Dhaka Courier

Fundamentalism in Bangladesh: External and Internal Dimensions of the Political Economy of Militancy

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Uprooting the Economic Strength of Fundamentalism and Militarism. Author: Abul Barkat, ISBN: 987-984-34-3235-3, Price: 600 TK, Muktobuddhi Prokasona

People’s economist professor Abul Barkat has been published a book on ‘Fundamentalism in Bangladesh’ from Muktobuddhi Prokasana. It’s a 7th number publication from Muktobuddhi publication house. This book titled ‘Fundamentalism in Bangladesh: External and Internal Dimensions of the Political Economy of Militancy (21st February, 2018)’. It discusses – roots, strengths and limits of fundamentalism and militarism, religion, communality, religion based fundamentalism, political economy of fundamentalism, economics of militarism, evolution of Islam in east Bengal, political Islam, liberal Islam, linkage among fundamentalist economy, politics and militarism, religion and brain, psychological religious philosophy, possible areas of militancy in this globe though the hand of neo-liberalism.

Professor Barkat dedicates this book who dreams for discrimination-inequality-communality free enlightening humane society. To write this research based manuscript, he uses – analysis and synthesis, induction and deduction, theory of abstraction, history of materialism and theory of dialectics.

Author mentions ‘Fundamentalism’ is a term that is coined by western mass-media. It means aggressive religious fair – belief to prepare anyone for war. Context implies – of course, there is a nexus between fundamentalism (external and internal facts) and imperialism as American hegemony is prevailing everywhere. Everyone needs ‘GOD’ mentioning it, writer elucidates there are 10,000 thousands religion in this world even at ancient period it’s just a natural belief towards − sun, drought, flood, storm, forest, wild animals or hills.

Master Mind Barkat explains – in this world there are 130 cores Muslims, out of it only 7% are extremist Muslim that means only 9 cores. Researchers Abul Barkat differs – religion as faith and religion as ideology; religious belief verses religious superstitions; religion and perception of religion; politics of religion, politics using religion; religion in politics; political religion; politicization of religion and religionization of politics.

Professor Barkat in this slim volume has been discussed about nude philosophy of market economy and neo-liberalism. Global rent-seekers or corporate grabbers and their grand alliance set-up a term “war on terror”. But contemporary global figure tells us “war of terror”, it means to terrorize the world. We know, how super-genocide and corporatocracy took place in different countries – Myanmar, Syria, South America, Congo, Rwanda, Western Sahara, Libya, Eastern Africa, Cambodia, Indonesia, Australia, Grenada and Uganda etc in the name of terrorism, land development, oil extraction, mining and commercial cultivation. Through the ISIS-Islamic states, Al-Qaeda, Taliban mechanism, drug lords, arms lords grand alliance promotes their agendas – the existing context of Palestine, Israel, Pakistan, India (Kashmir), Myanmar(Buddhist Fundamentalism), Tortures of Muslim in China, Thailand, Yemen, Turkey, Indonesia etc even somewhere Muslim are facing identity crisis.

Mentioning the ‘Rotten Apple Theory ‘author informs us how agents of neo-liberalism want to infringe and incarcerate the primary strategic resources through a freethinking conceptual framework. Global resources are – land, water, energy and minerals as well as space resources where global alliance wants not just access but absolute ownership, command and control. Writer stands a mechanism how global mass people can be alienated and exterminated through various investigation alliances, world trade organization, World Bank and international monetary fund.

Professor Barkat analyses that historically the evolution of Islam in Bengal is liberal and it’s mostly immigration, patronage, social liberation under the theory of ‘Sufism’. But the liberal Islam has converted into political Islam through the militarism, inequality, discrimination, states collapses to touch mass people. He points out criminalization of politics and economics has formed a capacity to control market, election, muscle power, fundamentalist groups, terrorists’ body, law/justice and media – the common stature which makes people stillness.

Author precisely has given a balance sheet of 40 years Bangladesh. Escalation component: black money, corruption, illegal export-import, number of slum, distress of older people, NGO’s, killing group, speed money, land encroachment, unemployment rate, religious business, private education, hospitals and clinics, students of CSE and BBA, madrassa students, injustice with mass people. But, national political capital, employment rate, industrialization, economic opportunity, public participation, local entrepreneurs, secular attitude with other religion, mutual respect, practice of general knowledge, philosophical studies, democratic culture are day by day lessening.

Eminent researcher Professor Barkat critically analyses the economic based fundamentalism in Bangladesh. There are huge organization created by fundamentalist groups and their annual profit 3,162 cores taka. They seize profit from educational institution (9.4%); bank, insurance-financial body(27.8%), real estate business(8%),  farmers association, trust, foundation (19.4%); mass media(7.4%), medical and health organization(10%). Apart from that they have specific capacities over local government, mosque and madrassa or Bangla-vai related project. It’s a degree of communalization of economy which determines the economics of fundamentalism. The total profit 3,162 cores taka which is equal to − 1.03% of total annual national investment; 1.33% of total annual non-government investment; 2.2% of total annual revenue income; 1.55% of annual export income; 5.59% of annual development budget; 8.63% of internal resources of annual development budget.

Writers mention the different killing cases from 1996 to 2016. Militarist group of Bangladesh kills some of the talent personalities in Bangladesh. He explains that the evolution of men in this world gives 5 behavioral characteristics – language, tool making, music, art and religion. The religion has specific characteristics but when it converts fundamentalist religious brain then, why it exposes and how it works? Through the ‘serotonin’ hormone and brain washed by fundamentalist group – the elements and functions of religious brain are social exclusion, identity crisis, injustice with women, low quality education, religion in politics, political religion, the issue of by birth and familial thoughts.

Author enlists 133 religious fundamentalist groups in Bangladesh and their 4 stages of Jihad. It’s also master plan of Al-qaeda; DAWA: using all thoughts and readings to reach Jihadi dawat to mass people; IDAD: to complete the whole preparation for Jihad; RIBAT: conduct the small-little bit-segregated crisis or violence; KILAL: for the purpose of Islam based country, conduct massive war.

Finally author recommends: using or grasp the total economic strengths of fundamentalist and militarist groups and distribute the economic profits among freedom fighters, war-scratched freedom fighters, people who are fighting collective development; declare the guiltiness of RAZAKARs in mass media, and supreme punishment to them.

This treasure of knowledge, guideline of intellectually stimulating, collection of ‘inclusive thoughts’ is a great edition in politico-economic literatures would be helpful for the people who are still are fighting from the aspects of psychology, economically, politically, socially, culturally and environmentally for people and society oriented beautiful world.

Reviewed By Shishir Reza Environmental Analyst & Associate Member, Bangladesh Economic Association.

  • External and Internal Dimensions of the Political Economy of Militancy
  • Fundamentalism in Bangladesh
  • Issue 33
  • Reviewed By Shishir Reza
  • Vol 35
  • DhakaCourier

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