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Home  Worldwide  Bangladesh  January, 2004  IOJ to gear up agitation against Ahmadiyyas
IOJ to gear up agitation against Ahmadiyyas

The Daily Star
Vol. 4 Num 237Fri. January 23, 2004

Front Page

IOJ to gear up agitation against Ahmadiyyas
Staff Correspondent

The factions of a fringe coalition partner have decided to step up the movement for declaration of the Ahmadiyyas non-Muslim, despite Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s refusal to accept the demand.

Political sources said Azizul Haq and Fazlul Haq Amini, MP, factions of the Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ) were determined to launch a ‘vigorous agitation’ across Bangladesh to force Khaleda’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led coalition to bow to the anti-Ahmadiyya demand.

The four-party coalition also brings together the Jamaat-e-Islami and Jatiya Party (Naziur).

“We are ready to quit the alliance and cut off ties with the government, but we won’t budge an inch on the demand. We won’t leave the street until the fulfilment of our demand,” a top IOJ leader said, requesting not to be named.

He said his faction’s links with the government slackened as the government did not include any of its leaders in the cabinet and ignored its voice in decision-making.

Sources in the top JOJ echelon said the premier’s refusal to declare the Ahmadiyyas sect non-Muslim at a meeting of top alliance leaders on January 14 bred commotion in the party.

“We are extending all-out support to the anti-Ahmadiyya movement led by Khatib of the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque and we will do everything to realise the demand,” said Amini.

Welcoming the government ban on Ahmadiyya publications, he hoped that ‘good sense’ would prevail and the government would declare the sect non-Muslim soon.

Talking to The Daily Star, ARM Abdul Matin, senior vice-chairman of JOJ’s Haq faction, said an anti-Ahmadiyya sentiment was rife and might explode into a conflagration at any moment if the government failed to respect ‘people’s sentiment’.

Appreciating the government step to ban Ahmadiyya publications, he said: “The government is dragging its feet on the vital issue,” adding, “It should follow in the footsteps of countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates that have already declared the community non-Muslim.”

Claiming that an OIC resolution in 1974 declared the Ahmadiyyas non-Muslim, he said, “They are not even allowed to enter the holy cities of Makkah and Madina.”

He alleged Israeli connection with the community.

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