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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 24-Apr-2016
24-Apr-16 World View -- Bangladesh in shock after university professor hacked to death

Web Log - April, 2016

24-Apr-16 World View -- Bangladesh in shock after university professor hacked to death

Europe goes on charm offensive with Turkey on migrant deal

This morning's key headlines from

Europe goes on charm offensive with Turkey on migrant deal

EU and Turkish officials surrounded by hot Muslim chicks at Gaziantep, Turkey, refugee camp on Saturday
EU and Turkish officials surrounded by hot Muslim chicks at Gaziantep, Turkey, refugee camp on Saturday

The EU-Turkey migrant deal is receiving a lot of criticism from human rights groups, who claim that it violates international law to send migrants back to Turkey after they'd risked their lives traveling to Greece.

However, Turkey's prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu bragged on Saturday that the EU-Turkey deal had been extremely successful, since it had drastically cut the number of migrants traveling from Turkey to Greece.

Donald Tusk, the president of the European Commission, agreed, and praised Turkey further:

"Today Turkey is the best example for the whole world for how we should treat refugees.

“No one has a right to lecture Turkey on what it should do, I am really proud that you are my partner and I am absolutely sure that we will succeed… We have no other way! ...

The way I see it, Turkey has made good progress ahead of decisions to be taken this summer provided that Turkey meets all the agreed benchmarks."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also praised Turkey, for issuing work permits to refugees, so that they can earn a living. Merkel also reversed an earlier position, and said that she now favors Turkey's proposals to set up "safe zones" in northern Syria where displaced Syrians can live and receive humanitarian aid.

The charm offensive took place on Saturday during a visit to the Nizip refugee camp in Gaziantep province, southeastern Turkey. Merkel and Tusk led a European delegation to visit the camp, and hold a press conference to sell the EU-Turkey migrant deal to doubters.

However, Davutoglu also made clear that the EU-Turkey deal would be canceled if the EU did not fulfill its side of the deal -- easing visa restrictions, so that Turkish citizens can travel freely through Europe's Schengen zone without a visa:

"We see the visa exemption as an inseparable, fundamental part of the EU-Turkey agreement. Readmission agreement applies only with visa exemption."

There are strong voices of opposition to the visa easing within EU member countries. As part of the EU-Turkey deal, the EU committed to removing the visa restriction by June, and so this could become a major political crisis in the next few weeks.

A number of other problems with the EU-Turkey deal remain to be solved. The EU had promised Greece that EU member countries would send a staff of 2,300 experts -- police, case officers, judges, and language interpreters -- to help process asylum requests, and only a few of the staff have arrived. Also, approved Syrian refugees are to be distributed to the EU member countries, but many EU nations are stalling or refusing to accept more migrants. Anadolu Agency (Turkey) and BBC and AP and Anadolu Agency

Bangladesh in shock after university professor hacked to death

Rezaul Karim Siddique, an English professor at Rajshahi University in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, was hacked to death 50 meters from his home, when he went to catch a bus to campus around 7:30 on Saturday morning. The brutal killing was similar to increasingly frequent killings, mainly of secular or atheist bloggers, or any other media people who they believe pose a threat to their fundamentalist Islamic teachings and lifestyle.

The new killing is particularly shocking because Siddique was a religious Muslim, and had not put forward secular or atheistic opinions.

As we reported just three weeks ago, Bangladesh is spawning a new, younger generation of jihadist terrorists who are highly educated and tech-savvy. Leading these terror groups is Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), which has taken responsibility for several hacking deaths.

The ISIS-linked Amaq News Agency posted the following message on its web site:

"Source to Amaq Agency: Islamic State fighters assassinate a university teacher for calling to atheism in the city of Rajshahi in Bangladesh. Amaq Agency"

It's hard to know what to make of this claim, since Bangladesh is geographically very remote from Syria. It's possible that the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh) is taking credit for something it didn't do. It's also possible that the murder was perpetrated by ABT or some other jihadist group that was planning to pledge allegiance to ISIS.

However, another news report quotes local police as saying that "Though his murder was initially claimed by Islamist radicals, police later ruled out that possibility. Police said he was murdered as a sequel to personal rivalry." Dhaka Tribune and AP and Amaq Agency (ISIS) and BDNews24 (Dhaka)

FBI offers to help investigate Bangladesh murders

After the murder on April 8 of student activist Nazimuddin Samad, who was hacked and shot to death by three assailants riding motorcycles, the US State Department offered to help, according to spokesman Mark Toner:

"We've offered assistance to the Bangladeshi government, collaboration on the investigations, FBI assistance.

These are horrific attacks. We urge the Bangladeshi authorities to take them very seriously."

In March 2009, the FBI was asked to help investigate an extremely brutal mutilation and massacre of 76 Bangladesh army officers by border guards under their command. ( "(4-March-2009) FBI will aid Bangladesh investigation of border guard officer massacre") In the end, a total of 847 defendants were tried, en masse, and 152 sentenced to hang, with hundreds more facing long jail terms.

Bangladesh's last generational crisis war was the incredibly bloody and brutal 1971 civil war that made the former state of East Pakistan into the independent nation of Bangladesh.

As I wrote in detail in my 2009 article, the war was between two ethnic groups, both Muslim.

One group were the Muslim Biharis ("Urdu-walla" or Urdu speaking) from northern India, a "market-dominant minority," only 12% of t he population, controlling the government and major businesses. The other group were the Bengalis, a poor majority, speaking the Bengali language, working at menial tasks in the employ of the Urdu-speaking minority.

So the 2009 massacre was an echo of the 1971 civil war, with the poor, majority, lower-caste ethnic Bengali border guards massacring the market-dominant minority high-caste Biharis.

Now we have a new series of brutal massacres going on. The news reports do not indicate that ethnicity of the people involved, but (going out on a limb) it would seem likely that a college professor was a Bihari, and the murderers were Bengalis. If news reports provide further information supporting or contradicting this assessment, then I'll report it.

Earlier in this article, I quoted a news story that said, "Police said he was murdered as a sequel to personal rivalry." In other words, it's very likely that Saturday's slaughter was related to the 1971 war between Biharis and Bengalis, rather than a jihadist attack by ISIS, and that ISIS was claiming credit for something they had nothing to do with, making them typical politicians.

The FBI has offered to help with the investigation, but this isn't an Agatha Christie murder mystery that can be solved by clever sleuthing, or even a CSI murder mystery that can be solved by running DNA tests. It's something runs deep in the core of Bangladeshi society, and no real solution exists. VOA and Economist (9-Nov-2013)

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 24-Apr-16 World View -- Bangladesh in shock after university professor hacked to death thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (24-Apr-2016) Permanent Link
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