Published by Seth Oldmixon on January 23, 2017

Concerns as Islamists Rewrite Textbooks in Bangladesh

Intellectuals in Pakistan have long lamented the role of textbooks in radicalizing society. Today, similar concerns are being raised in Bangladesh. According to a new report in the New York Times, government produced textbooks are being rewritten under the guidance of extremist groups like Hefazat-e-Islam. “We went to the higher-ups in the government,” Mufti Fayez…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on January 17, 2017

Islami Bank Ltd Embraces Religious Diversity, But Only So Far

Last week, Islami Bank Ltd. announced that it was revising it’s recruitment policies to ensure hires were based on merit “irrespective of religion, caste and creed,” and that “more female employees will be recruited for women empowerment.” It’s a move that should be applauded: Islami Bank Ltd. is Bangladesh’s largest bank whose leadership has been…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on January 11, 2017

Pakistan’s Interior Minister’s Disturbing Remarks on Sectarianism

Thousands of Pakistanis have been killed in terrorist attacks carried out by violent sectarian militant groups. In fact, for over fifteen years, more than one hundred Pakistanis have died at the hands of sectarian militants every year. Pakistan’s sectarian militants carry out both mass-casualty attacks such as November’s bombing at the Shah Noori shrine that…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on December 6, 2016

Masroor’s Mixed Messages

The election of Masroor Jhangvi to the Punjab Assembly (PP-78) has caused concern in Pakistan. Mr. Jhangvi is the son of the late Maulana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, founder of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), a sectarian terrorist group that was banned in 2002. In recent days, videos have surfaced of Masroor Jhangvi giving sectarian speeches, a fact…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on November 2, 2016

South Asian Journalists Spread Religious Hatred On Social Media

When we think of religious hatred on social media, we often think of anonymous trolls accounts or extremist ideologues. In South Asia, though, there have been a number of recent incidents in which mainstream journalists have expressed extreme hatred against religious minorities. Jagrati Shukla, a self-described “nationalist” and assistant producer for India’s Zee News recently…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on October 17, 2016

Jamaat-e-Islami leader urges supporters to use violence to end ‘heathen Western civilization’

In 2005, Bangladeshi Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mir Quasem Ali addressed an assembly of Islami Chhatra Shibir, Jamaat’s “student wing,” during which he predicted the re-establishment of an Islamist Caliphate (Khilafat Ala Minhaj e Nabuwat) and called on Chhatra Shibir members to be frontline soldiers in bringing about the end of “heathen Western civilization.” During his speech,…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on September 7, 2016

Lal Masjid: A Case Study in Pakistan’s Self-Defeating Counter Extremism Strategy

Pakistan has long been accused of playing a “double game” in Afghanistan – supporting international security efforts while also providing direct support for Taliban militants. But it’s not just in Afghanistan that the Pakistani state’s counter-terrorism policies are causing confusion. At home, too, Pakistan appears to be pursuing a self-defeating strategy towards eliminating terrorist groups….

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on July 26, 2016

Battle for the Soul of a Nation

The terrorist attack at Holey Bakery in Dhaka earlier this month deviated in important ways from the previous trend of assassination-style attacks against specific individuals in Bangladesh. The perpetrators targeted a group of random individuals, prolonged the attack to maximize media exposure, and engaged in an attack that provided little hope of escape. However, these…

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Published by Liberty South Asia on June 26, 2016

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami: Jews are “enemy of humanity”

Acting Secretary General of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, Shafiqur Rahman, issued an official statement claiming that “Jews are the enemy of humanity” and called on the global community to “to express hatred for Israel and to undertake due measures.” The Jamaat-e-Islami leader was responding to a conspiracy theory repeated by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas alleging that an…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on June 6, 2016

To Save Bangladesh, Political Parties Must Return to the Country’s Founding Principles

In declaring independence from Pakistan, Bangladesh sought to leave behind the country’s long history of ethnic and provincial discrimination. It also sought to dispel the radical Islamist ideology that has driven Pakistan so far from the pluralistic vision of its founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. In 1972, Bangladeshis enshrined in their founding constitution the principles of…

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