Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the imams and Islamic scholars to help the government stamp out terrorism and militancy.
"People would listen to your advice and accept it … you earlier responded to my call to work against militancy and terrorism and you are working to this end. We want you to gear up the campaign to maintain peace and development," she said.
The PM was addressing the National Imam Conference at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital.
"I firmly believe we can eliminate terrorism and militancy completely if you properly convince the people in this regard," she added.
The premier identified terrorism-militancy and drug addiction as the two biggest contemporary problems and underlined the need for steps to protect the people, particularly the children and youth, from those vices, reports BSS.
"Peace is essential to continue the trend of development, and it will be maintained if we can contain terrorism and militancy," she said.
Islamic Foundation organised the event titled "National Children and Juveniles Cultural Competition and the National Imam Conference". Religious Affairs Minister Principal Matior Rahman presided over the programme.
Reiterating her call to Islamic scholars, imams and teachers to prevent the misinterpretation of Islam, she requested them to make it widely known that Islam does not believe in terrorism, militancy and killing people, UNB reports.
The PM handed over prizes among the best Imams and the winners of the National Children and Juveniles Cultural Competition.
Hasina said she had already urged teachers and guardians to watch whether any student remains absent for long from their educational institutions without any valid reason.
She said, "Our people will live in peace, Islam is a religion of peace and Insha Allah, we want to show the world that Bangladesh would be able to spread the real essence of Islam among the people through establishing peace ....."
The prime minister observed that there are a lot of chaos, killings, bombings in Muslim-majority countries, and such countries are witnessing the use of arms. "But where such arms are being produced and who are being benefited? Battlefields are being created, Muslims have to shed blood, but who are being benefited through sale of arms? .... We'll have to think about this."
Hasina said some people through resorting to terrorism and militancy are maligning Islam.
Highlighting various steps taken by her government for the spread of Islam in the country, she said the work for setting up model mosque-slash-Islamic cultural centre will soon start at the district and upazila levels with support from the Saudi Arabian government.
Work is underway to prepare a database incorporating information of the country's all mosques, madrasas, khankahs and Islamic institutions, she said.
The PM said the listed members of the Imam-Muezzin Welfare Trust could now take interest-free loans for their welfare, while a plan is also there to set up an Economic Zone to be operated exclusively by Alem-Ulema to boost their economic activities.
To expand the field of work for Alem-Ulema, Hasina said, the Islamic Foundation could initiate process of appointing Alem certified by them in each halal food and products-manufacturing organisations, considering the growing global demand.
The government is also considering introducing Arabic education course in each district.
Hasina said around six lakh imams and muezzins are working in three lakh mosques.
"Some 1,80,429 Alems have so far received training on computers and are creating mass awareness on basic socio-economic affairs from the Islamic Foundation," she added.
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, Chairman of parliamentary standing committee on the religious affairs ministry Bazlul Haque Harun, secretary of the ministry Abdul Jalil and Director General of Islamic Foundation Shamim Mohammad Afzal, among others, also spoke at the function.