Dhaka, Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Ahmadiyyas for security of their lives
3 days to expire deadline to declare them non-Muslim
The Ahmadiyya community, a religious sect, demanded security of their lives and properties on Monday, three days ahead the Islamic zealots set deadline to announce them non-Muslims.
The bigots under the banner of International Khatme Nabuwat Movement had set the December 23, 2005 deadline a year ago asking the BNP-led alliance government to face a dire consequence if failed to declare the Ahmadiyyas, also known as Kadiani, non-Muslims.
They also threatened to lay siege to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Bangladesh’s central mosque in Dhaka on December 23.
‘The government’s submissive policy to the zealots has put our lives at stake and now we have none but Allah to seek help,’ the acting national emir of the Muslim Jamaat, Mir Mobashsher Ali, told a news briefing at the Jamaat’s central office in the city’s Bakhshibazar area.
Accusing the government of maintaining a double-standard, he said the government had assured them of safety while allowed the zealots to announce or go for fresh programmes against them.
Two components of the 4-party alliance government believe that the Ahmadiyyas are non-Muslims, and they are behind the continued attacks on Ahmadiyyas of the past two and a half years, the chief missionary of the Ahmadiyya community, Abdul Awwal Khan Chowdhury, said.
The community leaders said they had informed all, including the prime minister and the home minister, of their apprehension ‘perceived from experience’, but no step was taken yet.
They said they were stunned as the government had allowed the religious bigots to conduct ‘ultra-fundamentalist programme’ like cordoning mosque when a drive against the extremists, terrorists and bomb attackers was going on. ‘The programme would lead to a communal anarchy in the country’.
‘We have no reservation on anyone’s right of holding rally or brining out procession, but it should not be allowed that his/her practice of democracy would violate the rights of others,’ Mobashsher said.
‘Bitter experiences recall that the programmes of cordoning Ahmadiyya mosque were excuses for attacking the mosques, residence and members of the community.’
As no action has been taken yet in connection with the attack on mosques, residences and members of the community, it inspired the attackers to declare fresh programme to cordon the Ahmadiyya central mosque, he added.
‘We urge the administration to ensure safety and security of the lives and properties of the community members ahead of the zealots’ programme,’ he said and demanded inquiry into all attacks on Ahmadiyya community and its mosques.