back to top
World

Photos Show Rise Of Fundamentalism In Bangladesh

The Muslim-majority country has seen a recent series of attacks claimed by the group.

Posted on


Fundamentalist Islam has been on the rise in Bangladesh since 2013, along with attacks claimed by al-Qaeda and ISIS. Two LGBT editors were recently hacked to death, and this year alone religious leaders, bloggers, activists, journalists, and minorities have also been targeted with threats and violence. Photographer Allison Joyce took a look at the growing issue in the Muslim-majority country in this series of photographs.

Allison Joyce / Getty Images

Boys study at the Jamia Rahmania Arabia madrassa, where Mufti Jasim Uddin Rahmani used to teach, on March 22, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Rahmani is remembered as the "jihadist cleric" at the Hatembagh Jame Masjid where he led prayers and at the Jamia Rahmania Arabia madrassa where he used to teach.


Allison Joyce / Getty Images

The scene where Christian convert Hossain Ali was murdered is seen on March 23, 2016 in Kurigram, Bangladesh. On March 22 Ali was taking his usual morning walk when he was attacked and died. Ali was a navy commander during Bangladesh's 1971 Liberation War, and converted to Christianity 16 years ago. The police warned him and his family to be careful and limit their movement because of the ongoing security issues, but Ali felt safe since he said he had no enemies. ISIS claimed responsibility for his murder. He is remembered as a gentle, simple, and happy man, and he leaves behind a wife, mother, and three children.


Allison Joyce / Getty Images

The wife, mother, and children of Christian convert Hossain Ali, who was murdered by ISIS, hold his photograph as they pose for a photo March 23, 2016 in Kurigram, Bangladesh.


Allison Joyce / Getty Images

Ambia Begum, wife of Christian convert Hossain Ali, who was murdered by ISIS, cries in her home on March 23, 2016 in Kurigram, Bangladesh.


Allison Joyce / Getty Images

Police provide security with a metal detector that was installed after last year's attack at the Hussaini Dalan Shia shrine March 20, 2016, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. On Oct. 24, 2015, three bombs were thrown at the shrine during a large gathering, killing one and injuring over 100 more. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.


Allison Joyce / Getty Images

Dilgir Rahman Ayaz poses for a photo on March 21, 2016, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Ayaz lost his leg in last year's attack at Hussaini Dalan.


Allison Joyce / Getty Images

Blogger and author Ranadipan Basu poses for a photo on March 21, 2016, in Bangladesh. Basu was stabbed nine times last year on the same day of the attack that killed Avijit Roy's publisher, Faisal Arefin Deepan, and left two other writers severely injured. Basu received many threats on Facebook before the attack, and the police have since advised him to limit his movements, not travel alone, and limit his time in any unknown location to under 10 minutes. Now he always feels nervous about his security and says, "I want a free life. I want to write freely." Ansar al-Islam, the Bangladesh division of al-Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent, claimed responsibility for the attack.


Allison Joyce / Getty Images

A drawing of a severed head is seen on a letter from ISIS, naming 10 Christian leaders in Rangpur, that was received by a Baptist reverend. Three letters sent to a Baptist church in Rangpur made threats such as "Our plan is to kill each and every Christian who is preaching here. Our country will be run only by Sharia law," and "The director of ISIS needs five heads of Christian missionaries from Rangpur. The beheaded heads will be sent to Syria as a gift."


Allison Joyce / Getty Images

Reverend Barnbash, who has received death threats from ISIS, leads a service at a village church on March 24, 2016, in Rangpur, Bangladesh. Barnbash's name was included on a list of 10 religious leaders in Rangpur.


Allison Joyce / Getty Images

Activist Baki Billah holds a text message he received that reads, "You are a stain on the name of Islam. Be prepared for the final sentence," on March 22, 2016, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Billah was an activist during the Shahbag movement and has written and spoken out against Islamic fundamentalism. Since receiving the threats he has tried to avoid writing about Islam, always changes his routine, and never travels alone. Sometimes he is worried and scared, but he says he is used to living with the fear now.


Allison Joyce / Getty Images

Liberal publisher Robin Ahasan poses for a photo in his office on March 21, 2016, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Ahasan has been threatened three times for his work, once receiving a white burial shroud in the mail and other times receiving threatening letters. The police gave him a bodyguard for a short time but now he tries to protect himself by varying his routine. He says, "They can get me anytime or anywhere; there is no point in stopping my life and work over these threats."

Kate Bubacz is a Senior Photo Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Kate Bubacz at kate.bubacz@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.