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ICC Note:

Bangladesh is considering dropping Islam as the country’s official religion following a series of attacks on religious minorities by Islamic extremists. Bangladesh’s Supreme Court has started hearing arguments on this issue which is being supported by leaders from religious minority communities. In the past months, high profile attacks on religious minority leaders and foreigners in Bangladesh have highlighted the issue of Islamic extremism in the country. There is also a fear that ISIS may be operating in the South Asian nation and is behind many of these attacks. If Bangladesh were to drop Islam as the country’s official religion, would that make the country safer for Christians and other religious minorities?

3/3/2016 Bangladesh (Daily Mail) – Bangladesh could drop Islam as the country’s official religion following a string of extremist attacks against people of other faiths.

The Supreme Court in the South Asia nation has begun to hear arguments which challenge Islam’s status as the official state religion.

It comes after a spate of attacks against people of other religions such as Hindus, Christians, and minorities Shi’ites, which have been blamed on Islamic extremists.

When Bangladesh was formed in 1971 after the nation split from Pakistan, it was declared a secular state.

However, in 1988 the country’s constitution was amended with Islam declared as the state religion.

But this is now being disputed as illegal in the latest court battle and is being supported by religious minority leaders.

Meanwhile the US has also warned that ISIS is stepping up recruitment in Bangladesh, even though the government says the extremist problems are home grown.

One Bangladesh police official told Breitbart: ‘We have made arrests on each and every so-called ISIS-claimed attack.

‘The attackers have confessed their crimes in court. They have also confessed being a Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh member, and denied any linkage with ISIS.’

However an American director of National Intelligence has insisted attacks were the work of terrorist groups.

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