Study finds 10 percent students in Bangladesh universities support terrorism

One in every 10 university students in Bangladesh supports terrorism, according to a study.

Published : 20 Nov 2016, 09:26 PM
Updated : 20 Nov 2016, 09:26 PM

The research has found more than half (51.7 percent) of those students who support terrorism are from well-off families.

In terms of age groups, 54.7 percent of the students who bear such radical ideas are aged between 18 and 25 years.

East West University conducted the research amidst a nationwide campaign against terrorism and militancy after the July 1 terror attack on a cafe in Gulshan where 22 persons, mostly foreigners, were killed.

Three of the five attackers, who were killed in a raid to free hostages the next morning, were from well-to-do families and students of renowned institutions.

Professor Tureen Afroz, Chairperson of the university's law department, came up with the research report at a programme on Sunday.

She said 1,000 students answered a set of 20 questions on terrorism and youth during the survey from Oct 27 to Nov 3. Of them, 663 were male and 337 female.

Out of those surveyed, 10.2 percent said youths' taking to terrorism is 'unfortunate' and 'unexpected'.

They called for effective steps to prevent terrorism, Tureen said.

She said 84.2 percent thinks the trend of youths embracing terrorism has increased to a higher degree than ever before.

According to the study, 37.6 percent students think the trend is mostly seen among youths from the rich families.

Most of the surveyed students, 93.6 percent, blamed indifference of the families to the youths for their joining terrorism. Ninety percent also blamed political instigation.

The other reasons, they pointed out, are joblessness, lack of religious knowledge, easy access to internet-based communication, frustration with and faults in education system.

Of the surveyed students, 67.5 percent think the youths are falling into the vortex of terrorism because of ideological deviation, not because of financial reasons.

Nearly 74 percent said they were unhappy with the anti-terrorism operations of the law-enforcing agencies.

Tureen Afroz said the survey also found a lack of confidence in the judiciary to prevent terrorism.

To do that, the students emphasised initiatives by educational institutions, reforms in education system, surveillance by families, befitting laws and their proper execution, and necessary training and equipment for law-enforcing agencies.

Prime Minister's Information Adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, East West University Board of Trustees President Mohammed Farashuddin, Vice Chancellor MM Shahidul Hasan and police's counterterrorism unit chief Monirul Islam, among others, were present.