On 11 January, 2023, a group of terrorists entered the Ahmadi Muslim mosque in Mehdi Abad, a remote village in Dori, Burkina Faso. The terrorists forcibly detained leaders of the community and proceeded to carry out a number of executions in the mosque’s courtyard.
The details of the attack were shared in a press release by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Foreign Missions Office: “… terrorists took control of the mosque and started delivering a speech about their movement. They asked the community about their beliefs and showed discontent. They declared Ahmadis to be infidels… the elders were threatened [that] unless they renounced Ahmadiyyat, they would be killed.”
Nine men from the ages of 43 to 70 were subsequently murdered. The 67-year-old imam was one of the victims. None of the Ahmadi Muslims were willing to renounce their faith. They died a martyr’s death.
The victims are: Alhaj Boureima Bidiga, AG Maniel Alhassane, AG Maliel Ousseni, AG Hamidou Abdouramanae, AG Ibrahim Souley, AG Soudeye Ousmane, AG Maguel Agali, AG Idrahi Moussa, and AG Adramane Agouma.
The horrific details of the event were shared by His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the fifth and current caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslims, in a recent address covered by The Review of Religions. The Ahmadi Muslim community of Dori was clearly targeted for their beliefs and practices.
The terrorists also further threatened to kill every Ahmadi in Mehdi Abad if they did not renounce their faith or continued congregating in the mosque. 600 Ahmadi subsequently fled. They are now refugees.
The National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Burkina Faso issued the following statement in the aftermath of the terrorist attack:
“Around the world, religious extremists are tarnishing the pure and beautiful teachings of Islam in order to further their censured agenda. The innocent and peace-loving Ahmadis of Burkina Faso have been subjected to such a horrific agenda that must be denounced with the greatest severity. We condemn all such dreadful acts of the extremist religious fanatics.”
Funeral prayers were offered in absentia around the world. Edmonton’s Ahmadiyya community, for example, honored the victims in prayer at Baitul Hadi Mosque.
I have spent years getting to know the Ahmadi Muslim community. Its slogan of “Love For All, Hatred For None” has always resonated with me. This is an exemplary group. It hurts my heart to see them targeted for their faith.
May the martyrs rest in peace and may their loved ones find peace in the days ahead.