07/08/2016, 14.59
BANGLADESH
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Bangladeshi TV stations broadcast call to young people who joined IS to come back

by Sumon Corraya

About a hundred young people have gone missing in recent weeks. The authorities have urged families to file a complaint, but only ten have done so. Dhaka attackers had also left home. Bangladesh’s biggest challenge today is not poverty, but religious extremism.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Many young Bangladeshis have recently gone missing, to join, most likely, the ranks of the Islamic State group. For this reason, some private TV stations yesterday broadcast public service announcements appealing to them to “come back for their family, for their nation, for humanity”.

Local media have reported that more than 100 young people have disappeared in recent weeks. Police asked the family to file a complaint to monitor the situation. So far, the parents of only ten of them (pictured) have informed the authorities.

These appeals come a week away from the tragic attack against a café in the capital that left 20 people dead, mostly foreigners.

Even the terrorists who carried out the attack against the Holey Artisan Bakery café in Gulshan had walked out on their families, leaving them without news for months.

Various Muslim and Christian told AsiaNews that they are against religious violence perpetrated in the name of Islam. For them, Bangladesh’s biggest challenge today is not poverty, but religious extremism.

"Islam does not allow any type of murder and persecution,” said Iqbal Islam, a young Dhaka Muslim. “Those who behave this way are not Muslims but animals ". He is not alone. Other young people also insist that Islam "does not encourage to kill anyone."

For Nirmal Rozario, general secretary of the Bangladesh Christian Association, "the greatest obstacle for the country is religious extremism. People do not die from lack of food, but because of those who act in the name of religion."

"To overcome this, the government, police and ordinary people must work together against extremism.” To do so, “we must implement educational policies, enforce the law and properly teach children."

There was a time when "Bangladesh was a land of harmony,” he explained. “That is why the country wanted independence from Pakistan in 1971. Sadly, today we see a group that is destroying our culture of harmony. Everyone should prevent it."

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