In response to the mass violence directed at the Hindu community in Bangladesh over the recent holiday of Durga Puja, the Hindu American Foundation led a multifaith coalition of more than 100 global organizations and community leaders in delivering a letter to the Bangladesh embassy in Washington DC, calling on the government to stop further anti-Hindu violence.
The coalition letter, addressed to Ambassador M Shahidul Islam and CCd to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, urges the government of Bangladesh to “invest in international human rights norms regarding protection of religious communities within its borders,” as “the targeted killings, assault, rape, arson of homes, desecration of sacred images and temples, and other forms of physical attack are human rights violations as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
“This recent torrent of violence is not unusual in Bangladesh where Hindus and other minority communities face physical attacks on a daily basis,” said Deepali Kulkarni, HAF’s Director of Human Rights. “If the Bangladeshi government is serious about taking action, they would not just arrest some who incited violence, but take decisive action to provide restitution to Hindus to rebuild their homes and temples,” she continued.
Specific asks of the government of Bangladesh include:
- An increase in police presence in minority areas to prevent mob violence;
- An assurance the cases of anti-minority violence are properly investigated by law enforcement and prosecuted;
- Strengthening of Bangladesh’s National Human Rights Commission; and,
- Creation of a Minority Rights Commission, something which has already been promised by the Awami League but has yet to occur.
The multifaith coalition included the following organizations:
Hindu American Foundation, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, Bangladesh Youth Unity Council, Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities, World Hindu Federation – Bangladesh, The Probini Foundation, The Indian Subcontinent Partition Project, International Federation of Bangladeshi Hindus, Bangladeshi Hindu Community of USA, Muslim Women Speakers, Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom Houston, Progressive Muslims’ Institute, South Asian American Voices for Impact, International Commission for Human Rights and Religious Freedom, National Asian American PAC, National Federation of Filipino American Associations, Federation of Jain Associations of North America, Jain Center of Northern Caliornia, Global Pieace Initiative of Women, Hellenic American Leadership Council, Armenian National Committee of America, Armenian Council of America, Interfaith Dialogue Association, Heiwa Peace and Reconciliation Foundation of New York, The Punjab Foundation, The Khalsa Today, Festival of Globe, American Nepali Students & Women Educational Relief, Congregation Beth Israel Judea/Congregation B’Nai Emunah, Art of Living Foundation, The Patrick McCollum Foundation, Parity, Revealing Light Ministries, Sewa International, Forcefield NFP, Queer Hindu Alliance, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA, Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, World Hindu Federation, Hindu Council UK, National Hindu Students’ Forum UK, Hindu Council of Australia, Hindu Human Rights New Zealand, Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabhah of Trinidad and Tobago, Hindu Speakers Bureau, Sri Siva Vishnu Temple, Hariom, India Awareness Foundation, Hindu Heritage Foundation of America, The Lead America Foundation, Sahayog Foundation, Indo American Kashmir Forum, Narayanashrama Tapovanam, Centre for Inner Resources Development, Shri Surya Narayan Mandir, Hindu American Political Action Committee, Parekh Vora Charitable Foundation, Hindu Americans of San Diego, Overseas Volunteer for a Better India, Indian American Public Affairs Committee, Indo-American Community Federation, Hindu Jewish Coalition, Americans4Hindus PAC, Fremont Hindu Temple/Vedic Dharma Samaj, Indian Americans of Irvine and Orange County, Radha Krishna Mandir and Cultural Centre, India Heritage Foundation, Durga Temple of Virginia, Yoga Bharati, United Hindu Coalition of Central California, Parijat Controlware, India Development Coalition, Bay Area Gayatri Pariwar, West Michigan Hindu Temple, Grand Rapids Meditation Circle of SRF, Arya Samaj of Greater Houston, Vichaar Manthan, Hindu American Political Action Committee of New York, Kashmir Hindu Foundation, Educator’s Society of India, All World Gayatri Pariwar of Northern California, Indiaspora, United States-India Relationship Council, Parmarth Niketan, Proton Expert Group, Rishi Samskruti Vidya Kendra, Hindu and Jain Temple of Las Vegas, Hindu Coalition USA, Bay Area Youth Vaishnav Parivar, Sarah L Gates, Rabbi Allan Berkowitz, Dr Bahar Jalali, Hindu Federation, Hindu Human Rights Australia, Hindu Human Rights New Zealand, Hindu Human Rights United Kingdom, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.