Religious extremism in Pakistan
Lillah, Hamid S.
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Religious organizations (ROs) in Pakistan have a socio-economic link with society because these institutions provide public goods and welfare to society. Members of society who benefit from the welfare activities of the ROs become supporters of these institutions. Moreover, some selected ROs in Pakistan have adopted extreme views due to the political and social context in the country. They then use this socio-economic link to indoctrinate citizens with extremist ideologies, thus creating a foundational acceptance of terrorism as a justified activity. Further, this link enables ROs to mobilize society for their interests, such as to pressure the state to gain concessions or compel the state to pass extremist laws. The state responds to ROs because of their influence over a considerable segment of society. At times, the state also needs the ROs to mobilize the population for the state’s interest. Therefore, the state accepts the demands of ROs—including those that require adoption and implementation of extremist laws, which further contribute to extremism.
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