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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 December, 2004, 16:37 GMT
Court suspends Ahmadiyya book ban
Anti-Ahmadiyya rally in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Protesters want to brand Ahmadiyya as non-Muslim
Bangladesh's High Court has temporarily overturned a ban on books published by the minority Ahmadiyya movement.

About 100,000 members of the movement live in Bangladesh.

The ban was imposed in January by the religious affairs ministry following protests by Islamic groups who want the Ahmadiyyas to be declared non-Muslims.

The Ahmadiyyas, also called Kadiyanis, do not believe Mohammed was necessarily the last prophet, which many mainstream Muslims regard as blasphemous.

Hearing next month

The legal challenge was launched by human rights groups in Bangladesh, as well as a member of the Ahmadiyya community.

They argued that the ban on books was a denial of basic human rights.

The court issued an interim order suspending it, pending a full hearing that is expected next month.

The Ahmadiyya movement, which claims 200 million members worldwide, was founded in the 19th century in India.

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