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The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat has expressed deep concern after being prevented from holding its 87th jalsa salana at the Rover Scout Training Centre at Bahadurpur in Gazipur, despite prior permission from the local administration.
The annual convention of the jamaat was scheduled to be held on February 6, 7 and 8 but the Gazipur district administration revoked its previous permission at the last moment, when over 8,000 members from all over the country had already gathered at the venue.
Briefing reporters at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat office at Bakshibazar in Dhaka Tuesday afternoon, Meer Mobasher Ali, naib national amir said representatives from the USA, the UK, Syria, Italy, India and Pakistan were also present at the convention ground on February 6.
He said the district police administration asked them to leave the location, saying that they had to take the decision due to objections raised by the ‘local population’.
‘Our only intention is to convey the message of Islam, the religion of peace, and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SA) to all in a peaceful and harmonious manner,’ he said, adding. ‘We have no connection with dirty politics, and we are absolutely free from any disorder or terrorism.’
Mobasher also said his community was not sure if there was ‘any hand of any evil force’ behind the episode.
He said being barred from holding the conference was a violation of one of their fundamental rights as granted in the constitution.
‘We intend to discuss only our own matters amongst ourselves and for this we have chosen a secluded location in a jungle to ensure the least disturbance to anyone else,’ he added.
Naib National amir said it was the pristine responsibility of the state and administration to ensure the fundamental and civil rights of its citizens irrespective of creed, colour and race.
‘As Ahmadiyyas are law-abiding citizens, therefore, after listening to the address delivered by our khalifa on our own international television channel MTA from London, we left the compound by 5:30pm,’ he said.
Mobasher also said it had been proven ‘on innumerable occasions’ that fundamentalists were essentially weak, and ‘if the government desires’, their activities could be tackled.
He bemoaned the ‘tame surrender’ to a ‘weak and tiny’ group of fundamentalists, saying it has tarnished the image of the government as well as the nation.
Mobasher also apprehended that the incident would encourage ‘undemocratic, fundamentalist, and fascist’ elements which could never be of any benefit to this nation.
He hoped that the government would investigate the matter and ensure that this treatment was not repeated against anyone in the future.