Bangladesh is once again under the spotlight in the international media for violating minority rights. In October 2021, there were attacks on at least 80 of the 32,000 makeshift temples at the Durga Puja, the biggest annual Hindu festival. Over 3600 attacks on religious minorities took place between 2013 and 2021.
A Bangladesh mayor who has refused to permit a mural depicting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s father on religious grounds has been arrested, police say.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was independent Bangladesh’s first leader and since his daughter took power in 2009, authorities have erected more than 1,000 murals and monuments to venerate him.
Bangladesh is holding village council elections that are certain to further consolidate the ruling party’s power but have raised concerns about the state of democracy in the South Asian nation.
The largest opposition party is boycotting the polls being held on Thursday, saying a skewed political atmosphere is preventing fair participation.
Experts say the effects of global warming are devastating Bangladesh and destroying the livelihoods of millions, particularly increased cyclones and flooding that brings saltwater further inland.
Bangladesh, a country of about 160 million, has historically contributed a fraction of the world’s emissions, and yet the low-lying delta nation is hard hit by climate change.
Rising sea levels and deadly floods are already putting tens of millions of lives at risk in Bangladesh, but they bring another problem that threatens the entire nation: waterlogged land and high salinity in streams and soil are killing crops.
Bangladesh ranks seventh for countries most affected by extreme weather in the past two decades, according to the Global Climate Risk Index.
The explosion of communal violence during the auspicious Durga Puja season in Bangladesh surprised the government. It is now clear that the violence was perpetrated by Islamist fanatics, most probably belonging to Shibir, the youth wing of the pro-Pakistani Islamist party, the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI). The Jamaat attained notoriety by collaborating with the Pakistani army in committing genocide during the war of liberation in 1971. Members of two other Islamist organisations, the Islami Andolon and the Hefazet, are also suspects.
China’s combative foreign conduct has many believing that the country has departed from former leader Deng Xiaoping’s philosophy ‘to leave brightness, embrace obscurity, and keep a low profile’ (tao guang yang hui) and is ready to assert it authority internationally. But China’s quiet charm offensive with Bangladesh lends a different character to its diplomacy.
Thousands of members of Bangladesh’s ruling party have rallied in support of the nation’s besieged minority Hindus after one of the worst bouts of religious violence in the Muslim-majority nation in more than 10 years.
The wave of clashes left at least six people, including two Hindu men, dead and dozens of homes destroyed, according to local media. Police said 450 people had been arrested.
Hundreds of people have protested in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, calling for an end to religious violence that has gripped the country for four days, leading to at least six deaths and several injured.
The demonstrations took place on Monday and come as attacks on Hindus and their temples intensified after a photo was posted on social media showing a copy of Islam’s holy book, the Quran, at the feet of a statue at a Hindu temple in the eastern district of Cumilla.