Bangladesh: protests against food prices —and women’s rights

Doesn’t this say it all: capitalism provides the raw material of social rage, but reactionary fundamentalism—not any analysis that correctly identifies the enemy—provides a political outlet, allowing the legitimately angry to vent at a very wrong target. April 12 saw riots over soaring food prices in Bangladesh, as more than 20,000 textile workers clashed with police, demanding better wages to meet rising costs. Dozens of people were injured in the violence near the capital Dhaka. (AlJazeera, April 12) The previous day, hundreds were injured in Dhaka, in violent clashes over a new law that would instate equality between men and women. Followers of the Islami Constitution Movement fought running battles with police after taking to the streets to oppose the legislation after Friday prayers. (EuroNews, April 11)

Bangladesh’s most prominent feminist, Taslima Nasreen, has already been forced to flee into exile in India—where her presence has been met with violent protests by Islamists.

This makes the whole global dilemma crystal-clear. Solidarity with Bangladeshi textile workers; down with the Islami Constitution Movement!

See our last posts on Bangladesh, peak food and the struggle within Islam.