Monday, October 20, 2008

No Outrage over (Muslim ) Ethnic Cleansing of Hindus

Dr. Richard L. Benkin

When Bangladesh won its independence from Pakistan in 1971, Hindus made up almost one in five of its citizens. Today, they are less than one in ten. Demographers and others estimate that approximately 20 million Bangladeshi Hindus have disappeared.

Twenty million people missing, at least that many more at risk; but no George Clooney or Angelina Jolie; no declarations from the UN, despite its mandate to stop such atrocities and help victims of the attempts. Its largely misnomered human rights organizations ignore the matter. Even the UN High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) has never helped the victims, though several organizations have documented their suffering. Earlier this year, I visited almost two dozen of their extra-legal camps in West Bengal, India, and saw their need for help. The international human rights industry, too, has been silent. Amnesty International (AI) has devoted pages upon web pages to the United States and Guantanamo and spends a high percentage of its resources criticizing Israeli democracy. Its current cover story is about Shia Muslims being “treated like second class citizens.” But to date it has shown no stomach to oppose what could be the worst case of ethnic cleansing in our time. The last time AI or Human Rights Watch gave the Bangladeshi Hindus even passing mention was in 2006.

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