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Home  Worldwide  Bangladesh  August, 2004  Civil society members sit in on Aug 27
Civil society members sit in on Aug 27

The Bangladesh Observer
Thursday, August 19, 2004Internet Edition  
   Front Page

To protect minorities
Civil society members sit in on Aug 27

A group of civil society members on Wednesday decided to hold a huge gathering at Ahmedia Mosque complex at city’s Baxibazar on August 27 as “fundamentalist forces” threatened to raid it on the day like their Khulna and Chittagong expeditions, reports UNB.

Fronting the banner of “South Asian People’s Union against Fundamentalism and Communalism”, the civil society forum further decided to form a liaison committee to contact political, social, cultural and professional organisations to bring them in the move to protect “the minorities from the hands of fundamentalists”.

At a roundtable discussion on “Continued attack on Ahmedia Muslims,” the speakers warned that in case of any attack on the Ahmedia community, the Prime Minister and her government would have to bear the responsibility nationally and internationally for that.

They blamed the present alliance government for backing attacks on religious minorities and ethnic groups, which they said resulted in fast decline in non-Muslim populations and tribes in Bangladesh.

Giving statistics, a paper read out by Shariyar Kabir, General Secretary of the organization, said since 1971, the number of tribes has come down to 30 from 45 and population of Hindus to less than 10 per cent which was 15 per cent in 1971.

In his paper he also said that the population of Ahmedia is little over one lakh in Bangladesh and forceful religious conversion is on.

Kabir, an eminent writer, observed that repression and violence in the name of religion have destroyed countries, nations and civilisations and said that the present “false campaign” against the Ahmedias by the “fanatic groups” has a long-term design.

The speakers said in 2001 the target was Hindu community and now they turned their gun on Ahmedia and final goal is to “convert Bangladesh to a Talebani state where religious minorities, tribes and progressive persons and freethinkers would be wiped out”.

Blaming the government for violating the Constitution and surrendering to the zealots, they warned of dire consequences saying that these zealots would turn into Frankenstein and would finally kill its mentor.

Representatives of different religious minority groups and tribes said that situation in the country worsened in last one decade and many Hindus and tribal people migrated from here.

The discussion meeting, presided over by Prof Kabir Chowdhury, was addressed by Father Tim, Justice KM Subhan, Prof AK Azad Chowdhury, KG Mostafa, Adv Sadullah, Sanjib Drong, Prof BK Jahangir, Prof Nim Chandra Bhowmik, Kalim Sharafi, Prof Mir Mobasshar Ali, Ambassador Waliur Rahman and Lt Col (retd) Abu Usman Chowdhury.

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