Bangladeshis in east London: from secular politics to Islam

“Who speaks for the mostly poor Bangladeshi community in east London? Delwar Hussain charts a long-term shift from secular leftism to Islamism – one in which British state policy has played a significant role.”

From Open Democracy:

The connection between events in Bangladesh and the large Bangladeshi community in east London is intimate but not static. The influence of economic, political and generational change on the transformation of personal and public identities is profound. In particular, there has been a significant movement in recent years from alignment with secular politics as a vehicle of representation and empowerment towards Islamic-based organisation. An important element in this is that the British state has helped create and support this process through its funding policies and its application of a “multicultural” model of relating to and supporting community organisations in the area.

To understand the context of this change, it is necessary to understand the trend of events in the Bangladeshi homeland itself.

More here.