November 11th, Veterans Day, Bengali Hindus took their well protected freedom of speech to the United Nations headquarters to protest the recent surge in anti-Hindu violence in the Islamic nation of Bangladesh. Since late October, Islamic radicals have either vandalized or destroyed nearly 20 Hindu temples along with hundreds of Hindu homes and businesses. The current spate of violence is being blamed on an alleged facebook comment which was said to be insulting to Islam. The event was attended by the Bangladesh Hindu, Buddhist, Christian Unity Council, USA; the Bangladesh Minority Rights Movement; Justice for Hindus; Bangladesh Puja Samity; Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad; and many others.
The protest focused on the Brahminbaria district of Bangladesh where the majority of the attacks occurred, which also included looting and the sexual harassment of Hindu women. The demonstrators demanded the immediate resignation of the Livestock Minister, Mohammad Sayedul Haque, believing that he was involved in instigating riots in Nasirnagar, Brahmanbaria. The meeting also demanded a statement from the Prime Minister of Bangladesh on the issue as well as a formal return to state secularism over Islam. It was announced that, if minister Sayedul Haque does not resign, the organizers will hold a rally in front of the White House in early December and a rally in front of Trump tower, subject to permission.
The nation of Bangladesh (BD) is a Muslim majority state which borders India to the Northeast, Islam is the state religion of Bangladesh. While the minority Hindus of Bangladesh have been experiencing intense and deadly persecution for decades, the intensity of violent crimes against non-Muslims and secularists has escalated recently with the influx of ISIS elements into the state. In the past months, several Hindus and other non-Muslims have been either murdered, injured or humiliated by Muslim citizens with Islamist motives, and many of these crimes have been claimed by ISIS. Here are some examples of recent attacks on minorities in Bangladesh:
Hindu Priest Slaughtered In Bangladesh, ISIS claims responsibility – A 70-year-old Hindu priest was hacked to death in Bangladesh by three suspected Islamic State jihadists who nearly severed his head, the second priest from the community to be killed this year in the Muslim-majority nation which has seen a string of brutal attacks by Islamists on minorities and secular activists. – DNA INDIA
Hindu Tailor hacked to death in Bangladesh; ISIS claims responsibility – Police in Bangladesh say they have detained three people in relation to the killing of a Hindu tailor, who was hacked to death in the central Bangladeshi district of Tangail. Those detained for questioning include two party members, one from the opposition BNP party and a local leader of the Jamaat e Islami Islamist. – CNN
Hindu teacher in Bangladesh beaten up, made to do sit-ups by holding ears for ‘insulting’ Islam – – Dhaka: In yet another incident of mob justice against minorities in Bangladesh, a Hindu headmaster of a school in Narayanganj was on Friday punished by locals for allegedly insulting Islam. Shyamal was being punished and made to do sit-ups holding ears, said that the punishment was the only way to save the latter from the mob. – Zee News
Bangladesh killings: Hindu teacher attacked at home – A Hindu college teacher in Bangladesh has been attacked on his doorstep by three men armed with knives, according to local police. He is critically ill in hospital. The assault, in the town of Madaripur, is the latest in a series of recent attacks on religious minorities, secular writers and academics. – BBC
Christian hacked to death in latest Bangladesh attack, claimed by ISIS – Dhaka (AFP) – A Christian was hacked to death after Sunday prayers near a church in northwest Bangladesh in an attack — the latest in a series on religious minorities — claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. – Yahoo
Elderly Buddhist monk HACKED to death amid surge of violence in Muslim-majority country – The body of 75-year-old Mongsowe U Chak was discovered today at the isolated place of worship in the Naikkhangchhari village, about 211 miles southeast of Dhaka, where he lived alone. The past few months have seen a huge rise in the number of violent attacks in Bangladesh, where the majority of the population is Muslim. – Express
Two gay rights activists hacked to death in Bangladesh; Al-Qaeda affiliate claims responsibility for attack – Two people, including the editor of a magazine for the transgender community, have been hacked to death in the capital of Bangladesh. A third person, a security guard at the apartment building where the killings took place, was seriously wounded in Monday’s attack in Dhaka, in which six attackers murdered Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Tonoy. Mannan was the editor of Rupban, the only LGBT magazine in the country. – Aljazeera
In the United States, Hindu congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has started a video and petition campaign to help fight the rise of violent Jihad within the Islamic State of Bangladesh. Her video and petition highlights the ongoing religious cleansing of Hindus from Bangladesh, the decimation of the Hindu population from 18% in 1971 to less than 10% today, expulsions and land grabs, the rape and forced conversions of young Hindu women, and the ongoing attacks on Hindu places of worship. Please support Tulsi’s campaign to end Islamist violence in Bangladesh.
Aloha and Namaste. While we here in the United States may sometimes take our freedoms for granted, Hindus and other religious minorities in Bangladesh are living in perpetual terror. Forced conversions to Islam, rapes and abductions, extortions and land grabbing and forced expulsion, desecration and destruction of places of worship, are just a few of the types of violence that are currently being unleashed. The population of Hindus in Bangladesh has dwindled from 18% in 1971 to a meager 9.7% today. Accounting for the overall population growth during this time this is a net loss of about 53 million Hindus from Bangladesh. That’s close to the total population of a dozen European Union countries or that of more than fifteen U.S. States that has simply vanished from a tiny country about the size of Greece or the State of New York.
Compounding the problem is the rapid rise of violent jihadists in Bangladesh. We’ve seen in the news recently word of terrorist attacks, machete attacks and beheadings of Hindu priests, secularists, bloggers, and intellectuals. Yet there has been no real action taken by the Bangladesh government to quell this festering crisis.
We must stand together with the people of Bangladesh. Please sign this petition as we call on the Bangladesh government to take urgent action against the horrific oppression and terror that plagues religious minorities in Bangladesh every day.