‘IS has taken focus out of Bangladesh’s own turmoil’

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Kolkata, July 8 (IANS) A day after the second terrorist attack in Bangladesh, historian and commentator Vijay Prashad on Friday said over-emphasis on Islamic State (IS) has taken the focus out of the contemporary turmoil faced by the country.

“Bangladesh is in amidst immense turmoil and has been for a quite long time. But by giving it the name of IS, attacks easily get deflected from contemporary Bangladeshi realities and contradictions,” said Prashad.

“The moment you say its IS behind the attack, Bangladesh’s contradictions get suspended. As the phenomenon (IS) is from far away, the government doesn’t have to think about it and turns to the Americans and say we want to be part of the war against terror can you finance us,” he said.

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“Suddenly, Shahbag disappears, poverty disappears, and hacking of the bloggers disappears. So when it’s IS, it means you don’t have to think about your society’s complicity in the production of violence. It’s now from outside and nothing to do with us,” said Prashad.

The Trinity College (Cambridge) professor made the observations while delivering a lecture on terrorism at the Jadavpur University here.

While the July 1 attack in a cafe in Dhaka 20 hostages, mostly foreigners, were killed, on Thursday, Bangladesh witnessed a fresh attack on the Eid day at Kishoreganj’s Sholakia, in which four persons including two policemen lost their lives.

Prashad also blamed the blamed the media for stereotyping of Muslims as terrorists.

“Given the fact that there is no obligation for the media to describe what terrorism is, so when the perpetrator of a violent act apparently is a Muslim, it immediately gets defined as terror act.

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“When a person enters a school in America and randomly sprays bullets killing children, it isn’t called a terror act, but in case of a suicide bomber we take him as a terrorist,” said Prashad calling for a change in the prejudice.





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