Rating is available when the video has been rented.
This feature is not available right now. Please try again later.
Published on Dec 1, 2015
The recent murders and violence perpetrated against secular and atheist bloggers, journalists and activists in Bangladesh are clearly acts of terrorism and deserve our utmost condemnation. They are part of a wider vision intended to destabilise Bangladesh’s fragile secular democracy and to establish an Islamist, Sharia-based medieval state in that country, led by Jamaat-e-Islami and splinter groups. The Bangladesh Government, though far from perfect, is committed to protecting the right to freedom of expression for its citizens but is doing so in very difficult circumstances.
As we battle against terrorism in our own countries, with all our economic advantages, we are seeing how difficult that task is in Europe. Nevertheless, the balance between the need to protect citizens’ rights and the ideals of ensuring universal freedom of expression and religion is always a delicate one and is something of which we should remain mindful when we are discussing or criticising Bangladesh. Today’s resolution is a positive one, but we must not fall into the trap of demanding safeguards and protection for people while simultaneously criticising all measures introduced to protect a modern secular state such as that of Bangladesh.