Skip to content

Md. Sazzadul Hoque on Gender and Religion


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Personal)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/05/10

Md. Sazzadul Hoque is an exiled Bangladeshi secularist blogger, human rights activist, and atheist activist. His writing covers a wide range of issues, including religious superstition, critical thinking, feminism, gender equality, homosexuality, and female empowerment. He’s protested against blogger killings and past/present atrocities against Bangladeshi minorities by the dominant Muslim political establishment. He’s also written about government-sponsored abductions and the squashing of free speech; the systematic corruption in everyday life of Bangladeshis; and the denial of the pursuit of happiness.

In 2017, after receiving numerous threats, he was forced to leave Bangladesh out of safety concerns.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Are women treated differently than men in the Bangladeshi version of Islam?

Md. Sazzadul Hoque: Definitely, they are treated just as the holy hateful book Quran suggest them to do. Very selective few women were wearing hijab 20 years ago now it is widespread.

Jacobsen: How are they treated worse if so? What are the ways in which men are given special privileges?

Hoque: Injustice to women to a certain degree less than the other parts of the Muslim world but it is there. Oppression, brutality, rape, is an omnipresent fear in the women population.

Jacobsen: How will the Council of Ex-Muslims of Bangladesh provide a counter to this narrative?

Hoque: Proper information, the majority of these women do not know what that hateful book represents form them. They know how to recite but do not know the meaning. Council intent is to get this information accessible to this demography and show them an example of how women are treated differently in other parts of the world or another country where Islam is not prevalent.

Jacobsen: Who are some prominent Islamically-based bigots and misogynist leaders, thinkers, and writers in Bangladesh?

Hoque: There are countless of these kinds, to be precise the prime minister of Bangladesh herself (bigot) and her party. However, another party leader and parties such as BNP (Bangladesh national party). Although we have several women leaders in Bangladesh, but these are not by qualification rather hereditary leadership that does not mean there is not a misogynist member within these parties. Prominent Islamic bigot is, Ahmed Sharif.

Jacobsen: What can be effective means by which to combat them?

Hoque: International attention and criticism of the government and its policies regardless of who is in power. Bangladesh receives a lot of foreign remittance from the Middle East and a lot of these vile trickles down from there to Bangladesh. Because of their influence a lot of people and prominent Bangladeshi actor and actress are turning to hijab and religious extremism.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Sazza.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: