"It is in the bones. You have no idea how I was brought up. You have to work real hard to root that shit out"
New York. Today. Corporate lawyer Amir Kapoor is happy, in love and about to land the biggest career promotion of his life.
But beneath the veneer, success has come at a price. When Amir and his artist wife, Emily, host an intimate dinner party at their Upper East Side apartment, what starts out as a friendly conversation soon escalates into something far more damaging.
While secularism can be seen as a point of departure for Bangladeshi nationalism from the 1950s onward, the post-1971 reality is that it is now being imposed without taking into account the increasingly religious mindset of the overwhelming majority of Bangladeshis.
One of the most despised words in conservative Muslim circles is the word ‘secular’. All one has to do to vilify any opinion is to say that it is ‘secular’ (or ‘modernist’ or ‘liberal’ or even ‘Westernised’) and effectively a departure from Sharia. Sharia is the fountainhead of Islamic law, the source of practice of Traditional Muslims’ religious life. To render any element of one’s life ‘secular’ is to abandon Sharia and become irreligious.
Religion is back in the public space, and the thesis that modernisation means the privatisation of religion has been seriously questioned. Some religious and feminist dogmas need re-examination. What do ‘secular’or ‘religious’ or ‘feminist’ mean in today’s contexts?
Islam and feminism are often perceived and portrayed as incompatible. There is a plethora of literature and a host of arguments, both in the media and in academia, to show this is the case.