Islamist outfit Hifazat-e Islam has demanded that the government declares Ahmadiyyas as ‘non-Muslims’.
The call by its chief Shah Ahmed Shafi came on Wednesday (Feb 13) from a press conference at the hard-line group’s headquarters in Chattogram.
The Islamic hardliner claimed that several countries have declared Ahmadiyyas as non-Muslims.
The Ahmadiyya sect, a minority group in Bangladesh, has been subjected to many attacks by religious fanatics. One person was killed in a suicide bombing during a prayer session at an Ahmadiyya mosque in Rajshahi's Baghmara in 2016.
"The demand to declare the Ahmadiyyas as non-Muslims is part of protecting the fundamental principles of Islam. Muslims [will] face various problems in their social and religious life if the Ahmadiyyas are not identified and declared as non-Muslims," Shafi said in the statement.
The call comes after several shops and houses belonging to members of the Ahmadiyya community in the northern district of Panchagarh were attacked late on Tuesday by followers of several religious organisations.
At least 21 people were injured during the attack at Ahmadnagar after resentment grew among Sunni groups about a ‘Jalsha’ or annual convention planned by the minority Ahmadiyyas.
At Wednesday’s media call, Shafi also demanded the 3-day Ahmadiyya religious congregation—scheduled to begin on Feb 22 in Panchagarh — be stopped.