Following a wave of attacks on minorities and openly secular bloggers, Bangladeshi police in Dhaka (above) announced that they had rounded up 900 suspected Islamist extremists involved in these crimes. Photo by Jorg Hackemann/Shuttertstock
DHAKA, Bangladesh, June 10 (UPI) -- Bangladesh police arrested some 900 suspected Islamist extremists after a wave of attacks on minorities and openly secular bloggers.
About 40 targeted killings of bloggers, self-identified atheists, gay-rights activists, academics and members of minority religions have occurred in Bangladesh in the past three years. The victims are often bludgeoned or hacked to death with machetes on a city street.
A university professor was killed in April though his family said he did not fit the profile of the other victims. His death suggests the extremists may have widened the list of those at risk.
The pace is accelerating, with five people killed in April, four in May and three thus far in June.
Islamic extremists just need to kill somebody; they don't care who.
Some observers noted the recent killing of the wife of a police officer may have prompted the crackdown, the BBC said.
With each death since 2013 came an international outcry. The largest police response came after Avjit Roy, 42, an American citizen, was killed in February 2015. A worker in the U.S. biotechnology industry, Roy spent his off-duty hours as a vociferous writer and blogger, writing about science, homosexuality and religion, with a secular slant.
Bangladeshi authorities say they have identified leaders of two groups they believe are responsible for the killings. Both groups are comprised of Islamist fundamentalists, and each trains volunteers in the assaults. Monirul Islam, chief of the country's police counterterrorism office, told The New York Times the groups' goal is to convert Bangladesh's uneasy mix of secular and religious cultures to Islamic fundamentalism.
The militants have succeeded in discrediting secularism in Bangladeshi society, Islam said.
"In general, people think they have done the right thing, that it's not unjustifiable to kill" bloggers, secularists and gay rights supports, he said.
This, I believe, is the general direction that strong Muslim societies are going. The Taliban, Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, etc., etc., are leading the way for more fundamentalist Islam to take hold, and now unnamed groups are popping up to follow the terrorist's lead. If that isn't disturbing enough, it seems the majority of people in Dhaka agree with them. There are 7 million people in Dhaka.
It is just as likely that the majority of Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Afghans agree with them, too. There are 370 million people in those three countries.
Murdering infidels is an inalienable right in Islam. Mohammed said so.