At first I will try to say something on the definition of radicalization. If you go through all the dictionaries or online search, you can find hundreds of definitions. But the main point comes out of all the available definitions is ‘ it’s a process of individual or groups who are involved in extreme social, political, religious ideals or principles that forces them to avoid or reject contemporary ideas or principles and expression of freedom of choice’. If you want you can add or review some of these words in many ways, but to me main words are those which I have tried to mention about the radicalization.
From the definition and practical experiences, I can spot some important points about radicalization:
- It’s a process
- Extreme ideals or principles.
- Rejection of contemporary ideas or principles.
- Actions taken to stop expression of freedom of choice.
Now, one person is born without any bad things, traditionally babies are like angels. Then why these babies become part of the radicalization after some years? These angel babies cover ‘individuals’ and ‘Groups’ in above points.
Next point arises is the ‘extreme ideals or principles’. No religion or society or institution which is socially accepted, leads you toward extremism. Everyone and everything says about harmonious living and following of each other’s ideals or principles in peace. So, where from this extreme ideals or principles are coming out or manufactured? I will write on that in later paragraphs. Let’s discuss on other points.
‘Rejection of contemporary ideas or principles’ is the brother of the same mother of accepting ‘Extreme ideals or principles’; because you can not be follower of extremism and accept the contemporary ideas or principles at the same time. These two things can not stay together within a person; as he is motivated to be extremist.
So now, the points: individuals, groups, extreme ideals or principles, rejection of contemporary ideas or principles; all are manufactured through my number 1 point and that is ‘it’s a process’. There may be so many processes available in this world to make someone extremist and interested/ motivated in radicalization. As today, I will discuss on the First Step towards stopping radicalization in Bangladesh, I will explain on one of the hundred processes. But before I do that I need to write little bit on ‘Actions taken to stop expression of freedom of choice’ by the extremists.
As matter of fact, extremists will do whatever it take to stop the expression of freedom of choice. We have thousands of example from terrorist activities, like bombings, murders, hijackings etc. in Bangladesh. They try to reduce the number of forces against their goal. The main difference between these extremist groups with political parties is, political parties try to gain media attention and market their brands. On the other hand, at present Bangladeshi radical groups are operating their actions taking a hide out. They come out of their hide outs, do their jobs and go back into their hide outs quietly. Their process is simple. I can assure you that they have specialists who are expert in military tactics or learned military tactics from attending battle fields in other countries where peace forces are fighting against these extreme terrorists or they are learning these from the above ‘process, I have mentioned.
Let’s discuss about the ‘process’. As I mentioned there may be hundreds of process. But today I will discuss about one of the institutional process through which angel babies are turned into radical extremists and that is so called ‘ Madrasa’ or ‘ Fully Islamic Schooling Institution’. There may be people who may argue with me on this, but I would like to tell them that we are still in the priliminary stage of the radicalization cancer, so treat it properly or one day you will have to loose the country.
Now, I do believe not all the ‘Madrasas’ are within this process. But what is the percentage of that? Can anyone reply with the actual figure? There were many of these institutions found by law enforcement agencies training the extremists on hill-top or in remote areas. There were some incidents discovered that these institutions were used to make bombs during political unrest. So, my opinion is stop all the Madrasas on immediate basis or convert all of them into general schools, like other schools in Bangladesh. Through this action, you may not get result now, but definitely you will get result after 10-12 years. Well, if you want to teach the religious subjects, think about how the children of other religions are taught about their religious teachings? Through madrasas? No, then how? Actually religious teachings can be taught privately or at home. There are religious subjects included in general approved curriculum. You can now even have PhD on religious subjects in Bangladesh. So none has stopped anyone studying on religious subjects through general schooling system.
Therefore, I will request all the responsible authorities to close down all the Madrasas or convert them into conventional general schools.