In recent electoral campaigns in Bangladesh, the Jama'at-i Islami or "party of Islam" has claimed that a vote in its favor is a vote in favor of God and Islam; yet, the party repeatedly has failed to find significant support among what is generally considered a pious Muslim population. The Jama'at has attributed its electoral losses to secularist conspiracies, arguing that without such negative propaganda the "god-fearing people" of the country naturally would vote for its candidates. Through a study of the strategies and ideology the Jama'at has employed in its bid to attract women voters, I assess the extent to which the Jama'at is responsible for its inability to achieve broader support. I conclude that despite its public rhetoric, such as its plans to alleviate poverty and safeguard women's interests, the Jama'at has failed to convince most impoverished, unlettered, village women that it represents their interests.


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pp. 148-171
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