Islamist extremism in Bangladesh

A pretext for autocratization

Authored by: Asheque Haque

Routledge Handbook of Autocratization in South Asia

Print publication date:  December  2021
Online publication date:  December  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367486747
eBook ISBN: 9781003042211
Adobe ISBN:


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Bangladeshi authorities have increased autocratization by using the experience of violent Islamist extremism as an alibi. Bangladeshi government enacted the Digital Security Law 2018 claiming that it was a counter-terrorism tool, but in reality it was used to ensure the survival of the regime by prosecuting their opponents, enabling authoritarian practices, and garner support of the religious leaders. As a result, hundreds of journalists, civil society activists, artists, secular thinkers and opinion-makers, faced repression alongside many others who were deemed as opposing the regime in the subsequent two years. The DSA 2018 used the pretext of countering terrorism to achieve political gains, and in the process it infiltrated into the lives of every citizen in the country to infringe upon their fundamental rights.

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