what is bangladesh?


The United Nations categorizes Bangladesh as a moderate Muslim democracy. Meanwhile, the current Foreign Minister called Bangladesh a secular country. She defined Bangladesh to be a “non-communal country” with a “Muslim majority population”. The Foreign Minister further added that the concept of a moderate Muslim democracy cannot be applied in the case of Bangladesh because it fought its war of independence on basis of the ideal of secularism. For Bangladesh, embracing religion or creating a secular identity has been a major contestation in the creation of its national identity. Identity questions for Bangladesh still stand: is it a country of secular Bengalis or Muslim Bangladeshis? This split personality of Bangladesh confounds the international observer. For an outsider, it makes perfect sense to call it a moderate Muslim democracy as a Muslim majority population lives in a country that recognizes Islam as the state religion. Since the Shahbag movement has erupted with the demands of the death penalty for the war criminals, international media remains substantially silent about it.

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