COUNTERING EXTREMISM THROUGH PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
11th March, 2020
Jamia Qurania Arabia Lalbagh Madrasah (JQALM)
Terrorism is a global problem, not a Muslim one. Contrary to popular perceptions, the problem of terrorism is far greater than a Muslim one and touches every nation. Today, countries across the world are being terrorized and ravaged by extremism; both territory and minds conquered by a militant and ideological crusade. Terrorism and terrorist activities is a global problem and threat to all nations directly or indirectly irrespective of religion, race, culture or geo-location.
The Government of Bangladesh (GOB), over the years, has demonstrated strong will and made relentless efforts in preventing the terrorist groups from operating in Bangladesh. Despite of having government’s strong position against terrorism, some extremist religious groups have shown their presence in Bangladesh. In this circumstance, a dedicated specialized unit under Bangladesh Police is inevitable to counter all sorts of terrorism.
“Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime” unit under Dhaka Metropolitan Police has started intelligence-led proactive investigation in terrorism and transnational crime, arrest criminals, collect criminal intelligence and keep the terror suspects under surveillance and finally stop such activities with the help of people. Subsequently, government and different non-government organizations in Bangladesh are working together for preventing this alarming issue.
As a chapter of this promising approach to prevent terrorism from our country Community Development for Peace (CDP) has organized a daylong program in Water Garden Convention Hall closed to Jamia Qurania Arabia Lalbagh (JQLM) Madrasah, Dhaka on 11th March, 2020 funded by Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime.
A series of lectures were delivered with diversified topics. The program was introduced with the holy Quran recitation. Two surreal Islamic songs were sung by two of the students from the respective institution. The whole program was divided into seminar and workshop. More than 250 students were present in seminar and the workshop was conducted with 100 participants.
Session 1: Seminar
Seminar was designed with a series of lectures by different academic backgrounds. The interactive seminar was followed by lunch. The motivational and encouraging lectures were the fuel of the seminar.
Muhammad Ferdaus, Founder and CEO of Community Development for Peace (CDP) welcomed the seminar with his fabulous and inspiring story to establish peace in community to be united and reinforced to work for the better community. He mentioned the contribution of the government and organization approaches to cope up with the ultimate scenario of the concerning issues of terrorism. Furthermore, he tried to let them know about the young students to be role model to break the stigma and peel off the social myth. This young generation is more capable to fight for any unwanted cases in our country, he added.
Md. Zahidul Hoque Talukder, Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Bangladesh Police, Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) delivered the key note speech. In his lecture, he tried to mention the risk of extremism in our society. Besides, he mentioned the root causes of the origin of terrorism and the impacts in our society.
People who are in the age level of (15-30) years old are quite vulnerable for being target of terrorist as well as militants. Study says that lack of good parenting is the vital reason for terrorism. In our society the unemployment issue is also the key factor for promoting terrorism. Terrorist has no color, no religion they are the diseases of our society. In the cyber domain terrorist leveraged web-based tools to replace a once centralized command and control structure.
The Internet enables rapid, almost instantaneous, communication. This allows for easy sharing of information such as intelligence, planning, and the transfer of funds. It essentially creates a virtual environment to conduct business in real time without the need to physically gather. Terrorists use the cyber support to promote their activities. For instance, the internet enables rapid, almost instantaneous, communication.
This allows for easy sharing of information such as intelligence, planning, and the transfer of funds. It essentially creates a virtual environment to conduct business in real time without the need to physically gather. That’s the very crucial time for this media to expand and rear terrorism. He mentioned the responsibility of family to get rid of their children from being terrorists. Only religious study would not enable to change them. Students should be involved with co-curricular activities.
He also mentioned that general people have the right to complain and also reach Superintendent of Police from 12pm-2.00pm of any working day. Police are the friend of general people and without the co-operation of all classes of people it would be tough to prevent terrorism.
Maulana Mohammad Jashim Uddin, Professor Jamia Qurania Arabia Lalbag (JQLM) Madrasha, Dhaka, explained very nicely about the religious quote and their applications in our society. On his lecture, peoples’ myth on the very sensitive issue of “Zihad” and “Terrorism” were nicely described. He added about government initiatives and the full of support to stop terrorism from our country.
He brought out a few common reasons of the narrative gap of the community and madrasha students about a specific issue. The traditional cross fire issue should be banned. He recommended about the up gradation of madrasha education systems and also mentioned to include moral education mandatory for Bengali and English medium education system.
Advocate Saimun Reza Talukder, Senior Lecturer and Assistant Proctor, Department of law, Brac University, delivered his speech with the historical background of the different terrorists and their physical attitudes and tendency to grab the young people. He mentioned the ICT Punishment Act, under this act any cyber offences whose are interrelated both the terrorism and also the anti-human activities would be punished. He addressed social media as Digital Cocaine. His cybercrime explanation part was so brilliant that specified all reasons very clearly.
Mawlana Zobair Ahmed, Professor, Jamia Qurania Arabia Lalbag Madrasha (JQLM) Dhaka, he started his lecture with a reference of Australian Study on Country’s Terrorism issue, “Religious Scholars contribute more to prevent terrorism”. Educational Curriculum can include 200 marks on Religious Study in every level of education system. Healthy entrainment facilities and exact religious explanation should be ensured. He recommended, establishment a “Religious Consultant Firm”.
Dr. Saber Ahmed Chowdhury, Associate Professor, Department of Peace and Conflict, Dhaka University, he stared his lecture with a very bold speech “students are not involved in terrorism because who are involved in terrorism he/she should not be considered as student”. Public participation can be a strong weapon to fight against terrorism. Specific courses should be included to established peace in our community. The most important place for spreading proper religious education is Mosque, Temple, and Church from respective religious perspective.
Session 2: Workshop
Alike the seminar, workshop was also conducted by CDP team. Relevant 10 exclusive topics were provided to the workshop participants. Participants were separated into 10 groups each having 10 members and each group members had to present their thoughts on specific topics. An interesting question answering session was also there to make it more live and exciting. Participants presented according to their number of table.
Table 1: Participants’ of this table was very energetic and pragmatic. They mentioned reasons behind terrorism in two different ways like Moral Reason and Practical Reason. In moral reason, they mentioned lack of religious education, misinterpretation of religious belief, maintaining distance from religious scholars. On the other hand, lack of employment opportunity, dirty politics of recruitment are responsible for enhance the young students towards radicalism.
Table 2: Religious education is mostly needed for establishing peace in our society. Not only in madrasah level but also in general education level in our country should practice the moral education. It is important to educate young students about the phenomenal activists and legends who exemplifies strength and has shown character to fight against all odds and champion the right causes to bring revolutionary changes.
Table 3: Terrorist organizations are using social media platforms for recruiting, training and communicating with their followers, supporters, donors, as it is cheaper, easier, faster and effective method of communication. The members of the terrorist organizations are spreading their ideological thoughts, propaganda and their activities. Nowadays students are getting addicted on social media rather to become socialized.
Table 4: Moral education enables children and young people to explore the world’s major religions and views which are independent of religious belief and to consider the challenges posed by these beliefs and values. It supports them in developing and reflecting upon their values and their capacity for moral judgment. Through developing awareness and appreciation of the value of each individual in a diverse society, religious and moral education engenders responsible attitudes to other people. Team table 4 agreed that “try to be a student not examinee”.
Table 5: The most important findings have been come out from the discussion of this table that “let the students know about specific definition of terrorism and jihad”. There are many areas in which one could educate a person in order to prevent violence. One way is through impulse control and anger management classes, practicing moral education. Students need to keep in touch of the current affairs of the world.
It is important to note however that having proper role models can be key to young adults when they are attempting to attain these skills in a class. Having an appropriate role model will not allow them to seek advice, but will give them someone to mirror themselves after and witness their appropriate behaviors in the face of problems, conflict, anger and stress.
Table 6: Nowadays the basic knowledge of Quran is not practicing in our society. Students are getting involved virtual media rather than to get increase social involvement. In every institution religious education should be established. Family should rear their children following the right knowledge of religious education.
Table 7: Cybercrime is a crime in which a computer is used for a crime like hacking, spamming, phishing etc. For instance, cybercriminals use the internet and computer technology to hack user’s personal computers, smart phone data, and personal details from social media, business secrets, national secrets etc.
One of the best ways to stop these criminals and protect sensitive information is by making use of inscrutable security that uses a unified system of software and hardware to authenticate any information that is accessed over the internet. Students don’t even know about the bitter consequences of it when they are taking the modern technological benefits. Awareness is badly needed for securing cyber security.
Table 8: Cyber security protects the data and integrity of computing assets belonging to or connecting to an organization’s network. Its purpose is to defend those assets against all threat actors throughout the entire life cycle of a cyber-attack. Cyber security experts need a stronger understanding of these topics and many others, to be able to confront those challenges more effectively. To get rid of being affected by cybercrime cyber security should be ensured.
Table 9: Disruption of terrorists on social media involves reporting and taking down of radical elements and acts of violence, whether that is radical accounts or posted content that breaches community safety and standards. All posts should be verified before posting. Besides, those who were punished by their activity should be published on social media, so that others can be aware of involving radicalism. Everybody should be aware of getting rumor, the boys explained very strongly.
Table 10: Terrorism Prevention programs can be effective disruption tools if used at the appropriate time within the cycle of violence. Appropriate mental health and social service professionals can use a whole-person evaluation approach toward an individual who may be considering violent actions as a solution to his/her grievances.
In other words, professionalization of existing intervention processes entails law enforcement working more effectively with mental health and social service professionals. Information reported by family members or other loved ones may require sensitive handling to preserve the country’s better condition. Ministry of Religious Affairs and Ministry of Home should take actions against the extreme group of people.
Therefore, seminar and workshop outcome signify that public opinion strengthens or weakens terrorists and extremists. All ages of people in our country don’t want to see the terrorism activities on this homeland. To get a terror free country this awareness should be continued. Before announcing the closing, remarks gifts were given to the guest speakers and respective teachers of that program.