Distinguished Professor Ali Riaz has published an essay in the Asian Affairs (vol 29, Issue 2), entitled “More Than Meets the Eye: The Narratives of Secularism and Islam In Bangladesh.” The paper challenges the popular perception that Bangladesh has become the latest battleground between secularism and Islam and problematizes the simplified understanding and the binarization of religion and secularism in Bangladesh.
Riaz argues that extant discussions, on the one hand, overlooks the historical background of the interactions of religion and politics, while on the other hand, it ignores the extant multiplicity of both Islamic practices and the understanding of secularism. The paper calls for a nuanced understanding of the complex historical and contemporaneous developments regarding relationships between religion and politics. The journal is published by the Royal Society of Asian Affairs of England. The paper is part of the special issue “Ghosts from the Past? Assessing Recent Developments in Religious Freedom in South Asia”.