeling Bangladesh as a country of extremism.
The latest killing has taken Bangladesh in international media in a negative image. Every international media have published the news of blogger killings giving importance. In earlier the murder of blogger Avijit Roy got attention of global media extensively.
Within a short time after my arrival at South Asian University at New Delhi earlier in this month I have got chance to meet with the students of other SAARC countries and known their perception and imagination about my country. Some of my friends raised the issues of blogger killing in the first meeting. Binit Gurung from Nepal, Bhargav and Debtonu of India expressed that they are devastated by the killing of Avijit Roy, an American-Bangladeshi blogger who was killed at Dhaka University campus in a night of February this year. Possibly like them other South Asian countries citizens again shocked by the latest killing of Niloy. Binit commented that the killing of bloggers is signifying the emerging Islamic extremism in Bangladesh.
I have tried to convince them that we are constitutionally secular country and our current government is trying its best to maintain its secular identity while ensuring the right for all religious community. But the recurrence of blogger killings is bringing question about the zero-tolerance stance of present government to fundamentalism.
If the government really wants to uproot Islamic fundamentalism it should take multi-faceted plan and action. It seems that our law enforcement forces are not capable to deal with the Islamic militant. Frequency of these barbaric killings showed the failure of our intelligence agencies. BBC’s Bangladesh chapter reported that Niloy filed a police report expressing fear for his life but his compliant had not been followed up.
To counter Islamic fundamentalism government to take stern measures including campaign against extremism with the help of prominent Islamic scholar from home and abroad. All the Islamic political parties should stand against the brutality in the name of Islam, as Islam does not permit it. Islamic political parties are facing negative criticism for such brutal activities.
Liberalism should be prevailed in Bangladesh. Everybody has right to express his or her opinion and views. But it should be not to harm other emotion and believe. The bloggers should write showing respect to Islam. They should not cross the border of modesty and decency in the name of free thinking. Government should not tolerate the inciting writings of the bloggers. If someone’s writing criticize Islam in derogatory manner, it should be protested in a peacefully, not with machete. Agitated person or group can also go to the court for suing.
If we fail to prevent further blogger killing in the future, possibly the fear of my SAU friends will come true and Bangladesh will be treated as we treat few Asian Muslim countries. Already the United States of America, United Kingdom and also United Nation expressed their grave concern on the killing of bloggers. If their expression of concern continues in future, they will also not hesitate to label Bangladesh as a country of extremism.
Sariful Islam is a Masters 1st year student of International Relations, SAU.