January 11, 2008, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM - Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. Headquarters
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On January 11th 2008, one year will have passed since a State of Emergency was declared in
Hillel Fradkin, Maneeza Hossain, Husain Haqqani
Bangladesh. The country was driven to the brink of civil war by violent protests against electoral fraud. To the relief of many, the army stepped in and effectively saved Bangladesh from descent into chaos.
The Bangladesh Army's takeover of the political system came at a heavy price: a native democratic system that had lasted more than fifteen years was forcibly ended. More ominously, the takeover inadvertently legitimized and strengthened Islamist radicalism in Bangladesh.
Hudson Senior Fellow Maneeza Hossain's new book Broken Pendulum: Bangladesh's Swing to Radicalism, (Hudson Institute Press) explores the background and factors contributing to a process of radicalization, not merely religious but broadly cultural, in Bangladesh.
Before the military assumed power, Bangladesh appeared to be a model for democratic development, not only in South Asia but across the Muslim world. Still, the story of Bangladesh is not merely one of a promising democratic model that has failed. The world community cannot afford to ignore the developments in Bangladesh, as remote as this South Asian nation seems. In our globalized world, radical successes in Bangladesh can inspire similar movements elsewhere, including India, Europe and even the United States.
On the anniversary of the military take-over that Bangladesh has witnessed on January 11th 2007, this meeting seeks to assess the results of Bangladesh's first year away from democracy.
Discussants included Hossain and Husain Haqqani, Co-Chair of Hudson's Islam and Democracy Project. Hudson Senior Fellow Hillel Fradkin, Director of Hudson's Center for Islam, Democracy, and the Future of the Muslim World, gave the introduction.
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