Religious Radicalisation in Pakistan: Defining a Common Narrative

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Abstract

Variant views, on the existence of religious radicalisation as a problem in Pakistan, have restricted sustainable initiative for de-radicalisation. The culture of not challenging the violent discourse is the real problem creating an intolerant society in Pakistan. The present narrative of the militants is based on the notion that Pakistan’s identity, as an Islamic state, is under attack and people can only prove to be good Muslim if they oppose the state following the western ideals of liberalism and democracy. The paper examines the contradiction between the existing narrative preventing the efforts to eradicate the mind-set based on hatred and intolerance and the need for a counter-narrative to reclaim Pakistan’s identity as a progressive Muslim state. It is important to note that military operations against terrorism can only treat the symptom but not the cause. The problems multiply due to lack of a unified approach to identify the issue and its solution. The way religious radicalisation is defined by the conservative groups is completely different from the secular forces in the country; the majority of the moderates prefer to remain silent on the issue which is often misunderstood by the West as a tacit support to religious radicalisation.

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