Published by Seth Oldmixon on February 8, 2018

Echoes of Pakistani Extremism Ring Out In Indian Politics

In her indispensable book, Purifying the Land of the Pure, Farahnaz Ispahani details the tragic history of Pakistan’s descent “into internal violence as the search for Islamic purity set Muslims against non-Muslims, Sunnis against Shiites and Ahmadis, and various Sunni sects against one another.” Today, echoes of this tragedy can be heard ringing out in…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on February 5, 2018

Bangladesh RAB Unleashes New Weapon Against Militancy: Love

Long criticized by human rights organizations for using excessive and extra-legal use of force in its efforts to combat violent extremism, Bangladesh’s premier paramilitary force, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), is trying a new tactic in its fight against militancy: Targeting potential militants’ heartstrings. Last week, RAB released a new TV advertisement that highlights the…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on January 10, 2018

Hefazat-e-Islam flexes its muscle at annual Muslim gathering in Bangladesh

Key parts of Dhaka were brought to a standstill on Wednesday as demonstrators blocked roads in protest of the arrival of a Muslim cleric from India, Maulana Muhammad Saad Kandhalvi. The preacher was traveling to Dhaka to attend the Bishwa Ijtema, a massive annual Muslim prayer meeting in Bangladesh organized by the Tablighi Jamaat, a…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on December 20, 2017

Pakistani Newspaper Alters Report on Religious Minorities

On December 13, The Express Tribune, a Pakistani newspaper affiliated with The New York Times, reported on a Supreme Court case pertaining to the rights of religious minorities in Pakistan. According to the original report, “the top court has expressed its anger over the Punjab government’s failure to ensure the the presence of Hindu idols…

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Published by Liberty South Asia on December 18, 2017

Pakistan Cabinet Official Makes Inflammatory Statement About Religious Minorities

Pakistan’s Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Marriyum Aurangzeb, told reporters on Friday that “Jews and Hindus” are secretly funding an opposition political party for the purposes of “halting the way of Pakistan’s prosperity.” The most recent data available from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics lists Pakistan’s Hindus as just under 2 percent of…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on November 20, 2017

India: By Threatening Muslim Voters, BJP Leader Threatens Election Legitimacy

The outgoing Chairperson of the nagar palika (local municipality) in Nawabganj, Uttar Pradaesh declared that Muslim constituents would “face difficulties” if they don’t vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a right-wing political party closely aligned with Hindu nationalist groups. During a political rally, BJP leader Ranjeet Kumar Srivastava told the audience that “this is the…

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Published by Liberty South Asia on November 17, 2017

Pakistan Doubles Down on Persecution of Ahmadiyya

Ahmadis, an Islamic sect whose members follow the teachings of the 19th century religious leader  Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, have suffered incredible persecution in Pakistan. Despite their constituting a tiny minority of the country’s population, Pakistan took the extraordinary step of amending its constitution in 1974 to explicitly declare Ahmadis – and Ahmadis alone – as…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on October 30, 2017

Shiv Sena’s Extremist Rhetoric Makes India Less Secure

At a recent gathering in Indore, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat floated a slightly softer version of the group’s typically hardline Hindu nationalism by suggesting that, in his view, “Hindu” does not necessarily refer to those who subscribe to a specific religion, but “all those who are the sons of ‘Bharat Mata‘ (Mother…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on October 8, 2017

Pakistan’s Army Just Handed Religious Extremists A Huge PR Victory

This post was originally published by The Hudson Institute and is available here: http://www.southasiaathudson.org/blog/2017/10/6/pakistans-army-just-handed-religious-extremists-a-huge-pr-victory At a press conference on Thursday, Pakistan Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor handed religious extremists a huge PR victory. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, the Army spokesman said, “Neither the armed forces have compromised on Namoos-e-Risalat (SAW), nor would they…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on August 9, 2017

Political Normalization of Extremism Poses New Threats In South Asia

In 2005, a popular Hindu nationalist was denied entry to the United States under a section of US law that makes any foreign government official who “was responsible for or directly carried out, at any time, particularly severe violations of religious freedom” ineligible for a visa to the United States. Nine years later, that Hindu…

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