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Islamists in Bangladesh to take to the street to protest visit of Indian PM


Islamists in Bangladesh to take to the street to protest visit of Indian PM

islamist protest bangladesh
Photo: Getty

Islamic parties in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, have withdrawn their plans to protest Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi state visit’s next week. Modi cancelled the visit after the event he was due to attend was postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Modi has faced demonstrations in his own country over his perceived enabling of sectarian violence against Indian Muslims. At the heart of the turmoil is the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which would allow religious minorities from nearby Muslim-majority nations, including Bangladesh, to be granted expedited citizenship in India. The CAA notably ignores Muslim minorities in non-Muslim majority South Asian nations.

At least 48 people have been killed in violent protests against the CAA; Muslim casualties in India outnumber those of Hindus three to one.

The policy will almost certainly pose a risk to the stability India-Bangladesh relations. The two countries have been warming up to each other in recent years, in stark contrast to India’s hostile relationship with Pakistan (Muslim-majority Bangladesh separated from Pakistan in 1971). Cooperation between India and Bangladesh is especially crucial due to increasing cross-border threats such as the spread of COVID-19 and the curtailment of terrorism. Many of the terrorist groups are Islamic fundamentalists that will use the CAA as an excuse to drum up local support.

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