Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Death Throes of Pakistan's Hindus

I just returned from a month in India during which time an incredible number of significant events were occurring. My primary mission in going was to document and raise awareness of the ethnic cleansing of Bangladeshi Hindus. I found plenty, including evidence of ongoing attacks on them both in Bangladesh and in West Bengal, India. The border between the two is so porous that terrorists and contraband move freely with and without the help of India's Border Security Force or West Bengal police. But I also witnessed the tragic beginning of the end for Pakistan's Hindus. Once one in five Pakistanis, they have been reduced to one percent of the population.

But as the Taliban take over ever larger chunks of that country, that remnant of a people is streaming across the border into Indian Punjab. The stream became a torrent with the Taliban's seizure of the Swat Valley earlier this year. Hindu refugees report attacks and threats by the Taliban, as well as officials telling them to leave the country "or else." The February agreement between the Taliban and the Zardari government ceded the area to the former and allowed Sharia law to be imposed on Swat's 1.2 million inhabitants.

President Obama has used this agreement as a model in his stated quest for "moderate Taliban." But not only does the agreement countersign ethnic cleansing, it also failed even before Obama's anticipated speech on US policy in the region. Just hours before the President spoke, one of the Taliban parties to the agreement, Tehrik e Taliban, abrogated it with a terror attack on a mosque in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province, and has engaged in other terrorist attacks subsequently.

One Hindi language channel quoted a Taliban spokesman confirming that his group was pulling out of the agreement not to attack elsewhere in Pakistan because, he said, it would be contrary to Allah's wishes to limit Sharia to the Swat Valley. Yet, no major media in India, the US, or elsewhere made this connection.

Even more shameful, no media or government has protested the ethnic cleansing of Pakistan's Hindus, who are being finished off by the Taliban. All governments involved in the region are just allowing it to happen,too. What kind of a world do we live in when India will not defend Hindus attacked for being Hindus; when the US ignores the atrocity; when not a single human rights group or the UN utters a word of protest?

What is happening to Pakistan's Hindus is a crime, but a crime that is largely accomplished. There remain 13,000,000 Hindus in Bangladesh subject to the same attacks, the same racist laws, and the same intention to eradicate them. Worse, the battle is spilling across the open border into India, and it is changing the demographic balance in the region. It is also allowing terrorists into the country whose intention is to undermine the very nation of Hindustan.

My mission is to prevent that, to prevent the murders and other atrocities, even if I am the only voice of protest to cry out about this crime against humanity.

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Blogger SultanShahin said...

Dear Sir, I would like to post this blog on our site. I think and have written and said this before in my television appearances that fighting for the Hindu minorities of Pakistan and Bangladesh is primarily the duty of Indian Muslims who want to be treated as equal citizens in India despite being a religious minority. Could you please cite some documents, surveys or reports in independent media, anything that could add more credibility to the facts you have given here?
Sultan Shahin, editor,

4/13/2009 8:31 AM  
Blogger Dr. Richard Benkin said...

Mr. Shahim presents himself as both reasonable and an authority. One or both of those claims is made disingenuously. An expert, he claims to need "documentation" of the horror when it has been exposed in media reports numerous times, in simple demographic reports showing the population change, and in many, many other places. The remnant of a population once one-fifth of Pakistan's is dying; we neither should nor should need engage in scholarly debate. Doing so only insures that nothing will be done for these victims.

Perhaps Mr. Shahim is correct that the matter "should" be the onus of Muslims, but the simple fact is that Muslims have not done it and will not done it; in fact, Muslims are responsible for the problem. Not only have they not as a people stood up to stop these atrocities, but they have refused to do it when Muslim terrorists strike in the name of Islam all over the world. If these terrorists are terrorists who use Islam disingenuously, the Muslim world should cry out against them, not justify them.

Whether it was intentional or not, Mr. Shahim's request for documentation follows along with a tried and true tactic by apologists for Muslim terrorists. It's called "paralysis by analysis," and would have us work over time to justify ourselves rather than take action to stop it. If Mr. Shahim truly is ignorant about this matter, I suggest he google the matter and use the thousands of sites and information to "add more credibility to the facts given here."

Mr. Shahim; do not confuse a news item or blog with a scholarly treatise--and it would not take much for you to find several.

4/13/2009 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Roddy Frankel said...

I absolutely agree with you Richard. I have witnessed "paralysis by analysis" all too often. There is clearly a worldwide campaign of ethnic cleansing being perpetrated by Islamists. Violence is also directed against Buddhists in southern Thailand, against Christians in Iraq, against Copts in Egypt, against Maronites in Lebanon, against Christians in the Philippines, and elsewhere. The pattern is the same everywhere. The governments in each case are either too weak to fight back, or too sympathetic to the Islamists to even want to fight them. The only way to prevent this phenomenon from spreading further is to present irrefutable evidence (preferably video documentation) right in journalists' faces. If they broadcast the stories, great; that would get the ball rolling. If they refuse to report these stories, then the journalists deserve to become the story. We should be prepared to call out journalists by name if they actively suppress what should be front-page news.

5/11/2009 9:40 PM  

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