Bangladeshi diaspora org seeks ways to stop extremism

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:21, Oct 06,2019 | Updated: 00:27, Oct 06,2019


Bangladeshi diaspora, senior government officials and migration experts based in Europe have underscored the need for forging more concerted efforts and work with the governments to stop violent extremism across the globe.

They made the remarks while speaking at an international conference held in Brussels on Thursday, according to a press release received here on Saturday.

The European Bangladesh Forum, a Bangladeshi diaspora organisation based in Europe organised the conference on ‘Bangladesh and South Asia: Security Challenges and Threats from Violent Extremism and Role of Government and Civil Society’ in Brussels at the European Press Club, according to a press release.

EBF president Ansar Ahmed Ullah presided over the chair while EBF vice-president Bikash Chowdhury Barua presented the welcome address in the conference.

In the opening session, migration expert Asif Munier presented his keynote paper on ‘Rise of Violent Extremism and Instability in South Asia including Bangladesh: Key Threats, Challenges and Way Forward.’

Associate Member of the South Asia Institute from the University of Heidelberg, Germany Dr Wolfgang-Peter Zingel presented a talk on the ‘Political Economy of Violence in the South Asia’ and visiting fellow of Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies in Brussels Dr Tommaso Virgili presented talk on ‘Islamism, Religious Intolerance and Outgroup Hostility between Bangladesh and Europe.’

Debarati Guha, Asian head of Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle, addressed the occasion as guest of honour.

The technical session was chaired by EBF advisor Dr Ahmed Ziauddin, while renowned British political analyst and journalist and recipient of ‘Friend of Bangladesh Award’ Chris Blackburn talked on ‘Lifting the Veil: Radicalism in Bangladesh.’ Member of the European Parliament from Italy Brando Benifei and the member of parliament from the Netherlands Niels van den Berge addressed the session.

First Secretary of Bangladesh Embassy in Brussels Fakhruddin Ahmed, Belgium coordinator of Global Solidarity for Peace MM Murshed, Bangladesh community leader Farouque Mirza, Dutch representative from Ahmadia Group Kawsar Ahmed, president of Secular Forum Switzerland Khalilur Rahman Chowdhury, Writer Priojit Debsarkar, community leader from Belgium Bazlur Rashid Bulu, community leaders from Germany Rokeya Sultana Rothe and Kamal Bhuya took part in the discussion.   

Member of the European Parliament Benifei said that as the second and third generation of the immigrant families in Europe, especially in Italy, failed to integrate themselves in the mainstream society and, at the same time, because of the attractive offer of the extremist groups, the young members of the communities have become committed to the extremist outfits.

Under these circumstances, initiatives would have to be taken to stand beside the young people to increase their sense of respectful belongingness, he added.

Dutch MP Niels van den Berge said that it would not bring any solution, if the vulnerable and threatening groups are kept and left behind in seclusion. They should be brought to the table of mediation and dialogue to bring them back to the mainstream society.

A total 65 representatives from civil society, social and human rights organisation, media outlets, researchers, development activists, European politicians, professionals from Bangladesh, Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and the United Kingdom took part in the conference, according to the release.

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