The Hudson Institute, Washington, DC, in conjunction with Policy Exchange, London and the New Statesman Magazine, UK will host a major conference, “The Rise of Political Islam in Bangladesh: What’s At Stake in the 2007 Elections”, to be held on Tuesday, November 14, 2006. This event will take place in the conference facility at Policy Exchange’s headquarters at 10 Storey’s Gate, London SW1, opposite the entrance to Westminster Abbey and two minutes’ walk from the House of Commons.
January’s elections will be critical for the future of Bangladesh, in terms of what kind of society it will become and what its place in the world will be. Many voices have expressed concerns about measures taken by the ruling coalition that may prejudice the outcome of the upcoming elections in Bangladesh: Has the ruling coalition heeded the call? Were these concerns legitimate? Is Bangladesh witnessing another democratic exercise, similar to ones in Iraq and elsewhere? Are the Islamists going to be the real winners in these elections, regardless of the actual number of seats won? Can Bangladesh be restored to a genuine democracy?
It was this upsurge in interest which has brought us all together to organize this conference in London, at the crossroads of international decision-making and the Bangladeshi diaspora. The panel discussions will address the alleged manipulations by the ruling coalition, as well as question the validity of the criticism. This crucial dialogue will take place just weeks before the event itself, and therefore is of the utmost importance for organizations and individuals concerned with saving democracy in Bangladesh.
We are delighted to report that many distinguished figures from Dhaka, London, Washington and Brussels have accepted invitations to speak at this conference. The opening address will be given by Mahfuz Anam, Editor of the Daily Star, Bangladesh’s leading newspaper. Shariar Kabir, prominent journalist and human rights activist will present his recent documentary, and Hudson senior fellows Maneeza Hossain and Husain Haqqani will also speak. The sessions, which start at 9 AM and run through until 4 PM, will cover the following areas:
- The 2007 Elections
- Foreign Policy towards Bangladesh
- Terrorism and Security
- Human rights in the 2007 elections
This event is by invitation only. For more information please contact Maneeza Hossain at [email protected] or [email protected].