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Fundamentalism represents a movement by itís followers whose faith is characterized by strict adherence to a distinctive doctrine to which they place grave importance and view it as being of cosmic proportions. Fundamentalism in any form, bears wide criticism because most of their beliefs cannot be proven, is contrary to scientific evidence and largely based on irrational concept. In religious fundamentalism people engaged place their belief in sacred scripture of a particular religion, which is considered authentic and means the literal word of their god or gods. No person has the right to change it or disagree with the doctrine of the religion. Religious fundamentalists have vivid political awareness. In their eyes the state has to be subservient to god and recognize the way of life as prescribed in the doctrines.

Religious enrollment in religion-based educational institutions contributes to fundamentalism by exerting direct influence on the mentality of young people largely through demagogy by zealots. This enrollment is mainly the consequence of poverty and ignorance of poor people, which puts them in position to enroll their children in such schools as they cannot afford other viable options and face a lot of discrimination. Preference for religious schooling also plays a role on their enrollment.


The very existence of moderate Islam and secularism in this country is facing threat, courtesy of Islamic fundamentalism and religious intolerance that is growing out of proportion day by day. These have been exemplified by numerous attacks against religious minorities, secular intellectual and politicians.

Islamic fundamentalism was ushered in by people of who allegedly collaborated with the Pakistani militia in the Liberation War of 1971 with the intent to prevent the independence of Bangladesh. Although initially discredited for their part in the war they were later allowed to set foot in the political field. They mainly exercised their influence on mind of poor marginalized people by taking advantage of their impoverished condition and narrow-minded mentality and ignorance. This has consequentially led to the mushrooming of madrassas or Quranic schools which has grown to 64,000 according to Asian News website in June 2005 from 4,100 in 1986. Allegations against these schools suggest that they are the breeding grounds for potential future militants. The government however granted them recognition without taking into account what they teach. Students have been said to have received training on martial arts and weapon. One retired high rank civil servant mentioned in his comment described the situation as a political time bomb. There is a growing threat from the possibility that by the time radicalization reaches itís peak, 20 million people enrolled in madrassas or Quranic schools might become weaned in fundamentalism.


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