Buzzing Blogosphere: The Growing Tentacles of ISIS

Those with endless faith in humanity vouch that terrorism has no religion. Yet, looking at the catastrophes that world has witnessed last week does make us question humanity. The ISIS and other terrorist organizations that declared their allegiance to them have been wreaking havoc, from Dhaka to Istanbul and Baghdad. The increasing brutality of attacks has gotten everyone worried about the war on their doorsteps. This string of attacks eviked responses from the bloggers, which we have compiled for you in this week’s Buzzing Blogosphere.

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Not soon after we had come to terms with the Istanbul airport attack, that another alarming news flashed – the one about the manslaughter in the Holey Artisan bakery at Dhaka. In the court of life and death held by the jihadists, only the ones who recite the Quran by heart lived, while all others were mercilessly butchered. The number of victims might be less than what other recent attacks saw, but what stood out was the brutality of killings. ISIS took full responsibility with six of its militants laying dead and the seventh being interrogated. As we look deep into the matters, the terrorist attack in our neighbor’s territory is seen as something predictable had governments been vary of the lurking tension, as Frustrated Indian quotes,

There is nothing surprising about an attack of this kind taking place in Dhaka. It was long due. For quite some time now, Bangladesh has been a growing hotbed of Islamic terror. Rape and murder of the Hindu minority is daily news there. An untold number of secular bloggers, dissidents and even LGBT activists have been butchered in broad daylight, and the toll has increased in the last two years. Bangladesh might have been separated from Pakistan in 1971, but its foolishness to believe that it has no fertile ground for jihad. Already, it is a strong base for Pakistan’s ISI, a safe haven for separatist outfits like ULFA and NSCN factions, and now a rising IS base. Why do we forget that the idea of Pakistan did not originate in Lahore or Karachi, but in the likes of Dhaka, Aligadh and Kolkata. Muslim League’s bulk votes and leaders/cadre came from central provinces and undivided Bengal.

Lots has been said about the clear trend of violence that lead up to Dhaka attacks. Bangladesh has seen a spate of extremist attacks in the past. Until now the violence was only in form of individual targets, but the Friday siege has been a big blow to the government. Jason Burke writes,

Friday’s attack, however, was an operation of a much greater magnitude. Early reports suggest at least five gunmen, armed with sufficient automatic weapons and grenades to repel at least one assault by local police. Western intelligence have been nervous about a major operation for at least 18 months. Indications of a complex plan to attack a diplomatic ball last year prompted much alarm – and pressure from western capitals on Dhaka to move effectively against the militant networks existing in the unstable south Asian nation.This attack, however it ends, will make it much more difficult for both authorities in Dhaka and international observers to ignore the threat of extremist Islam in one of the biggest Muslim majority countries in the world.

Days before, ISIS killed nearly 41 people in the Ataturk Airport, after taking 5 innocent lives in Qaa a day earlier. As the Yemen war continues to rage, they also took full credit for killing 12 people in Mukalla attacks. It is but natural to perceive that the repeated ISIS attacks surged right after they lost territory in Syria and Iraq. While military forces do manage to drive ISIS out of the their territories, yet these gains are offset by the loss of civilian lives in other cities and countries. As we fight against the root cause, the weed of terrorism keeps flowering bigger and stronger. One way or the other, rulers are uprooted, civilians are killed through drones and fire attacks, taking a toll on many at once. Phyllis Bennis writes,

Once again, it demonstrates the futility of attempting to bomb or shoot terrorism out of existence. When bombing and shooting are the methods of choice the targets are not “terrorism”, but cities and people. Air strikes and drone attacks — on people in a car, in the desert, in a hospital or at a wedding party — may sometimes kill individual terrorists (and always other people), but do nothing to stop terrorism. Leaders are soon replaced and the most adept bomb-makers soon turn out to have trained a successor. Military engagement may have worked in some areas to oust ISIS forces from territory they controlled, but the cost of such campaigns is extraordinarily high for the people and nations where they occur.

While the death toll keeps rising  and invading into earlier safe havens, one questions as to where does the Istanbul attack branch to? As the motive behind could be uncertain for innumerable reasons, Turkey has visibly been under assault from various militant groups. As we keep thanking God for keeping our near and dear ones safe from the attacks, the rising feeling is that no one is safe anywhere. Rose Asani opines,

Though both blasts happened in areas frequented by tourists, it still felt as if this was a message for the Turkish Government, rather than a desire for mass loss of life. The most recent attack was clearly different. It targeted the main airport and it was co-ordinated. Eye-witnesses have spoken about three attackers who opened fire before blowing themselves up. Suddenly this doesn’t feel like an insurrection against oppression; it’s more reminiscent of what happened in Brussels and Paris.

As the peace and divinity of Ramadan promises to keep a blanket of compassion and bliss over humanity, leashing the devil of temptation and desire, bringing us closer to the holy power and his Ibadat, some people are using the same Holy Book for their selfish and terrifying ends. It is highly unfortunate for the divine souls who keep their faith alive to have their festivity soured by such actions that bring them under cruel scrutiny. With Istanbul, Baghdad and Dhaka undergoing the wrath of maleficent forces, does world have a peaceful future? Dilshad D. Ali, thinks our aloud

Even within our own American Muslim community and leadership, making its way to the end of Ramadan, spent with the highs and lows of worship, community, love and God-focus while witnessing these horrors unfold – we are left wondering, what should we do? Write another open letter of condemnation of ISIS and all the hate and anti-faith, anti-religion, anti-humanity that it stands for? Issue statements of support for the victims in Istanbul, Dhaka and Baghdad (that is already happening)?

The warning signal by the ISIS went louder than Istanbul, with an even crueler attack at Dhaka. While Bangladesh had been undergoing such violent attacks for quite some time reflecting the internal flame about to trigger into a big volcano, this attack is meant to send larger message to Bangladesh as well as its neighbour India. The jihadists have clearly claimed to give back a loud and clear answer to the animosity against Muslims being carried out openly by the Hindus in India and we can sense the danger nearing us day by day. Are we as a nation equipped to save ourselves from the storming rage that we might be the next target of? The question haunts more than the impending dangers. Vicky Nanjappa puts forwards his views,

The attack in Dhaka on Friday night is a wake call not just for Bangladesh, but India as well. The writing was on the wall and there were several warning signals. The ISIS has claimed responsibility for the same but officials in Bangladesh are not ready as yet to credit the organisation for the same.The ISIS claiming credit for the attack was on expected lines. The outfit has been doing that after every major attack in any part of the world. While it may be too early to state that this was an attack by the ISIS one must understand that this outfit has big plans for the region. Let us look at this interview that appeared on the outfit’s mouth piece, Dabiq recently. The interview clearly lays out the plan that the ISIS has for both Bangladesh and India.

With terrorism always round the corner, one can find hardly find a place where death doesn’t lurk. What was the fault of those who went to the Holey Artisan Bakery for a cheers and laughter after Iftaar, with endless faith in God who might be walking beside them, protecting them from the soulless beasts that take his name? Amongst those slain in the torture, were Tarishi Jain an Indian, Faraaz Hossain, a Bangladeshi and Abinta Kabir an American Bangladeshi, the young minds of the world who had bright future ahead of them. The attack was purely intended against foreign nationals and to strike terror amongst ‘outsiders’. Oakes Spalding writes,

My own view is that the statistics matter. It matters how many lost their lives. But just as 9/11 was in part made real for us by the individual pictures of the jumpers or the stories of the desperate phone calls made to loved ones by those trapped in the upper floors, we should, when we can, try not to forget that these “mass casualty” events happened to real human beings. I assume each of us can imagine being one of them. An obvious point, and it can’t be made without sounding trite but there it is.

As Bangladesh enters the world map of terrorist stricken nations, the minority country has undergone a big change within a night of bloodshed. As the ruins of religion and faith haunt the people of the country known for their undeniable hospitality, the common man has got a fear of death lurking on their heads forever. Terrorism goes much beyond the bomb blasts and suicide killings. It seeps into the mind and lifestyle of common man who unintentionally thinks twice before stepping out of the confines of his house.  A Guest Post at Quint brings out the woes of a common resident of Bangladesh, filled with fear of the masked ISIS

I have to check in with my family every time I leave my apartment and return back in the evening – something which I used to loosely follow earlier but now has become a cardinal rule. The incidents were not targeted at a particular group or community but to strike against hope, good will and reason in our society, and perhaps last night they may have finally succeeded. There has been a steady sense of trepidation and caution building up amongst the people which now make us think twice before moving out of the house or discussing the situation in open. We have either become accustomed to it, or we do not know who to trust anymore! Needless to say neither of these thoughts are particularly comforting.

With ISIS, one can not imagine the height and expansion of manslaughter that might be knocking at the door. To add to the horror, there are reports of an impending chemical attack too. While the former has already tried its chemical ambitions in Iraq and Syria, one can expect the turbulence to hit any of us soon in the most powerful ways. Now is the right time to gear up against the power of their hatred. Joshua Meservey, talks about the imminent danger,

In fact, ISIS has already perpetrated chemical attacks in Iraq and northern Syria. Iraqi intelligence officials claim that the group even has a unit focused on researching and building chemical weapons. Fortunately, ISIS has not been able to realize its chemical ambitions outside Iraq and Syria yet, but it is sure to continue trying. Morocco’s success in breaking up the ISIS cell in February—one of 25 terror plots it claims it has foiled recently—and its broader efforts against terrorism offer some lessons for how counter terror officials in the United States and Europe can make it more difficult for ISIS to carry out such an attack.

As bigger attacks keep questioning our security systems and political incapability of bringing in peace despite big unions heading us, world is indeed in a dire need of a larger solution. We need to join hands irrespective of religion, regions and political barriers, for our fight is for humanity. Those who get killed under the name of false faith are nothing but humans, the children of that one Power every religion speaks of. Although the present doesn’t promise of sugar coated future, we need to keep our hopes of a solution alive. We stand by our endless faith that will one day bestow the sunshine over humanity. We end on a heart wrenching prose by Shabana Mir, looking for answers beneath the coffins and behind the blood stains.

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