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US shows Concern over minorities killings in Bangladesh

Many of them have been hacked to death. Islamic extremist group has even claimed the responsibility for many of them

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Protest against brutal killings, Wikimedia commons
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Washington DC, May 12: “Members of the South Asian community held a candlelight vigil at the historic Dupont Circle to protest against the recent spate of murders targeting minorities in Bangladesh”, according to news agency PTI.

Presently, religious intolerance is going on against minorities and their practitioners. Especially in countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar there is a whole other conspiracy going on. Among minorities such as Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, secularists and several others, mainly Hindus are targeted by Islamic extremists. Scandalous genocide of Hindus is taking place.

Among the attendees, there were several organisations such as

  • BHBCUC (The Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council)
  • HAF (The Hindu American Foundation)
  • WHCA (World Hindu Council of America)
  • CFI (Centre for Inquiry)
  • LGBT groups (Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender)

Intellectuals such as Tapan Dutta of BHBCUC condemned the attacks and further added that he has urged Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to take stronger measures to secure the homes, temples, and the lives of the country’s indigenous Hindu community.

One of the members of the vigil said “we are quite concerned with the ongoing killings of our Hindu brothers and sisters. We condemn the attacks and demand the strongest action against the perpetrators.”

Bangladesh: A deeper look

Situations in Bangladesh are becoming worse day by day. Recently a 28-year-old Nazimuddin Samad was hacked to death in the national capital after speaking out against the persecution of religious minorities and social media. Brutal assassinations targeting minorities, secular bloggers, intellectuals and foreigners have now become a regular occurrence. Simply in the name of Hindu, women are raped here.

The Bangladesh National Party was accused of supporting “Anti-Hindu” views and sentiments among the Muslims majority. On International Human Rights Day, Bangladeshi Hindu minorities protested against the injustice and atrocities inflicted on them.

Tofique Hassan (Senior Counsellor at the Embassy of Bangladesh) mentioned that “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina adheres firmly to a zero tolerance policy against terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, and violent extremism.” Even the US Ambassador has expressed concern regarding  attacks on the Hindus community of Bangladesh.

Many bloggers, secularists including Avijit Roy,Oysiqur Rahman, Ananta Bijoy Das and Niloy Neel, have been hacked to death. Islamic extremist group has even claimed the responsibility for many of them. However, Bangladesh has denied those claims saying that the killers are home grown, extremists. The local minority says if these people are not spared then we have hardly any left for ourselves.

Bangladeshi minority groups, Wikimedia commons
Bangladeshi minority groups, Wikimedia commons

Alexandra Stark (Research Assistant of the World Faiths Development Dialogue in Washington, D.C.) further elucidates: Because of the sizable amount of aid that Bangladesh receives from the United States, European countries, and international organizations, the West has significant untapped leverage that could be used to push the government in the right direction.” But things are totally the other way round.

Related article: Decimation and missing of Hindus in South Asia

H. Res.396.

Calling for an end to violence against religious minorities, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (an Indian-American lawmaker from Hawaii) introduced H.Res. 396 in July 2015. She mentioned in the U.S House that the government of Bangladesh was expected to protect the rights of all its religious minorities including Christians, Hindus, Atheists and others. She further emphasized the need to take immediate action against this senseless violence. H. Res intends to bring global attention towards the Islamic extremists

Jay Kansara (HAF director of Government Relations) said: “we won’t let the people of Bangladesh stand alone as they confront Islamist extremism”. He encouraged attendees to support H. Res. 396.

It is indeed high time that major global organisations come forward and take a stand against these genocides. Be it Bangladeshi or Pakistani minorities, Noone has any right to take away lives of innocent peoples.

Prepared by Pritam

Pritam is a 3rd year engineering student in B.P. Poddar institute of management and technology, Kolkata. A simple person who tries to innovate and improvise himself. Twitter handle @pritam_gogreen

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  • Pritam Go Green

    Not only US .. Even other superpowers should come forward in support of these minorities.
    If we’ll not take a stand against these extremists then they’ll dominate and will continue the brutal killings.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    There are many countries in our world which face such cruelties. Other neighboring countries should take a step so that they are safe in their countries.

SHARE
  • Pritam Go Green

    Not only US .. Even other superpowers should come forward in support of these minorities.
    If we’ll not take a stand against these extremists then they’ll dominate and will continue the brutal killings.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    There are many countries in our world which face such cruelties. Other neighboring countries should take a step so that they are safe in their countries.

Next Story

Video-Green Areas Cutting Off Crimes, Depression and Other Things

Cleaning and greening vacant lots is “wiping out signs that nobody’s watching, nobody cares, nobody’s in charge.

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Studies: More Green Space, Less Crime, Depression in Poor Areas Pixabay

Keith Green has an unusual fascination with vacant lots. Even on vacation.

Out for dinner in Shanghai one recent night, he came across a sight that stopped him short.

“Everyone else is taking pictures of the skyline,” he said. “I’m taking a picture of a vacant lot.”

Scourge of abandoned property

Abandoned properties don’t attract many tourists. In Green’s hometown of Philadelphia, vacant lots attract crime, from dumping trash, tires and broken appliances to stashing weapons and drugs.

Green is leading an effort to rid Philadelphia of these blights in low-income communities.

It’s a massive job. The city has an estimated 40,000 vacant lots.

But Green is witnessing how a little green space can make a big difference in urban areas plagued with poverty and crime.

Recent studies published in major scientific journals have documented how the program Green heads is helping drive substantial reductions in gun violence and depression in some of the poorest parts of Philadelphia.

Before the shooting starts

Gina South co-wrote those studies. She’s an emergency department physician at the University of Pennsylvania. Since her residency on the trauma unit, she has wanted to do more to help the people from these neighborhoods before they came to her on stretchers.

“We took care of a lot of shooting victims and did a great job of treating their physical injuries,” she said, “but did little to nothing to think about what was causing them to come in as shooting victims to us in the first place.”

Several years ago, South became interested in the program Green directs at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, called Philadelphia LandCare.

The program hires local landscapers to clear the trash and weeds from vacant lots, replace them with trees and grass, mow them twice a month, and surround them with fences with openings that invite people in.

 

neighborhoods
Authorities go for weeks without collecting trash resulting in Harare residents dumping it anywhere they can, creating conditions for cholera organisms to thrive, say health experts, in Harare, Zimbabwe. VOA

 

Physical, emotional benefits

South said at first she was skeptical that it would do much for residents.

But the more she and her colleagues looked into it, the more positive results they found.

In one study, they found people’s heart rates declined as they walked past cleaned-up lots. That shows their stress levels are coming down, “a physiologic reaction happening in people’s bodies in response to what’s in their neighborhood environment,” she said.

Fighting crime with lawnmowers

The most significant results come from the group’s study of 541 vacant lots scattered across the city. They were divided into three groups. One got the full cleaning and greening treatment. One just got periodic trash pickups. One got nothing.

Around the cleaned and greened lots, crime declined by nearly 10 percent overall. In the poorest neighborhoods, gun crimes fell by 17 percent.

neighborhoods
Disorder in the environment sends a signal that more disorder will be tolerated, including criminal behavior. Pixabay

“Those are big effects,” said Northwestern University criminologist Wesley Skogan, who was not involved with the study.

Cleaning and greening vacant lots is “wiping out signs that nobody’s watching, nobody cares, nobody’s in charge,” he added.

It fits in with a concept called the “broken windows” theory. The idea is, disorder in the environment sends a signal that more disorder will be tolerated, including criminal behavior.

The theory became controversial as it evolved into “stop and frisk” policing, in which officers confront anyone they suspect may be up to no good.

Cleaning and greening “is much closer just to fixing the … window,” Skogan said.

South’s group also found that in the lowest-income neighborhoods, nearly 70 percent fewer people said they felt depressed.

It’s good for neighborhood morale, Skogan said. “It’s a sign that someone’s looking out for them. Someone’s paying attention.”

Neighborhoods
A view shows parched grass from the lack of rain in Greenwich Park, backdropped by the Royal Museums Greenwich and the skyscrapers of the Canary Wharf business district, during what has been the driest summer for many years in London. VOA

‘I didn’t think it would work’

The program is working better than even Green expected.

He had been doing community gardening with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society as the LandCare program was getting started in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

“I was curious about the program. I didn’t think it would work,” he said.

At the time, he was planting flowers and shrubs and surrounding them with cyclone fences “to keep people out,” he said.

“This project was inviting people in. I was like, ‘That’s not going to work. People aren’t going to respect it.’”

“Then I started seeing people put picnic tables on it, putting garden areas in certain spots. They’re not destroying it,” he added. “Then I was like, ‘This can actually work.’ When I had the opportunity, I was all in.”

Green said each lot costs about $1,600 to treat and about $200 per year to maintain.

Neighborhoods
An abandoned house with an overgrown lot is seen in Brightmoor, a neighborhood on Detroit’s northwest side, July 19, 2013. Brightmoor is one of the city’s more blighted neighborhoods. VOA

“It is a bargain,” South said.

However, Skogan would like to see research showing how it compares to other approaches.

“Probably nobody thought it was a bad idea to clean things up and put up fences,” he said. “It’s always a question of whether you do this versus something else. What this (research) says is, it’s not foolish.”

Green said he gets calls from officials across the country and the world asking how a little green space can help revive their neighborhoods.

Also Read: Cybercrimes Cost Businesses $600 bn Globally: McAfee Reports

He said he sees people’s mindsets changing in neighborhoods where he’s working. Kids don’t throw trash in the cleaned-up lots, he said. They pick it up.

That’s been satisfying enough, he said. “But when you start throwing (in) these numbers, like, gun violence is going down, and people’s heart rates are being reduced, people are exercising more in certain sections of Philadelphia, you’re just like, wow.” (VOA)