Treatment of Ahmadis in Dhaka; reports of attacks, especially by the Khatme Nabuyat [Khatm-e-Nabuwwat]; police response (1995-2000) [BGD34714.E]

According to the UK Home Office country assessment for Bangladesh,

The Amhadiya Community (also known as Qadianis) proclaim themselves as Muslims but ... believe Mohammed was not the last prophet of Islam. They believe ... the founder of their movement, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam, was the messiah. Fewer than 100,000 Bangladeshis are believed to belong to the sect, and their unusual beliefs have resulted in unpopularity in many parts of the country. Fundamentalist groups amongst the majority Sunni Muslims have targeted them (Apr. 2000, 5.3.18).

The U.S. Department of State Annual Report on International Religious Freedom for 1999 states:

The Ahmadiyas, whom many mainstream Muslims consider heretical, have been the target of some attacks and harassment. In January 1999, several hundred persons attacked the Ahmadiya place of worship in Koldiar village in Kushtia. Devotees were beaten and the place of worship was ransacked. Following the attack, Ahmadiyas were harassed on the streets and prevented from praying at their place of worship. Ahmadiyas allege that the local police did not intervene to stop these abuses. According to press reports, the Assistant Police Inspector in the area was fired and the Officer-in-Charge of the police station was withdrawn for failure to discharge his duties during the incident (Sept. 1999).

Media reports corroborate that the Ahmadi community in Bangladesh was targeted by extremist groups in years past (The Daily Star 13 Oct. 1999; ibid. 11 Oct. 1999a; DPA 11 Oct. 1999; AFP 13 Oct. 1999).

On 10 October 1999 AP reported that army explosives experts had recovered a time bomb from inside the headquarters complex of Dhaka's largest mosque, the Bakshibazar mosque of the Ahmadiyya community. The incident occurred just three days after six people were killed in a bomb blast at an Ahmadi mosque in the southwestern city of Khulna, and just two days after another bomb was discovered during Friday prayers at the Jannatul Ferdous Ahmadiya mosque in Dhaka's northern Mirpur suburb (ibid.; DPA 11 Oct. 1999; India Abroad 22 Oct. 1999; AFP 13 Oct. 1999).

Spokesmen for the Ahmadi community in Bangladesh held the Pakistan-based Khatme Nabuyat [Khatm-e-Nabuwwat] responsible for the Khulna bombing and the incidents in Dhaka, citing a long list of attacks on Ahmadi mosques in recent years (The Daily Star 13 Oct. 1999; ibid. 11 Oct. 1999b; ibid. 9 Oct. 1999), as well as a 24 September 1999 rally in Dhaka at which the Khatme Nabuyat demanded the government declare Ahmadis non-Muslims (ibid.; ibid. 11 Oct. 1999b; AP 10 Oct. 1999; India Abroad 22 Oct. 1999). The Nabuyat rejected the charges, however, and vowed to continue its "peaceful movement" until the government declared Ahamadis to be non-Muslims (AFP 13 Oct. 1999; The Daily Star 12 Oct. 1999).

In response to the bomb attacks the authorities deployed "about a platoon" of policemen at each of the three Ahmadi mosques in Dhaka (The Daily Star 10 Oct. 1999a), and detained several suspected religious extremists in connection with the incidents (ibid. 13 Oct. 1999b; ibid. 11 Oct. 1999c). The authorities also ordered a nation-wide security alert, tightening security at key installations and deploying police and 75,000 Ansars around Hindu temples and places of worship in advance of the Durga Puja festival beginning 15 October (ibid.; DPA 11 Oct. 1999c). In addition to the government response, the attacks were publicly condemned by a number of prominent personalities, political parties and socio-cultural organizations, including: the ruling Awami League's student wing, the Bangladesh Chaatra League (BCL) (ibid. 11 Oct. 199d); the opposition BNP (ibid. 10 Oct. 1999b); the Jamaat-e-Islami, Workers Party, Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal, and Nirmul Committee (ibid.; ibid. 10 Oct. 1999c); the Left Democratic Front, Gano Forum and Bangladesh Juba Union (ibid. 11 Oct. 1999e).

As of late 1999 police had not made any arrests in connection with the attacks (Country Reports 1999 25 Feb. 2000, sec. 5).

Information on the Khatme Nabuyat additional to that contained in BGD30146.E of 6 October 1998 could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

For additional information on state protection in Bangladesh, please consult the September 1998 Research Directorate Issue Paper Bangladesh: State Protection.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Agence France Presse (AFP). 13 October. 1999. "Bomb Scare in Dhaka, Muslim Fundamentalists Detained." (FBIS-NES-1999-1013 14 Oct. 1999/WNC)

Annual Report on International Religious Freedom for 1999. September 1999. "Bangladesh." [Accessed 30 June 2000]

The Associated Press (AP). 10 October 1999. BC Cycle. "Bangladesh Army Recovers Bomb form a Mosque." (NEXIS)

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1999. 25 February 2000. "Bangladesh." [Accessed 30 June 2000]

The Daily Star [Dhaka]. 13 October 1999a. "Punish Culprits, Demands Ahmadiya Community." [Accessed 30 June 2000]

_____. 13 October 1999b. "Bomb Planting: Three More Held." [Accessed 30 June 2000]

_____. 12 October 1999. "Nabuwat Refuses Allegation." [Accessed 30 June 2000]

_____. 11 October 1999a. "We Protest the Bomb Attack." [Accessed 30 June 2000]

_____. 11 October 1999b. "Ahmadiyas Hold Khatme Nabuwat Responsible for Khulna Bombing." [Accessed 30 June 2000]

_____. 11 October 1999c. "Countrywide Security Alert." [Accessed 30 June 2000]

_____. 11 October 1999d. "BCL Condemns Bomb Attack in Khulna." [Accessed 30 June 2000]

_____. 11 October 1999e. "More Organizations Blast Bomb Attack in Khulna." [Accessed 30 June 2000]

_____. 10 October 1999a. "Police Deployed Around Kadiani Mosques in City." [Accessed 30 June 2000]

_____. 10 October 1999b. "Khaleda Condemns Bomb Blast at Mosque in Khulna." [Accessed 30 June 2000]

_____. 10 October 1999c. "Different Organizations Blast Khulna Bomb Incident." [Accessed 30 June 2000]

_____. 9 October 1999. "Khulna Blast: Ahmadia Muslim Jamaat Blames 'Extremists'." http://www.dailystarnews. com/ [Accessed 30 June 2000]

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA). 11 October 1999. BC Cycle. "Security Tightened as Bangladesh Fears Another Deadly Mosque Blast." (NEXIS)

Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND), Home Office, UK. April 2000. Bangladesh. [Accessed 30 June 2000]

India Abroad [New York]. 22 October 1999. Ershadul Huq. "Security is Ordered for Temples, Mosques." [Accessed 22 Oct. 1999]

Additional Sources Consulted

Human Rights in Bangladesh. 1996-1999. (ASK)

Indexed Media Review (IMR) [Ottawa].

IRB databases.


State of Human Rights in Bangladesh. 1996. (CCHRB)

World News Connection (WNC).

Internet sites including:

Amnesty International.

Coordinating Council for Human Rights in Bangladesh (CCHRB).

Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Political Parties, Interest Groups and Other Social Movements.

Religion Around the World.