US Congress Resolution to Protect Bangladeshi Minorities
On July 29, 2015, U.S. Congressman Robert Dold and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard introduced a bipartisan resolution calling on the government of Bangladesh to increase human rights protections, strengthen democratic institutions and prevent the growth of extremist groups in the country. The resolution comes as ISIS and other trans-national radical Islamic groups continue to grow their influence in areas like South Asia. This represents an historic shift in U.S. policy toward Bangladesh. It discards the inaccurate view of the world's eighth largest nation as a democratic ally and opponent of radical Islam; for one that recognizes the reality of its role in the spread of Islamism and ethnic cleansing of non-Muslim minorities.
“Religious persecution is on the rise around the world, with 77% of the world’s population now living in countries with high restrictions on religious freedom,” "As the greatest force for human dignity in the world," said Dold, "the United States has an obligation to send the unequivocal message that we will not tolerate countries that fail to protect the fundamental freedoms of all citizens, especially minorities." He called on the Bangladeshi government "to protect the rights of minorities, eliminate violent extremist groups and restore the rule of law.”
After noting her concern about attacks on religious minorities, Gabbard added, "All too often perpetrators of crimes against minorities go unpunished. It’s up to the government of Bangladesh to take action to stop those who incite and commit violence and protect the rights of these minorities."
The resolution is now with the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, of which Gabbard is a member. Its Chairman, Congressman Ed Royce, is on the record with his concern about the persecution of minorities, especially Hindus, in Bangladesh.
Since 2007, I have been urging the U.S. government to recognize the "ethnic cleansing of Hindus in Bangladesh" and take a clear stand against the atrocity itself and against the fairy tale that Bangladesh is a "moderate" nation. Rather, Bangladesh has become Islamism's petri dish for additional campaigns internationally, as well as a test of our will to oppose its commitment to atrocities.
House Resolution 396 is an important step not only for human rights; it is also an important step in our open-eyed fight against our most implacable enemies.