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Research shows hardline Islamic group Hefazat-e-Islam poses challenge for Bangladesh
Bangladesh | Extremism
Representational image by Fredrik Rubensson via Wikimedia Commons

Research shows hardline Islamic group Hefazat-e-Islam poses challenge for Bangladesh

| @indiablooms | 26 Aug 2022, 09:11 pm

Dhaka: A leading think tank South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF) has claimed that Bangladesh is gripped by challenges posed by hardline Islamic group Hefazat-e-Islam as the country continues to witness frequent outbursts of massive violence, an increase in religiously motivated illiberalism, and a general shrinking of free, liberal, and secular thinking.

The South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF) is a Brussels-based think tank devoted to South Asia and its relationship with the European Union (EU) in the context of a global, changing world, ANI reported.

As per a report written by Dr. Siegfried O. Wolf, Director of Research at SADF, in recent years, the number of terrorist incidents and related casualties has steadily declined in Bangladesh yet the problem of Islamist extremism remains.

Under the research report titled “The Hefazat-e-Islam and the Islamist challenge in Bangladesh”, the SADF research director noted that HeI is the most recent and largest entity in Bangladesh’s complex web of ultra-conservative, radicalised Islamist groupings.

He defined the group by a large variety of terms, for instance — an Islamist pressure group, an Islamist advocacy movement, an ultraconservative Islamist group, a socio-political extremist group, or an Islamic social movement.

According to his analysis, there are demands to designate the Islamic radical group as a terrorist group.

While speaking on the challenges posed by the group, the SADF director said the terms used for the group do not really give out the complete picture as to how HeI is challenging the secular and democratic foundations of the state – and how it is contributing to the menace of violent Islamism in Bangladesh.

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