On January 11, a group of terrorists forcibly entered a mosque in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Burkina Faso, killing nine worshipers in a cold-blooded and unprovoked attack. Local Ahmadi Muslims peacefully gathered for evening prayers at their mosque in Mehdi Abad, a majority Ahmadi village where some 650 community members live, near the town of Dori. During the call to prayer, eight armed terrorists arrived on motorbikes, invaded the mosque and started threatening the faithful. As many as nine of these, all elderly men, including the imam of the mosque, Alhaj Boureima Bidiga, were killed in cold blood by terrorists for refusing to renounce their faith. “Our community, all over the world, is a family – said a spokesman for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – and we are heartbroken by the brutal murder of our brothers and we mourn with their loved ones. We pray that God will envelop the martyrs in his mercy. At the same time we pray for the safety of Burkina Faso and that the government fulfills its duty to protect all the Burkinabé people and that the perpetrators of this heinous and evil crime are brought to justice”. The Ahmadi one of the most persecuted religious communities in the world. Indeed, Ahmadi Muslims are oppressed because of their faith by state and non-state actors in many Muslim-majority countries. “As a community – said the imam of the Ahmadiyya Community of Italy, Ataul Wasih Tariq – we are heartbroken by this terrible news. It is the result of the inability of some countries to condemn the ever-increasing incitement of hatred against our peaceful community. Religious fanatics openly call for a boycott of the Ahmadis, to burn down their houses, cut out their tongues and not hire them in jobs, without fearing any consequences from the government. Such ideologies are toxic and the dangerous result of hate speech is now before our eyes. God bless the souls of our beloved brothers who preferred martyrdom to life, but the murder of innocent people praying peacefully in their mosques shows that much work still needs to be done to ensure peace and security in the world”.
Burkina Faso: Wasih Tariq (Ahmadiyya community of Italy), “Countries unable to condemn the ever growing incitement to hatred”