Published by Seth Oldmixon on October 9, 2018

Can an political maverick free BNP from its ties to Jamaat-e-Islami?

Bangladesh’s upcoming elections could reshape the country for a generation Predicting election outcomes is difficult enough in data-rich and stable electorates like the United States. With very little reliable polling data, and a history of at least one military coup roughly every decade, analysts covering Bangladesh’s upcoming elections need to approach the exercise with humility…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on July 9, 2018

Jamaat-e-Islami Terror Camps in Bangladesh? New Book May Offer Fresh Insights

Jamaat-e-Islami, an Islamist group that seeks to transform the world into its imagining of a global Islamist theocracy, is best known for its attempts to exploit democractic norms to advance its agenda. The group, often compared to the Muslim Brotherhood, fields candidates in elections, raises funds through charity fronts, and openly supports international jihad alongside…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on March 28, 2018

Jamaat-e-Islami: “Conservative Islamic political party” or violent extremist group?

In a recent op-ed, Toby Cadman, an international lobbyist for Jamaat-e-Islami, suggests that it is a “mischaracterization” to suggest that Jamaat-e-Islami is “an extremist group that is involved in acts of terror,” instead downplaying the group as “a conservative Islamic political party in opposition.” This is an important question, not for only for those who…

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Published by Liberty South Asia on March 6, 2018

Jamaat-e-Islami Social Media Activists Mock Attack on Bangladeshi Professor

The attempted assassination of Bangladeshi professor Zafar Iqbal brought thousands of protests across the country as Bangladeshis nationwide cried out for justice and an end to the violent extremism that has plagued Bangladesh for years. In one positive sign, the government’s  response to the attack has earned praise even from critics. I usually am very…

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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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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 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 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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