Describing Islam as a religion of peace, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday stressed the need for real teaching of Islam in the country.
“We want Bangladesh to be built with a non-communal spirit. The people of all faiths will practise their own religious rituals properly. This is the principle of Islam,” she said.
The prime minister was inaugurating construction works of nine model mosques and Islamic cultural centres in different places of the country through a videoconference from her official residence Gono Bhaban in Dhaka.
The nine mosques and centres are being constructed under a project titled “Establishment of a total of 560 Model Mosques and Islamic Cultural Centers in each District and Upazila”.
Hasina said her government had taken the initiative so that people can learn the real teaching of Islam and exercise Islamic culture properly.
“We want the image of our holy religion to be upheld. Islam is a religion of peace. We want the peace to prevail,” she said, adding that the dignity of Islam is being defamed by killing innocent people and carrying out militant and terrorist acts in the name of the holy religion.
The prime minister reiterated that there will be no place for militancy, terrorism and drug on Bangladesh soil. “We want everyone here to live in peace and have socio-economic progress.”
Recalling that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman established the Islamic Foundation in March, 1975, Hasina said it was the dream of the Father of the Nation that the people from all religions would perform their own religious rituals freely in this country.
Later, the prime minister heard the speeches of imams (religious leaders) and public representatives of Tungipara upazila of Gopalganj, Chattogram, Mymensingh, Noakhali, Dakkhin Surma of Sylhet, Khulna, Rajapur of Jhalakati and Sherpur of Bagura through the videoconference.
The prime minister also talked to Opposition Leader Raushan Ershad through the videoconference while inaugurating the model mosque in Mymensingh.
Religious Affairs Minister Principal Matior Rahman also spoke on the occasion.
In a power-point presentation, Religious Affairs Secretary Md Anisur Rahman described the project saying construction works of another 100 mosques will start by the end of this year. A documentary was screened on the project. The district-level model mosques will be four-storey ones while the upazila-level ones three-storey.
The mosques in coastal areas will be four-storey with the ground floor remaining vacant to be used as shelter centres during any natural disaster.
A total of Tk 8,722 crore will be spent on constructing the mosques and centers.