Dhaka, Thursday, December 11, 2003
Govt stumped by Kadiani opposers
SHAHIDUL ISLAM CHOWDHURY
The government is in a dilemma as to how to deal with the anti-Kadiani agitation programmes That are dogging the capital and elsewhere every Friday, sources in the government told New Age on Wednesday.
The government is reluctant to take stern actions against anti-Kadiani agitation programmes, as these movements are led by different religious groups including two factions of the ruling alliance, said a policy maker of the BNP-led government.
Conversely, the government is not in a position to declare Kadianis non-Muslims, as demanded by the religious groups, he added.
Declaring Kadianis non-Muslims would create a perilous situation for Bangladesh, at home and abroad, said the policy maker, who happens to be a senior minister of Prime Minister Khaleda Zias cabinet.
Several anti-Kadiani groups threatened a civil war and gave the government a one-week ultimatum to declare Kadianis non-Muslim at a demonstration held at Nakhalpara in the capital on December 5.
The hate-filled demonstration of around 30,000 people sparked security fears and had thousands of law enforcers on alert.
The same programmes will be held around any mosque reserved for Kadianis in the capital on a Friday in January, sources in the anti-Kadiani groups have told New Age.
We will declare a tough agitation programme on January 9, if the government does not declare Kadianis non-Muslim, said Moulana Mahmud Hassan Momtazi, amir of Jaish-e-Mustafa, an anti-Kadiani outfit.
We are working to bring together several thousand Muslims at anti-Kadiani rallies and processions, he added.
One such rally and a procession is likely to be held at the north gate of Baitul Mukarram Mosque tomorrow.
Momtazi, who is also the imam of Rahim Metal Mosque and had led the procession towards the Kadiani mosque at Nakhalpara, said that the leaders of the anti-Kadiani movement have been busy garnering support in and outside the government.
Tareque Mobassher, a spokesman for Ahmadiya Muslim Jamat (the central outfit of Kadianis in Bangladesh), told New Age on Wednesday afternoon, We urged the inspector general of police, in writing, to protect our mosques at Lalbagh, Mirpur and Tejgaon.
We, the Ahmadiyas, are grateful to the government for the protection it has given us, he added.
But police protection is not a permanent solution. The problem should be resolved to the core, said Mobassher. The government should start a dialogue with the instigators of hostility against Ahmadiyas.
State Minister for Religious Affairs Mosharef Hossain Shajahan told New Age on Wednesday, The government cannot push the country into a perilous situation by supporting or patronising clashes between members of different clans, races and followers of different religions.
He added, All religious groups and community, including Hindus, Buddhists and Christians, have every right to practice their religion and uphold their values.
Sources told New Age that the government has not made any concerted efforts to tackle the anti-Kadiyani agitations.
The Prime Ministers Office has not given any directive to the ministries concerned to solve the issue permanently.
The home ministry ordered the police just to tackle routine events, said a source in the ministry.
Meanwhile, Moulana Azizul Haq, chairman of an IOJ faction, requested Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to declare the Kadianis non-Muslims on November 29.
The PM has assured me that she will look into the issue, Azizul Haq told newsmen then.