News Release

Bangladeshi Community in NYC

CHAUMTOLI HUQ, lawatthemargins at gmail.com, @lawatmargins
Huq is a Bangladeshi-American lawyer with Law@theMargins in New York City, a nonprofit that addresses human rights issues in the U.S. and globally.

She posted on her Facebook page: “I ask [the] Bangladeshi community to remain safe and vigilant. Since the bomber is identified as Bangladeshi, we may experience increased surveillance and scrutiny especially [at] our Bangladeshi community mosques. Know your rights.” She advises the community to “see legal counsel before speaking to law enforcement.”

She tweeted: “Appreciate the brave first responders of #NYC who rushed into Port Authority, not knowing the real danger of this attack. #ILoveNYC” and “I ask media professionals to be sensitive to #Bangladeshi #NYC community safety concerns and pulling people to speak on camera if they know the #PortAuthority suspect. This may expose them to increased surveillance and scrutiny.”

She said today: “The Bangladeshi community in New York City is now the largest growing Asian community. It’s also dispersed, with clusters of people in every borough; most other immigrant groups tend to be centered in just one or two areas in New York City.

“Obviously we need to be careful about the veracity of any information now and what the government chooses to leak and not leak about this horrible attack. But the suspect — Akayed Ullah — is apparently from Bangladesh and anonymous government sources are apparently stating that he claimed allegiance to ISIS.

“I’m following the Bangladeshi media as well and it’s important to see how this will play out there. There are certainly Islamic groups that support ISIS in Bangladesh, but the government there has used that as a pretext to clamp down on people they claim are part of the opposition.

“There are some young Bangladeshis who are seeking political asylum here due to persecution, and we should be careful that they do not suffer here.

“Much of my work as a lawyer is with the Bangladeshi working class community — drivers, food vendors, retail workers — all of whom are particularly vulnerable.”