Government’s will enough to contain bigots
Ahmadiyya leaders tell US rights commission
US Commission on International Religious Freedom yesterday met leaders of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Bangladesh at the latter’s Bakshibazar headquarters yesterday afternoon and expressed their concern about the grim situation of the community across the country.
Describing the incidents of attacks on their members especially since November 2003, the Ahmadiyya leaders told the US delegation that the government’s will is enough to contain the religious fundamentalists.
“The administration has proved, by foiling anti-Ahmadiyya zealots’ attempt to capture our mosque in Narayanganj, Satkhira and Mymensingh, that it has full capacity to control and stop the fundamentalists,” Abdul Awal Khan Chowdhury, central Ahmadiyya missionary, told reporters after the meeting.
Chairman of the Commission Miceal Comatie led the delegation, which also included Vice Chairman Felice D Gaer, Commissioner Preeta Bansal, Executive Director Joe Crapa, Deputy Director Policy Tad Stahnke, Senior Policy Analyser Steve Snow and Political In-Charge Denise Jobin Welch.
Ahmadiyya National Ameer Mobasherur Rahman, Nai’b National Ameer Prof Meer Mobashsher Ali, central committee members Meer Tariq Ali, Ahmad Tabshir Choudhury and Bashir AK Chowdhury attended the meeting with the delegation.
As the US delegation referred to the Bangladesh government’s claim that it had banned two organisations for anti-Ahmadiyya agitation, the Ahmadiyya leaders pointed out that the organisations were banned due to their involvement in militant activities including bombings across the country.
The Commission members also mentioned the claim of Bangladesh Embassy in the USA that the Bangladesh government imposed ban on Ahmadiyya publications in January 2004 to save the Ahmadiyyas from the wrath of zealots.
The Ahmadiyya leaders then said the ban ultimately encouraged the zealots who later intensified persecution on the Ahmadiyyas across the country.
They demanded rescinding of ban on their publications and return of Ahmadiyya mosques that are now under the capture of anti-Ahmadiyya zealots.