Rise of religious extremism: the govt owes an explanation
Written By: TojveroulBangladesh
THE gun attack on the Italian missionary doctor Piero Parolari, an assistant pastor of the Suihari parish in which he was wounded in the neck in Dinajpur on Wednesday, followed by another attempt on a pastor of the Faith Bible Church in Pabna, on October 5, and the murder of a Japanese agricultural worker in Rangpur, on October 3, and an Italian aid worker in Dhaka, on September 29, no doubt, points to a pattern and reeks of an orchestrated design against foreigners, especially the white, and Christianity. All this shows that there has been a ploy going on to institute something in the shape of a crusade-like conflict, as has been going in the outside world, especially in the United States and Europe, but against the Muslims, in Bangladesh which was founded on the principles of liberalism and secularism. While this is disturbing, this is also shocking in that there has been no sign in the politics of the ruling Awami League, which does not miss out any chances of talking secularism and liberalism, and the spirit of the nation’s war for independence of 1971, to contain such extremism, which is also evidenced in the murder of five secularist bloggers only this year. While all this is going on, government leaders do not falter about saying every other day that law and order has been at its best and better than any other time in the past. We very much doubt, under the circumstances, whether the government realises the gravity of the situation as the government first needs to recognise this if it means to contain such extremism and lawlessness that have come to prevail in society in the absence of proper democratic political environment and space for dissenting voices — the factors which overbearingly contribute to the political stability in any country. The other issue that the government must attend to is that it has, since it assumed office in 2009, been busy heading off opposition political parties in playing any role and guarding its being in office using the state machinery like the law enforcement agencies and people in the administration, resulting in its inability to put in comprehensive efforts, both in and outside the government, involving political parties and society, to stave off the rise of such extremism and lawlessness. Besides, the government leaders must assess as to what kind of its attitude contributed to the rise of religious extremism during its stay in power for the past seven years or so. Under the circumstances, the government, government leaders for that matter, is well advised to mind to issues that could bring about political stability, in a sustained manner, in the country. With politics — meaningful politics — geared up for citizens and with the involvement of all political parties, it will be easy for the nation to sort out issues that are menacing for the country. And last but not least, the government should immediately hold impartial investigation of all such murders and attacks and mete out justice.
Mohammad tojveroul alam
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