The situation becomes even more chilling when you consider the situation as reported in Bangla news channels.
1. These three assailants did not know Washiqur, did not know of Washiqur, and didn’t even know how he looked like, where he lived and what he had done to warrant the wrath of the fundies.
2. These three assailants didn’t even know each other. They are students of Islam, in their middle to late 20s. Of the two who have been captured, one (Zikrullah) is a student of a Madrassah in Chittagong, the main seaport in southern Bangladesh, and the other (Ariful) is a student of another Madrassah (under same management) in a district in more centrally located Dhaka. The distance between the two is about 180 miles, but because of the terrain, by road the journey from one to the other takes about 6 hours. They must have been motivated enough to make that journey.
3. The same person called all three of them to Dhaka. He explained to them that Washiqur had to be killed because he had insulted Islam and the Prophet. He brought the trio to Washiqur’s locality and pointed out his house, as well as familiarized them with a photo of Washiqur. They had detailed discussions on the daily routine of Washiqur and the pathway he follows to work. Next, he gave three machetes (“choppers”) to the three of them and told them to go ahead.
I don’t know what kind of hold this person had on the three, but apparently, his words were good enough. The captured two have stated that they belong to no religious or fundamentalist organization. They committed this horrific act simply at the behest of that person, the organizer, and they showed no trace of remorse – something I cannot wrap my head around.
What kind of hold can one human have on another human, so that the latter can – without compunction – go and commit an act of ultimate violence, murder, upon a stranger? The obvious parallel that comes to my mind is soldiers, who sometimes go to foreign lands and wage war on people – doing exactly as they are instructed by their commanding officers, without question or dissent. These three assailants seem very soldierly in that respect. But what war are they fighting? What do they represent? If religion or religious belief supplies the kindling that can burst into flames of murderous violence, how does that religion claim to be a philosophy or practice of “peace”?