• Friday, December 19, 2014

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Extremism, Pakistan and the missing counter narrative

DECEMBER 16, 2014 is a sad day for Pakistan. But it is also a day of infamy for those who use Islam to justify evil actions, and a day of disgrace for those Muslims who choose to remain silent in the face of such barbarity. The killing of 146 students in a school in Peshawar run by the Pakistan Army is one of the most brutal and senseless massacres of innocent people in the hands of Muslim radicals. The Tehrik-e-Taliban...

Bangladesh, US to work for stopping terror financing

Bangladesh, US to work for stopping terror financing

Bangladesh and the United States have agreed to continue cooperation in countering terrorist financing and violent extremism. As part of the globally recognised Financial Action Task Force (FATF) framework, in December, the US Embassy in Dhaka and the State Department will host a South Asia regional workshop in collaboration with the Bangladesh government to...

And quiet flows the Ganges -- In the wrong direction

THE Burdwan blast has thrown a new light on the activities of religious extremists in our part of South Asia, particularly Bangladesh and the Indian state of Paschimbanga (PB). According to reports in the Indian media the persons killed while preparing IEDs were from Bangladesh and suspected JMB cadres. It is yet to be fully ascertained whether the dead persons are indeed from Bangladesh. One of the dead was married to an Indian and had been living in that...

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The intellectual battle against ISIS

The intellectual battle against ISIS

THE global financial crisis taught the world how profoundly interdependent our economies have become. In today's crisis of extremism, we must recognise that we are just as interdependent for our security, as is clear in the current struggle to defeat ISIS. If we are to prevent ISIS from teaching us this lesson the hard...

Australia's stand on terrorism and foreign fighters

A column in these pages on September 24 asserted that Australia's proposed counter-terrorism legislation is 'anti-Muslim'. That is wrong. Let's be clear: the Australian government is acting to disrupt a growing terrorist threat so Australians of all backgrounds remain free to go about their lives in safety.     ISIL and similar terrorist organisations have plainly, violently and repeatedly demonstrated the international danger they pose. Earlier this week ISIL leaders called on supporters to kill people in a number of countries including...

The missing component in defeating terrorism

THE new phenomenon evolving in the West of elements who are joining extremist groups, and their raison d'etre, must be taken and dealt with seriously. In his recent speech to the Australian Institute of International Affairs titled “Evolution of terrorism – and what it means for Australia”, Mr David Irvine, the Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), said ASIO's Act of 1979 definition of terrorism is “…acts or threats of violence or unlawful harm that are intended or...


The regrouping of extremists

RECENT arrests of a large number of extremist cadres and the snatching away of three high profile extremists from police custody a few months back are taken to be clear indicators of the activity and agility of the so-called religiously motivated extremist elements. Media reports confirm that extremists are not only regrouping but have also embarked upon fresh recruitment. Quite clearly, these are disturbing news as the extremist elements in question pose a direct threat to our democratic pluralist...


Extremism worry

NINE years have passed since the country witnessed the most serious terrorist action. Although there were not many casualties in the nearly 500 near simultaneous explosions, and that was perhaps not the intention of the perpetrators, it was the first exposure of the existence of well organised extremist group with technical know-how. And after several years of being in a denial mood the government of the day was still dithering to acknowledge that Bangladesh was indeed facing a phenomenon...

Fears over rise of extremism in Muslim nations

Fears over rise of extremism in Muslim nations

A strong majority of people in Bangladesh are concerned about Islamic extremism, while they have negative opinions of extremist groups like al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and the Pakistani Taliban, according to a Pew Research Centre survey. Such fear is on the rise in nations with large Muslim populations in the Middle East and South Asia,...

Music against Extremism

Music against Extremism

With the theme “Music against extremism,” a three-day (March 30-April 1) Music Festival 2014 concluded at the open premises of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). BSA, together with Bangladesh Sangeet Sangathan Samannay Parishad, arranged the festival -- where a number of music troupes, schools and solo artistes from across the country performed solo and...

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