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Militancy, terrorism, communalism and extremism -The Asian Age


Peace and harmony are two prime prerequisites fora nation's development and prosperity. No doubt, Nation State and Democracy are great achievements of human civilization. Militancy, Terrorism, Communalism and Extremism using different religions, cultures, colors and races are not only hindering the progress but also destroying the values of civilization.

Knowledge, science, philosophy and religion are prime movers of human civilization. Values of civilization, truth, justice, toleranceand unity influence its advancement. In ancient times, conflict existed amongst different tribes and races. In mediaeval period, rule of different groups and races were established centering different regions. Conflict and wars continued among the tribes and races. But modern civilization has been formed through practicing free thoughts. On one side modern science and technology has been spread widely.

On the other hand, modern nation states are being established. Few states havingknowledge and power in economy, technology, trades and arms, have been trying to influence world politics. Consequently, WW1 and WW2 became inevitable and after great havoc, destruction and catastrophe of human civilization, humanity and human rights, United Nations of Organization (UNO) was established in 1945on consensus.

UNOreplaced the ineffective League of Nations formed in early twenties;for maintaining international peace and security, promotinghuman rights, fostering social andeconomic development, protecting the environment and providing humanitarian aid in cases of famine,natural disaster and arm conflicts, establishingequal rights and self determination of peoples irrespective of religion,color and gender. Rule of law and coexistence of different nationsof UNO are established.Equality and equal dignity are ensured by the principles of UNO.

For this, de-colonialization has been started all over the world. Freedom struggle and movement to establish rights are being held in different countries getting support from world communities. Many countries got independence and freed from colonialism. But there was no one process of de-colonialization. In some areas, it was peaceful, and orderly. In many others, independence was achieved only after mass movement, arms struggle and revolution. A few newly independent counties acquired stable governments almost immediately; others were ruled by dictators or military juntas for decades, or endured long civil wars.

Some European governmentswelcomed a new relationship with their former colonies; others contested decolonization militarily. The process of decolonization coincided with the new Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union, and with the early development of the new United Nations. The creation of many new countries, some of which occupied strategic locations, others of which possessed significant resources and most of which were desperately poor, altered the composition of United Nations and political complexity every region of the globe. In the context, though countries are being advanced,few countries could not develop its democracy up to the mark andremained as backward nations. Conflicts are going on there centering politics, culture, color and religion.

The intolerance and hatred bring a great concern to the world community. Consequently militancy, terrorism, communalism and extremism based on politics, religion, and colorand culture of the regions are much discussed matters now a day. Most people of the world are against these phenomena. Still, they hardly come out from the circle. To overcome it, people of the countries should be united through democracy. And the nations can thereby walk to the peace, progress and advancement.

Recently Al Qaeda, Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al-Shabaab, Ansar al- Sharia(Libya), Ansar al- Sharia(Tunisia), Boko Haram, Indian Mujhidin, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Taiba,Tehrik-i-Taliban in Pakistan, Taliban and I.S.(Danish)etc.are created based on religion. Later on USA, Europe and other countries have taken actions against the militant and terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and Taliban. The terrorist organizations Al-Qaeda had built up network all over the world. IS has declared part of the regions of Iraq, Libya and Syria a Khilafat of Islam. Russia, French, USA and other countries are fighting against it.

Spring of democracy in the Arab world against autocracy geared movement amongst many people. Tunisia was the place of candle to spread over the movement in Egypt, Libya and Syria. But in absence of democratic institutions democratic system does not develop. Now in the name of religion different extremist groups and terrorist organizations in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Africa are fighting against the present government. They are active in sub-continent and very active in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In Pakistan some groups are being patronized by State system. Terrorist attacks are being carried out in India. Recently Pathankotand base camp of Armed Forces at Uri in Kasmir were attacked by terrorist groups patronized by Pakistan. Prominent world leaders have condemned and our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also expressed solidarity with India against terrorism. The cooperation of western world to establish democracy in different regions is not reflecting the expected results.

On the allegationof having chemical weapons by Saddam government, military action was taken. Arab Spring also could not pave the way for democracy. Later on contemporary rise of I.S. which established much debated Khilafat in Middle East is spreading its activities across the globe. Side by side theAl-Qaeda is also working across the world.They represent the Sunni Community of the world and they are against the spirit of pluralism and multi-opinion based society.

They are organizing attack against Europe.Recently attack on France and Belgium is a glaring example of atrocity.  The idea of theterroristand militant organizationsis almost same. In most cases religion becomes a tool for the terrorism andmilitancy. At present we witness that religion and fundamentalism are being used in politics, thoughin history religion and religious principles contributed to uphold the rights of the communities and advancements of civilization.

Harkat-ul-Jihad, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Maoist groups, Ulfa, A.T.T.F, MPLF, etc. are different terrorist groupsfighting against the establishment in India, Thailand, Philippines, China,Russia and Myanmar. In some cases they are getting supportsfrom different countries of the world for their strategic regions and vested interest.But political and administrative weakness of some developing countries are responsible for the rise.

Militant, terrorist and communal forces have been demonstrating activities in a large scale after killing of Bangabandhuin 1975, getting state and other anti-democratic forces patronization. Few years back they attacked on meetings of political parties, cultural functions, places of worships and other public gatherings. Government headed by PM Sheikh Hasina completed the trial of Bangabondhu killings and it is being executed. Trial of Jail killing of four national leaders is complete. Trial and execution of war criminals of 1971 are going on.

Trial of August killing, 2004 is progressing. Trial of other relevant cases are also going on. But till militant, terrorist and communal forcesare active. Attacks on religious minority groups, teachers, writers, bloggers and foreigners are being carried out. They killed Priests of temples-places of worship, religious leaders- Imams of mosques, participants of religious processions, teacher-writer-blogger, foreigners and other persons also.They attached hotel Holy Artisan at Gulshan and Eid a congression at Sholakia in Kishoregonj. In some casesthe law enforcing agencies have arrested the culprits. We hope that culprits of all incidents will be put under trial as early as possible.

PM Sheikh Hasina said that there would be no place for terrorism on Bangladesh soil. She also mentioned that nobody would be allowed to play with the country's faith in the name of militancy and intolerance would not be allowed. Leaders of India, USA, Japan and other countries expressed concerns regarding it and assured support and cooperation. Resistance committees against terrorism and communalism are being formed across the country at all levels by AL and fourteen partiesalliance. Committees are being formed by Authorities also. Religious leaders have come forward to mobilize the public opinion against terrorism and communalism.

It may be mentioned under the present Government remarkable development is being achieved. Recently World Bank representative in Bangladesh mentioned that out of 118 countries only 12 countries have more than 6% GDP growth, Bangladesh is one of them. ADB also has mentioned that remarkable progress has been done due to production in different sectors and infrastructure development and people below poverty line has declined to 22%. We hope that militancy, terrorism and communalism will be faced unitedly by democratic forces and peace and harmony would be maintained so that development and progress is sustainable.

We often blame religion for the disturbance, intolerance and violence in many countries. But religion always played vital role in progressing civilization worldwide. Islamic religion and culture influenced Arab, Persian greatly and other parts of the world also.Hindu and Buddhistreligions and culture influencedthe civilization of the subcontinent and Southeast Asia greatly.Buddhistreligion and culture kept mark in the lives of Japan and China. Christian religion, culture and ethics built up civilization in Europe and Americaremarkably. Judaism, Sikhism and other religions also played important role.

The fundamental principles of religion are unique but the rituals and exercises are different. All religions signify the unity, equality and justice.The fundamental spirit of religion is equalityand equal rights, which are also basic of democracy. At present religion has becomeinseparable part of the societies.Sometimes it is separated constitutionally but lives of the nation are greatly affected by it, sometimes it is constitutionally dignified. However it remains in the existence of state. No country should be run based on religion andshould follow principles of pluralism. Then only the principles of United Nations will be materialized and countries then come out from terrorism, political extremism, communalism and militancy. Thereby a country can be economically developed.

The writer is a former Professor and Ambassador