March 28, 2005

Bud Talkinghorn: The Taliban is finding a new home

Bangladesh, a country that has fallen off the map for most people, is quickly becoming the new Taliban-styled Islamic country. Various fundamentalist factions are vying for control of the country. Chief among them is the Bangla Bhai, centered around Chittagong, who force the burqa on women and long beards on men. Failure to comply is met with torture and occasionally, death. The government in Dhaka is impotent in stopping this. Besides, it is factionally divided itself. The second largest party is bent on turning the once secular state into an Islamic theocracy. The other faiths that make up 17% of the population are increasingly being attacked. There is a call for their expulsion. Even in Dhaka, the fundamentalists harass the Muslim sect, Ahmadiyya. with mass demonstrations. They forced the government to declare them infidels. The flight of the educated moderate Muslims is only a Khomeini-styled revolution away. That, along with the Hindu entrepeneur classes leaving, would doom Bangladesh from ever rising above its fourth world status. In fact, plunging off the economic map all together. It would also pose another outpost for al-Queda to exploit.

The West's problem is that this radical Islamic doctrine has hundreds of millions of potential converts, who inhabit these sinkhole countries. The 'Stans", the Horn of Africa countries, and Pakistan's NW fronier are all basically lawless societies. They harbour large numbers of fanatics, who hate the West. Can we afford to add 83 million Bangladeshi Western-haters to that list? The West must pressure the Bangladesh government into suppressing these groups, or face the consequences. Those consequences will arrive sooner rather than later.

© Bud Talkinghorn

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