Published by Seth Oldmixon on September 23, 2019

Peace in Kashmir Requires a Return to Pluralism

Prior to partition, Kashmir was a princely state, ruled by the Maharaja Hari Singh. While a majority of the population was Muslim, Singh was Hindu. Because Kashmir had a majority Muslim population, the leadership of the newly created state of Pakistan believed it should rightly accede to them. But Maharaja Singh was a hold out,…

Continue Reading »

Published by Liberty South Asia on August 31, 2019

Kashmir: Religion and the State Before Partition

“The State has not known of any religious movements worth mentioning. With an eminently Hindu Government conservative in its views and keenly imbued with respect for the tenents and the traditions handed down to it with a spirit of infinite toleration towards the numerous religions of which the different classes of its subjects are the…

Continue Reading »

Published by Liberty South Asia on May 3, 2019

EU Parliamentarians Threaten Pakistan Over Religious Persecution

“I have just sent a letter, signed by 52 MEPs, to the Prime Minister of #Pakistan urging him to take measures to dismantle the constitutional and institutional structures that have resulted in the persecution of religious minorities in the country,” wrote EU parliamentarian Marijana Petir on 30 April. The letter, posted below, goes far beyond…

Continue Reading »

Published by Liberty South Asia on April 16, 2019

Bangladesh Information Minister: “We believe in secularism”

Dhaka — Bangladesh Information Minister Hasan Mahmud emphasized the government’s commitment to supporting religious freedom on Tuesday. Speaking to an international delegation of journalists, think tanks, and diplomats, the Information Minister reiterated Bangladesh’s “zero tolerance” policy towards terrorism and religious extremism. “We have zero tolerance for terrorism because we believe that terrorism is one of…

Continue Reading »

Published by Seth Oldmixon on March 27, 2019

Pro-ISIS Cleric Leading Prayers in Islamabad Raises Concerns about Pakistan’s Latest Crackdown on Extremists

Maulana Abdul Aziz has the distinct notoriety of being one of the few Islamist clerics who is too radical for even the Pakistani state. As the head of Pakistan’s Lal Masjid (Red Mosque), Aziz waged an armed battle against Pakistani troops in 2007 – a battle the cleric famously tried to escape by dressing as…

Continue Reading »

Published by Liberty South Asia on March 4, 2019

Congressional Resolution Targets Facilitator of Violent Extremism

For decades, experts have warned about the futility of trying to eliminate violent extremism without dismantling the networks that propagate extremist ideologies and provide essential support to international terrorist organizations. A new resolution introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives seeks to do just that. H.Res. 160, introduced by Congressman Jim Banks (R—IN) places critical…

Continue Reading »

Published by Liberty South Asia on November 30, 2018

Reps Banks, Gabbard Take Strong Stand In Defense of Religious Freedom In Bangladesh

A bi-partisan group of lawmakers has sent a strong message that Washington is closely watching developments on the ground in Bangladesh as the country prepares for national elections next month, and stands firmly in support of the rights and security of all citizens, regardless of their faith. Bangladesh is the world’s fourth-largest Muslim country. “When…

Continue Reading »

Published by Seth Oldmixon on October 9, 2018

Can a 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…

Continue Reading »

Published by Seth Oldmixon on August 9, 2018

Assam: Illegal Immigration and Communal Conspiracy Theories

A controversial “citizen’s registry” compiled in the northeast Indian state of Assam has created a stir in South Asia over concerns that Muslims are being targeted for deportation. Critics compare the move to the ethnic cleansing in Myanmar that has left 800,000 Rohingya Muslims living in refugee camps. Indian officials reject this claim, arguing that…

Continue Reading »

Published by Seth Oldmixon on July 13, 2018

Critical Mass: Extremists don’t need a majority to fundamentally alter society

With national elections approaching in Pakistan and Bangladesh, there is a lot of talk about whether Islamist candidates stand a viable chance of winning. Typically, Islamist parties do not perform well in either country. In Pakistan, the Muttahida Majlis–e–Amal, a political alliance of Islamist groups, managed to win 53 National Assembly seats in 2002 during…

Continue Reading »

1 2 3 7