Published by Seth Oldmixon on May 20, 2016

BNP’s Commitment to Religious Harmony Requires More Than Words

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson Khaleda Zia said today that her party doesn’t believe “in the division of religious minority and majority,” and that the BNP has “always tried to protect religious harmony and the dignity of all religions, and will do so in the days to come.” The BNP leader’s words are welcome, especially…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on March 26, 2016

Islamist Extremists Threaten Jihad In Bangladesh, Western Media Inadvertently Fans the Flames

As Bangladesh’s Supreme Court prepares to take up a 28-year-old petition challenging a military dictator’s decision to insert a state religion into the country’s constitution, radical Islamists have responded by threatening to launch armed jihad against the government if they don’t like the outcome. Leaders of the radical Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam said on Friday that…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on November 23, 2015

Jamaat-e-Islami, al Qaeda, and Secularism in South Asia

Last year, al Qaeda called for jihad against the government of Bangladesh, accusing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and government of trying to “eliminate every trace of Islam” from the country, and turning Bangladesh into “an Indian outpost.” Al Qaeda called on Islamists to “organize ourselves for a popular and inclusive intifada” to replace Bangladesh’s secular…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on November 19, 2015

What’s really spreading extremism in Bangladesh?

A leading opposition politician in Bangladesh issued a dire warning earlier this week. BNP Vice Chairman Hafizuddin Ahmed told an audience that, “this country will soon become a militant state if the government doesn’t create a scope for restoration of democracy.” Mr. Ahmed followed this call for democracy by completely unironically calling on his supporters to…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on August 18, 2015

Jamaat-e-Islami’s Condemnation of Niloy Neel’s Murder Rings Hollow

Following the murder of Bangladeshi blogger Niladri Chottopadhay (alias Niloy Neel) earlier this month, Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh (JI) issued a press release condemning the act and blaming the government of Bangladesh for failing to protect the public from “the real killers.” While JI publicly condemns the Niloy Neel’s murder, however, it is ignoring the impact of…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on August 5, 2015

Let’s Not Be Fooled By Islamist Public Relations Campaigns

Atif Jalal Ahmad and Michael Kugelman have a new report in The National Interest that examines why the self-described “Islamic State” has been unable to penetrate Bangladesh to the same degree that they have Afghanistan and Pakistan. Their analysis notes a few important factors: “The majority of Bangladesh’s large Muslim population rejects violence, and the…

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