Islamist Extremism: Challenge to Security in South Asia

K Warikoo is Professor at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, where he heads the Central Asian Studies Programme.
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  • January 2006

    Emergence of radical and extremist Islamist movements has proved to be a major source of instability in South and Central Asia. Radical Islamist groups emphasise that political power is indispensable to the establishment of an Islamic state. Though Muslims like non-Muslims have multiple identities – religious, ethnic, tribal, linguistic or territorial, the emphasis by the Islamists on the Islamic communal identity puts them in collision course with the state and other communities. The practice of pan-Islamism, which is based on the concept of Ummah transcending national boundaries, has led to violence and turmoil in parts of South and Central Asia and elsewhere. Islamist extremists pose a challenge to the pluralistic social order and inter-religious harmony and the efforts to construct secular and democratic polity in the region. This is clear from the recent experiences of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Jammu & Kashmir state of India

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