DHAKA: Bangladesh is to blame for recent terrorist attacks committed by individuals linked to the country (“East Is East: Bangladesh Exports a New Generation of Jihadists,” op-ed, Dec. 29). The title is also misleading. Bangladesh is a democratic aSnd secular nation. Its citizens enjoy the right to free speech and practice different religions guaranteed by its constitution.
The Bangladesh government has long had a zero-tolerance policy toward all forms of terrorism and violent extremism. Recently, for example, Bangladeshi police arrested a leader of the Jamaat’ ul Mujahideen Bangladesh, an extremist group, who was a suspect in a 2014 explosion in India’s West Bengal. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has established several programs to stop radicalization, focusing on high-risk groups. The government also created the National Education Policy, which reformed the curricula in Islamic religious schools to reflect secularism. The government has provided police protection to those citizens who anticipate possible terrorist attacks. Moreover, the government has aggressively prosecuted anyone who took part in attacks on its citizens, regardless of their faith.