|05NEWDELHI877||2005-02-04 08:50:00||SECRET||Embassy New Delhi|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
S E C R E T NEW DELHI 000877
1. (C) On January 27, MEA Director (Americas) Renu Pall gave
us the following non-paper on 2003-04 attacks against
Ahmediyas in Bangladesh. This non-paper was originally
referenced by our GOI interlocutors during the August
31-September 1, 2004 US-India Counterterrorism Joint Working
Group (CTJWG) meeting in New Delhi.
2. (S) Begin lightly-edited text:
Title: "Attacks on Ahmediyas"
In November 2003, a mob in Dhaka attacked members of the
Ahmediya sect (or "Kadianis" as they are called in
Bangladesh). Several hundred people tried to prevent the
Ahmediyas from entering a mosque on a Friday after the Imam
of the Rehaim Metal Mosque exhorted all "real Muslims" to
wage a jihad against the "kafir Kadianis."
In January 2004, the Bangladeshi government announced a ban
on the publications of the Ahmediya community. This decision
was reportedly taken at the highest levels. Reports indicate
that this anti-Ahmediya campaign is being provoked by the
Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ), a member of the four-party ruling
alliance. This announcement of the ban came shortly before
an ultimatum by the Hifazate Khatme Nabuwat Andolan (HKNA)
seeking the excommunication of the Ahmediyas.
The government also announced the withdrawal of cases against
some 12,000 anti-Ahmediya activists including dropping
charges for assaulting policemen during demonstrations in
Dhaka in November-December 2003.
On April 16, 2004 several anti-Ahmediya activists entered the
Ahmediya mosque in Dhaka. Police failed to take action
In late April 2004, the houses of 12 Ahmediyas in Badarganj
(Rangpur district) were vandalized. Subsequently, an attempt
to capture the Ahmediya mosque in the same area was prevented
An Islamic outfit "Aamra Dhaka Bashi" announced on 23 August,
2004 its plan to besiege the Ahmediya Headquarters complex at
Bakshi Bazar, Dhaka, on 27 August, 2004, to demand the
declaration of Ahmediyas as "non-Muslims."
Reportedly, Imams and Maulvis at different places throughout
Bangladesh have started issuing fatwas calling for social
ostracizing and boycotts against Ahmediyas.
The GOB has not shown much concern over the threat. State
Minister for Religious Affairs Musharraf Hussain Shahjahan
disclaimed any responsibility in the regard and State
Minister for Home Lutfussaman Babar said that he did not have
details about the issue.
The human rights organization Amnesty International, in a
report posted on its website entitled, "Bangladesh: The
Ahmediya community - Their Rights Must Be Protected," called
upon the GOB to lift the ban on Ahmediya publications.
US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina
Rocca during her visit to Bangladesh in May 2004 was also
outspoken about religious intolerance in the country. She
visited the Ahmediya Mosque and in a public statement said,
"religious minorities must be protected, not stigmatized or
victimized by book banning and attacks on their places of
worship." She also hoped that Bangladesh would continue "on
the road to being a tolerant country."
3. (C) Pall made no request for USG action on the above
matter. In the context of our ongoing dialogue regarding
Bangladesh and CT cooperation, Mission would appreciate
Washington's perspective on the veracity of this data.