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Bangladesh: Genocide Now, Taliban Soon

by Madeline Brooks

“Imagine this: You are a peasant farmer living in a thatched house in a remote area.  You and your brother try to keep a vigil during the night, expecting another raid, since there have been frequent attacks on your neighbors.  Men with torches come at three in the morning and set fire to your house, after dragging out your wife and two daughters, ages nine and thirteen.  You must fight alone, because your brother was mutilated by the same men in a previous raid.  All his fingers were cut off, and his right leg was amputated at the hip so that he would suffer lifelong humiliation as well as disability.

 

You are beaten and bound, forced to watch the gang-rapes of your wife and daughters.  Your house and all your possessions are burned beyond use.

 

Your wife and daughters are afraid to file a complaint with the police, because they know that the police usually do not prosecute the attackers — and they may even turn on the victims.  (All this, to say nothing of having to bear the shame of being sexually violated.)  You have talked with your neighbors about mounting a stronger defense against the frequent attacks, but all of you feel demoralized, knowing that scores or even hundreds of armed men have descended on others like you to punish you for having the temerity to fight back.

 

You consider fleeing with your family but do not want to give up the land that has belonged to your ancestors for hundreds of years.  But if you stay on your land, which is the only life you know, you may very well be killed.

 

Such is life today in Bangladesh for Hindus, as well as for all the other minorities: Buddhists, Christians, atheists, and animists…”

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