Merriam-Webster defines terrorism as, “the use of violent acts to frighten people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal,” or in other words, the act of instilling fear. So terrorism is measured by how successful it is in doing so.
Does the country react to terrorism with panic or calm? What actions are taken against the act or toward protection? These questions define how a terrorist act is seen. I have a question today, and I do not think I have the answer to it: How should countries react to a terrorist act?
The New York Times reported that Joggeshwar Das was beheaded Sunday in Bangladesh. He was a 50-year-old, high-ranking Hindu priest in a predominantly Muslim country. He was attacked while performing a prayer by the veranda of his house and on Monday, three men were arrested in relation to his death. Of them, two are associated with a local banned militant group and the third was associated with the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, the largest Islamic political party in Bangladesh, the Times reported.
That same day, the Islamic State resorted to Twitter to claim responsibility for the attack and some other attacks that have recently happened in the country. According to the Inquisitr, Bangladesh has refuted and put the blame on local groups assumed to be associated with political rivalry in the country.
Why is ISIS claiming responsibility? ISIS must be claiming responsibility to induce terror. If ISIS attacks Hindu priests, a Roman Catholic missionary, a Shiite mosque and the like, they keep reminding people and countries how formidable they can be. ISIS proves that it causes terror in people. Have they actually committed these attacks? I do not know.
Why is Bangladesh denying the involvement of ISIS? It must be to not cater to the definition of terrorism. If members of the Bangladeshi government prove to be unaffected by ISIS and its acts and if they arrest local groups, they discredit ISIS and subvert its power. I cannot and will not know if ISIS was actually responsible for these attacks, but the Bangladeshi government might. Yet independent of who is the culprit and how much knowledge is available out there, it is the actions of both that are intriguing.
Who is more powerful? Is it ISIS for saying that it is causing all of this chaos or is it Bangladesh for ignoring these claims? How should Bangladesh react? Should it keep doing what it is doing or acknowledge ISIS’s claims? What do the citizens deserve?
If the media is presenting ISIS’s claims and the citizens are reading them, I wonder if they are scared or completely faithful to their government. Whereas Bangladesh is subverting ISIS by denying its claims at all (they might be false), if these claims are true, would it be smarter for Bangladesh to acknowledge them and then say that they will overcome this and fight against the fear and terror?
I do not know. I cannot begin to understand how politically tricky such a situation can be, but by human nature, I still wonder and write about it. Sometimes, it is not about having a strong stand or an answer. It is simply about questioning.