Free lessons on fail­ures

Enterprise - - Letters -

Fol­low­ing the mur­der of an­other lib­eral blog­ger, An­sarul­lah Bangla Team (ABT) is go­ing to be the sixth ji­hadist out­fit to be banned in Bangladesh. Is this good enough to stem the sharp rise in re­li­gious ex­trem­ism the coun­try has wit­nessed in the re­cent past? If Bangladesh goes by the ex­am­ple set by Pak­istan, then it will be a fu­tile ex­er­cise. By any stan­dard, Pak­istan takes pride in ban­ning the largest num­ber of ji­hadi out­fits and groups, but for what? You find them back in busi­ness the very next week un­der a new name. Ban­ning an out­fit for name’s sake is not go­ing to solve Bangladesh’s creep­ing prob­lems with re­li­gious ex­trem­ism. Ban­ning a group shall mean real crack­down against its mem­bers, sym­pa­this­ers, fi­nancers, pub­li­ca­tions, space on so­cial me­dia, dis­rupt­ing its wel­fare net­work and oth­ers.

In Pak­istan, th­ese so-called banned out­fits don’t care for their of­fi­cial sta­tus; they take out im­pres­sive ral­lies in met­ro­pol­i­tans, their lead­ers ad­dress large public meet­ings, some lead­ers even en­lighten lawyers’ bar coun­cils, run ex­ten­sive so­cial wel­fare net­works and most in­ter­est­ingly you will al­ways find them, when needed, or­gan­is­ing ral­lies in sup­port of armed forces. No need to pon­der any fur­ther why crops com­man­ders meet­ings never condemn such ‘sup­port­ive’ ges­tures.

Bangladesh has to make one trans­par­ent de­ci­sion: that there is no good or bad re­li­gious ex­trem­ist and that it needs to go for them with­out any hes­i­ta­tion. Ban­ning out­fits is an area wherein Bangladesh may learn from Pak­istan’s fail­ures. We have plenty of ex­per­tise on this sub­ject to share who­ever wants to con­tinue with a down­hill jour­ney.

Ma­sood Khan Jubail, Saudi Ara­bia

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