Beware of unrest using name of Islam: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday urged all including the religious leaders to remain alert so that none could create any unrest, terrorism and extremism in the country in the name of Islam.

“We’ll have to uphold the spirit of Islam at any cost as Islam is the religion of peace, harmony and tolerance,” she said addressing a function at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city.

The function marked the distribution of books including the holy Quran among the students of mosque-based children and mass education programme of the Islamic Foundation.

Hasina said Bangladesh is a moderate democratic country, “The unbroken bond of utmost tolerance and harmony is the ornament of our traditional culture. So, we’ve to uphold this tradition at any cost.”

Mentioning that there is no alternative to religious education to build a society with moral values, she said the society will be enlightened if the inner self of the people are enlightened. “So, I call upon the `ulema’ (Islamic scholars) to come forward to motivate the people in moral education in the light of Quran and Sunnah,” she said.

She urged the students to uphold the ideology of Islam for the welfare of the people and play their due role in establishing peace in the society imbued with the spirit of brotherhood of Islam.

The Prime Minister also expressed her strong optimism that her government, with the united efforts of all, will be able to build Bangladesh as peaceful `Sonar Bangla’ free from poverty, hunger, and illiteracy as dreamt by father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

She said Bangbandhu established the Islamic Foundation to facilitate preaching and spread of Islam, to project its essence to the people and establish a welfare-oriented society.

Hasina said the Mosque-based children and mass education programme is a big project of the government to create employment for the imams and spread the light of education among the hapless poor people.

“It is a time-befitting step in implementing the ‘education for all’ programme,” she added.

The Prime Minister alleged that the previous BNP-Jamaat alliance government had suspended the programme, but soon after taking of office this time, her government resumed the five-year programme and allocated Tk 643.55 crore.

Under the programme, education is being provided in Bangla, English, mathematics and moral education at the pre-primary stage along with the learning of holy Quran.

Due to the steps of the government, employment has been created for 40,000 imams and ulema as well as 5,800 pious women.

So far 4,216,800 students have been provided education while 1,051 resource centres and 85 model resource centres are being run under the project.

Listing various steps of the government for the development of madrasa education in the country, the Prime Minister said special emphasis has been given to the madrasa education to make it time-befitting.

She said 30 model madrasas have been set up while vocational course has been introduced in 100 madrasas. For the first time, honours courses have been launched in four subjects in 31 madrasas.

Hasina mentioned that her government formed a Qawmi Education Commission for the development qawmi madrasas and made arrangements for establishing an Arabic university for carrying out research on Islam.

She said the government has made religious and moral education mandatory at pre-primary and primary levels under the national education policy 2010. “We’ve also taken initiatives to create the posts of religious teachers in all primary schools of the country.”

Chaired by State Minister for Religious Affairs Advocate Shahjahan Mia, the function was also addressed, among others, by Religious Affairs Secretary Quazi Habibul Awal and Director General of Islamic Foundation Shamim Mohammad Afzal.

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