Religious Extremism and Sindh’s Resilience
Keywords:Violent religious extremism, intolerance, resilience, pluralism, inclusive culture
The study aims to highlight the scourge of religious extremism in Sindh, uncovers its root causes, suggests some remedies, and investigates province’s resilience to protect its tolerant roots. Sindh has remained the land of Sufi saints and is rich in pluralistic cultural ethos, but the recent rise of violent religious extremism is eroding these values. External Shocks such as Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, 9/11, and subsequent War against Terror sown the seeds of extremism in Sindh. Religious parties with the support of Pakistan’s powerful elite, through repression and persuasion, have supported violent religious extremism, which serves their political, economic and social interests. Poverty and inequality, social injustices, ignorance, and intolerance in society are providing breeding ground for extremism. Introducing Sufis’ message of love, peace, and tolerance through reviewing syllabi, and improving governance and institutional capacity of the provincial and district governments by enhancing accountability, transparency, rule of law, swift prosecution through fair trials and accessible and affordable justice are a few remedies to safeguard against and combat violent religious extremism.