News Update Service
Thursday, January 9, 2004 : 1900 Hrs
Bangladesh bans publications of Ahmadiyya sect
Dhaka, Jan. 9 (PTI): The Bangladesh Government has banned all publications of Ahmadiyya Jamaat, a minority sect of Muslims, in view of the objectionable materials, evoking sharp criticism from the group which termed the decision as shocking.
The ban was imposed in view of objectionable materials in such (Ahmadiyya) publications which hurt or might hurt the sentiments of the majority Muslim population of Bangladesh, the Home Ministry said in a statement last night.
Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ), a partner of the ruling BNP-led four-party Alliance, has long been spearheading the anti-Ahmadiyya campaign demanding a Government announcement declaring it a non-Muslim sect along with other rightwing groups including the Hifazate Khatme Nabuwat Andolon (HKNA).
Referring to anonymous Government sources the Daily Star newspaper today said the move was likely to be the first step towards declaring nearly 100,000 Ahmadiyyas in Bangladesh non-Muslims.
We discussed the demand but need to explore all aspects to reach a decision in this regard, a senior Government official said on condition of anonymity.
In an immediate reaction, a senior leader of the sect Abdul Awal, termed the decision as shocking and said it indicated that the Government has bowed down to religious terrorists.
The peoples right to freedom of expression as enshrined in the Constitution has been violated by taking such a decision, he said.