April 27, 2016

Reportage by Allison Joyce on The Islamic State and Islamic fundamentalism on the rise in Bangladesh

The Washington Post,
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.” in Dhaka. (Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

The Islamic State’s presence is on the rise in Bangladesh. Photographer Allison Joyce felt compelled to travel there to see what has been happening. She spoke to In Sight about her experiences.
“This is a story that I have been wanting to work on since the liberal ‘atheist’ bloggers started to be attacked in 2013. Things got even worse when in September 2015 an Italian citizen, Caesar Tavello, was shot and killed in what is considered to be one of the safest neighborhoods in Dhaka. The attack was claimed by ISIS, the first attack of its kind in Bangladesh, and it kicked off a series of attacks on foreigners and religious minorities across Bangladesh. Since Sept. 28, 2015, there have been seventeen attacks claimed by ISIS and Islamic extremists and since Feb. 15, 2013, six bloggers have been murdered, and many others injured in attacks.
Visually, this was a difficult story to tell. It felt like we were chasing ghosts across the country. How do you illustrate radical groups who hide in the shadows? In the end, I decided to visit the victims of the attacks, photograph the sites where some of them took place, and visit the madrassa and mosque where the spiritual leader of the radical group, the Ansrullah Bangla Team, used to teach.