In February, a Bangladeshi-American blogger Avijit Roy - the founder of a secularist website - was hacked to death in a Dhaka street. Just a few days later, another blogger, Washiqur Rahman, met the same fate.

Both men were killed for airing critical views on religion.

The social media space in Bangladesh is a polarised place. On one side are secular bloggers - who want to prevent religion seeping further into politics - on the other, voices that associate themselves with political Islam, pushing for blasphemy laws to protect their religion.

As for the context - the roots of this story go back to 1971, Bangladesh's war of independence with Pakistan and a legal case that has yet to be resolved.

One of the key figures accused of genocide back then is Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, a member of the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami party. This week he lost his appeal in court - and is facing the death penalty, handed down by a war crimes tribunal that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina set up in 2010 to investigate what happened in 1971.

Opposition parties say the war crimes trials are politically motivated and have more to do with settling scores than dispensing justice. The social media debate about the trials began online and has since spilled onto the streets. On the mainstream media side, journalists questioning the government's version of this story are finding themselves in court as well.

Taking us through the issues raised by the secularism and religion in Bangladesh's past and present are: Imran H Sarkar from the Bangladesh bloggers' association; Mustafa Feroz, the head of News from Bangla Vision; editor-in-chief of the Dhaka Tribune, Zafar Sobhan; and journalist Shaukat Mahmood.

Source: Al Jazeera