Despite what officials state, the Islamists of Bangladesh have been violently urging all non-Muslims to get out of the country. Buddhists, for example, mostly settled in the southeast part of Bangladesh and less than 1% of the population of 150 million, have been struggling to survive. More than 1,000 have fled; the situation is no different for Christians and Hindus.
What is clear is that Rabita Al Alam al Islami, known as Al-Rabita, a powerful Saudi Arabia-based non-governmenal organization [NGO] has taken charge of Islamization, especially in the remote areas. Since 1980, Al-Rabita has been working throughout southeast Bangladesh to convert the hill people to Islam. There is serious concern that Al-Rabita has been funding terrorists (See: "Islamic NGOs Funding Terror in Bangladesh").
Throughout the area, construction of mosques and madrassas [Islamic religious schools] continues. There are now 800 mosques and nearly 300 madrassas built by Al-Rabita. Al-Rabita also has an Islamic Missionary Center with the goal of converting poor tribal people. This Saudi NGO has been spending millions of dollar to promote Shariah law and violent Islamism in the country.
And because Saudi Arabia is one of the top foreign aid donors to Bangladesh -- the government of Bangladesh has taken no action against this NGO. Saudi Arabia has also threatened that if it is discontented, it will send back to Bangladesh the tens of thousands of laborers who work in Saudi Arabia.
For three days beginning September 29, more than 25,000 radical Muslims attacked different Buddhist communities in Bangladesh, as reported in news coverage worldwide. The Islamist attackers claimed that a photo of a burned copy of the Koran was posted on Facebook by a Buddhist youth. The youth denied the allegation and proved that someone else posted the photo in his Facebook wall. At the mere rumor, however, thousands of radical Islamists burned dozens of Buddhist temples and around 100 houses, and looted golden statues of Buddha. Some valuable manuscripts written in the ancient Pali language were also burnt to ashes. Officials stated that the radical Islamists used gunpowder and petrol. Afterward, the administration ordered compliance with "CRPC section 144," which restricts gatherings of more than four persons.
In recent years Muslim extremism and violent tendencies, especially in the mountainous areas of Bangladesh, have intensified. According to a Congressional Research Service Report of 2008, the authorities in Bangladesh have expressed concern about the use of madrassas by a network of Islamic activists being investigated in connection with a number of incidents of violence. The report states, "[T]here is concern among observers that the secular underpinnings of moderate Bangladesh are being undermined by a culture of political violence and the rise of Islamic extremists."
In 2010, the mountainous areas were rocked by violence, reigniting decades-old ethnic and religious tensions, as Muslim settlers set fire to hundreds of homes of indigenous Buddhists. The attacks resulted in countless injuries and deaths.
Since 1980, there have been 20 major occurrences of massacres against the indigenous non-Muslim people by Muslim settlers -- in co-operation with the government. More than 100,000 Jummas -- the indigenous Buddhists -- have fled across the border to India. Many villages have been completely burnt down by the Islamists. Thousands of Buddhist families who were displaced have not been resettled, and the number of poverty-stricken Buddhist refugees has substantially increased.
These mountainous areas with dense forests have become a safe haven for Bangladeshi Islamists, who had previously fought in Afghanistan against the U.S.