Text: H.Res.160 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/28/2019)

[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H. Res. 160 Introduced in House (IH)]


  1st Session
H. RES. 160

Expressing concern about the threat posed to democracy and human rights 
             by theocratic groups operating in South Asia.



                           February 28, 2019

Mr. Banks submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the 
                      Committee on Foreign Affairs



Expressing concern about the threat posed to democracy and human rights 
             by theocratic groups operating in South Asia.

Whereas Bangladesh achieved independence in 1971 and established a secular 
        democratic state, which is home to over 163 million Muslims, Hindus, 
        Buddhists, Christians, and atheists;
Whereas this freedom was won at the cost of approximately 3,000,000 deaths, more 
        than 10,000,000 displaced, and 200,000 women raped, many at the hands of 
        Islamist militants led by Jamaat-e-Islami;
Whereas Bangladesh plays a critical role in the safe and voluntary repatriation 
        of over 800,000 Rohingya Muslims who have taken refuge in Bangladesh 
        from religious and political persecution in Myanmar;
Whereas religious minorities, including Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, and 
        Ahamadi Muslims, have been attacked by Jamaat-e-Islami, and their 
        subsidiary Islami Chhatra Shibir, as a result of which hundreds of homes 
        have been damaged, shops damaged or looted, and temples vandalized;
Whereas Jamaat-e-Islami applauded the assassination of Punjab Governor Salmaan 
        Taseer for defending the rights of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman accused 
        of blasphemy in Pakistan;
Whereas Jamaat-e-Islami led funeral prayers for the terrorist who assassinated 
        Salmaan Taseer, during which they prayed for the strength and power to 
        enforce Shariah throughout the world;
Whereas Jamaat-e-Islami has refused to accept the acquittal of Asia Bibi on 
        blasphemy charges and worked to prevent her from leaving Pakistan where 
        she faces mortal danger;
Whereas Jamaat-e-Islami members have been linked with al-Qaida and the Taliban;
Whereas Jamaat-e-Islami and affiliated theocratic extremist groups pose an 
        immediate and ongoing threat to stability and secular democracy in South 
        Asia, leaving religious minorities at grave risk of continuing violence;
Whereas the European Parliament adopted a resolution urging the Bangladesh 
        Nationalist Party to unequivocally distance itself from Jamaat-e-Islami;
Whereas respected Bangladeshi jurist and political opposition leader Kamal 
        Hossain has publicly called for the Bangladesh Nationalist Party to 
        sever its ties with Jamaat-e-Islami;
Whereas various organizations in the United States that receive Federal funds, 
        such as the Islamic Circle of North America, share leadership and are 
        openly affiliated with Jamaat-e-Islami;
Whereas Helping Hand for Relief and Development, a registered charitable 
        organization in the United States, openly partnered in 2017 with 
        Pakistan's Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, which the United States 
        Government designated as a terrorist organization in 2016;
Whereas repeated attacks on religious minorities, expanding religious extremism, 
        and growing destabilization caused by radical groups, including Jamaat-
        e-Islami and its affiliates, undermine United States economic and 
        strategic interests in Bangladesh; and
Whereas there is a growing trend of Islamic extremism in South Asia tied to pro-
        Islamic State of Iraq and Syria activity, with several arrests of 
        Islamists linked with the terrorist group made in recent years: Now, 
        therefore, be it
    Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
            (1) expresses its sense that the United States should more 
        actively engage with the Government of Bangladesh regarding 
        shared interests in safeguarding human rights, religious 
        freedom, and secular democracy in Bangladesh, while preventing 
        the growth of religious extremism and militancy;
            (2) calls on the Governments of Bangladesh and Pakistan to 
        deny, disrupt, and dismantle the ability of Jamaat-e-Islami and 
        its affiliates to continue posing an immediate and ongoing 
        threat to religious freedom and regional stability;
            (3) urges the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and all 
        political parties to unequivocally distance themselves from 
        Jamaat-e-Islami and other extremist organizations;
            (4) calls on the United States Agency for International 
        Development, the Department of State, the Department of 
        Homeland Security, and other relevant agencies, to halt all 
        partnerships and funding arrangements with groups affiliated 
        with Jamaat-e-Islami and its domestic affiliates, including the 
        Islamic Circle of North America, ICNA Relief, Helping Hand for 
        Relief and Development, and the Muslim Ummah of North America; 
            (5) calls on law enforcement to investigate the activities 
        of Helping Hand for Relief and Development in Pakistan and 
        Kashmir, including reported collaboration with components of 
        the Pakistani terrorist network, Lashkar-e-Taiba.

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