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Home  Worldwide  Bangladesh  May, 2004  External forces instigating Bangladeshi radical Islamists: Ahmadiyyas
External forces instigating Bangladeshi radical Islamists: Ahmadiyyas
News KeralaMay 29, 2004

World News > External forces instigating Bangladeshi radical Islamists: Ahmadiyyas

Dhaka, May 29 (IANS) :

Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, a religious minority group, Saturday accused “external forces” of instigating Bangladesh’s radical Islamist groups to carry out hate campaigns against them.

“We’ve been living in this country as Muslims since 1912, but now the Islamist groups are demanding a ban on us,” said Mir Mobasher Ali, chief of the Ahmadiyya community in Bangladesh at a press conference here.

He said Islamist extremists from India and Pakistan were responsible for instigating Muslim bigots in Bangladesh.

“We are scared as the government seems to have bowed down to a handful of Islamist bigots,” Ali said.

A spokesman at Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Dhaka claimed Pakistan had officially announced in 1974 that the community was non-Muslim.

“Ahmadiyyas are living in 177 countries across the world and it’s only in Pakistan where we are officially declared Non-Muslim,” he said.

In Bangladesh, the government banned all kinds of publications of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat on Jan eight under pressure from the Islamic groups, but it evoked condemnation from home and abroad.

Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, a religious community which considers itself a sect of Islam, has been the target of a hate campaign organised by a number of Islamist groups in the country in recent months.

These groups mobilised crowds to chant anti-Ahmadiyya slogans, have sought confiscation of Ahmadi mosques, and have demanded the government declare the sect non-Muslim.

Members of the Ahmadiyya community in Bangladesh, about 100,000 in number, have been living in fear of attack, looting and killing since around Oct 2003 when demonstrations against the community began.

In the latest assault, Muslim zealots attacked an Ahmadiyya mosque in the southern port city of Chittagong Friday and forced police to remove its signboard.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat condemned the action of a top police official who replaced the mosque’s signboard with one reading : “This is not a mosque and no Muslim should enter here for prayer”.

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