Bangladesh’s Identity Crisis: To be or Not to be secular

Fifty years after it gained its independence, Bangladesh’s commitment to secularism remains shaky.

thediplomat – By Shafi Md Mostofa – December 06, 2021

Bangladesh’s Identity Crisis: To Be or Not to Be Secular
Hundreds of Hindus protesting against attacks on temples and the killing of two Hindu devotees shout slogans in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Monday, October 18, 2021.Credit: AP Photo/Mahmud Hossain Opu

In a couple of weeks, Bangladesh will celebrate the golden jubilee of its victory in the liberation war against Pakistan. Fifty years have passed since it became independent, and secular nationalist forces gained the upper hand over religious ones in the war. However, Bangladesh has not been able to secure its secularism.

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A new culture of dissent is remaking Cuba’s politics – William M. LeoGrande Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Anti-government protesters march in Havana, Cuba, July 11, 2021 (AP photo by Eliana Aponte).

In mid-February, a court in Holguin, Cuba, about 500 miles east of Havana, handed down sentences of up to 20 years in prison to 20 people convicted of sedition the previous month. Their crime, and that of the hundreds of others like them still awaiting verdicts elsewhere, was to have participated in widespread protests last summer, some peaceful but some violent, that took the Cuban government—and the world—by surprise.

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