In July 2016, the world’s attention fell upon a café in a leafy Dhaka neighbourhood, as the barbarity of a distant ‘Caliphate’ was visited on this corner of South Asia. Twenty-nine died in the assault on the Holey Bakery, affixing an unbidden nightmare to the image of a supposedly tolerant Muslim nation.
Joseph Allchin dives into this burgeoning Muslim nation’s travails with extremism and politics in this penetrating work. Examining Bangladesh’s recent and not-so-recent past, Allchin explores a recent rise in Islamist politics, as well as violent terrorism. With a compelling blend of history, narrative journalism and political analysis, Allchin demonstrates how Bangladesh’s society and politics are starkly contemporary and relevant to our inter-connected world.
Delving into the local and global differences between political actors, he exposes the continued influence of the country’s independence struggle and global geopolitics on today’s tumultuous body politic. Scrutinizing the careers and dissensions of the country’s political rivals: current prime minister Sheikh Hasina, and her predecessor Khaleda Zia.
This deep-dive investigation examines the multitude of relationships between radical Islam and politics in India’s neighbourhood, laying bare the forces that seek to shape Bangladesh’s present and its destiny.