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Home  Worldwide  Bangladesh  October, 2004  Ahmadiyya mosque in ruins
Ahmadiyya mosque in ruins

The Daily Star
Vol. 5 Num 158Sun. October 31, 2004


Ahmadiyya mosque in ruins
Meet the bigotry with full force of law

The attack on an Ahmadiyya mosque in Brahmanbaria just minutes before the call to Juma prayer on Friday during the holy month of Ramadan must be considered the height of ungodliness. The fact that the perpetrators could defile both themselves and the month of Ramadan by committing such a shameful act at such a time shows that they have little respect for the religion under whose banner they claim to be acting.

It has been reported that the attack consisted of hundreds of machete, axe, stick, and club-wielding fanatics storming the mosque, beating worshippers, and destroying the tin-roofed and bamboo-walled mosque. The hate-filled mob of around 1,000 then went on a rampage, vandalising and robbing Ahmadiyya houses, and injuring a dozen people, including women.

There are no words to describe our outrage at this act of predatory religious intolerance. The constitution and simple human decency mandate that people be secure in their right to worship.

This has gone too far. Anti-Ahmadiyya bigots have been active for the last twelve months, but this is the first time they have actually destroyed an Ahmadiyya mosque.

The government must not remain a mute spectator any more; it has a duty to protect the Ahmadiyya community. It must do everything in its power to prevent persecution taking place against them in any shape or form.

The government claimed that the ban on Ahmadiyya publications would help diminish anti-Ahmadiyya sentiments, but it is clear that this has emboldened the bigots and made the position of the Ahmadiyyas even more insecure.

Repealing the ban on their publications would be a good start, as would bringing to justice the perpetrators of Friday's attack. The government must make clear that violence against Ahmadiyyas will be countered with the full force of the law. Nothing less is good enough.

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