Washington, D.C. (April 21, 2016) — U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, spoke on the House floor today condemning violence against religious minorities, including the murder of Nazimuddin Samad and other secular activists who have been killed in Bangladesh over the past 14 months, and calling on the Government of Bangladesh to bring an end to violence against religious minorities:
“In Bangladesh, the horrendous, brutal street assassinations of members of minority religions, secularists, and atheists violate every single value we hold dear.
Just two weeks ago, 28 year old Nazimuddin Samad was hacked to death in Dhaka, Bangladesh after speaking out against the persecution of religious minorities on social media.
Evelyn Beatrice Hall, the late British author, wrote, “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
In Bangladesh, discrimination and deadly violence against atheists, secularists, Hindus, Buddhists, and other religious minorities has unfortunately become a regular occurrence. This underscores the absolute necessity of not only defeating this global wave of intolerance, but standing up and fighting for the right of others to freely express their views regardless of whetheryou agree with those views or not.
I introduced H.Res. 396 last year to call on the Government of Bangladesh to protect the rights of all of its religious minorities, including Christians, Hindus, Atheists, and others. They have a responsibility to uphold the principles of its secular constitution— including freedom of religion and freedom of expression—and take action to end this senseless violence. I urge my colleagues to take action, and support this resolution’s passage.”