Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

Bangladesh: dangerous chaos looms
ICC Note:
With the recent arrest of bloggers for “insulted Islam” it is clear that the tide is turning, in a dangerous direction, in Bangladesh. Since February it is estimated that 100 people “have been killed in clashes” as Islamists gathered in the streets to demand blasphemy laws. Also, it is reported that “bloggers, journalists and passers-by have been beaten and hacked to death.” There is great concern for all citizens of Bangladesh, particularly religious minorities, if the radicals are permitted to continue down this path of violence and extremism.
By Elizabeth Kendal
4/2/2013 Bangladesh (ANS)-  If Bangladesh does not change its present trajectory, it will be sucked into a vortex of bloody civil and sectarian conflict. In 1971 as many as three million were killed when Bangladesh fought for independence from Pakistan. Bangladeshi Islamist groups such as the Jama’at-e-Islami aided and abetted the Pakistan military in war crimes. Though the war ended, the ideological struggle continued.

Now the Islamists are playing the religion card, labelling the ‘Shahbag’ protesters ‘anti-Islamic’. Bloggers, journalists and passers-by have been beaten and hacked to death. An estimated 100 people have been killed in clashes (including with police) since early February as protests evolve into riots that are increasingly out of control. Both sides of politics are promising to punish those who defame Islam. On Friday 29 March tens of thousands of Islamists filled the streets of Dhaka to pray, call for blasphemy laws and demand the restoration of a caretaker government [PHOTOS]. Members of Islami Andolan Bangladesh are demanding the arrest of ‘atheist bloggers who insulted Islam’, and the passing of laws to punish those who ‘insulted Islam in the parliament’. They have threatened to ‘lay siege’ to the office of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 25 April if their demands are not met. On Sunday 31 March shots were fired at the political office of BNP leader Khaleda Zia who, however, was not hurt. International war crimes barrister Toby Cadman warns: ‘Failure to find a resolution could see the country descend into civil war.’
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) reports (7 March): ‘The violence has spread beyond Dhaka, where fundamentalist hoodlums target members of the minority communities and their properties. [Minorities mostly vote for the secular Awami league.] Arson and looting is rampant. Places of worship are burned down or otherwise vandalised. It is gruesomely clear that nobody is in control.’ After questioning the true purpose and integrity of the ICT the AHRC notes: ‘The ensuing confusion has resulted in opportunities for criminal elements in the country to target their victims, most importantly the minorities.’ The Hindu community as the largest minority (10 percent) is being hit hard. An Islamic fuse has been lit. A jihad would attract foreigners, especially Pakistanis.
At a vulnerable 0.6 percent, Christians will not escape if violence continues to escalate and spread. Basserkella, a JI-run website, articulates the threat: ‘We will kill all the Malauns [infidels] and Bangladesh will be “Banglastan” like Pakistan.’

[Full Story]