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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ruled out the presence of the Islamic State in Bangladesh despite the radical group claiming responsibilities for the murders of two foreigners within a week.

On Sunday morning (October 4, 2015) Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said to the assembled press, “Until now, IS or global terror groups like it have not been able to operate in Bangladesh. Our intelligence agencies are active … we will not allow any such activities in Bangladesh.”

This is in the face of calculated and organized shooting murders of two innocent foreigners (one Italian and one Japanese) working in the development sectors in Bangladesh. She also forgot that the Australian Cricket team cancelled their test tours to Bangladesh citing security concerns.

Dear Prime Minister, just because you say IS does not exist does not make it so. Every time you and the country is faced with some adversity or challenge your reaction seems to be deny, deny, deny.

That was the case with the Padma Bridge scandal, the Rana Plaza collapse, and the sheer thievery in the Dhaka Mayoral elections. The list can go on and on. By denying an obvious fact all you and your cohorts do is tarnish the image of Bangladesh on the world stage.

People think this country is on par with Saudi Arabia when it comes to truth-telling and transparency. There is a running joke that goes like this, “When do you know when a Saudi is lying? Every time his mouth is open”.

I hope Bangladesh does not go down that rabbit hole. You have accomplished so much and yet you are unable and/or unwilling to accept that bad things happen and that evil exists. Acknowledging and confronting bad things and adversity is actually a sign of strength and not one of weakness.

I did not start this rant with a mind to scold the Prime Minister but it just came out. What we all need to understand is that IS is not just a few guys chopping people’s heads off or shooting hapless and unsuspecting human beings.

It is an ideology and it has existed in some form or other for many centuries. For lack of a better definition, let us say that IS is built around the “End of Time” philosophy or as the Arabs would call it “crack of doom”, الكراكمنالعذاب.

The crack of doom has a big mythology surrounding it. The stories and myths have been passed down the years in story-telling from mother to child. I remember my mother and my grandmother used tell me about how there will be a big war between the Believers and the Infidels.

The Infidels will almost win the war after a bloody war lasting tens of years. However, at the very moment of defeat Mahdi will appear and God will destroy the earth. Then there will be the Judgement day. All sorts of blood-curdling things will happen and then God will decide who goes to heaven and who will be condemned to eternal damnation.

The End Time Philosophy is quite similar to the Christian End Times. They also have a huge battle of Armageddon and the Messiah coming to save the world by destroying it first. Armageddon is a physical place in Israel. I have been to the little town of Megiddo (Armageddon means Hills of Megiddo) which is just an ordinary town near the Sea of Galilee.

The Islamic End Time is also associated with a physical place. A little village in Northern Syria named Dabiq will be the supposed place for the End time War and Judgement. IS never misses the symbolism and the propaganda value. The main IS recruiting tool is an Internet magazine called Dabiq. Go figure!

Why the history dribble, you ask? I say, it is important to understand and recognize what we are fighting.

Dear Prime Minister, the strain of IS philosophy has been in our consciousness for eons. There has always been mullahs and militants who exploited the myth-ridden minds of the people. Due to the invasion of Iraq by the Cowboy President Bush, we have completely destabilized the Middle East.

The States that kept all the crackpots in check (yes, Saddam and Assad) no longer exist. So, we have the Islamic State which is singing the Siren songs to millions of people who are already infected by the idea of End Times and ready to sacrifice their lives.

Yes, IS does exist in Bangladesh, protestations by the Honorable Prime Minister notwithstanding. We have to have a serious way to deal with a serious problem. We cannot hide our heads in the sand and hope it will go away. The recent murders of the foreigners and the subsequent claims show that IS is pursuing a strategy of creating fear and loathing in Bangladesh by going after the softest targets possible.

There is no doubt that these murders and the murders of the bloggers are part of a larger plan to destabilize Bangladesh. I know the Prime Minster wants to besmirch her archenemy Khaleda Zia. However, the enemy is far bigger than the opposition leader. Misidentifying the enemy will simply divert the precious resources that we must use to combat an enemy far more lethal than anything we have seen since the days of the Third Reich.

Underestimating IS can be lethal to millions of people. Obama’s identifying the IS as a Junior Varsity team of Al Qaeda is a glaring example. That wrong diagnosis has resulted in 250,000 deaths in Syria, some 750,000 refugees to Europe. Because of that horrible miscalculation by our President Obama, the world is on the brink of an unimaginable bloodbath with Russia, US, NATO, Iran, Israel, and the Wahhabis in a big vat of Khichuri.

We cannot want the same fate for Bangladesh.

Mufti Jasim Uddin Rahmani (I am not sure how he confiscated the title of Mufti) has been in prison since 2013, but still exerts enormous influence. He says the Muslims have a religious obligation to find named bloggers and kill them. The result has been the murders of Avijit and many others. Ansar Bangla is not an aspirational bubble but hardcore operational entity that has trained killers who may be gullible, but killers nevertheless.

Denying they exist simply assures they will grow unchallenged and will eventually derail the current trajectory to prosperity for Bangladesh.

We need to take on IS in Bangladesh (Ansar Bangla or any other name) both in the physical sense using our best operational unit with hard edges (yes, bullets and jails) as well as in an ideological struggle.

These people are Takfiris without any care about the obligations that Takfir brings. They obviously are simply ignoring the fact that to call someone an apostate without real proof and certified by the Ulema, the Takifiri himself invites the death penalty. The Prime Minister needs to seek the help of the Ulema in Bangladesh denouncing the IS related Takfiris.

Since they do not accept the legal authority of the temporal world, maybe they would accept the death penalty for being a false Takfiri.

In order to combat this mortal enemy we need stop playing politics and focus on the clear and present danger that the false Takfiris present. Honorable Prime Minister the first step in this arduous task is to acknowledge and identify the enemy. The remedy will follow.

Kayes Ahmed is a businessman running multi-national operations from Colorado, USA.

22 Responses to “See no IS, hear no IS, there is no IS”

  1. sundar swapan

    Why the author adopts the policy of cherry picking in attacking pm for her denial the existence of IS in Bangladesh. So far I am aware almost all the intellectuals, senior journalists ,so called security analyst ( Brig. Shakhwat, Major Genral Rashid, Tareq Shamsher , Amina Mohsin, Mahfujullah you nam it ) all have been denying their existence since day one. And what about the protegee of the author BNP-Jamat gong ? They are also vehemently denying not only the presence of IS but of any terrorist in Bangladsh . Then why the author picks up Hasina and accuse her of being the culprit of denial. Is it because she is considered to be the easy target of all sorts of wild criticism with complete impunity. As a matter of fact our intelligentsia always seem to me what in Bengali we call “Seyana Ghugu”.

    • Kayes Ahmed

      Because she is the Prime Minister. There are some offices where lying has a much bigger impacton the wellbeing of the society.

  2. Bijoy

    Thank you very much Mr. Kayes Ahmed for a well written article. Although I do not agree with some parts of the text but fully agree with the main concern stated in his article “the enemy is far bigger than the opposition leader. Misidentifying the enemy will simply divert the precious resources that we must use to combat an enemy far more lethal than anything we have seen since the days of the Third Reich”.

    Some comments in response are very funny and immature, such as “How does the author know all this, living so far away from Bangladesh” or “You are a business man that resides in your Terrorist Creating Nation “America”, Which have created nothing but other terrorists in muslim nations, such as the middle east” although Mr Ahmed identified the core reason as “Due to the invasion of Iraq by the Cowboy President Bush, we have completely destabilized the Middle East.”

  3. Abdul Motaleb

    JAMAT- BNP’s propaganda machine, never far behind Goebbels, cunningly rolled into action just aftermath of two repeated unfortunate murder of foreign national in our country one in Dhaka the other in Rangpur so far the assailant couldn’t be identified and the sudden occurrence of this heinous act of assassination is beyond any doubt, for all of us a matter of extreme concern and in larger perspective Bangladesh has deeply come into the attention and discussion in the global media.
    So the BNP-JAMAT and their clique swung into seizing the right time to take the government in the dock in a synchronized briefing at home and abroad for the law and order situation and truly it is a role of the opposition to find the flaws on the part of government and bring them to the attention of people thereby put pressure on government to take corrective measure hence the equilibrium of state is maintained and it a norm and convention of democracy but if the sole aim and focus of the opposition is more towards degrading the government instead condemning the killers then the situation is very disappointing and skeptic
    Since our people are divided into pro and anti-liberation camp then the motive is clear nevertheless there is so far no clue and evidence could be established to these killings but the insight and intuition never let one sits inactive therefore ask inner self who are going to reap more and more harvest out of this malign situation so it is not required for one to have a PhD degree to figure out this simple matters
    Hope that a joint investigation of different agency finally will lead to unfold the conspiracy behind this ferocious act and to punish all killers and abettors must be brought to book.

    Motaleb
    Abu Dhabi UAE

  4. Anwar A. Khan

    Educationist Dr. ABM Nasir once wrote a wonderful opinion piece titled:”Our very own Hydra” in 2010 in this English Opinion Pages. I want to quote a few lines of his write-up which I strongly feel relevant to the IS context in Bangladesh:

    “Hydra, a water beast with nine heads and poisonous breath in Greek Mythology, couldn’t be killed simply by severing its head because each of the heads would grow back. The stump of each severed head had to be burned to prevent it from growing back. With the help of Iolaus, Hercules eventually managed to slaughter Hydra.

    Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh and its student wing, Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS), are like Hydras in Bangladesh with many roots in different names. Simply putting their cadres into jail is like severing Hydra’s heads. Failing to prosecute the alleged Jamaat and Shibir terrorists in the courts will surely have far reaching consequences.

    To keep that from happening, the government must combine judicial prosecution with effective campaign making both the public and the international community aware of the consequences of the fundamentalists’ rise to state power. The government must not do anything where it ends up losing public support and making extremists look as if they are the victims of a government witch-hunt. Only an effective prosecution and public campaign will deny extremist outfits opportunities to resort to violence and spread the venom of hatred.”

    Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh and its student wing, Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS), are like Hydras in Bangladesh with many roots in different names and IS is another root in a different name of JI and ICS.

    They look like Muslims but in fact, they are anti-Islamist, anti-Muslim and bitter enemies of humanity. They are thieves, liars, mass killers, looters, rapists and what not. They did all these crimes under the guise of Islam. Does Islam permit these things? We witnessed their very brutal characters during our Liberation War in 1971. They are the devils; they are the sinners. They are nothing but gangland killers. These communal and extremist forces are using the name of Islam as their shield to ascend the throne to make Bangladesh a slaughterhouse once again like 1971. Some of these savage forces are already brought to justice but the rest must be brought to justice without further delay. Otherwise they will bring about much more dreadful circumstance for the people of Bangladesh once again. And it will be far more dangerous than that of 1971. Jamaat and its various outfits including IS deserve to be banned and this is a dire need of the hour.

    The government is mandated with people’s vote to do just that. And we want to see that without further delay.

    • Kayes

      Yes Khan Sahib. I agree with you 100%. However, action requires political will and understanding the nature of the enemy. Not just spin and lies.

  5. Arefa Islam

    How does the author know all this,living so far away from Bangladesh?How can he prove that his source of information is authentic?

    • Kayes Ahmed

      Arefa: Knowledge and facts does not respect national boundaries. Try doing some of your own reaserch. It is better Dolce ice cream.

      Kayes

      • Ali

        Arefa: And nowadays Facts and Figures Floats and one just needs to be equipped with the passion to place these into a notable article. And one in the denial would raise questions in the most irrelevant manner. How is it possible that me a cook; sitting in the arm chair of the kitchen knows how much of the iceberg shows?

  6. mim

    Off Course You would say this Mr Kayes !
    You are a business man that resides in your Terrorist Creating Nation “America”, Which have created nothing but other terrorists in muslim nations, such as the middle east, could you kindly tell me Why are Terrorist ISIS Recruits are mainly coming from The West, not from the East ?
    and Why hasn’t Your Creations ISIS Target Your Beloved Israel, 10 Girls from Jamaat London Capital have already Atemptted to join your petro dollar ISIS in Syria from Jamaat Western Capital Tower Hamlets, Why hasn’t anyone or any Girls from Bangladesh Attempted to Join your Friends ISIS, Please let us know, Why There was No Attempt on Killing Foreign Nationals, While Your Western American Puppets Creations “The BNP and Wahhabi Jamaats” Khaleda was in Bangladesh, Why suddenly These Murders happened soon at The terrorist BNP Leader came to the UK, Are You Sure They didn’t instruct their goons to kill off Foreigners to discredit the current government so that your BNP and Jamaats can Fill up this Political With their Terrorist Politics.
    You are a business man and an opportunist Just Like Your Ziaur and his entire Terrorist Klan of Khaleda, Tariq and Jamaats !

    • Kayes

      Hello mim:

      I am not interested in Bangladeshi politics. I am just pained that the PM gets up and lies thru her teeth! That makes her words have less and less impact. The Western world provide miniscule number of foreign fighters. Most come from neighboring countries and Centeral Asia. Of the 20,000 Europe provides about 5,000 who are mainly imigrants who has not assimilated in the culture. here is a link for greater details http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/islamic-state/11770816/Iraq-and-Syria-How-many-foreign-fighters-are-fighting-for-Isil.html . I know you are AL partisan. I like that you write so passionately. However, little facts would make you much more credible. Ine thing you should know, most goverment people (all governmnets) are not very smart. The conspiracy theories that you spin are the fruits of your mind. Good for you. At least you have imagination. Keep it up.

      Kayes

      • mim

        You also seem to have a lot of conspiracy theories, tell me one thing why isn’t your terrorist creating america bombing down ISIS, Why are the Russians cleaning up your dirty rotten mess that you terrorist creators created since your america was born, they even created your terrorist puppet bnp and jamaat alliance, them being behind the recent killings is nothing new, its all historical facts, why are you digging information from western media rather then doing research from bangladesh ?

      • Akhtar shah.

        Well put.
        But alas “wrong tree”‘and “barking” spring to ones mind!

      • Amit Kumar

        You say you have “no interest in politics” yet you write about politics in this country! At least try to come up with some clever form of double-speak, why don’t you? And what ‘multi-national operations’ do you run from the United States of America, pray tell? What agenda drives you to write on Bangladeshi politics when you say you have “no interest in politics”?
        While we are all very happy that Bangladeshis like yourself have immigrated to the Western world and are earning a living, “running multi-national operations,” it does not however give you any basis to pontificate about the country whose very existence allowed most of you to immigrate to the West! Come to Bangladesh, see what the reality is, and then write about things going on here.

  7. Dr A Rahman

    This Honourable Prime Minister has the undeniable zeal and proclivity of denying anything that she does not agree with. Over two years ago, she said in a BBC interview that there is ‘no corruption in Bangladesh’! Even a seasoned interviewer like Stephen Sackur (who conducts ‘Hard Talk’) was taken aback. IS does not exist in Bangladesh is another of her famous assertion. She has almost succeeded in establishing 3 million deaths in Bangladesh liberation war out of total falsehood. These false assertions do not make the country dear to the world.

    • Kayes

      Dr. Rahman:

      If 3 million were killed then the Pakistani Army would have to do the killing in Industrail scale. something like 17,987 persons killed a day. I was on of the guys causing some of the mayem from the other side of the Pakistanis, I can vouch that so such Industrial sacle killing took place. The murders were more diabolical because they were religion and sect based. In Sylhet toen itself, I think the total number of deaths were around 1,600. We counted the dead in January of 1972.

      All politicians spin. There is fine line between spin and outright lies. Unfortunately, the PM has broken that line and descended to the Basement of Lies some years ago. Shame!

      Kayes

  8. Akteruzzaman Chowdhury

    The hallmark of IS is “suicide bombing”. There are no suicide bombers in Bangladesh, Hence no IS.

    • Kayes Ahmed

      Just ingore these crazies and wait a while. You shall see.

    • Kayes

      One more thing. Suicide bombing is NOT IS hallmark. That particular atrocity was first depoyed by The Tamil Tigers, adopted by Chechens, then by the Iraqi opposition. Eventually by everyone. Just some facts if you will.

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