The recent arrests of Bangladeshi foreign workers in Singapore demonstrate that the extremist Islamist challenge within Bangladesh is beginning to affect regional neighbours. Dhaka needs to exercise zero tolerance toward the threat.
The recent arrests in Singapore under the Internal Security Act of two separate groups of Bangladeshi foreign workers – 27 late last year and a further eight last month – have raised eyebrows. The arrests are instructive in three senses:
First, they show how the competition between Al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) for leadership of the global jihad movement has become globalised. Second, they reinforce how extremist Islamist ideology – a worldview that justifies the violent setting up of an Islamic State – can thrive in a conducive sociopolitical environment. Third, they affirm that confronting extremist Islamism simply requires zero tolerance.
… Associate Professor Kumar Ramakrishna is Head of Policy Studies and Coordinator of the National Security Studies Programme in the Office of the Executive Deputy Chairman, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. An earlier version appeared in The Straits Times.
Last updated on 17/05/2016