Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina speaks at a programme organised to distribute awards among five national level winners of the Jatiya Hifzul Quran Competition-2023 on 13 August, 2023BSS

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday urged all the people particularly the Islamic scholars to help the government stamp out militancy and terrorism from the country.

“We want Islamic scholars’ cooperation to prevent superstition, militancy and terrorism. I urge all to be vigilant that our children can’t take wrong direction,” she said while distributing awards among five national level winners of the Jatiya Hifzul Quran Competition-2023.

The religion affairs ministry organised the function at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the capital today.

The prime minister asked the Islamic scholars to spread the true sense of Islam so that none can divert anyone to the militancy and terrorism and defame Islam, the best religion across the globe and always speaks for peace.

She also asked all particularly the guardians to remain cautious about their children’s whereabouts.

Guardians should oversee where their children are going and with whom their children making friends, she said adding that they (guardians) also have to cross-check whether their children are going to the educational institutions regularly.

The prime minister referred to receiving hundreds of letters with death threats from different religious extremists across the world after punishing a criminal, saying, “Since then, I have realised that the terrorists have no religion and no boundary.”

She said she always protested against attempt of labeling Islam with the word of terrorism in many international programmes she attended as Bangladesh prime minister, saying, “Terrorism is the only religion of the terrorists”.

The prime minister called upon the Islamic scholars to remain cautious about defaming Islam by anyone through terrorism.

Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan, state minister for religious affairs Md. Faridul Haque Khan, director general of the Bangladesh Qawmi Madrasah Education Board (BEFAQ) Mowlana Mufti Ubaydur Rahman Khan Nodvi, eminent Islamic scholar of the country, Alhajj Sufi Md Mizanur Rahman and Hazrat Maulana Salauddin Nanopuri, spoke on the occasion.

PM’s former principal secretary and chief patron of Bangladesh Dweeni Seba Foundation Abul Kalam Azad presided over the function.

Visually impaired Hafez Md Abu Zafor Shakil, who secured third position in the competition, recited from the holy Quran at the programme.

The Quran recitation competition was organised by the Bangladesh Dweeni Seba Foundation under the direct supervision of the religious affairs ministry.

Sheikh Hasina said a very few people have been unleashing terrorism and militancy across the globe using religion.

“I don’t know who teaches about going to heaven killing people. No single word is in the Holy Quran in this regard. Even Nabi Karim (SM) in his farewell Hajj speech asked all to be tolerant to all religions,” she said.

The prime minister said Bangladesh is a peace-loving country with people from all religions and everyone is guaranteed to perform their religious rituals freely in accordance with the true essence of Islam.

She said all have to keep faith in Allah as the Almighty is the ultimate judge of all wrong doings.

“Allah will judge us. It is not our matter to judge who is good or bad Muslim and who is Hindu, Buddhist and Christian. Being the ultimate judge Allah will punish everyone for their wrongdoings,” she said.

About killing innocent people carrying out suicide attacks, the prime minister said committing suicide is a great sin in Islam, adding, “The Quran says that one has to go to the hell for killing innocent people.”

She said her government has been building 564 model mosques and Islamic cultural centres across the country alongside taking measures to construct Islamic foundation offices in every upazila for spreading Islam’s true education and thus stop militancy and terrorism in the country.

Of the model mosques, 250 have already been inaugurated, she said, adding that her government has allocated about Taka 15.06 billion in the current budget to pursue the mosque-based children and mass education programme.

Employment has so far been created for 76,660 Alems and ulamas while over 9.61 million children are getting education under the project, she said.

The prime minister said her government has formed Imam and Muajjin Welfare Trust to provide financial assistance to insolvent Imams and Muajjins, calling upon the affluent people of the country to donate in the trust.

She said they have established 1010 Darul Arkam Madrasah, two each in every upazila, across the country where 3030 teachers have been employed while Taka 2 billion was allocated for running the organisations till 2024.

The prime minister further said insolvent and poor people are getting healthcare services and medicines free of cost through 50 Islamic missions at different parts of the country.

She stated that they have established Islamic University for Madrasah students and made a digital version of the Quran in Arabic, Bangla and English languages, adding that they have given recognition of the certificates of the Kawmi Madrasah.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has brought the Hajj management under e-system and built Hajj Terminal in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia which has reduced sufferings of the Hajj pilgrims’ manifolds.

She said her government has established temporary offices in Makkah and Madina for better management of Hajj and is working to set up a permanent office in Makkah.

The prime minister said they have implemented a project regarding beautification, enhancement and expansion of the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque and built 170 feet high ‘minar’ after assuming office for the second time in 1996.

“The Awami League government has always worked to spread Islam following the footprints of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” she said.

The prime minister said Bangabandhu allocated land on the Turag riverbank for holding Biswa Ijtema, the second largest gathering of the Muslim Ummah, alongside getting global recognition to hold Ijtema in Bangladesh adding her government developed the Ijtema ground with all modern facilities. 

She said Bangabandhu had given lands for building Kakrail Mosque for the Tablig Jamaat and Jamia Madina Darul Ulum Jatrabari Qawmi Madrasah.

The prime minister said the Father of the Nation had introduced observing Eid-e-Miladunnabi nationwide from a function held at the Baitul Mukarram Mosque in 1973.

Bangladesh became a member of the OIC under Bangabandhu’s leadership in 1974 while the Father of the Nation gave support to the Arab in the Arab-Israil war in 1973, she mentioned.

Bangabandhu had imposed a ban on liquor, horse race and gambling, Sheikh Hasina said, adding that the military dictator Ziaur Rahman again gave license to run the liquor business.