Bangla HC stays govt. ban on Ahmadiyya sect publications
Dhaka | December 21, 2004 6:37:51 PM IST
A single judge bench of the Bangladesh High Court today stayed a government move to ban the publications of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Bangladesh, a small sect of Islam.
Justice A T M Khairul Islam passed the stay order after hearing a writ petition filed by human rights group that challenged the government order. The judge said that the hearing of the case would be taken after the court’s winter vacation. The courts resume work on January 2,2005.
Seven human rights organisations and a leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, A. K Rezaul Karim, filed the writ petition challenging the ban imposed by Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s government.
The government had imposed a ban on all books, booklets on Islam and the Bangla translation of the holy Koran, following repeated threats by the Khatme Nabuwat Bangladesh, a radical Islamic group in February this year.
The government in its order said that certain “objectionable” views contained in the publications have or might hurt the religious sentiments of the majority population of the country.
This group had long been demanding a government announcement that the Ahmadiyyan’s are non-believer, therefore, non-Muslims - the demand denied by the leaders of the sect.
The sect leaders say no human being can say who is Muslim or who is not.
The radical group also perpetuated attacks on a number of mosques used by the minority sect.
Eminent lawyer and former foreign minister Dr. Kamal Hossain moved the petition in the court on Monday.
He had submitted before the court that the government had proscribed the publications under pressure of Islamic zealots.
The right to religious freedom by the citizens as enshrined by the Constitution had been violated. But the government had bowed down to fundamentalist forces. (ANI)