Thursday, March 31, 2005

BANGLADESH: When fundamentalism threatens democracy

Sounds familiar? Just like Pakistan, its former overlord, this nation of 140 million people—the third most populous in the Muslim world—though it once fought against radical Pakistan and achieved independence from it in 1971, is slowly moving away from its tradition of moderate Islam. Both the major political parties (BNP and Awami League) are harbouring or taking them as their allies, in turn, directly or indirectly, in order to counter each other in the short run. But it is well known to them that in the long run none of them will be spared by these deadly elements. A good few of the ruling BNP care for or are inclined to Islamic fundamentalist parties/groups. They allegedly patronize and favour the pro-Islamic institutions, organizations, newspapers and their people. As a result, the talented are being denied being in authority/important positions in most cases.........More