Bangladesh | 19 March 2019

Bangladesh: Website ban useful for wooing Islamic groups?

Show: false / Country: Bangladesh / Bangladesh
The Digital Security Act (passed in October 2018) has so far enabled the authorities to block access to more than 18,000 internet sites, reported UCA News on 1 March 2019. Thomas Muller, persecution analyst at World Watch Research, comments: "Although most of the blocked sites reportedly involved pornography or gambling, the law is also being used to block popular blogs such as "". All nine atheist bloggers killed by radical Muslims in the country in recent years were active on this website. After a public outcry, the restriction on this blog was lifted. Nevertheless, this process of blocking websites has highlighted some interesting things to note: i) It has shown what potential power lies behind this digital security law; ii) It indicates how conservative the government is becoming; iii) It has the welcome side-effect of acting as a tool for wooing Islamic groups." Meanwhile, as LaCroix International reported on 21 February 2019, the largest Islamic party, Jamaat-e-Islami (which has close ties with the opposition Bangladesh National Party), is struggling to remain a serious political force after several leaders recently resigned. For the Christian minority this is however of little comfort since the ruling party is becoming increasingly conservative anyway."


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