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Being Muslim in South AsiaDiversity and Daily Life$
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Robin Jeffrey and Sen Ronojoy

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198092063

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198092063.001.0001

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Muslim Aspirations in Bangladesh

Muslim Aspirations in Bangladesh

Looking Back and Redrawing Boundaries

(p.249) Chapter Twelve Muslim Aspirations in Bangladesh
Being Muslim in South Asia

Samia Huq

Oxford University Press

Till 2013, political discourses in Bangladesh offered Muslims very little space other than one of two polar opposites: the ultra secular liberals or the anti-1971 and thus anti-nationalist Islamists. As Islam presented itself through new adaptations to modern life, the polarization between the two camps widened as citizens who desired Islam as one of the key anchors of their identity were left devoid of possibilities, often turning to the Islamist or versions of the Islamist rhetoric. With a particular kind of textual Islam increasingly claiming the grounds, one often bemoaned the absence of an in-between space from where Bangladeshis could claim tolerance, pluralism and spirituality in the creation of a democratic society. This was also reflected in the aspirations of men and women who found themselves, often by default, engaging with a religious rhetoric that premised itself in an opposition to secularism. This article points to some articulations and debates of such aspirations by women who congregate to read and discuss the Koran in Dhaka.

Keywords:   Bangladesh, Islamist, secular, identity conflict, nation state, pluralism, Allama Abul Hashim, democracy

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