LUCKNOW | Saturday, March 14, 2009 | Email | Print |
Radical Islam is not religion: Benkin
Pioneer News Service | Lucknow
One has to stop treating radical Islam as a religion to effectively fight any form of terrorism and communalism.
view was expressed by human rights activist and anti-terrorist author,
speaker and specialist on South Asia Richard L Benkins at a programme
organised at the Ancient History department of Lucknow University by
Open Space on Friday.
Benkins, who has been actively involved in
the fight of Bangladeshi Hindus, stressed that the greatest scourge of
this age was that radical Islam sought to impose its version of right
and wrong on the world. A financial analyst, Benkins,is a native of
Illinois in US.
"Given the heinous nature of its rhetoric and
murderous nature of its actions there should be no debate over its
incompatibility with democracy and over the reaction that free
societies must have towards it," Benkins said. He added that free
societies had a difficult time demonising any faith. "But this also
casts those who are ready to fight radical Islam as extremists and
communalists. Today free societies are hopelessly split between the
extremes of craven appeasement and balatant communalism," the human
rights activist said.
Talking to The Pioneer after the lecture,
Benkins said that he had been involved in the fight of Bangladeshi
Hindus against radical Islamists because he was inspired by one of his
"The Bangladeshi Hindus were being slaughtered and
everyone, right from the Indian government to Bangladeshi government
and the United Nations chose to ignore it. From one-fifth, the
population decreased to one-tenth because of the property law that
allows these radicalist to inherit the property once the Hindus are
chased away," he said.
Asked why the US administration was
increasing its aid to Pakistan knowing that it aided terrorists,
Benkins said that he was not happy with this decision of his
"Probably there is a misconception among the US
authorities that in the fight against radical terrorists they should
take the help of people who know them best," he said.
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