Distinguished Professor Ali Riaz has been quoted by CBS News. The report on the recent opening of Islamic seminars called madrasas for transgender children in Bangladesh highlights the challenges to these educational institutions and the social stigma for LGBTQ in the country. Riaz described the new seminaries as a positive step “but not a sufficient one.” 

He told CBS News that the government should develop a “comprehensive plan” to include the disenfranchised community in Bangladesh’s social, political, and economic arenas, as well as its education system. 

“It won’t happen overnight,” he acknowledged. “The conversations have to be started, awareness increased, until people accept them as a normal part of the society, as is happening around the world with LGBTQ rights,” Riaz said. 

He also told CBS News he worried about the “highly conservative outlook” that many madrasas give their students, the “restricted environment” that prevents free thinking, and a “dated curriculum.”