April 23, 2016: ISIS assassination in Bangladesh

On April 23, 2016 ISIS killed a teacher in Bangladesh demonstrating just how much the terrorist group fears the liberating power of education

RAJSHAHI, BANGLADESH – Terrorist groups go to extraordinary lengths to justify killing.

Do you have a favourite teacher from your youth? I have several at the elementary, secondary and university levels, women and men who made a huge difference in my life and helped me become the person I am today.

Teachers can inspire, urge and challenge us, convincing us to strive for heights we may not think we are capable of. To have a great one, or better SEVERAL great ones, is indeed a blessing.

‘To be’ a teacher is a wonderful thing! (Photo: Taken by Connor Ashleigh for AusAID, DFAT flickr account, CC-BY 2.0)

Islamist terrorist groups tend to differ on these points.

It’s not that they are AGAINST education, as long as the instruction reflects their antediluvian version of Islam (and does not include girls and women of course). It is not surprising then that the Nigerian jihadi group Boko Haram – Hausa for ‘Western education is forbidden’ – regularly attacks schools in the northern part of the country. The Chibok girls abduction is merely the most famous of these atrocities.

And Boko Haram is not the only violator in this regard.

On this day in 2016

A university professor was hacked to death in northwestern Bangladesh by local Islamist terrorists. The Islamic State (ISIS)-linked Aamaq news agency stated that the group was responsible for the attack. In a posting they said that Rezaul Karim Siddique was killed for “calling for atheism.” As the professor was neither an avowed atheist nor an anti-religious campaigner the claim, like so many others by ISIS, rang hollow.

Terrorists are afraid of education because they realise students will learn that what these groups stand for is a lie. Here’s to more education!

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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