Police try to block websites that praise holy war. The number of young people radicalised online is growing. The extremist who tried to stab Prof Iqbal was inspired on the Dawahilallah forum.
Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Some websites that teach how to become the "perfect terrorist" are accessible in Bangladesh.
In the South Asian nation, more and more young people are being radicalised via the web even though many extremist groups have been banned.
Such was the case of Foyzur Rahman Faizul, the militant who stabbed Prof Muhammad Zafor Iqbal in Sylhet, a well-known writer and critic of Islamic extremism. Two days ago, he was discharged from the hospital and returned home.
The incident has alarmed many people who fear a new wave of violence against pro-democracy intellectuals and free thinkers. The latter have been targeted in recent years as enemies of Islam.
The Bangladeshi government is struggling to cope with the myriad of websites that praise radical Islam.
In the course of its investigation, Bangladeshi police found that Foyzur became indoctrinated on a website called Dawahilallah (pictured), a forum run by members of Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) and Ansar Al-Islam, two well-known terrorist groups.
According to the authorities, the radical Muslim was drawn to extremism by listening to the sermons of Jashimuddin Rahmani (jailed for illegal activities) and reading the contents of the site.
Many sites, blogs, forums are available on the web offering varied content in Bengali – articles, videos and audios – to motivate aspiring terrorists to engage in holy war.
One of them is a blog called Allahorpatheahoban (Call to the way of Allah), which praises Bin Laden and the bombers of the 1 July 2016 massacre at the Holey Artisan Bakery Cafe in Dhaka.
Against a backdrop of increasingly accessible content online, law enforcement agencies have been trying to block sites that promote radical activities. The greatest difficulty, and the authorities know this, is that the militants can organise quickly and open ever new sites.
Despite the attack against him, Prof Iqbal has forgiven his aggressor. He spoke at the welcome-back ceremony at his university in Sylhet
“Foyzur Rahman tried to kill me to go heaven,” he said. “I am not an atheist. I have read the Quran very attentively. Come to me without your weapons and ask me questions. I will answer all your questions”.