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Home  Worldwide  Bangladesh  March, 2005  Siege of Ahmadiyas
Siege of Ahmadiyas

The Independent, Bangladesh
Sun. March 13, 2005

Siege of Ahmadiyas

It was a demonstration of bigotry and militancy at their worst, with the police showing great indulgence to the lathi-wielding mobsters. The International Khatme Nabuwat, Bangladesh had declared their plan to besiege the Ahamadiya Muslim Jamaat Complex, and they almost had their way. Unable to control the militant marchers who were creating a fearsome atmosphere by menacingly blandishing clubs and shouting incendiary slogans, the police chose the course of appeasement and themselves hung upon the Ahmadiya Complex the signboard the militants were carrying which read ‘A place of worship of the Qadiyanis in Bogra town: No Muslim should be misled into considering it a mosque’. Police had to make more ignoble concessions, like a promise to seize all Ahmadiya publications banned by the government.

This was a show of force by a fanatical mob against a minority. A flagrant violation of human rights with the police acting as willing tool for the trouble makers.
This was a show of force by a fanatical mob against a minority. A flagrant violation of human rights with the police acting as willing tool for the trouble makers. The police force in this country, it is found, does not have a moment’s hesitation in quelling down and dispersing all lawful political processions and rallies of the opposition parties even at the cost of inflicting heavy casualties. But here it was a case of incitement to public disorder under the cloak of religion. No true religion, much less Islam, can permit this kind intimidation of a minority and creation of civic turmoil. The police, indeed, far from dispersing the violent agitators even seemed to play into their hands, doing their bidding and promising them more. Only because the agitators had mustered a vast and aggressive crowd? The duty of the police is to protect the human rights of citizens, particularly of those who are weak; the police are not expected to be overawed by a show of force. Such concessions by the police in the wrong place may prove to be the thin end of the wedge and they may find it all the harder to enforce the law in the future. The police must be made accountable.

The Ahmadiya issue was unknown in this country. It was alien to the reality of the country and the temperament of its people. Who have planted this cactus in our soil and with what motive must be investigated. Dragging the state into the Ahmadiya controversy and making it a partisan will not help to strengthen national unity. And the Khatib of Baitul Mokarram mosque, who is paid from public exchequer, is adding fuel to the fire through his irresponsible statements.

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