Hindus and their Temples are under constant attacks and threats by Radical Islamist groups
Hindus globally, including the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) were appalled, but unfortunately not surprised by the latest tragedy in Bangladesh involving the murder of a Hindu man, in the ongoing climate of fear and violence Hindus are facing. According to media reports, Joarder spent three weeks in jail over four years ago for allegedly making derogatory remarks about Islam. He was released after the unknown complainant withdrew the charges against him. Islamic State and other Islamist group leaders have once again proclaimed responsibility, and have declared their intention to carry out more acts of violence against religious minorities and secularists in Bangladesh in the future.
Joarder’s murder comes in the aftermath of a spate of attacks on minorities and secular Bangladeshis, including the killing ofXulhaz Mannan, the editor of Roopbaan, a Dhaka-based LGBT publication, and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Mannan and another Roopban contributor Tonoy Majumdar were killed by Ansar-al-Islam, the Bangladeshi division of Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent less than two weeks ago.
The Government of Bangladesh has thus far refused to acknowledge the presence of the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda within its borders, let alone admit the groups’ culpability in these recent attacks, in what appears to be an attempt to deflect attention from these growing trends.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Joarder’s family and his community, in their time of grieving,” said Samir Kalra, Esq., HAF Senior Director and Human Rights Fellow. “ Violent Islamic extremism has continued unabated in Bangladesh for decades, and this latest attack is only the most recent example of a systematic attempt to intimidate and harass non-Muslims. If this disturbing trend isn’t effectively confronted by the Government of Bangladesh and the international community, religious minorities and secular Bangladeshis will continue to be killed with impunity.”
Three people have been taken into custody by law-enforcement for questioning in connection with this murder, including a local leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, a banned Islamist political party that seeks to impose Islamic law throughout the country.
According to HAF, the escalating violence in Bangladesh reinforces the importance of H.Res. 396, introduced by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), which calls on the Government of Bangladesh to “protect the human rights of all its citizens, particularly vulnerable minorities, strengthen democratic institutions and rule of law, and prevent the growth of extremist groups.”
“U.S. policy makers can send a strong message that extremism and violence in Bangladesh will not be tolerated by supporting H.Res. 396,” said Jay Kansara, HAF Director of Government Relations. “It is also critical that the resolution be further strengthened to reflect the violent attacks on religious minorities and secularists since the beginning of this year.”