- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A senior Bangladeshi official says his country’s mostly Muslim population does not sympathize with the radical brand of Islam pursued by militant groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“Muslims in Bangladesh do not see in the Taliban brand of Islam an image of themselves,” Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary Mohamed Mijarul Quayes said Wednesday at the Heritage Foundation.

He said his countrymen are worried about the harm Islamic terrorists are doing to the image of Muslims globally.

In Afghanistan, specifically, Mr. Quayes said Bangladeshis are concerned about what the Taliban represent.

He also described counterterrorism cooperation between Bangladesh and the United States as extensive.

Bangladesh was not part of the U.S.-led coalition that toppled Afghanistan’s Taliban regime after the Sept. 11 attacks. But Mr. Quayes said the “proximity of views” between Bangladesh and the U.S. “does not necessarily require that we act in the same manner on all issues.”

He said the U.S. and Bangladesh share a mature relationship, adding “there will be areas in which we will strive to seek convergence but not necessarily have convergence on all issues.”