No human is born as a sinner or a criminal. Every human takes birth as an innocent baby. But various reasons such as ill-education, evil company, frustration, family crisis etc. turn many of the innocent human children into dangerous criminals when they grow up. Bangladeshi-Canadian Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, the mastermind of the deadly Holey Artisan Bakery attack in Dhaka on 1 July 2016, was described as a ‘real bright kid’ by his high school teacher in Canada.
Pat Osborne, Tamim’s business teacher at Forster Secondary School in Windsor, in an interview with a Canadian daily named The Edmonton Sun also said Tamim was one of their highest award winners in terms of winning academic scholarships to the University of Windsor.
The Canadian daily published the interview on 30 August 2016, following Tamim’s death in a shootout with police on 27 August 2016, nearly two months after the Holey Artisan attack. The business teacher of Tamim’s school in Canada further said, “Later on we used him as an example of a kid who worked hard and was able to receive money for university.”
But it is little known that how only at the age of 29 ‘the bright kid’ had turned into a fierce militant, the founder of militant group Neo-JMB, and the mastermind of the Dhaka attack which resulted in 29 deaths. Tamim attended J.L. Forster Secondary School in Windsor. He graduated from the University of Windsor in Spring 2011, with an honours degree in Chemistry.
Amarnath Amarasingam, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo in Canada who studied radicalization and terrorism, termed the timeline after Tamim’s graduation as ‘choppy’, and said he was fully into the ‘jihadist narrative’ by 2012. He further said it’s not known if Tamim was born in Bangladesh or Canada.
Between 2009 and 2011-12 Tamim travelled to Calgary, a city in the western Canadian province of Alberta, where he reportedly participated in a private study circle with Damian Clairmont, a Canadian jihadist, and other members of the “Calgary cluster’, a jihadists group, who later went overseas to join terrorist groups. He may have travelled to Syria at some point in 2012-13. He returned to Bangladesh sometime afterwards.
Tamim’s parents must have hoped that their beloved kid will one day have a very bright future as his teachers were also so hopeful about him. They must have never imagined such a sorrowful tragedy of their beloved child. But there must have some extensive gaps between Tamim and his parents which ultimately shoved him to the world of extremism, killing and blood instead of a loveable family, his parents and above all humanity.
It is said, hate the sin, not the sinner. The eternal effort of human beings should be to stop sin and hence not to create sinners. Parents, teachers, neighbours, relatives and all good souls have their holy duty and responsibility to help stop sin and sinners to establish a peaceful world.