Cops, civil society thwart raid on Ahmadiyya mosque
Strong police watch, civil society resistance and noncooperation of locals yesterday kept at bay the religious fanatics who had threatened to capture an Ahmadiyya mosque in Narayanganj, diffusing the weeklong tension.
A few hundreds of Islamist zealots under the banner of Khatme Nabuwat Committee, Bangladesh and Aamra Dhakabashi on their way to join in the capture failed to enter the town. Those who gathered in a rally at DIT Mosque failed to march on the Ahmadiyya mosque at Mission Para due to strong police and paramilitary cordon.
Eleven local sociocultural and political bodies held a counter rally at Narayanganj Press Club. Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee (EGDNC) and South Asian Peoples’ Union against Fundamentalism and Communalism (SAPUFC) expressed solidarity with them and staged a sit-in until the zealots dispersed.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Bangladesh hailed the government and civil society steps, saying it proved the government could resist fundamentalists if it wanted.
Ten platoons of police and three platoons of Bangladesh Rifles and Armed Police were deployed at 10 points of the town including around the Ahmadiyya mosque, while 10 teams of police patrolled to stop the anti-Ahmadiyya zealots from approaching their target.
The Khatme Nabuwat and Dhakabashi activists started gathering at DIT Mosque from 3pm. Although they hoped some 500 devotees who frequent the mosque would join them in the raid, all except a few abandoned the place led by Imam Abdul Awal. “It is not our programme. We don’t support any attack on any religious community, no matter whether they are minority or not,” he said.
Addressing the rally, Nabuwat leader Enayetullah Abbasi threatened to paralyse the whole port town if the authorities do not evict Ahmadiyyas from the mosque and declare them non-Muslims. Nabuawat president of Narayanganj district Nesar Ahmad Abbasi presided over the meeting.
Warning the civil society and those trying to save the Ahmadiyyas of reprisal, he said, “US Ambassador Harry K Thomas is a Jew and is supporting the Ahmadiyyas who are also Jews.”
The Nabuwat and Dhakabashi leaders threatened to besiege the Ahmadiyya mosque at Nakhalpara in the capital if the government does not fulfil their demands by January 7.
A delegation of EGDNC and SAPUFC including Justice KM Sobhan, Shahriar Kabir, Ferdousi Priyobhasini, Prof Ajay Roy and Salma Huq met the Ahmadiyya Jamaat members at the mosque in the morning and condemned any attack on any religious community or their place of worshipping.
They vowed to continue resisting the fundamentalists from holding such extremist programmes, which are contrary to the spirit of Liberation War.