‘Depression breeds fanaticism’

Staff Correspondent

11 December, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said that depression and loneliness lead the youth to radicalism.

He called upon guardians to keep a close watch on the activities of their children. The minister, who was present as the chief guest, was speaking on the concluding day of the two-day national conference on violent extremism at International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) in the capital on Tuesday.

He asked why there is religious extremism in Bangladesh despite the fact that ordinary people do not approve of it.

“It was said that students of madrasas get involved in militancy, but it has turned out to be false. There is no madrasa which encourages militancy,” he said.

Speaking as the special guest, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Mohammad Javed Patwary said religious bigots are impossible to deradicalize, as they remain so firm in their faith.

“We catch militants and file cases against them. But they are not being corrected in jails. And police have nothing to do on the issue.”

He, however, said that various programmes must be taken in jails to deradicalize fundamentalists.

He urged NGOs and others concerned to work together to get rid of the scourge of religious bigotry.

“Prevention is better than cure. The Counter Terrorism and Anti-Terrorism units are working to raise awareness about the bad effect of militancy.”

He said that militants who are on bail should be rehabilitated, as they belong to this country.

Speaking on the occasion, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Shafiqul Islam said that police will not allow anybody to launch any horrendous assault again like in Holey Artisan Café in Gulshan.

“When I was performing my duties at the anti-terrorism unit, I experienced that 90 percent militants were from Ahl al-Hadith community. We talked to them and tried to make them understand, but they are hell-bent on listening to their hujurs (religious teachers),” he said.

They also label a group of religious scholars as ‘kafir’ (nonbeliever), he said.

The DMP chief believes that religious leaders could play a vital role in combating fanaticism.