Published by Seth Oldmixon on February 5, 2016

India’s Blasphemy Laws

The terrifying effects of Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws are well documented. Mere allegations have resulted in mob violence that has destroyed Hindu temples, Christian churches, and taken the lives of the accused. Even fundamentalist Muslims have found themselves entangled in the dangerous and subjective web blasphemy allegations. With this situation playing out so close to…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on November 23, 2015

Jamaat-e-Islami, al Qaeda, and Secularism in South Asia

Last year, al Qaeda called for jihad against the government of Bangladesh, accusing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and government of trying to “eliminate every trace of Islam” from the country, and turning Bangladesh into “an Indian outpost.” Al Qaeda called on Islamists to “organize ourselves for a popular and inclusive intifada” to replace Bangladesh’s secular…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on November 19, 2015

What’s really spreading extremism in Bangladesh?

A leading opposition politician in Bangladesh issued a dire warning earlier this week. BNP Vice Chairman Hafizuddin Ahmed told an audience that, “this country will soon become a militant state if the government doesn’t create a scope for restoration of democracy.” Mr. Ahmed followed this call for democracy by completely unironically calling on his supporters to…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on October 26, 2015

Ashura Attack In Bangladesh Raises Troubling Questions

Unlike Pakistan, which experiences terrorist attacks during Murrham annually (last week, Pakistan suffered multiple mass casualty bombings), Bangladesh does not have a history of sectarian terrorism. That’s why Saturday’s tragic bombing during the Shia holy day of Ashura came as such a shock. As with other recent attacks in Bangladesh, persons claiming to represent the…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on October 14, 2015

ISIS In Bangladesh: Are We Missing the Forest For the Trees?

The killing of Cesare Tavella as he was jogging home from the American International School in Dhaka last month, an act claimed by alleged Islamic State (ISIS) militants, sent shockwaves through the diplomatic corps in Bangladesh. In response, Western Embassies have restricted diplomats’ movements and schools and social clubs frequented by foreigners temporarily closed. A…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on September 29, 2015

BNP’s Statement Denying Existence of Extremism Does Not Build Confidence

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leadership were the victims of what could be one of the worst examples of bad timing in recent memory. During a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office on Monday, BNP spokesperson Asaduzzaman Ripon told the media that militancy and extremism do not exist in Bangladesh. “ We (BNP) have…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on September 14, 2015

An Indian Cleric Issued a Fatwa Against Oscar-award winning music composer AR Rahman. His Response Was Perfect.

Composer A.R. Rahman is no stranger to attention. The winner of numerous awards including two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, four National Film Awards has an impressive career for his work on productions that have captivated global audiences. Recently, though, he found himself the recipient of a different kind…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on August 18, 2015

Jamaat-e-Islami’s Condemnation of Niloy Neel’s Murder Rings Hollow

Following the murder of Bangladeshi blogger Niladri Chottopadhay (alias Niloy Neel) earlier this month, Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh (JI) issued a press release condemning the act and blaming the government of Bangladesh for failing to protect the public from “the real killers.” While JI publicly condemns the Niloy Neel’s murder, however, it is ignoring the impact of…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on August 5, 2015

Let’s Not Be Fooled By Islamist Public Relations Campaigns

Atif Jalal Ahmad and Michael Kugelman have a new report in The National Interest that examines why the self-described “Islamic State” has been unable to penetrate Bangladesh to the same degree that they have Afghanistan and Pakistan. Their analysis notes a few important factors: “The majority of Bangladesh’s large Muslim population rejects violence, and the…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on July 29, 2015

Malik Ishaq’s Death And Its Implications For the Pakistani State

Notorious terrorist leader Malik Ishaq was killed on Wednesday in a firefight between Pakistani police and over a dozen Islamist militants. Ishaq was the leader of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), a militant anti-Shia organization. He has been implicated in dozens of cases and is believed to be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Shia in Pakistan….

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