January 19, 2004


There have been reactions from all quarters on the recent treatment of the minority Ahmadiyya sect in Bangladesh. The govt. has recently banned the Ahmadiyya publications to ease tensions created by a fanatic group of right wing Islami activists. Their claim is that the govt. should declare Ahmadiyyas as non muslim. I really don't understand what good that will bring to others.

The Ahmadiyya movement was founded in the late 19th century in what is now Pakistan with the professed goal of reviving Islam by stressing non-violence and tolerance. The sect breaks sharply with mainstream Islam by not insisting Mohammad was necessarily the last prophet.

Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan (who is a born Bangladeshi) expressed her views regarding this:

there are "two Bangladeshes": one that has witnessed "a growth in abuse without accountability," including attacks on the Hindu minority, and another with dedicated groups committed to women's rights, children's rights and other issues.

She also said:

"It is a very worrying sign that the government is sending mixed messages"

We feared this sort of things would happen when the Islami parties was called as partners of BNP & JP to form the current coalition government. In fear of loosing them as partners, the govt. is bowing down to these silly requests of the Jamayat-i-Islami and other Islami parties. The opposition parties have widely criticized and protested govt.'s role in this affair.


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