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The Hindus of Islamic Bangladesh Fear for Their Future

World  (tags: Human rights, Bangladesh, Hindus attacked by Islamists )

- 1587 days ago -
Subhash Ghosh was away when dozens of activists from Bangladesh's largest Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami, descended on the home in which generations of his family have lived, smashing TVs and looting gold, Hindu shrine. Then they torched the property.

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Beth S (330)
Sunday January 19, 2014, 5:34 pm
[TIME] Bangladesh’s minority Hindus are being attacked by Islamist who seem as preoccupied with land as they are with politics or religion.

Subhash Ghosh was away when, early on Dec. 13, dozens of activists from Bangladesh’s largest Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), descended on the home in which generations of his family have lived. They paid particular attention to his valuables, smashing TVs and looting gold. They gave the same treatment to the home’s Hindu shrine. Then they torched the property.

On Jan. 5, Bangladesh concluded what many judge to have been the country’s most violent election to date. But in the rural Satkhira district something much more substantial than ballot papers is at stake. Here, minority Hindus are targeted for their land.

“When anything happens, Hindus get attacked in Bangladesh,” explains Ghosh, 63, standing in the verdant greensward at the back of his house. Even if it weren’t ruined, he would be too scared to live in it. “They came at around 9:30 and suddenly set fire to the building with petrol bombs and gunpowder,” he explains.

The district of Satkhira lies only a few miles from the Indian border and just north of the world’s largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans. It is spliced by creeks and tributaries that form the final reaches of the Ganges riverine plain. With a large Hindu minority, this area has seen some of Bangladesh’s worst violence over the past year. Much of that violence is down to land — or rather its scarcity.

With a population in excess of 160 million crammed into less than 148,000 sq km, Bangladesh is one of the world’s most densely populated countries. To make matters worse, almost the entire country lies in a floodplain, with lives, farms and crops constantly hanging in the balance. The pressure on land is enormous.

“When we say it’s just political, it legitimizes the violence,” explains Jyotrimoy Barua, a Supreme Court lawyer in the capital Dhaka. “Most of the people’s houses they are burning are [those of the] poor. If you burn their house, they will leave the country, and you get their land.”

Ghosh, who fought for Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan in 1971, is determined not to give his enemies that satisfaction. “If we leave the country, then everybody will take our property,” he says. “I cannot leave and be a rickshaw puller in India like a coward.”

In Satkhira’s isolated villages, however, there is palpable fear. Ghosh’s sons, like many Hindu children, can no longer go to school. When we visit a Hindu community, dozens emerge out of the mist and huddle around us, explaining how they are unable to travel the small rural lanes alone for fear of attacks by Islamists. A local journalist we are traveling with receives threatening calls from an Islamist leader.

In parts of Satkhira, the Islamists are a law unto themselves. The village of Agordari lies just a few miles from Satkhira’s main town, but the police dare not visit. Locals call it “East Pakistan,” run as it now is by the JI, which supported Pakistan in the 1971 war. The authorities are trying to restore order. “People didn’t come out of their houses, no vehicles, no people, no nothing, like a graveyard,” is how the new chief of police for the district, Chowdhury Monzirul Kabir, describes the atmosphere after a recent crackdown that saw 90 arrests. But fear of the Islamists persists.

There clearly is a sectarian basis to attacks on Hindus. Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League (AL) was voted into power in 2009 on the strength of its promise to try pro-Pakistan figures for atrocities committed during the 1971 war, and violence often accompanies attempts to mete out justice to war criminals. The hanging of JI leader Abdul Quader Mollah, on Dec. 12 last year, preceded the attack on Ghosh’s house.

However, the sectarian issue is exacerbated by intense competition for usable land. After the monsoon of 2011, tens of thousands of Satkhira’s small holdings — almost half the homes in the district — were ruined by waterlogging, which occurs when groundwater saturates the soil and makes agriculture extremely difficult or impossible.

The violence isn’t just perpetrated by JI. In other provinces, opportunistic AL leaders have been accused of using divisive communal sentiments to enrich themselves. “In some constituencies, it’s Awami League,” says the lawyer Barua. Both the AL and JI, he says, “are tussling from the same group of voters — if anyone loses, he blames the Hindus.”

Madhuri Pillai (22)
Sunday January 19, 2014, 9:39 pm

. (0)
Monday January 20, 2014, 12:55 am
𝖓𝖔𝖙𝖊𝖉. 𝖙𝖍𝖆𝖓𝖐𝖘 𝖇𝖊𝖙𝖍!

Hilary S (65)
Monday January 20, 2014, 1:25 am
jewish people are like the canary in the cage in the dark mine of islam. the world simply can't believe in the existence and prevalence of islamofascism.

Danuta W (1249)
Monday January 20, 2014, 4:15 am

Past Member (0)
Monday January 20, 2014, 4:53 am
Only true humanity and love can do

. (0)
Monday January 20, 2014, 9:48 am
Noted & posted

. (0)
Monday January 20, 2014, 10:07 am
Hated by Muslims, and other Pakistanis....why stay and live each day in fear?

Theodore Shayne (56)
Monday January 20, 2014, 3:26 pm
Noted & posted

Hartson Doak (39)
Monday January 20, 2014, 3:33 pm
This is not about religion. This is about stealing from others. Gang violence labeled with religion as a pretext.

Beth S (330)
Monday January 20, 2014, 8:08 pm
Unfortunately, Hartson, this is Islam from its very inception. If you want to call Islam gag violence labeled with religion as a pretext, I would agree to a great extent. But make no mistake, this is exactly was Islam does and has always done.

It happens with Islam in India and the Sudan and Algeria and New York and Pakistan and Israel and Russia and Chechnya and the Philippines and Indonesia and Nigeria and England and Thailand and Spain and Egypt and Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia and Turkey and Morocco and Yemen and Arkansas and France and Uzbekistan and Gaza and Tunisia and Kosovo and Bosnia and Mauritania and Kenya and Eritrea and Syria and Somalia and California and Kuwait and Virginia and Ethiopia and Georgia and Jordan and United Arab Emirates and Louisiana and Texas and Tanzania and Illinois and Australia and Pennsylvania and Belgium and Denmark and East Timor and Qatar and Maryland and Tajikistan and the Netherlands and Afghanistan and Chad and Canada and China and Nepal and the Maldives and Argentina and Mali and Angola and the Ukraine and Uganda and North Carolina and Germany and Arizona and Lebanon and Iran and Kazakhstan and Sweden and Azerbaijan and Iraq and Scotland and Macedonia and Bulgaria and Cameroon and Massachusetts and... on and on.

Stan B (123)
Tuesday January 21, 2014, 1:57 am
I think we all fear for our future where fundamental Islam is concerned.

Helen Porter (39)
Friday January 24, 2014, 12:10 am
To be aware of what's happening with Islam is to be afraid.

I so much admire Care2 members for having the courage TO KNOW and TO DO.

Helen Porter (39)
Tuesday February 4, 2014, 9:01 pm
I'm really not surprised that those who attack Israel also attack the Hindus.

Abraham, the father of Isaac and Jacob and therefore Hebrews, had many sons besides Isaac. He became concerned that when his time to cross over came these sons of , NOT Sarah, would cause problems for Sarah's son, the son of the promise, Isaac. Now, Isaac was not one to defend himself.

So, Abraham gave many gifts to his other sons and sent them away. Now get this, Genesis 25 verse 5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.

But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.

Many years ago, in my search and my research I became an initiate of a certain branch of the Eastern teachings. In the last couple of years I have begun the study of Jewish Kabbalah in which I found the very same teachings that I had learned from my India Guru. They are powerful teachings. Even the levels of the worlds are the same descriptions found in both Jewish Kabbalah and my Eastern initiation. Two recognized Kabbalists told me I already know Jewish Kabbalah. Of course. I learned those teachings from the teacher, India.

It is my theory that Abraham gave his sons powerful teachings that could work miracles. It is my theory that Abraham's sons took these secret teachings into India and shared them. The Eastern teachings and Jewish Kabbalah fit together like a hand in a glove. They are the same. I even recently found a passage in my Kabbalah studies that spelled out this theory of mine and said that Kabbalah and Eastern are the same and were carried to India from Abraham's sons. THEY said what I had theorized. Now of course, it would have been an interchange where the India Initiates shared with Abraham's sons and both theologies became more powerful in creating effects in this world that other people can see and be aware of (my definition of reality). Both countries are benign.

If this theory is true, the same "spirits" of the enemy would be in combat with the powerful angels of both
Israel and India . There would be enmity in the high places. There would be enmity between the "angels" of the sons of Abraham and Sarah and the spirits of the enemy. Humans would be the chess pieces.

We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

It takes powers higher than human to create the nightmares of present destruction of our planet.

Humans just aren't that focused, organized, powerful.
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