Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday urged Islamic scholars and religious leaders to play their role in maintaining social peace saying her government would not allow anybody to spread any propaganda against Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
‘I know that a lot of propaganda spreads through social media. Do not pay heed to those,’ she said while addressing a thanksgiving rally of Al-Hiyatul Ulya Lil-Zamiatil Qawmiya Bangladesh, a combine of Qawmi education boards.
The prime minister said that her government introduced tough cybercrime laws to deal with such malicious campaigns and if anyone spread such false information would be exposed to justice.
‘Anybody, spreading any propaganda against Islam and the Prophet, would be brought to justice under the law. We will not take the law in our hand but give them befitting reply through exposing them to the court of law,’ she warned.
Sheikh Hasina also sought blessings from the alem and ulema saying she would get opportunity to serve them again if her government was elected for another term in office.
‘If the Almighty desires, He will give us the opportunity to serve the people again and if He doesn’t, we will not get the opportunity. So, I leave everything to Allah,’ she said.
The combine of Qawmi education boards organised the rally to acknowledge the government’s recognition of the highest certification offered by non-government Qawmi madrassahs as equivalent to postgraduate degrees.
‘The extremists and terrorists have no religion, country or society. Any true believer of Islam can never be an extremist or terrorist,’ the prime minister said.
The PM said, ‘A handful of people were tarnishing the image of Islam resorting to extremism and terrorism but Islam should not be associated with the extremism and terrorism. Peace should not be jeopardised as it’s the foremost condition of all development through which everybody can be benefitted.’
Chairman of Al-Hiyatul Ulya Lil-Zami’atil Qawmiya and amir of Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh Shah Ahmed Shafi presided over the function held at Suharawardy Udyan.
Sheikh Hasina expressed her pleasure for having the opportunity to be present in a gathering of the people who were serving Islam. ‘We cannot ignore the persons who teach Islam,’ she said.
The prime minister also expressed her gratitude to the Almighty for successful completion of the process of acknowledging the Qwami education.
‘We always follow the path of our Prophet who taught the Muslims across the globe that Islam is for peace, brotherhood and harmony. So, we believe that Almighty Allah has created the universe and we should have faith that everything, good or bad, is created by Allah. We would lead our life with the lessons of our Prophet where there is no room for hatred for anybody or bad thinking. We should always think about welfare and prosperity of every human being,’ she said.
Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, education minister Nurul Islam Nahid, religious affairs secretary of Bangladesh Awami League Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah and PM’s military secretary Major General Mia Muhammad Joynal Abedin also spoke on the occasion.
Vice president of Al-Hiyatul Ulya Lil-Zami’atil Qawmiya Allama Ashraf Ali, Moulana Azhar Ali Anwar, Farid Uddin Masud, Moulana Ruhul Amin, Abu Taher Nadvi, Moulana Ahmadur Rahmani and Maulana Abdul Quddus addressed the meeting.
Sheikh Hasina said the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had established the Islamic Foundation aimed at preaching and promoting the real teachings of Islam properly.
The prime minister said, ‘Bangabandhu allocated land for Biswa Istema in Tongi and Bangladesh got the OIC membership at his initiative. Bangabandhu made arrangements for hajj pilgrims to go to Saudi Arabia by ship at low cost. Bangabandhu was always committed to promoting Islam. As her daughter, I’m striving to materialise his dream and change the fate of the people of Bangladesh.’
The prime minister said the Qwami Madrasas, founded by the anti-British revolutionaries, were the first schools in the sub-continent to provide education to Muslims.
‘So, we always have respect for the education system.’
Speaking about the brutal killing of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15, 1975, the prime minister said, ‘The killers of Bangabandhu scrapped the acknowledgement of the Qwami Madrassah in 1977.’
Saying that she has immense faith in Allah, Sheikh Hasina said that she returned home after six years of the murder of her family depending on the grace of the Almighty, and devoted her life to the welfare of the people.
‘Bangabandhu never bowed to anybody except Allah… I also don’t bow my head to anybody without Allah and I’m not afraid of anybody accept Him,’ she said.
Pointing out the repeated attempts on her life, the prime minister said that the Almighty had saved her every time possibly for having any wish of His fulfilled for the cause of the people.
Appreciating the activities of the Qwami Madrassahs, the prime minister said millions of children, mostly poor and orphan, were taking education in those Madrassahs.
‘The greatest job the Qwami Madrasa is doing by giving food, shelter and education to the orphans and children of poor families. So, it is absurd not to recognise the Qwami Education.’
Sheikh Hasina said her government had adopted an education policy in which religious education was given due importance. No education system could be a completed one without religious education, she added.
Sheikh Hasina said her government had acknowledged Dawah-e-hadith of Qawmi Madrassah equivalent to Master’s degree by passing a law in parliament so that no government in future would be able to change the provision as was done in 1977.
Sheikh Hasina urged the alem-ulema to work together to impart competitive education to Qwami Madrassah students so that they would be able to serve the nation in future and contribute to the national development along with the government.
The prime minister said her government had constituted a trust for welfare of the imams and muazzins. ‘Around 80,000 alem and ulema have got job in the mosque-based non-formal education,’ she said.
About her government’s plan to build 560 mosques and Islamic cultural centres in the country, the prime minister said those centres would have arrangements for training of the Imams and hajj pilgrims. ‘These centres, to be built with the support of the Saudi government, will work for preaching and promoting Islamic culture,’ she said.Sheikh Hasina said her government after coming to power in 2009 had completed the construction of the minar, shan and prayer rooms for women devotees in the Baitul Mokarram National Mosque.
‘The Awami League during its first tenure took the project for expansion of the Baitul Mokarran Mosque with the help of the then Saudi King. But, unfortunately the next government, led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, stopped the work of the project. May be, it is the desire of the Allah to have the unfinished tasks of the mosque completed by our government during our second term in office,’ the prime minister said.
Sheikh Hasina said her government had passed a law for establishing an Arabic Islamic University and construction of the university was progressing on the land allocated by the government.
Pointing out the conflicts among the Muslims across the world, the prime minister said the discords were benefitting the arms producers at the cost of the Muslims’ blood.
Sheikh Hasina said she had urged the OIC secretary general during a conference against extremism and terrorism in the UN to resolve all conflicts among Muslims through negotiation.
The same thing she told the Saudi king, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said there was no place for extremism, terrorism and corruption in Bangladesh.
The prime minister said students of Qwami Madrassahs would get job as the government had recognised their education.
‘Now they will be able to stand on their own feet to make their life prosperous,’ she said.
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