Every now and then, some event in a far away, remote place, acts as reminder that the society we have built, despite staunch opposition to the inclusive impetus derided as the liberal agenda, is a considerable achievement.

We may have used freedom in a way that those who challenged the status quo in 1916 never have imagined. Nevertheless, it is easy to believe that the tolerance — if that word is not layered with anachronistic judgement — and multiculturalism ever more central in Irish life honours the core spirit of that rebellion.

That latitude, that generous karma, could not be further from the savagery of events in Dhaka in Bangladesh yesterday, when suspected Islamic militants hacked to death the editor of a LGBT magazine because of their sexuality.

The Muslim-majority country has seen a surge in violent attacks in which liberal activists, members of minority Muslim sects, and other religious groups have been targeted. How we confront extremists is now one of the greatest challenges facing the Western, liberal world. One we can’t avoid.


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