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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Ahmadis in Bangladesh face fresh threat of persecution

It is extremely disturbing to note, the top leader of Hefazat-E-Islam, Ahmad Shah Shafi has also called upon the Bangladesh government to “immediately declare Ahmadiyyas” as “non-Muslims” and has asked the government to stop the Ahmadiyya religious congregation in Panchagarh district in Bangladesh.

Ahmadiyya community in Bangladesh has decided to hold an Ijtema (religious congregation) in Panchagarh district, which has already come under extreme opposition from the pro-Caliphate group named Hefazat-E-Islam, which consists of thousands of madrassa teachers and students.

According to an opinion editorial published in Weekly Blitz, Executive editor of Qawmi madrassa mouthpiece named monthly Moinul, Sarwar Kamal has circulated a statement from HEI leader Ahmad Shah Shafi stating,
“Deniers of Khatmey Nabuwat (last prophecy), feet-licking slave of the British, nefarious enemy of the Muslim ummah, Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani had denied acknowledging Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) as the last prophet. He [Golam Mohammad Kadiani] proclaimed false prophethood with the agenda of deceiving Muslims, being a lapdog of the British. Golam Mohammad was the agent of those British imperialist traders who had ruled the Indian subcontinent for 190 years, and had falsely proclaimed himself as the prophet and had participated in anti-Islam propaganda”.
Shafi further said, “Despite the fact of being non-Muslims, Qadiyanis are claiming themselves as Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and has been booting the world’s prophet [prophet of Islam]. If such things are not stopped forthwith, Hefazat e Islam by joining the ‘Khatmey Nabuwat Movement’ will go into massive anti-Ahmadiyya movement in Bangladesh. Ahmadiyyas should be declared non-Muslims and their naked exposition of audacity [against Islam] should be immediately stopped. Otherwise, any conspiracy will be foiled by the hundreds of millions of towheedi Janata (masses of faith)”.

The most disturbing fact about this issue is, none of the mainstream media in Bangladesh or elsewhere have published even a single sentence on it, clearly exhibiting the degree of bias and influence those preachers of radical Islam have already established on the media.

This morning, immediately after hearing this disturbing news from the editor of Weekly Blitz, we have started contacting various media outlets in the world as well as rights groups drawing their attention to this issue.

For decades, members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community are facing synchronized persecution in Pakistan in particular as well as other nations, including Bangladesh and India. Most, unfortunately, in some cases, such persecution enjoys direct or indirect patronization from the ruling elites or the establishments.

We are fully aware of Bangladesh’s authority banning religious publications of Ahmadis in 2005, which has not been lifted despite repeated reminders from the international community and Bangladesh government promises. Although religious minorities in Bangladesh had aspired of an end of such persecution, intimidation, and hostility ever since Awami League came to power in 2009.

But unfortunately, Awami League, that proclaims of being a secular political party too has joined hands with pro-Caliphate Hefazat-E-Islam and it is clearly evident, this group is gradually becoming a dictating or pressure force in Bangladesh. Just a few weeks back, Hefazat leader Shah Ahmad Shafi in a public gathering had asked the Muslim parents to refrain from sending their girl children to schools.


This particular statement had never been even confronted by rights groups in Bangladesh, most possibly because of fear of state-patronized harassment.

“It is a moral obligation of all Muslim ummah to protest and stop the Panchagarh Qadiani Ijtema. This country is secular, here Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, and all other religions perform their own religion similarly Qadianis can also perform their own religion but that must be a conference, not Ijtema.
Dhaka city president of Islami movement Bangladesh Maulana Imtiyaz Alam “Qadianis must be declared non-muslims immediately. let them live like minorities like Hindus, Christians, and Buddhists like indigenous people. We have no problem with that. But they can not live here like Muslims(because they are infidels, they can’t call their place of worship a mosque and they can’t perform any Muslim rituals)”
— said Maulana Abdul Hameed Peer president of the Khatme Nabuwwat Council.
International Khatme Nabuwwat movement Secy. Genl. Maulana Alhaj Nazmul Haq and rep from Hefazat-e-Islam were there at the protest.
Chief editor of JamJamat Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury said “Some people in Bangladesh are engaged into anti-Ahmadiyya activities similarly as Pakistan which is not acceptable. They are trying to put the government into embarrassment as well this step engages in the deep conspiracy of destabilizing the country. I have been repeatedly saying, that Khilafat claiming anti-democratic force Hefazat-e-Islam should not be given any space in this country.

We all know Hefazat-e-Islam has connections with Al-Qaida and ISIS. These are groups of radical Islamic militancy minded people. These should not be allowed to openly continue such activities. Do the ruling party think (so-called)Hefazat-e-Islam will have them in gaining vote bank? Who gives such idiotic suggestions to the govt.? There is no space for radical Islam in this country.

There is no vote bank of Radical Islam in Bangladesh. Should those mullahs have any vote bank in this country they would have owned a seat in parliament. Have they ever got?

He further said” This group of barbarians deny the rise of women, women education, human rights, and rule of law. They want to establish a so-called caliphate in our country. The way ISIS scoundrels have attempted. I’m calling upon the government to forcefully stop such evil damn things of HeI. Our govt needs to be cautious about Shah Shafi otherwise this frankestine will emerge as a threat to our national security.”

Although counterterrorism experts are seeing ISIS in Hefazat, in my opinion, the case of Hefazat is even worst as ISIS never got patronization from the Iraqi government. The ruling party in Bangladesh, as part of its strategy of playing religion card in politics, has openly joined hands with Hefazat. Let us remember, Hefazat-E-Islam is the platform of hundreds and thousands of Qawmi madrassa teachers and students.

Long back, editor of Weekly Blitz and a counter-militancy expert, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury has branded these madrassas as “breeding grounds of jihadists”. Mr. Choudhury in his book named ‘Inside Madrassa’ also has provided numerous facts, data, and evidence showing as to how jihadism is being gradually injected into the minds of young madrassa students by those radicalized teachers.

Being an Ahmadi Muslim, it is a call upon every conscious individual in the world to immediately look into the latest incident of threats on the Ahmadi Muslims in Bangladesh.

Muzaffar Ahmad Noori Bajwa
Muzaffar Ahmad Noori Bajwa
Founding Editor of The Eastern Herald, Political & Foreign Relations Strategist.

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