The Uprising in Bangladesh that the Media Isn’t Covering

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

by: Ryan Mauro:

For the past two weeks, Bangladesh has been experiencing its largest demonstrations in two decades. Anti-Islamist Muslim Tarek Fatah says  it is “the first time ever in the Muslim world there has been a popular uprising against the fascism of Islamist parties.”

Unlike the Arab Spring revolutions, this uprising’s goal is not overthrowing a secular government, but protecting one.

The current government is led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, a female secularist from the Awami League Party. Her party won in a landslide in December 2008, a remarkable—if mostly unnoticed—achievement in a 90 percent Muslim country.

Part of the reason for the victory was the party’s support for bringing justice to those responsible for the killing of hundreds of thousands of civilians in 1971 when Bangladesh broke from Pakistan. The Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI), opposed independence and its student wing was involved in the bloodshed. (Read our interview with Saleem Reza Noor, a Bangladeshi-American, about JEI.)

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