Thursday, April 02, 2015

Bangladesh Official dismisses crimes with anti-Semitic remark

On March 10, 2015, human rights activist and attorney Rabindra Ghosh met with H. T. Imam, Awami League Advisory Council member and one of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's closest advisers.  He met him to address Bangladesh's ongoing ethnic cleansing of Hindus in Bangladesh.  It is an issue I addressed with Imam four years earlier in Dhaka.  As he did when I met with him, Imam rejected any suggestion that Hindus face persecution under the Awami League government.  When Ghosh raised my name and my eight year activism on the issue, Imam dismissed the notion that any of it could be correct, instead responding that “Dr. Benkin is working for the interests of the Jews.”

Is he serious?  Does he expect a man of Rabindra Ghosh’s stature—or other world leaders and captains of industry—to have any regard for a government whose Prime Minister gives credence to a man who thinks like that?   The short answer is that he does because Imam and other Bangladeshi officials have used that and other sorts of nonsense to try and cover up their horrendous treatment of Hindus.  You see, it's more important to Bangladeshi leaders that people continue buying their falsehoods about being a "moderate" country.  No amount of blustering and misdirection, however, can hide their crimes.  With each day, their atrocities against Hindus become known to more and more people.  I've also documented them in my book, A Quiet Case of Ethnic Cleansing: the Murder of Bangladesh's Hindus.

But there is more significance to Awami League anti-Semitism.  For while the Bangladeshi government is complicity in anti-Hindu atrocities and guilty of selling its soul to protect its export markets (which are dependent on their false image as moderate); the people of Bangladesh are not.  It takes a lot of care and time for non-Bengalis to understand how to interpret the actions and words of Bengalis, and I have been fortunate enough to spend a lot of quality time in Bengal (both Indian and Bangladeshi) and with Bengalis.  When I travel throughout Bengal to stop the atrocities against Bengali Hindus, I am accompanied almost invariably by Muslims and Hindus.  The reaction I have received from Bangladeshi Muslims to HT Imam's slanderous remark has been one of support and understanding.  They have without exception rejected Imam's comment as an attempt to avoid dealing with the persecution of Bangladesh's Hindus.

As I have written before, this is not a war between Hindus and Muslims but one between decent people and those who have no decency.  Personally, I want Sheikh Hasina to sack HT Imam and stop discrediting herself by associating her name with his.  That, however, will not end the problem.  My greater wish is for Hindus and Muslims to recognize what Bangladesh is and what it can be; and with the help of other nations, together move that country to a new future.

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