Islamist extremism in Bangladesh may be countered, but not easily

K. Anis Ahmed in Time:

ScreenHunter_2101 Jul. 18 05.33As Bangladesh continues to reel from the terrorist attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery on July 1, like so many people I know, it has crossed my mind that I could have been there.

I am friends with the owners, and every other day I would meet friends and family for coffee on the cafe’s manicured lawns. My wife and I always spoke with pride of our apartment being “right around the corner” from Holey, which was an oasis, a sanctuary, in a city that has now changed forever. Things may never be the same again here, most grievously for the families who lost their loved ones, but for the country too. Indeed, it may mark a turning point so severe that years from now people will think of Bangladesh in terms of pre- and post-Holey.

After such a disfiguring calamity, the biggest question is always, Why? Yet looking for a reason based on the stated claims of terrorists is a mistake. There is no need for a reason when it comes to convincing young men to join groups promising violence in the name of a cause. Islam is not needed, religion is not needed; all that is needed is a sense of righteous injustice and unique victimhood.

The puppet masters, whoever they are, have a clear goal: to grab state power using an ideology that will turn recruits into terrorists while gaining credence with parts of the population. Already, I see comments on social media about Western hegemony, economic inequality and other factors that might have motivated the killers, as if those are legitimate grounds for such an outrage. Let us be clear — there are no legitimate grounds.

More here.