Jamaat wants Ahmadiyyas declared non-Muslims, faces backlash

The Ahmadiyya community is committing reckless activities against Islam, says a statement issued by Jamaat

Ahmadiyya Community Panchagarh 3

Mob attacks on an Ahmadiyya Event Dhaka Tribune

Tribune Report

March 6, 2023 6:25 PM

Two days after the mob attacks on an Ahmadiyya event and locality in Panchagarh that claimed the lives of two persons, the Jamaat-e-Islami on Monday again started campaigning against the minority community, demanding that they be declared non-Muslim officially. 

The statement was issued through the Jamaat’s official website at a time when several ministers came down heavily on the Jamaat and its former coalition partner in the 2001-06 tenure, the BNP, for instigating communal tension in the northern district.

Friday’s clashes took place between the police and radical Islamist groups, who demanded that the Ahmadiyya annual event Salana Jalsha be stopped. The mob also vandalized and looted houses of the Ahmadis in Ahmednagar area of the town. 

Around two decades ago, the Jamaat and its coalition partner Islami Oikyo Jote staged demonstrations and a Jamaat minister publicly demanded that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at be banished from Islam.

Since then, dozens of attacks have taken place on the Ahmadis, with several people getting killed while intimidation and bullying has been a regular phenomenon.  

Till Monday, six cases have been filed and 81 people, including a local BNP leader, were arrested in connection with the clashes, deaths and instigation. 

Of the cases, police filed four with Panchagarh Sadar police station.

Police personnel, Border Guard Bangladesh and RAB have been deployed at different points.

Ismail Hossain Jhanu, 25, and Rasel Hossain, 28, were arrested in connection with the murder of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat engineer Zahid Hasan.

Police said two people who were directly involved in Zahid’s murder have been arrested. They also gave confessional statements.

Panchagarh Superintendent of Police SM Sirajul Huda said the situation was under control.

“We are investigating the incident and arresting those involved. No matter who the attackers are, they will not be spared. Raids are on to arrest the other accused,” said the SP.

On Saturday, rumours spread in different parts of the district town and on social media that some Ahmadiyya community members had killed two Muslims.

Following the rumours, some young people equipped with sticks and sharp weapons blocked roads, carried out arson attacks, and looted shops and homes of the Ahmadiyya community.

Jamaat blames Ahmadiyyas

Condemning the Ahmadiyya community, Jamaat acting secretary general Maulana ATM Masum issued a statement, saying: “Bangladesh is a Muslim majority country where 90% people are Muslims. In this country, the Ahmadiyya community is committing reckless activities against Islam. The Islam-loving people will never accept it. The government’s role in this regard is questionable.

“The government should resolve the Ahmadiyya crisis permanently by paying heed to public views and also officially declaring Ahmadiyyas non-Muslim.”

Ministers speak against BNP-JAMAAT

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Monday held the Jamaat and BNP responsible for the violence and arson attacks on Ahmadiyya homes in Panchagarh.

He said several thousand Ahmadiyyas live in the area and their Salna Jalsha is an annual event there.

“But this year, the activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and BNP leaders obstructed them. They also carried out arson attacks on their houses and raided the venue of the event,” he said.

Meanwhile, Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Monday said that the majority of the attackers on Ahmadiyya community’s event were BNP and Jamaat supporters.

“Police have the names of those people who carried out the attacks,” he said, adding that the BNP does politics with communal extremist groups and is trying to have more such incidents happen.

“It is being looked into whether the Rohingya camp incident was related to any sabotage,” he said.  

Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan on Monday alleged that the BNP-Jamaat had unleashed a terror that is even more dangerous than the terror unleashed by the Pakistani occupation forces in 1971.

While visiting the houses of the affected area, he said that the BNP-Jamaat men are carrying out sabotage and creating terror among the people.

BNP condemns arrests

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Monday alleged that the government had once again started the “old game” of arresting and harassing their leaders and activists to clear the field before the next general election.

“Look at the incident in Panchagarh (where a BNP leader was arrested in connection with sectarian violence). This is not an isolated incident. BNP men are being accused in cases in different places by carrying out such incidents and they are being arrested and their houses are being raided,” Fakhrul claimed.

Our Thakurgaon correspondent Zakir Mostafiz Milu cintributed to this report.

source https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2023/03/06/jamaat-wants-ahmadiyyas-declared-non-muslims-faces-backlash

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