Discrimination against minorities declines in Bangladesh: US

Societal abuse and discrimination against the religious and ethnic minority in Bangladesh have declined, the US State Department said in a report on Monday.

Click here to read the International Religious Freedom Report.

The International Religious Freedom Report for 2011 released by the State Department also mentioned zero occurrences of “abuses of religious freedom” in 2011 in contrast to past years.

In its executive summary, the report however stated that there were “scattered attacks on religious and ethnic minorities perpetrated by nongovernmental actors” and holds responsible “the low social status of religious minorities” for the continued discrimination.

The sporadic abuses has "little political recourse", says the report.

Mentioning the unbiased stance of the constitution towards all religious groups, the report elaborated the government’s initiatives into amending laws and policymaking in favour of all religious communities.

“An amendment to the constitution passed on June 30 established Islam as the state religion but reaffirmed the country is a secular state.” noted the report.

The report also mentioned the government’s steps to promote religious freedom, appointing minority people in higher government ranks and allocating funds for the major denominations – Hindus, Buddhists and Christians in the country.

Under the civil law, Islamic fatwa could be issued provided it is not punitive, said the report.

The report cites some press and NGO reports to elaborate some instances of discrimination and violence against the minorities.

According to the report, the only minority group that continued to face violence and discrimination in Bangladesh is the “Ahmadi”.

As violence against religious and ethnic minorities continued to exist despite declination, the US embassy in Bangladesh continues to “express concern about the rights of religious and ethnic minorities”, the report stated in its conclusive remarks.

News Source: 
The Daily Star