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Old February 16, 2013, 10:33 PM
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The agonies of Bangladesh come to London
Shahbag protests in Dhaka are reflected in the demonstrations in London

Nick Cohen
The Observer, Sunday 17 February 2013

Three men stand in Bangladeshi national colours in Shahbag square. Photograph: Kazi Sudipto/ Demotix/Corbis

The Shahbag junction in Dhaka has become Bangladesh's Tahrir Square. Hundreds of thousands of young protesters are occupying it and raging against radical Islamists. Even sympathetic politicians cannot control the movement. The protesters damn them as appeasers, who have compromised with unconscionable men.

Theirs is a grassroots uprising for the most essential and neglected values of our age: secularism, the protection of minorities from persecution and the removal of theocratic thugs from the private lives and public arguments of 21st-century citizens

Naturally, the western media show little interest in covering the protest. The indifference is all the more telling because the Shahbag movement is a response to a crime westerners once deplored, but have almost forgotten.
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