Fresh anti-Hindu violence has erupted in Bangladesh, this only a week after 15 Hindu Temples and 100’s of Hindu homes were set on fire by Islamic radicals. This week two more temples have been set ablaze along with several Hindu dwellings, causing Hindu families to flee their residences. The pogroms were sparked by a supposed facebook post which was described as being offensive to Islam.
Despite often touting itself as a “secular democracy”, the state religion of Bangladesh is Islam and until relatively recently it was state policy to seize Hindu lands under a series of “Enemy Property Acts”, a policy which has only been partially rectified. Additionally, in the past year Bangladesh has become a growing haven for ISIS which has claimed responsibility for several terror attacks against non-Muslims within the nation.
Due to the ongoing and prolonged violence against non-Muslims, many Bengali Hindus have immigrated to the United States, particularly to NYC. In light of the fact that their family members live under such difficult circumstances, the Bengali Hindus are known for being particularly vocal, bringing their grievances to the streets with large demonstrations.
This week dozens of Bengali Hindu organizations, headed by the Hindu Council of North America, demonstrated in Jackson Heights, Queens to bring attention to the plight of Hindus in Bangladesh. The demonstrations coincide with the launch of a video and petition campaign put out by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, calling for the protection of Hindus and other non-Muslims within Bangladesh.