Published by Liberty South Asia on June 7, 2017

PAKISTAN: Journalist Receives Death Threats For Writing About Religious Minorities

Pakistani journalist Rana Tanveer has received death threats at his home in Lahore for writing about religious minorities in the country. According to Mr. Tanveer, he moved to his current home just under one and a half years ago so that his daughter could attend a local school. Three months ago, his landlord began receiving…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on May 23, 2017

Congressional Resolutions Express Concern About Religious Freedom in Pakistan

Two new Congressional resolutions, H. Res. 319 in the House and S. Res. 162 in the Senate, call special attention to threats to religious freedom in Pakistan. The Senate Resolution, which reaffirms the commitment of the United States to promoting religious freedom, includes the following language specific to Pakistan: Whereas, according to Human Rights Watch,…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on May 10, 2017

Bangladesh: Ahmadi attack a sign of spreading extremism

A 20-year-old man has been arrested for stabbing Imam Mostafizur Rahman outside his mosque. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the attacker said that he has no affiliation with any party or organization, and that he carried out the attack of his own volition. While it is encouraging that the attack was not orchestrated by a…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on April 19, 2017

Bangladesh Minister Rejects Possibility of Alliance with Religious Extremists

Days after a news report that Bangladesh’s Awami League was looking to make a political alliance with Islamist extremist group Hefazat-e-Islam as a means of diluting the BNP’s Islamist support, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu appeared to shut the door on any such arrangement when he dismissed Hefazat as “political opportunists” and “religious extremists.” In…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on April 15, 2017

Pakistan People’s Party Seeks Collaboration With Islamists

While Pakistan reels from the spread of religious extremism, the latest example being the murder of a university student by an extremist lynch mob, one of the country’s largest secular parties is looking to make an alliance with a pro-Taliban Islamist party. Earlier this week, former Pakistani president and the head of the Pakistan People’s…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on April 6, 2017

Religious Extremists Continue To Gain Influence in Pakistan

Despite a recent surge in Islamist terrorist attacks in the country, Pakistan’s government continues to court religious extremists, providing them political power that far outsizes their ability to earn votes. Two incidents this week indicate that extremists continue to gain influence in Pakistan. On Tuesday, Pakistan’s Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, assured a 25-member…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on March 30, 2017

Politics Undermines Anti-Militancy Efforts In Bangladesh

Bangladesh opposition leader Khaleda Zia has raised questions about the government’s anti-militancy efforts. In a press statement earlier this week, the former Prime Minister and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson told reporters that, “The sudden rise of militancy in the present sensitive times and the lack of transparency in the anti-militancy drives have raised questions…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on March 16, 2017

Pakistan PM’s Misguided Anti-Extremism Strategy

In effort to stem the spread of religious extremism, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, last week called on religious scholars to emphasize the “true” teachings of Islam, which he defined as peace and harmony. While Prime Minister Sharif’s message and intentions are laudable, his strategy suffers from a critical vulnerability. Religious scholars already believe they…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on March 3, 2017

Illegal rally exposes deep roots of religious extremism in Pakistan

In the wake of recent terrorist attacks, Pakistan has reiterated its vow to eliminate extremist militancy. To this end, the country’s military announced the launch of a new operation dubbed “Radd-ul-Fasaad” (Elimination of Discord), designed to remove the “latent threat of terrorism.”  Unfortunately, a recent gathering in the nation’s capital shows that accomplishing the laudable…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on February 10, 2017

Bangladesh’s Risky Gambit

Secular Bangladeshis have expressed concern about a recent government decision to incorporate certain changes to textbooks that appear to Islamisize the public school curriculum. Noting the government’s nominally secular ideology, observers have warned that “a dark political calculation” may be behind the move. At issue is whether the government of Bangladesh, in its attempts to…

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