http://www.ThePersecution.org/ Religious Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Come down, hard, on the lawless
Come down, hard, on the lawless

New Age, Bangladesh
Dhaka, Sunday, August 22, 2004
Come down, hard, on the lawless

The frenzy with which an organised group of religious fanatics tried to storm the Ahmaddiya complex in Bakshibazar on Friday raises some grave questions about the steep decline of orderly politics in this country. And when you add to that the clear, outrageous threats which have been hurled by similar bands of fanatics at the daily Prothom Alo, you realise how vulnerable society has been getting. But what does create confusion and a whole lot of misgivings in the public mind is the attitude of the authorities to the clear attempts at creating social
The men behind the so-called Amra Dhakabashi have for months now been vocal about their determination to suppress the Ahmaddiyas. The language they have used has bristled with vituperation; it has been as clear a sign as any of men willing and ready to commit criminal acts in their parochial interests.
disorder by the fanatics. It should have been for the government to pounce on the people who have for a long time been engaged in activities which patently undermine the rule of law. Take the matter of Prothom Alo. The people whose ire has been raised because of some reports the daily has run have now openly told the country that they will not rest until the daily is put out of circulation. That is an outrageous way of behaving in a society which keeps proclaiming to the outside world its belief in democracy. Besides, anyone who takes advantage of democratic openness to endanger the lives or reputations of people or institutions is, without a shadow of a doubt, engaging in plain criminal acts for which he or she should be hauled up by the law. Unfortunately, in this particular instance, the authorities have coolly looked the other way. Which raises the interesting question of whether the indifference has anything to do with the fact that some of the men behind this virulent assault on the Prothom Alo happen to be part of the present ruling combine in the country.

   Where the matter is one of the Ahmaddiya community, we at this newspaper have long been arguing for adequate safeguards to be given to the community in the face of the murderous threats the members of the sect have been receiving from the fanatical fringes here. Again, the sad reality is that apart from deploying police on Fridays to ward off any assault on Ahmaddiya mosques or homes, the authorities have abjectly failed to take action that can reassure the public about their ability to keep sectarian order in the land. The men behind the so-called Amra Dhakabashi have for months now been vocal about their determination to suppress the Ahmaddiyas. The language they have used has bristled with vituperation; it has been as clear a sign as any of men willing and ready to commit criminal acts in their parochial interests. Any civilised society, any government with a sense of responsibility to the people would have taken prompt, harsh action against such malcontents. That the authorities in Bangladesh have failed to take such action, or have felt too daunted by the ferocity of the men arrayed against the hapless Ahmaddiyas to act, speaks of the helplessness of a nation that can often result from the powerlessness of its government in administering the state. That is surely something which does not augur well for the country. And it is that because when it is the government which fails to deal swiftly with elements openly espousing lawlessness, it becomes inevitable that people across the spectrum realise how vulnerable they all are in the lengthening shadow of criminality. It makes little sense to talk about rule of law when those who openly proclaim their intention to break the law remain convinced that nothing can touch them.

   At this point in time, it is necessary that the state of Bangladesh reassert itself. When important men from abroad speak of our declining law and order, when foreign governments advise their citizens on whether or not to visit this country, we know the time has arrived to put our house back in order. How about doing that (and it all depends on the will and courage of the powers that be) through cracking down on the men who have been after the blood of the Ahmaddiyas and the Prothom Alo?

Source: http://www.newagebd.com/2004/aug/22/edit.html
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