Islam, Islamism, and Democracy in Bangladesh

  • Md Nazrul Islam
  • Md Saidul IslamEmail author


The chapter examines the role of the organized Islam-based political parties in the interplay of Islamism and democracy in Bangladesh. We will critically investigate to what extent the mainstream Islamist political parties in Bangladesh (e.g., Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, Islami Andolan Bangladesh, Islami Oikya Jote, Khelafat Majlis, Bangladesh Khelafat Andolan, and Zaker Party) have tension or congruence with democracy. Most of these parties however historically engaged in competition and mobilization, contested elections aiming to attain power through constitutional means, albeit with minimal success. These mainstream Islamist parties consistently oppose violence and terrorism. We will also discuss a few fringe violent Islamist parties, already banned in Bangladesh, including Jamaatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh (JMB), Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB), Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJi), and Ansarullah Bangla Team. These parties oppose democracy and resort to violence to establish what they call a “pure Islamic polity.” They perceive democracy as kufr (unbelief) and a source of polytheism.


Islamism Political Islam Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami Islami Jamaatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political StudiesShahjalal University of Science and TechnologySylhetBangladesh
  2. 2.Division of SociologyNanyang Technological UniversityJurongSingapore

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