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Home  Worldwide  Bangladesh  May, 2005  Make Ahmadiyyas feel safe
Make Ahmadiyyas feel safe

Dhaka Courier
Online Version Vol. 21 Issue 4106 May 2005
Main> Cover

Make Ahmadiyyas feel safe

Ahmadiyya men have been publicly shamed when they have gone to the market. The situation has now reached a stage where Ahmadiyyas cannot step out of their homes.
There can only be disbelief and great disappointment knowing that the government has made no comment on the besieged state of the Ahmadiyya community in Bangladesh. It seems that the authorities have decided that looking away from the issue will actually lead to the problem petering out on its own. If indeed that is the policy the government has decided to pursue, it can tell itself that such a policy will only lead to bigger trouble. After what happened to the members of the Ahmadiyya community in Satkhira not many days ago, it becomes absolutely clear that the danger to their lives and property has only taken a new dimension in the sense that they are now near aliens in their own country. That is a most embarrassing thing to happen to a community. More to the point, it is a sad commentary on the powers that be that they are either unable or unwilling to provide security to a section of citizens only because a mob out there is asking for the blood of the community in question.

The trouble in Satkhira, lest anyone feel complacent, is not yet over. The bigots identifying themselves with the Khatme Nabuwat movement, as it calls itself, have through an open violation of the law set up vigilante squads in and around Ahmadiyya-dominated areas, the purpose being to humiliate the besieged community further. Already quite a large number of homes have been ransacked by these so-called defenders of the faith and a few Ahmadiyyas, injured in the physical assault on them, lie in hospital. It should have been the moral responsibility of the district administration to come to the aid of these helpless people. But because they have not so far, the fanatics clearly feel they have the upper hand and can do anything with impunity. Ahmadiyya men have been publicly shamed when they have gone to the market. The situation has now reached a stage where Ahmadiyyas cannot step out of their homes. Their children have out of fear stopped going to school and, in the overall sense, the members of the community have been passing their days in fear. And still the authorities have said nothing. It does not appear either that the nation’s political parties are greatly concerned about what has been happening to the Ahmadiyyas, a probable reason being the voting factor at the forthcoming general elections. The fanatics have already informed the ruling coalition that if it declares Ahmadiyyas non-Muslims, it will have their votes at the elections. It is out of such considerations that other political parties have remained strangely silent, in the thought that whatever they do should not mean votes going away from them. It is a narrow-minded approach to politics and one that should be roundly condemned by all. What it means is pandering to the whims and demands of the disturbing elements of the Khatme Nabuwat.

It is the responsibility of civil society and human rights bodies to forge a common stand against the attacks on Ahmadiyyas in Satkhira, Khulna and other places in the country.

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