Bangladesh considering dropping Islam as state religion, according to senior minister

Bangladesh considering dropping Islam as state religion, according to senior minister November 16, 2016

Having written about this before, I thought it would be worth mentioning again. Bangladesh had floated the idea of becoming secular (again), and then quashed the idea. But so soon after this, the idea has resurfaced. The Independent has reported:

Government officials in Bangladesh are considering dropping Islam as the country’s national religion after a senior politician claimed Bangladeshi people have embraced “a force of secularism”.

Dr Abdur Razzak, a leading member of Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League party, proposed the religion be withdrawn from the country’s constitution during a discussion at the National Press Club in the capital Dhaka.

“Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony. Here we live with people from all religions and Islam should not be accommodated as the state religion in the Bangladeshi constitution,” Dr Razzak said in his report.

“I have said it abroad and now I am saying it again that Islam will be dropped from Bangladesh’s constitution when the time comes.

“The force of secularism is within the people of Bangladesh. There is no such thing as a ‘minority’ in our country.”

Dr Razzak added he believed Islam had been maintained as the state religion for “strategic reasons”, but declined to elaborate on this during the discussion.

Banlgladeshi Islamist violence has been plaguing the country for some time, so such a move would be challenging to say the least.

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