MD Saidul Islam
Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Vol. 31, No. 1, March 2011
More than 85% of Bangladesh ’ s 150 million people are Muslims. Bangladesh earns its title as “ the third largest Muslim country of the world ” following Indonesia and Pakistan because of its enormous size of Muslim population. Their religion , Islam, is however becoming a “ minority” day by day. While Muslims in the West — in spite of being a minority — are enjoying their basic religious freedom, this basic right is increasingly being denied to the Muslims in Bangladesh while it continues to aspire to become a “ uniquely secular ” society . Based on a robust content analysis and interviews , the study shows that the current regime in Bangladesh has taken on a comprehensive policy of secularization with an aim to emasculate Islamic influence from political and social landscape of Bangl adesh. Apart from undermining basic religious freedom of Muslims, the policy — which turns out to be both aggressive and violent — is increasingly becoming hostile to democratic principles, rule of law, freedom of movement, and political pluralism.