I was concerned that a Liberal peer like Lord Avebury could make a statement seemingly favouring a character like Sheikh Hasina ( see my earlier post). So I wrote to his Lordship enquiring whether he knew about Hasina’s recent political activities . I give my text first and then his reply:
Dear Lord Avebury
How is it possible that you go to an Ahmadiyya reception one day and then a few days later meet with a politician - Sheikh Hasina - who only a few months ago (23 December 2006) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bangladesh Khilafat Majlish, a vocal anti-Ahmadiyya organisation? This outfit is known for espousing shariah, fatwas and other things but pertinent to this discussion is the fact that they are very anti-Ahmadiyya.
Sheikh Hasina faced widespread criticism for this electoral pact even from within her own party. In her desperation to acquire power she was willing to accommodate an extremely sinister and problematic organisation. Awami League were forced to scrap the MOU this year - yet she alone of the AL bigwigs continued to defend the original decision to sign a pact.
When you met her did you raise this issue with her?
And I received this reply from Lord A:
I didn’t raise the issue with her last Friday, because the pact between the AL and the fundamentalists was terminated, but I can assure you I did protest about it vigorously at the time. I think the AL is not in fact anti-Ahmadiyya, but they were prepared to collaborate with the fundamentalists for reasons of expediency.
On a related issue, it is of course significant/expedient that no member of the British government has said anything or met with Sheikh Hasina.