Moderate Muslim leaders in India have called insistently for resistance to Wahhabi penetration, warning against the regional effect of a fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban. At the end of last year, Maulvi Showkat Ahmed Shah, formerly the main Wahhabi leader in Indian-administered Kashmir, a region historically dominated (like Bangladesh) by metaphysical Sufi Islam, was assassinated in a bomb attack after he announced his acceptance of peace with India.
It would be a mistake to denigrate the efforts of Shaikha Hasina to curb Islamist activities in Bangladesh, and especially to deny its people justice for the wide-scale atrocities committed in 1971. The fight against JEI in Bangladesh is not mere politics; it is a struggle for dignity by moderate, conventional, and spiritual Muslims who have been brutalized by jihadists. That the rest of the world has ignored Bangladesh, other “marginal” South Asian lands, and their victims of Islamist subversion and aggression, for so long makes the process of justice and punishment of the Islamist terrorists of 1971 even more urgent.
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