“Cultural” differences block investigation of missing toddler

The first thing I thought of when I read this awful story is that this poor little girl has been missing since October and we don’t hear a word about it in the mainstream media.  Compare that to the Caylee Anthony case in Florida about which we hear non-stop coverage.

Why don’t we hear about the Tangena’s—because it involves immigrants and as far as the mainstream media goes, immigrants can do no wrong, especially if they happen to be Muslim immigrants.

Police say they are having a hard time cutting through the “cultural” differences to solve this case.

Nearly three months after 2-year-old Tangena Hussain disappeared, police acknowledge thorny cultural differences are complicating their investigation.

The probe involves immigrants from Bangladesh, who police say are close-knit and often suspicious of outsiders.

“A lot of times, the only people we can interview are children, because they’re the only ones in the family who speak English,” said Hamtramck Detective George Voight, a 21-year veteran. “And when you’re dealing with people from Bangladesh, or others who are Muslims, a lot of times the women won’t talk to the police, because a lot of times women in Muslim communities aren’t allowed to talk to men.”

Tangena, whose mother is a Bengali immigrant, was reported missing in Detroit on Oct. 2 by her mother’s boyfriend, Jamrul Hussain, who shares the girl’s last name but is not related. Hussain, 27, is also from Bangladesh.

I hope the supposed boyfriend is in jail.

The same day Hussain reported Tangena missing, he was arrested in an eight-month-old kidnapping and rape case involving a 15-year-old girl. Prosecutors dropped the charges after the girl admitted she lied about being kidnapped. Instead, prosecutors charged Hussain with criminal sexual conduct.

Hussain’s attorney, Shawn Patrick Smith, insisted from the start that his client hadn’t kidnapped the girl, but instead was involved in a romantic relationship with her.

“There’s nothing unusual in Bengali culture for a 27-year-old man to have a relationship with a 15-year-old girl,” Smith said. “What is frowned upon in that culture is having premarital sex, which is why the girl lied; she had to say it was a kidnapping because it’s taboo to have sex before marriage in their Islamic culture.”

Then this:

“The last three to four years, we’ve been seeing a lot of domestic violence cases with people from Bangladesh,” Voight said. “Male dominance is part of life in Islamic cultures, but the women come here and realize after a few years that women aren’t like that here.”

Only a few days ago I posted a story about a newly released federal study that concluded immigrants must Americanize or we were going to be in big trouble.  I think we already are.

Immigrants from Bangladesh?

Besides my first question about why we haven’t heard about this little missing girl, my second question is, how did we happen to get so many immigrants from Bangladesh?

Under what program did they arrive here?    Police Detective Voight is quoted in the article saying that in the town of Hamtramck, there are about 10,000 undocumented immigrants in a citywide population of 24,000.    Is he saying the Bengalis are undocumented?

I went back to my statistics from the Office of Refugee Resettlement and found only one year where we brought 2 Bengalis as refugees.    So either they aren’t refugees, or they are refugees but aren’t really from Bangladesh originally.  I’m now wondering if they came to the US as Burmese.   Bangladesh has a large illegal population of Rohingya (Burmese Muslims).   Could they be Rohingya?

Just two weeks ago I reported on a comment made by a reader who was knowledgeable about resettlement of Burmese and he confirmed that Burmese Muslims were coming in as Burmese Christian Karen people.   See that post here.

To learn more about Rohingya and their efforts to get into western countries, see our Rohingya category here.

Endnote:  I don’t know whatever happened in the Utah murder of a little refugee girl here last spring.

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