PHILADELPHIA — November 28, 2018 – The Middle East Forum strongly supports H.Res. 1156, Expressing concern about the threat posed to democracy and the democratic process by theocratic groups operating in Bangladesh. Introduced by Congressman Jim Banks (Republican-Indiana) and co-sponsored by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (Democrat-Hawaii), this bipartisan bill focuses on the poisonous behavior of the Jamaat-e-Islami and other extremist groups in South Asia. Among other things, H.Res. 1156 calls on the Government of Bangladesh to stop radical organizations, such as Jamaat-e-Islami, who pose an ongoing threat to the country's stability and secular democracy, and for USAID and the State Department to halt all partnerships with groups affiliated with these extremist movements.
Jamaat-e-Islami is an influential and dangerous Islamist group with a long history of violence. MEF's research has revealed that its front-groups raise millions in the United States and employ lobbyists in the Capitol.
"Jamaat-e-Islami poses a great threat to the West," said Sam Westrop, director of MEF's Islamist Watch. "Yet, unlike Al-Qaeda, ISIS, or the Muslim Brotherhood, very few people in America, even in Washington, have so much as heard of it."
"We congratulate Reps. Banks and Gabbard for offering this important, bipartisan resolution," adds Cliff Smith, director of MEF's Washington Project. "Islamist movements such as Jamaat-e-Islami thrive in the shadows. Some disinfecting sunlight is urgently needed."
Bangladesh's elections are scheduled to take place on December 30, 2018.
H.Res. 1156 has been referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.