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Home  Worldwide  Bangladesh  August, 2004  Protect the Ahmadiyya Complex
Protect the Ahmadiyya Complex

The Daily Star
Vol. 5 Num 94Fri. August 27, 2004


Protect the Ahmadiyya Complex
Government must rein in the fanatics

We view with deep concern the threat of capture of the Ahmadiyya prayer house in Dhaka. A fanatical religious group couched under the name of ‘Amra Dhakabashi’ had given out the threat to do so on 28 August.

We apprehend a serious law and order situation as a result of this, more so when the Awami League and several leftist parties have expressed their resolve to thwart the fanatics’ attempt to take over the Ahmadiyya prayer complex.

The fanatics, who comprise nothing more than a very insignificant fringe element of our society, have been calling upon the government to declare the Ahmadiyyas in Bangladesh a minority community. This matter should have been put to rest after the verdict of the High Court in this regard in 1993 when it rejected a writ seeking the government to declare just that.

The government’s pliant attitude towards the fanatics by banning certain publications of the Ahmadiyyas have catalysed these elements into ratcheting up their activities against a minority community. We reject extremism of any form particularly those that seek to use religion for their narrow and parochial ends. We feel that the actions of these religious extremists to be a dubious design to stir unnecessary controversy and create disharmony in the minds of the people, apart from creating bad blood between various religious communities.

It is our fervent desire and earnest hope that by the time we appear on the stands on Friday Aug 27, enough sense will have prevailed upon those that are planning to occupy a minority community’s place of worship, from going ahead with their threat.

Confrontation should be avoided at all cost, particularly at a time when the government is reeling in the aftermath of the attack on Awami League rally.

In this situation it is not the only duty of the government to maintain law and order, it is also its bounden duty to ensure that, what the Constitution grants an individual by way of his personal religious beliefs, no other individual deprives him by force.

We hope the government will ensure both.

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