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Growth Of Islamic Fundamentalism In South Asia Background Essay

Islamic fundamentalism is not really a new phenomenon. Recently, it has purchased a militant and jihadi form. It has grown because of the failing of the ruling top notch in South Asian countries in region building and in making democratic polities. Successive regimes, both civilian and military, in a few of the countries in the region have used Islam as a way to legitimise their rule.

As seen in previous section that the Islamic fundamentalism has been well entrenched in Pakistan's electric power structure going back two decades or so, since the military guideline of Basic Zia-ul Haq. Pakistan military's alliance with the Mullahs was developed during this time period. The conglomerate of six fundamentalist get-togethers, the Muttahida Majlise Amal (MMA), handles the provincial federal in the strategic NWFP, where it has already enforced some sort of Taliban rule. The MMA is also part of the federal in Baluchistan. Subsequently Gen. Musharraf strengthened the Mullah-Military alliance. In the subsequent paragraphs we will examine the Islamic fundamentalism in various other asian countries and pak role in dispersing this fundamenatalism.


Afghanistan and the Climb of Taliban

Demography. Afghanistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia, bordered by Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzebkistan and China. Its human population approximately stand somewhere between 15 and 20 million people. The mind-boggling majority of its population is Muslims, although a significant minority -between 10 and 20 per cent - adheres to heterodox Sunni confession. The population is also diverse in both cultural and linguistic conditions. While two Indo- Iranian languages - Persian and Pustho- are the ones most generally heard in the country, one also encounters audio system of Turk, Dravidian, Nuristani, and other dialects. Afghanistan besides ethnicaly and linguistically, is also divided financially and spatially.

Shaping of Fundamentalism

Power Struggle the primary cause. The Afghanistan is in turmoil since 1973. In 1973 Mohammed Daoud khan staged a coup, deposing his cousin king Zahir Shah and appointing himself as chief executive. Daoud captured electric power by using Soviet- trained armed forces officers, who have been participants of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA). On 27 Apr 1978, the leftist armed service officers overthrew Mohammed Daoud Khan in a surprise coup and Noor Mohammed Taraki came up to power. Due to inner disputes within the Taraki Camp there is widespread getting rid of of tribal leaders to extend control over them. Thus Amin overthrew and killed Taraki and made overtures to the united states.

Russian Involvement. The Russian Intervention in Afghanistan performed an essential role because of its succeeding control and a state of anarchy in the region. The reason for russian treatment in Afghanistan were as under:-

Iranian Connection. During Oct 1974 The Shah of Iran offered help well worth $ 2 billion to Kabul and also give secure usage of Iranian interface of Bandar Abbas to the ocean via Iran, there by lowering the Soviet leverage as the only real alternative road for Afghan overland trade. The increased overtures of iran towards Afghanistan increased Soviet apprehensions.

Inclination to USA. The Amin after assuming the power from Taraki made overtures towards USA. This triggered Moscow panic and at this time the Soviets made a decision to intervene militarily to stabilize the problem, instead the soviets received sucked in to the war.

Situation after Soviet Withdrawal. Following the withdrawal of Soviet causes from Afghanistan in 1989. The number of Mujahideen faction who fought their Jihad against Soviet makes and communist plan of Kabul attempted to capture the energy in Kabul. The Afghan culture was highly divided on tribal and ethnolinguistically lines at that time. The mujahideen warlords were also fragmented along these lines. As their areas' hobbies were included hence a consensus authorities cannot be produced and neither a power sharing agreement could reach between them. The end result was anarchy in Afghanistan. Pakistan, which was a front brand state for Us citizens and western nation for arms products to mujahideen during Soviet job of Afghanistan possessed now its interest in keeping the Afghan disintegrated as it required it establish its own puppet government there, so that it backed amount of mujahideen groups however when they didn't capture the power in Kabul, it started out the Taliban motion with Saudi money and US planning and Pakistan's manpower.

Pakistan's Objectives. Pakistan aims in Afghanistan are two parts. The first was to secure a receptive innovator dispatch in Kabul which would ensure the transformation of Afghanistan into a Pakistan dominated, Pushtun ruled enclave and assist Pakistan's goal of wider regional impact, and broader regional political, financial and strategic benefits. The other was to enable Pakistan to enmesh the identification of Pakistan's and Afghanistan Pushtun into one and settle forever the longstanding Afghanistan -Pakistan border dispute consistent with Pakistan's passions. These factors assumed higher urgency following the collapse of the Soviet Union, which not only signalled the imminent end of communist rule in Kabul, but also opened up the potentially source abundant Central Asian Republic( CAR).

Growth of Taliban

Birth of Taliban. It really is generally accepted by Afghanistan watchers that the Taliban had its beginning in the solid mountains of the Pak-Afghan border, inside Pakistan place some time in Aug 1994. By early on 1994 it became apparent to the ISI that the Burhanuddin Rabbani routine, not very friendly to Islamabad, was slowly and gradually consolidating itself in Kabul. While they were looking for alternate s, Maj Gen (Retd) Naseerullah Babar, the Interior Minister in the second Benazir Bhutto administration floated the thought of creating a students militia along with some veterans from the Afghan mujahideen who experienced fought the Red Army and who acquired considered shelter in Pakistan. Gen Babar started out his search for suitable leaders from around April-May 1994. In the process, he found a certain Mohammad Umar Mujahid. Later widely known as Mullah Umar. By the end of May 1994 the essential infrastructure for releasing the Taliban was in place. Around this time, the meeting with the Jamait Ulema Islam going by Maulana Fazlur Rahman started out bearing berry in conditions of deputing its students for the suggested attire, which it suggested to call 'Taliban'.

Most of the Taliban are the children of the Jihad against Soviet Union. Many were created in Pakistani refugee camps, educated in Pakistani madrassas and learned their fighting with each other skill from Afghan Mujahideen functions located in Pakistan. Their own families continued to stay in Pakistan as refugees even after the street to redemption of Kabul to the Mujahideen in 1992. The Taliban - the Army of Islamic students -was raised from the madrassas on the Afghan - Pakistan boundary. Sociologically, Pakistan had structured this new revolution upon the section of the fanatical and illiterate town mullahs- the land less and weakest section of Afghan contemporary society. They are generally orphans who would rather reside in madrassas for three square meals every day.

Pakistani Interconnection. Many Taliban bring Pakistani identity credit cards, as they spent years in refuge camps in Pakistan, and thousand voted in the 1997 elections Baluchistan for his or her favourite Pakistani get together- the Jamiat -e Ulema-I Islam. In addition the Taliban recruited hundreds of Pakistani Islamic fundamentalist students to struggle for their triggers and were tightly associated with Pakistan's fundamentalist Islamic celebrations including the Jamait -e Uleama Islam led by Maulana Fazular Rahman. Their cultural background also allowed those to be extremely well connected to many Pakistani state institution, political celebrations and business organizations in what was already an extremely fragmented Pakistani power composition. Thus the Taliban were never beholden to one exclusive Pakistani lobby.

ISI Support to Taliban. It really is presumed that the Taliban Shura and Umer are only a forward and the genuine thinking and strategy is provide by the ex - and serving users of the Inter Services Intellect Company (ISI) of Pakistan. It wold be difficult to describe otherwise how the students of madrassas, focused on religious learning in an effort to life almost over night became warriors. The improvised madrassas in the NWFP and Baluchistan would rarely be in a position to impart any armed forces training, unless they have got sound and organized financial and military backing. The point is, over the last 2 yrs Lt Gen (Retd. ) Hameed Gul, ex - Chief of the ISI, has surfaced as an important spokesperson of the Taliban movements. Large number of former Pakistani military services workers a have been noticed in Taliban camps actively employed in Taliban activities.


Brief History

Formation of Bangladesh. Bangladesh surfaced as a new status in 1971 after having a protracted have difficulties for autonomy, which advanced into a flexibility movement resistant to the Punjabi-dominated military services bureaucratic establishment of Pakistan.

Religion and Constitution. Though the original Constitution of Bangladesh unambiguously enshrined secularism, that was to be realised by eliminating communalism in all its forms, and the establishment of multi-party democracy as fundamental political principles. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman acquired spelt out the meaning of secularism in the context of the Muslim society. He had discussed that secularism does not mean lack of religion. The folks of Bangladesh would have the to religion but no person would be permitted to use religion as a politics weapon. Islam in Bangladesh has been predicated on three types of spiritual beliefs: modern, orthodox and popular. A majority of the Muslims of Bangladesh practice 'popular' faith that includes faith in pirs, sacred places, Hindu gods and local deities and spirits. The Jama'at-i- Islami experienced no appeal in the politics environment in East Pakistan since 1947. In, the Jama'at-i-Islami had only 1 member for the reason that part of Pakistan.

Bangladesh's Drift Towards Extremism. However, after the armed service coup d'tat of 1975, secularism was substituted by the words "Faith in Almighty Allah" in the modified constitution. A new era of the relationship with Middle Eastern Muslim countries, helped bring Wahhabi ideology back from Arabia and created a communal floor and support base for future fundamentalists in the united states. In 1988, another armed forces dictator announced Islam the state faith of Bangladesh by amending the Constitution. To create an aura of politics legitimacy as well concerning win support from the oil-rich Middle Eastern Muslim countries, armed forces regimes rehabilitated and eventually collaborated with Islamic political organizations, a few of that have been radical and fundamentalist in nature. 43 Both navy regimes tried out to beat their legitimacy crises by manipulating the politics issue of Islamic identity. In this manner, the armed forces regimes not only created the chance for the Islamists to be a part of mainstream politics in Bangladesh, however they also made Islamization an agenda of their state and Islam the de facto status ideology. 44Subsequent democratic governments could not triumph over the religious ideology created by the military services regimes. Through the anti-military period of the 1980s, both major political celebrations, the Bangladesh Awami Group (AL) and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), continued to keep tactical relationships with fundamentalist political organizations. The party that won the general elections in 1991 and 2001 created a coalition with fundamentalist politics organizations. Both of the militant fundamentalist organizations of the period that stunned the country the most were the HUJIB and the JMB. The mom organization of the HUJIB was located in Pakistan.

Fundamentalist Serves in Bangladesh. Between March 6, 1999 and January 27, 2005, militant Islamists wiped out at least 156 people in Bangladesh. Bombs were tossed typically at secular ethnic gatherings, courthouses, and Sufi shrines. Worst included in this were the bomb episodes at Udichi programs (a secularist ethnical group) programs, the Ahmadiyya mosque (a minority Islamic spiritual sect), Bengali new yr festivities, churches, movie theatres, the Bangladeshi given birth to English High Commissioner to Bangladesh, and at the rally of the get together of opposition. The bomb assault that shocked the country most was the blast of August 17, 2005, where 459 bombs were exploded in 63 of the 64 districts in the united states between 11:00 and 11:30 am. There have been also several episodes on secularist NGO (Non-Government Business) activists and newspaper publishers. Two militant religious fundamentalist organizations, Harkatul Jihad al-Islam Bangladesh (HUJIB), and Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), completed these attacks. These two groups exclusively exploded hundreds of bombs throughout the united states during this time period in order to establish an Islamic plan in the country. In addition to both of these categories, other militant Islamist organizations, productive in this period which were also involved in similar violent and terrorist activities included, Shahadat al-Hikma, Hizbut Tawhid, Bangladesh Islamic Manch, and Hifajate Khatme Nabuwat Andolon.

Pakistan Link. Both of the major and active militant fundamentalist organizations of Bangladesh are HUJIB (Harkatul Jihad al-Islam of Bangladesh) and the JMB (Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh). The mother firm of the HUJIB was situated in Pakistan. The Pakistani HUJI got first made an appearance in the early 1980s as several supporters of the Afghan level of resistance against Soviet hostility, known as Jama'atul Ansar (Band of the Helpers). Together with the support of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intellect Company (ISI), the group renamed itself as Harkatul Jihad al-Islam (The Movements for the Islamic Jihad) in 1988. 53 In the 1990s it extended its functions beyond Afghanistan, especially to get the struggle of Muslims in non-Muslim countries. Shafiqur Rahman, an Afghan warfare veteran, founded the Harkatul Jihad al-Islami Bangladesh in 1992. The organization officially announced its life at a press conference at the Country wide Press Club in Dhaka on Apr 30, 1992. Presently there are approx 27 militant outfits in India's Northeast which have ties with Bangladesh and its own various religio-political categories. The ISI and Bangladesh's DGFI coordinate with ULFA. The influx of migrants from Bangladesh over the border into north-east India and Western world Bengal certainly poses a threat of Islamic militancy spreading in these regions of India as well. During the rule of the BNP-led four-party alliance between 2001 and 2006, militant Islamic organizations like the HUJIB and JMB received significant materials and moral support from Islamists within the alliance.


Gen. Nepal is a Hindu kingdom but not a Hindu state and religious minorities have lived in the Kingdom without any discrimination. Over the last several years, the Kingdom, however, has been in turmoil. It has been plagued by Maoist insurgency and the have difficulty for end of monarchy and establishment of Democracy in the Kingdom. Both these major have difficulties were over by 2006. However the country had to believe and workout the settlement before the maoist can be used and the new constitution can be enacted for the country. Though the country is expert India and anti - Islamic Fundamentalism, but a disturbed situation has been exploited by the anti India countries over the years. The usage of Nepal earth by the Islamist for creating disruption in India have been established time again. The existence of militant Islamists on the India-Nepal boundary has been leading to matter in the contiguous Indian areas.

Geographical Realities. It may be known that India comes with an open, porous boundary with Nepal, which is 1, 859 km-long. You will discover almost 20 Indian districts that promote the border with 27 Nepalese districts. The open border offers a free field to all types of legal activities, like drug trafficking, smuggling, cleverness activities, fake money, fugitives, etc.

Matter of Concern. What has triggered concern is the emergence of numerous madrassas and mosques on both factors of the boundary. The number of mosques is certainly not justified by the number of Muslims in the area. The madrassas are essentially funded from Western world Asia. These developments too have serious implications for India. The 1999 hijacking of the Indian Airlines plane on a journey from Kathmandu to New Delhi, which ultimately ended with the discharge of three top Pakistani terrorist market leaders, exhibited that the ISI acquired set up a dynamic bottom in Nepal. Some Kashmiri communities belonging to Hizb-ul Mujahideen have been caught in Nepal aiming to send money to Islamic separatists in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistani existence in Nepal is reflected in the growth of madrassas, upsurge in Muslim people, floating of imitation Indian currency and is helped by an wide open border and lack of monitoring system.


Origin and Development of Islamic Fundamentalism. Muslims in Sri Lanka are the descendants of the Arabs, who came into being a thousand years ago. The origins of Islamic fundamentalism in the country, however, are recent and can be followed to 1990 when the Sri Lankan cultural Tamils drove away Muslims from the Eastern region under their control. This obligated migration increased Muslim people in the districts to which they got migrated. No effort was created by the federal government to rehabilitate these uprooted Muslim refugees, who had to reside in poverty and misery. As time passes, madrassas emerged up, funded by munificent Arabs. Consistent Sinhala-Muslim communal clashes began to occur. Shariat courts were set up and strict guidelines imposed on Muslim ladies in the Eastern areas. The problem in the Muslim areas deteriorated and Muslim- Buddhist clashes became a normal feature. Militant camps were setup in the Eastern areas where volunteers were given biceps and triceps and weapons training in the jungles plus they called themselves jihadis struggling a holy warfare for guarding themselves. Ironically, the government itself had provided forearms to the Muslims in the early 1980s to safeguard themselves from the LTTE. Also, efforts were made on part of the government to use Islamic militancy as a buffer up against the LTTE. The united states has been facing the risk of Tamil Eelam. The problem in the Eastern province is a potential bloody cauldron. There have been accounts of two Islamic militant bases in Valaichchenai. The forming of an Osama Squad in Batticaloa has also come to note. All this signifies growth of extremist elements locally.

Pak Participation. The ISI is keenly interested to accumulate intelligence about trends in Indian nuclear institutions, many of which are situated in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In such a background, the appointment by Pakistan 2 yrs ago of your previous director of the Cleverness Bureau as its High Commissioner in Colombo was not without significance. There has been a rise in the actions of Lashkar-e-Toiba in the Eastern province.


Fundamentalist Functions Post Freedom. After independence aside from some minor apparel, there were two main fundamentalist functions in the country, the Jamiat-al Ulema-i-Hind and the Jama'at-t-Islami. The Jamiat-al Ulema, which experienced compared the creation of Pakistan till the end, withdrew from Indian politics after the liberty and the framing of the Indian Constitution. As the Jama'at-i-Islami was divided following the emergence of Pakistan in 1947 and some participants of the Jama'at, including its creator, Maulana Abul Ala Maududi, migrated to Pakistan, with an aim of creating an Islamic country. As the, participants of the Jama'at, who stayed back India, formed a separate Jama'at in April 1948. The market leaders of the Indian Jama'at opposed secularism in every walks of life and didn't take part in elections, and decided to opt from the Indian politics system. However Jama'at accepted the secularism in 1960s, though with some reservations. The Jama'at members from Jammu & Kashmir have never been area of the Indian Jama'at and produced a separate party in their state.

Growth of Islamic Fundamentalism in India. India is marred with various terrorist/ insurgency related problems, terrorism in Punjab, insurgency in its NE, Maoist insurgency in its Central Part, Islamic Fundamentalism in J & K and till later LTTE affect in its southern part. However among all these the menace from Islamic fundamentalism by large, poses the most complicated and significant threat to India. India consists of largest Muslim inhabitants after Indonesia in south Asia. Islamic fundamentalism by means of terrorism in India was initially limited to the region of J & K, but today they have pass on its tentacles to other parts of India too. The series of bombing episodes in Mumabai, Banglore, Hyderabad, Varanasi, the hijacking of Indian airlines, invasion on parliament, mumbai 26/11, etc are testimony to the growing impact of Islamic fundamentalism in India. India evidently has turned into a concentrate on of jihad in the age of globalisation. Islamic fundamentalism is against democracy and identical rights for any citizens, regardless of caste, creed, or gender. Its further development will disrupt serenity and stableness in the united states and in the complete region.

Pakistan Invovement. It was well realised by various pakistani rulers and dictators that subdueing India with armed service might is near to impossible and a proxy battle in the form of Jihad would accrue disproportionate final result. Keeping this aspect at heart Gen Jia-ul-Haque carried out this plan during his tenure. This plan of destabilising India, was implemented through the ISI, an intelligence agency whose official cadre is attracted from Pakistan Army which is known as to be the express Instrument of this policy, Pakistan engagement in creating and fostering spiritual extremist groups and terror organisations in Kashmir and in other places in India is well recorded.



Through our prior study it ha sbeen amply founded that the surge of Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan isn't only responsible for the present situation in Afghanistan and in Jammu and Kashmir, but it also has significant consequences for all those countries of the South Asian region. All Southern Asian countries are pluralistic and face at different levels, inner tensions and issues based on caste, religion, ethnicity, vocabulary and community, and these distort their countrywide integrity and unity. Spiritual nationalism has made a great headway not only in Pakistan but also in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It has made Pakistan a haven for Islamic terrorists, including Al Qaida, and it inspires terrorist activity in Kashmir. Some of the features of Islamic extremism in South Asia are: religiously defined national identification, undermining of democracy by promoting majoritarian theory and practice of non-liberal democracy and accentuation of international issues on ethno-religious lines, for example, between 'Hindu India' and 'Muslim Pakistan' and 'Hindu India' and 'Muslim Bangladesh'. The fundamentalists aim to turn the Muslim majority states of the region into Islamic states and begin jihad in those countries where Muslims are in a minority. There is absolutely no correct information about the exact volume of madrassas in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and India. Many of these madrassas disseminate the militant ideology of Islamic fundamentalism and come out militants. These contribute to the ongoing destabilisation not only in Pakistan but also far away of the spot. The actual radicalisation of Indian Muslims is also a cause of concern.

The Pakistan had the repercussions in other countries of the spot. The major Islamic get together, the Jama'at-i- Islami of Pakistan, and the Tablighi Jama'at and their militant offshoots has a solid existence in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. There's a vast network of Deobandi and Wahabi madrassas in almost each South Asian country and many of them are being funded by Saudi and Pakistani resources. Pakistan has been sponsoring a militant terrorist campaign in the Indian status of Jammu and Kashmir going back two decades. Pakistan's official businesses have been productive to advertise militant groups in all countries of the region. In India, there's been a visible upsurge in the actions of Pakistani-sponsored militant groups, like Lashkar-e Toiba and Jaish-e Muhammad. South Asia is the most complex region of the world in conditions of religion, and is inhabited by the supporters of most major religions. Islam, after Hinduism, is one of the major religions of South Asia. It gets the second largest following (29 per cent) after Hinduism (64 per cent). Almost four from every 10 South Asians are Muslims, and they form the sole largest Muslim human population on earth. Islam in the region has already established to co-exist, since its entrance in the Indian subcontinent in the first century of the Islamic calendar, with a bewildering variety of religions and cults. All of the countries in the region that emerged after Freedom are hence multireligious, multi-ethnic and multi-linguistic. India is bigger, both in proportions and populace, than the rest of the countries of the region combined. It has additionally the most significant Muslim population in the world after Indonesia.


Muslims constitute a lot of the population in three of the seven countries in South Asia, i. e. , Pakistan, Bangladesh and Maldives, and they are also a significant minority in India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. But Muslims of South Asia aren't a monolithic community. Even at the height of the Mughal Regional Implications of the Rise of Islamic Fundamentalism in Pakistan guideline in India, the Muslims of the region didn't constitute an individual harmonious community. They can be divided in several Islamic sects, subsects and institutions of thought. Though most them participate in the Sunni sect, each South Asian country has a considerable variety of Shias and other minority sects and academic institutions. Almost every country in the region also faces unresolved ethnic, communal and linguistic tensions that sometimes lead to major conflicts. The terrorist marketing campaign in Jammu & Kashmir- waged mainly by militant Islamic organizations sponsored and trained by Pakistan's agencies - and the disruptive activities of the Islamic fundamentalist functions within Pakistan, therefore have wider implications and present a major risk to the region. The surge of Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan has had serious implications for public and political stableness in your community and an extremely volatile impact on relations among communities adhering to different faiths.

References/End Notes

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