Ali Riaz presented a paper at a conference on religious freedom in South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars at Washington D.C. on January 8.
The conference, Ghosts from the Past? Assessing Recent Developments in Religious Freedom in South Asia, was organized by the Wilson Center, Royal Society for Asian Affairs of the United Kingdom, and Taylor and Francis Press. Riaz, in his paper titled “More than Meets the Eye: Narratives of Secularism and Islam in Bangladesh,” argued that portrayals of Bangladesh as the battleground between secularism and Islam ignore the complex relationships between state, society and religion in the country. He underscored that the dominant narrative of Bangladeshi history ignores the extant multiplicity of both Islamic practices and the understanding of secularism.