It is not possible to prevent the youth from getting involved in militancy only bylaw enforcement agencies, but other related departments and ministries will have to be included in this process, they said
Misinterpretation of religious views, frustration, lack of family bonding and more ties with friends are making youth engaged in militancy, said speakers at a program titled “Youth Dialogue against Violent Extremism”.
The program organized by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit was held at the CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka on Saturday.
They also think youth are now more affected by social depression, making them vulnerable to radicalization.
It is not possible to prevent the youth from getting involved in militancy only bylaw enforcement agencies, but other related departments and ministries will have to be included in this process, they said.
UNDP Bangladesh also assisted the dialogue,attended by students and teachers of different schools and madrasas, professionals and journalists.
UNDP’s Partnership for a Tolerant, Inclusive Bangladesh’s Project Manager Rob Stoelman said in terms of statistics, the level of extremism in Bangladesh is lower thanin many other countries.
He said according to findings from different research works, there is no evidence of the class or groups of people involved in militancy and this is why it is difficult to take social preventive measures.
Although a small number of people are involved in extremism, its extent is huge, he added.
Viqarunnisa Noon School & College student Kasira Sultana Chamely said extremism is not for just religious reasons and they do not have proper knowledge about everything.
She said they become influenced by rumors and so they need to havethe right information and suggested that alongside education, students should engage in extracurricular activities.
Some other students said frustration, mental and social depression, excessive internet use, lack of entertainment facilities and playgrounds and distance from parents are reasons for the involvement in extremism.
CTTC Chief Monirul Islam, who moderated the program, said those who are involved in cultural activities and sports never get engaged in militancy and blamed negligence for the involvement in radicalization.
“In the global context, Muslims are becoming targets of negligence and the youth are engaging in militancy from that feeling. Although the context is different for Bangladesh, they are heading along the path because of misinterpretation,” Monirul said.
Unemployment, poverty and adventurous mentality are also responsible for the situation, he said.
“Cyber space is not a reason of radicalization, but it is a major platform. We need to make people aware of what to take and how much to take from cyberspace,” he added.
The CTTC chief urged families to listen to the youth and provide more time with them.
Based on the recommendations made at the event, the CTTC will organize a national workshop next year on a broad level, he said.
Among others, Dhaka University teachers Prof Niloy Ranjan Biswas and Associate Prof Shabnam Azim, National Mental Health Institute Associate Professor Dr Farzana Rahman, Media Personality Nabanita Chowdhury and Actress Meher Afroz Shaon were present at the program.