Bangladesh ties up some loose ends

Bangladesh has a new broadcasting law, which will make things tidier there. The basic idea is to forbid just about everything.

[3] National ideology or characters cannot be criticized,

[4] The father of the nation [Sheikh Mujibur Rahman] cannot be criticized in any of the programs.

[5] No individual can be criticized in the programs.

[6] No criticism will be allowed on national ideologies and goals.

[8] No program can be aired which would provoke deterioration of law and order situation.

[10] Programs related to trafficking in women, forced prostitution, rape etc will be barred from broadcast under the new law. This law will also stop broadcasting investigative reports on such issues.

[12] No program or content on mutiny or demonstration can be broadcast on television channels.

Pretty thorough, wouldn’t you say?


  1. sqlrob says

    Why not just say you can’t broadcast anything? It would make for a shorter, easier to enforce law.


  2. Stilts says

    [1] Private television channels cannot run direct publicity in favor of any political party [publicity in favor of ruling party is allowed],

    I’m shocked.


    This is me being shocked.

    Really, really shocked.

  3. Sili says

    Funny how a religious country adopts exactly the tactics of that notorious atheist Stalin . . .

    Who said mass nightly during The War according to his bodyguard.

    They could learn something from Sweden: Everything, that is not explicitly permitted, is forbidden. Much shorter that way.

  4. Omar Puhleez says

    Could I suggest a reasonable amendment for points 3-12 of the broadcasting law?

    [All that] except on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and the first Friday after Michelmas.

    Makes about as much sense.

  5. says

    Islam is a deadly religion, there’s no gainsaying. Christianity, of course, given the power, would be deadly, but not so deadly as Islam, I think. It stands in a class all by itself. Why do we think Muslims can assimilate to democratic ways of doing things? In small numbers, perhaps, but not in large.

  6. Joe Evans says

    Oh, Eric, that’s such nonsense. Have you really not read any history? Countries with every religion and none have had censorship like this, and Islamic countries have existed in every state from democracy to totalitarianism. I’m afraid you’re just repeating the current received wisdom of American political life.

  7. RJW says

    Joe Evans,

    I can’t think of any Islamic country that is, or was, a functioning liberal democracy by Western standards.

  8. RJW says


    Not to my mind, Turkey has a long history of the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities by Moslem bigots, often with impunity. When, and if, the country is admitted to the EU I’ll accept Turkey’s credentials as a liberal democracy.

  9. mirax says

    Hmm, appears that not many here know that the present government in Bangladesh is the Awami League, the secular and social democratic opposite of the islamists.

  10. Kevin Alexander says

    ‘the Awami League, the secular and social democratic opposite of the islamists.’

    Important point.

    Repression of others is a human need, it has nothing to do with religion. It’s just what powerful people do.

  11. Svlad Cjelli says

    Nothing to see here. Nope, everything is fine, officer, yes indeed. Why, we haven’t had a complaint in years.

  12. Ophelia Benson says

    mirax – right – my source for this was Taslima Nasreen at Twitter, who annotated the link with something like “so much for Bangladesh’s claims to respect free speech.”

  13. Saikat Biswas says

    … Awami League, the secular and social democratic opposite of the islamists.

    That’s just a convenient tag that the party flaunts to exact outside approval. Like most political parties in the subcontinent, it never has a moment’s hesitation to pander to the religious and reactionary wing of the electorate in order to garner their votes. The systematic and sustained persecution of religious minorities in Bangladesh is as much a result of the overwhelmingly assertive nature of radical Islam as it is of the overwhelmingly passive and half-hearted activism of the self-proclaimed liberal intelligentsia.

  14. Prithvi Shams says

    There’s no truly secular party in Bangladesh, Awami League(the ruling party) just uses that word to woo the liberal section of the society(who, thankfully, still happens to be the majority).


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