Richard Benkin, who has been working to save Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury from Bangladeshi 'justice' looks at the Islamist infiltration of Bangladesh and one group of its victims.
His story begins in Afghanistan in 2004 as Al-Qaida members on the run after the invasion were helped by Pakistani border guards into Kashmir and then, via negotiations on their behalf by Islamists in Pakistan's Nepalese Embassy, on to the protection of the communist insurgents in that country. From there, they worked on gaining institutional power in Bangladesh, a process already well under way at their arrival.
Bangladesh is an incredibly poor country in the throes of a huge ideological and cultural battle. Among the many victims on this field of conflict are Bangladeshi Hindus. There's a law called the Vested Property Act according to which the government can
seize property belonging to non-Muslims and hand it over to Muslims of their choice, forcing the former (mostly Hindu) to flee the country...Dr. Sachi Dastadar, who has studied this phenomenon for decades, used the government's own figures and counted 1.3 to 3.3 million acres of Hindu land seized in the 1990s alone. The victims have been subjected to murder, mutilation and ritualized gang rape, as well as the legalized thievery. At first, private gangs committed the atrocities, but later victims reported government officials and uniformed men led the attacks.
These Hindu Bangladeshis flee to West Bengal, to the charity of their co-religionists, or so you would think.
But the area bordering Bangladesh, West Bengal, has had a communist government since 1977 and offered no succor. Rigid atheists, the communists reject any bonds of faith in favor of their internationalist goals and have thrown their lot in with the Islamists. VPA victims have been put in camps then sent on forced marches when the government decided to seize the land. The West Bengal Stalinists refuse to recognize them as refugees or give them any legal standing, though many of them have been living there for decades. It also has turned a blind eye to cross-border attacks and further Muslim atrocities.
These people don't seem to be high on anyone's list of those in need of help. Richard Benkin has been asked to investigate and publicise their plight.