• Brigadier General Md Mefta Ul Karim, ndc, psc NDC




Religious extremism is the tendency or disposition to go to extreme or an instance of going to extremes, especially in political matter. It has similarity with the more pronounced words fundamentalism and radicalism as the entire phenomenon has the tendency to adopt terrorism in extreme instance. Religious extremist groups often think that they are deprived and humiliated and need to establish their religious and social right. As a result, in extreme cases, they adopt terrorism to establish their both rights. The people of Bangladesh have witnessed a horror of Islamic militancy between 1999 and 2005, when Harkat – al – Jihad Bangladesh (HUJIB) and Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) killed 156 secular minded people through suicidal, bombing and grenade attack. Their perilous activities came to an almost end in 2005, due to stern actions of law enforcing agencies. However, it raises a valid question as to why Islamist militants failed to establish strong foothold in Muslim majority country like Bangladesh? In addition to government policy, death sentence to six kingpins including Shaekh Abdur Rahman, Bangla Bhai etc. and activities of law enforcing agencies, it is experienced in the field that the general people of Bangladesh played a very active role in dislodging the extremists from the society. They even did not hesitate to hand over their near and dear ones to the law enforcing agencies, if they were found to be involved. As a result, Islamic religious extremism could not take root in Bangladesh. A limitation of spreading extremist ideology in Muslim majority country like Bangladesh is well known as ‘Bangladesh Paradox’. There is a deep root in the success story of Bangladesh in limiting the escalation of militants Islamist fundamentalism. The people of Bangladesh inherited different religious and cultural traditions through sequential phases of evolution in the past. It has rich and diverse socio-cultural heritage in terms of art, music, theatre, poetry, literature and celebrations. Daily lifestyle of Bangladeshi is influenced by syncretistic form of religion, which has created an environment of peaceful co-existence, culture of tolerance, religious traditions, Secular Linguistic Bengali nationalism etc. These, in turn, have developed an inherent potency among population of Bangladesh against any kind of religious extremism. This paper studied the evolution of socio cultural dynamics and conceptualization of characteristics of Bengali Muslims into culture of tolerance which would surely be an added academic value to existing social studies domain. The long historic socio cultural heritage of Bangladesh actually acted as a natural resistance for spreading religious extremism in this part of the world. The paper enumerates some specific policy recommendations in strengthening culture of tolerance and social cohesion to control religious extremism. Surely, this will be instrumental and of particular interest of policy makers, government and non-government organizations, international community and the social academicians and intellectuals as a whole.


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How to Cite

Brigadier General Md Mefta Ul Karim, ndc, psc. (2016). SOCIO-CULTURAL HERITAGE OF BANGLADESH AND ITS IMPACT ON RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM. NDC E-JOURNAL, 15(2), 89-107. Retrieved from

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