Attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh

I got this from my CNN newsfeed, and you can read a bit more if you click the link in the post:

“Police exchanged gunfire with attackers in a diplomatic zone of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Here’s what we know:

  • Gunmen are holding about 20 people hostage at Holey Artisan Bakery, a cafe popular with expatriates, cafe owner Sumon Reza told CNN.
  • An officer in charge of a nearby police station was shot dead, Maruf Hasan of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police said.
  • Police are trying to find out the demands of the gunmen, an officer in Dhaka tells CNN.
  • Assailants have thrown grenades at police, a source at the scene said.”

Bangladesh is going to hell. As the longer CNN report notes:

The attack comes on the same day a Hindu priest was hacked to death at his temple in Bangladesh’s southwestern district of Jhenaidah early Friday, police said.

That incident was the latest in a wave of murders across Bangladesh of secular bloggers, academics and religious minorities such as Hindus, Christians, Buddhists and Sufi Muslims — despite a nationwide government crackdown and the arrest of more than 14,000 people.

The government launched an anti-militant drive across the Muslim-majority nation last month to stamp out the murders, but many of those detained are believed to be ordinary criminals and not Islamic extremists.

Home to almost 150 million Muslims, the country until recently had avoided the kind of radicalism plaguing others parts of the world. But that’s changing as the attacks seem designed to silence those to dare to criticize Islam.

One high-profile killing was the murder of Bangladeshi-American writer Avijit Roy in 2014 that occurred right outside Dhaka’s annual book fair. In April, a well-known LGBT activist and his friend were murdered.

The trend has sparked debate about the involvement of ISIS.

The group, which calls itself the Islamic State, has claimed a number of the attacks through its media affiliates, but the Bangladesh government has consistently denied any ISIS presence in the country. Other attacks have been claimed by local Islamist groups.



  1. Ullrich Fischer
    Posted July 1, 2016 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m hereby calling for a boycott of I clicked on the first link in this blog and almost immediately a commercial for BMO started up at full volume. I was not able to shut it down or even close the tab in firefox for about 45 seconds. This kind of intrusive advertising needs to be discouraged.

    • Posted July 1, 2016 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

      Agree 100%.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted July 2, 2016 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Followed the link with NoScript running (as I do every site) – no intrusive advertising. Layout was a bit messed up – 3 pages of photos before the text started, but that’s not a problem.
      CNN actually seem to be relatively clean in this respect. I only see scripts from and their content distribution network. Trying to figure out which of 20 different networks to allow to get the content without the screeching distraction efforts is a routine thing. So a ot of sites I just give up on. If they don’t want readers, then they won’t get them.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 1, 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    What I see on TV CNN is pretty much the same. 6 or more gunmen and roughly 20 hostages. When you go out and round up 14,000 people it would say that you either have no idea what is going on or you are going after opposition. Higher end neighborhood where the embassies are located.

  3. jeffery
    Posted July 1, 2016 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I read that they were shouting, “Allahu Akbar” as they attacked- surely religion has NOTHING to do with this incident! Another article referred to them with the watered-down term, “militants”, which one hears more in reference to atheists and feminists than to what THEY are: religiously-motivated fascist terrorist murderers.

    • Zado
      Posted July 1, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      I’m afraid I agree with you. It’s gotten to the point that I no longer feel a twinge of guilt when I hear about an act of organized, murderous violence and wonder, before anything else, what the attackers were shouting as they carried out their plan.

      Welcome to the new normal.

    • Posted July 2, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      According to a report, the terrorists demanded the hostages recite the quran, and those who couldn’t were hacked to death. Sounds like religious motivation to me.

      • Posted July 3, 2016 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

        Turns out the terrorists were educated young men from elite Bangladeshi families. Wow.

  4. Heather Hastie
    Posted July 1, 2016 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been watching the coverage of this for several hours now mostly on CNN, but some on Fox News. They have referred to the multiple previous attacks in the last couple of years by Islamists but not once has the word “atheist” been mentioned.

    In an interview with a former US ambassador (James Moriarty – good name) he talked only of eight months of attacks, which is when they started attacking people other than atheists – Shi’a, Buddhists, gays, Hindus, academics.

    Once or twice they’ve said secular bloggers, but it’s usually just bloggers, or maybe “bloggers who are critical of Islam.” Never atheist bloggers.

    We have been told we need to pray for the people in the restaurant.

    It’s like “atheist” is a dirty word, and no-one cares if they get killed. It’s annoying me quite a lot.

  5. somer
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    Arif Rahman interviewed on the Rubin Report talks about how Bangladesh secular constitution has been continuously undermined since the secular founding president was assassinated in the mid 1990s
    Arif Rahman (secularist living in UK)
    on killings of the bloggers

    and on regressive left

  6. sensorrhea
    Posted July 2, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Dean Obeidallah on Twitter said the most amazing thing. He claimed that Muslim on Muslim violence by definition can’t be about Islam. This is just hilarious in it’s willful ignorance and illogic. I guess the English Civil War wasn’t about religion either.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted July 2, 2016 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      I guess the English Civil War wasn’t about religion either.

      Errr, it wasn’t. In rather the same way that the American Civil War also was religiously motivated massacres of Protestants by Protestants.
      I’ll grant you that one of the victorious generals (Cromwell) then went on a campaign of religiously-motivated massacre in Ireland after the end of the Civil War.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted July 3, 2016 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

          The English parliament refused to vote enough money for Charles to defeat the Scots without the King giving up much of his authority

          That was far and away the most important sticking point. At that time there were dozens of infighting septs of Protestantism shouting at each other in Britain, but not generally coming to blows. There continued to be infighting between the septs within both Royalist and Parliamentarian sides, but the politics of the war was about financial policy and accountability, not religion.
          By the same standards, Vietnam was a religious war too, by the same standards, since the losing combatant had religious disputes going on at home and within it’s armies in the field, as well as racial tensions.

          • sensorrhea
            Posted July 9, 2016 at 9:19 am | Permalink

            You should take it up with Wikipedia at this point since that page is literally dedicated to “wars of religion.” In any case even if your argument is sound the larger point remains and boasts many other examples if I chose a bad one in your view.

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted July 10, 2016 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

              You should take it up with Wikipedia at this point since that page is literally dedicated to “wars of religion.”

              I don’t have any problem with correcting things that are wrong and important in Wikipedia. This is about religion, and so isn’t important enough to waste time on. I’ll let someone who cares about articles on religion being “right” in some detectable manner take on that exercise in self-flagellation.

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