Vol. 4 Num 314 Sat. April 17, 2004  
Front Page

Police allow zealots to storm Ahmadiyya mosque

Religious zealots stormed the Ahmadiyya Mosque in Nakhalpara yesterday and seized the sect's books the government banned on January 8 apparently to calm anti-Ahmadiyya tempers.

Police accompanied five demonstrators of the anti-Ahmadiyya International Khatme Nabuwat Movement Bangladesh to the mosque after over 2,000 activists staged a protest procession, the latest in a series of anti-Ahmadiyya demonstrations against the Muslim sect since November last year.

Khatme Nabuwat raiders found two books of Bangla interpretations of the Quran and Bukhari Sharif, a Hadith collection -- and handed them over to police.

The activists of the outfit gathered at Rahim Metal Mosque in Tejgaon after Friday prayers and Khatme Nabuwat Amir Mahmudul Hasan Momtazi led the procession to the Ahmadiyya mosque.

"We appreciate the government for banning Ahmadiyya books, but it did not seize them and declare Ahmadiyyas non-Muslim. It prompted to act on our own," Khatme Nabuwat Secretary General Nazmul Haq told The Daily Star.

Accompanied by police officials, including Officer-in-Charge of Tejgaon Police Station Ruhul Amin, the outfit's Nayebe Amir Nur Hossain Nurani and four other leaders went in after law enforcers halted the procession a few yards short of the mosque.

Nakhalpara Ahmadiyya Jamaat unit President Qamrul Islam, Imam of the mosque Moazzem Hossain and local Ahmadiyya leader Rafiq Ahmad were present during the raid.

Minutes later, the anti-Ahmadiyya activists held a rally at Tejgaon Nabisco intersection with Momtazi presiding. Nazmul Haq, Abul Qashem, Abu Taher and Abdur Rahim Qashemi addressed the rally that scheduled a demonstration for May 29 to seize publications from Ahmadiyya mosques in Chittagong.

"They (Ahmadiyyas) are running anti-Islam activities, claiming to be Muslims. They have no right to use Islamic terms for them and identify their places of worship as mosques," Momtazi said.

Khatme Nabuwat will hold a rally at the Nabisco intersection on June 11, demanding that the government declare Ahmadiyyas non-Muslim.

"The raid shows an ominous sign," said Towhidul Islam, a spokesman for Ahmadiyyas. "The government banned our books under pressure from religious fanatics and police are now accompanying them into our mosques."

Another anti-Ahmadiyya group, Khatme Nubuwat Committee Bangladesh, threatened on April 6 to launch a broader movement if the government does not declare Ahmadiyyas non-Muslim by June.