• Monday, December 22, 2014

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Extremism and the distortions


Extremism and the distortions

WHETHER Pakistan is the epicenter of terrorism as claimed by a quarter may be debatable. However, the corrosive impact of terrorist ideology and actions on Pakistani society is undeniable. It is only last week that Pakistan's interior minister presented a plan to bring all of its madrasas (religious schools) under its national education...


Faces of extremism in South Asia

BARELY a fortnight ago, a fringe group of Hindu fanatics forced the clamping of a ban on Wendy Doniger's extremely insightful work, The Hindus, in India. Not long ago, the now deceased leader of the Shiv Sena, Bal Thackeray, openly suggested that Muslims in India be thrown into the sea. In the early 1990s, Muslim fanatics in Bangladesh forced the outspoken writer Taslima Nasrin out of the country for what they called her blasphemous views on Islam. Since she was...


Ambush of prison van

THE ambush of a prison van and snatching away of three JMB prisoners, two of whom are under sentence of death, is perhaps the first of its kind in Bangladesh. We condole the death of the policeman killed in the miscreant action. However, given the circumstances of the attack and the security measures employed to transport high risk prisoners over a considerable distance, the apparent ease with which the operation was carried out is not surprising. Obviously, the extremist...



THE word 'fundamentalism' has often been used and expressed in a pejorative sense. For facility of understanding can we term the embattled and frequently intolerant religiosity as fundamentalism? Are the so-called fundamentalists departing from the core values of compassion, justice and benevolence that characterise all the world faiths, including Islam? One could raise such a query as the myth of the supposed fanatical intolerance of Islam has become one of the accusatory ideas of the West. One would be factual...


Militancy and counter-narrative

A daily English newspaper took a dim view of the fact that the anti-militancy campaign has run aground and expressed concern as to why the imams of mosques reportedly refuse to give anti-militancy sermons to counter the extremist version. Extremism stemming from religious ideology is understandably the target of the national counter terrorism strategy that is being worked out. There is a presumption that we are yet to prepare an effective counter-narrative for combating religious extremism with a view...



AN upsurge of extremism has shaken the foundation of our fledgling democracy recently. Zealots have found convenient bases and are making covert attempts to turn this country into a theocratic state, extinguishing the spirit of the Liberation War. Certain groups of people have embarked on sinister activities that have generated a feeling that the country is drifting towards a chaotic and anarchic situation. The sermons of some religious clerics might have galvanised the discontented and disenchanted people. While most people profess...

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