ڈاكٹر جنىد اكبر/حافظ محمد یونس
The phenomenon of sectarianism and religious extremism in various forms and manifestations is present in our society. There are internal as well as external factors. The most important among the internal factors of sectarianism and religious extremism are the extreme positions of religious parties and preachers, personality-cults, egoism, sectarian bias, the concept of being the only righteous person, considering the others as misguided, converted, atheists and infidels, disrespecting religious exponents and figures of the other sects, delivering provocative and inflammatory speeches and spreading such literature. These factors are contributing to the spread of sectarianism and religious extremism. Another important reason behind the spread of sectarianism and religious extremism is the ineffective role of the moderate religious political parties and elites for not countering the exterimists’ narrative which encourage them. Besides, liberal forces that target Islam, moderate religious political parties and elites, further add fuel to religious extremism. To eliminate extremism it is important to not only enforce stringent laws, but also to address the reasons behind it. This paper attemptsto highlight the factors behind religious extremism and recommends ways and means to address the menace.