Ahmadi Muslim leaders in Bangladesh have accused fanatics from the mainstream Muslim community of digging up the body of a baby girl from a cemetery grave just hours after being buried and dumping it by a roadside. Ahmadis are considered ‘infidels’ and non-Muslim by most mainstream (Sunni and Shia) Muslims, and face severe discrimination in all Muslim countries.
Local Ahmadi leader SM Selim said the 3-day-old girl was buried in a cemetery in Ghatura in the eastern district of Brahmanbaria on Thursday. Her body was dug up shortly after and left by a roadside, he added. A photo of the body laid on a straw mat on a road has been widely shared on social media.
“Her crime is she was born to an Ahmadi Muslim family,” said Selim.
However, police tried to downplay the incident and claimed the incident had been resolved “peacefully” without any complaint being lodged. Incidentally, Brahmanbaria was the site of major anti-Hindu violence in 2016 after an anti-Islam FB post was uploaded from the hacked account of a poor Hindu fisherman Rasrasj Das; 10 temples and hundreds of houses of the Hindu community were razed to the ground at Brahmanbaria‘s Nasirnagar upazila, as part of a conspiracy to grab Hindu land.
Local councillor Azad Hazari said he had intervened and the child was finally buried in another graveyard 10 km away. Local cleric Munir Hossain denied the body had been exhumed, but said local Muslims prevented the burial of the baby as it was “against the Sharia (Muslim law) to let an infidel be buried in a Muslim graveyard”. Something which “pious Muslims of the village would never allow,” he added.
The Ahmadi or Ahmadiyya Muslim sect was founded in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908) at his home in Ludhiana, Bharat. A native of Qadian (a town in Gurdaspur district, Punjab), Mirza Ahmad claimed to have been divinely appointed as both the Promised Mahdi (Guided One) and ‘Messiah’ expected by Muslims to appear towards the ‘end times’ and bring about the final triumph of Islam.
However, from the outset these prophetic claims were rejected by other Muslims who consider Muhammad as the final prophet of Islam. Ahmadis are considered heretics in many Muslim majority countries and face heavy persecution in countries like Pakistan where they were declared non-Muslims in 1974 by former PM Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
Interestingly, Ahmadis had played a foundational role in the partition of Bharat to form the ‘pure’ Muslim state of Pakistan, something which they plead to their Muslim brothers in Pakistan & Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) to this day. Even in Bharat, Muslim religious bodies and politicians considered ‘progressive’ like Asaduddin Owaisi too routinely spew anti-Ahmadi rhetoric.
Bomb attacks on Ahmadi mosques are routine in Pakistan. In Bangladesh too, a bomb blast at an Ahmadi mosque in 1999 killed 8 while a 2015 suicide blast at another mosque injured 3.
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