Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Islamist Extremism by Jemaah Islamiah in South Asia Research Paper

Islamist Extremism by Jemaah Islamiah in South Asia - Research Paper Example The main external influence on the psyche and perception of the South East Asian people has been from the events that have happened in the Middle East. The complex geo-politics of the Middle East and the interference of the United States in the region, had led to the South East Asians’ perceiving that that Islam is repressed and threatened. Similarly, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the massacre of Muslims in Yugoslavia, and the radical Hinduism in the neighbouring state of India, further added to the insecurity. In addition, there has been a more direct and potent influence of Saudi Arabia that provides donations and funding for setting up schools, madarsas (schools where only Quran and scriptures are taught) and for distributing religious books (Liow, 2004). This massive influx of Wahhabi Sunni ideology from the Middle East, led to the people adopting more conservative Islamic outlook towards both personal and political life. It also prepared the ground for easy acceptan ce of radical form of Islam in the region. The political environment of most of the Muslim dominated states like Indonesia and Malaysia has been of evolutionary democracy, where the government is guided by a mix of traditional Islamic and modern rules and regulations. The region does not allow radical Islam as a political ideology and hence, there is a section of the population that displays discontentment due to their political exclusion. This discontentment was further fuelled by the economic crisis of the 1990s. that led to widespread financial despair, unemployment and left the governments weak and unable to support the population (Sebastian, 2003). The economic crisis consolidated the belief that Western ideologies were exploitative and detrimental and that Muslims need to organize and do business

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