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Home  Worldwide  Bangladesh  June, 2005  A patently irreligious act
A patently irreligious act

The Daily Star
Vol. 5 Num 384Sun. June 26, 2005


A patently irreligious act
Wrath against a defenceless community

The Ahmadiyyas have come under attack again. This time in a more virulent form. It began with dousing petrol on an Ahmadiyya mosque and torching it in the small hours of Thursday night at Kandipara in Brahmanbaria town. The community people themselves put out the blaze before the police and the firefighters arrived on the scene.

Almost simultaneously, at least two dozen homemade bombs were burst at Bhadughar within Brahmanbaria municipal limits and Shuhilpur under Sadar upazila. Khatm-e-Nabuat may have denied having had anything to do with it, but there is no question about the orchestrated attack in Brahmanbaria being the outcome of sustained, open incitement to religious frenzy against a particular community.

If the series of assaults on them, especially on their mosques, had not taken place in various parts of the country earlier on, there is no gainsaying the fact that the Brahmanbaria cocktail blasts and arson would most possibly have been averted.

There was the usual run of post-incident medical treatment for the victims, police placement and law and order alert of all kinds, but the question that exercises the mind a lot is this: why was there a local intelligence failure to foresee what was coming and to preempt it? Generally the administration must be seized of the need to provide security cover to Ahmadiyya-inhabited areas in order that no untoward incident can take place in them. The police couldn't arrest anyone in that small area, which is bound to surprise people.

Let us not forget that lately Bangladesh has come under international spotlight not for all the right reasons. One of the points of criticism related to religious intolerance of a handful against the Ahmadiyyas which is out of steps with our age-old traditions of religious harmony and peaceful co-existence of different faiths. We must not allow anybody to spoil our natural image.

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