12:00 AM, April 19, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 19, 2009

Meeting With PM

Kawmi madrasa leaders to help govt fight militancy

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Unb, Dhaka

Kawmi madrasa leaders yesterday promised to help the government in identifying the patrons of militancy and bringing them to book.
The madrasa leaders under the banner of Bangladesh Kawmi Madrasa Education Board were speaking at a view-exchange meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Jamuna in the evening
They decided to withdraw their rally scheduled for April 20 in protest against the recent anti-militancy drives in Kawmi Madrasas.
Allama Shah Ahmad Shafi, president of Bangladesh Kawmi Madrasa Education Board, scholars Shaikhul Hadith Allama Azizul Haque, Shaikhul Hadith Allama Fariduddin Masud, Hazrat Moulana Jamiruddin, Moulana Habibur Rahman, Moulana Abdul Halim, Moulana Ashraf Ali, Moulana Anwar Shah and Moulana Abul Fatah Mohammad Yahia, among others, were present.
Shafi said real Kawmi madrasas in the country are not involved in militancy or any other terrorist activity. The orphans and the children of helpless and poor people get shelter and education there.
Abul Fatah Mohammad Yahia said some misguided people are carrying out terrorist activities using the name of Islam and "this evil force is pinning the blame on the country's Kawmi madrasas very cleverly."
"From now on, we shall remain vigilant and try our best to find out the militants. If we find any of them, we shall hand him over to the administration," said Mohammad Yahia.
Moulana Ruhul Amin suggested that the government involve the imams in a campaign for creating mass awareness against the menace of militancy. He also gave a proposal for forming information cells in Kawmi madrasas to inform the local administration about any suspicious activity.
They suggested that the government form antiterrorism committees in upazilas and districts and include them in the committees to ensure coordination among those.
The prime minister assured them that no innocent person would be harassed during the anti-militancy drives.
The madrasa leaders blamed Jamaat-e-Islami for 'patronising' militancy in the country and said Jamaat is using the country's government madrasas 'to create its cadres.'
They demanded that the prime minister form a national commission to formulate a supplementary syllabus based on science and technology keeping the original Kawmi Madrasa syllabus intact.
"The original syllabus of holy Quran, Hadith can never be changed. But, I think, the madrasa students need training and education on science and technology for getting more employment opportunities," the premier said.
Hasina said evil acts of a few people are tarnishing the image of Islam. Now it has become necessary to identify them.
"The government needs your suggestions and cooperation to eliminate the evil force that is using the name of Islam to carry out terrorist activities," she told the madrasa leaders.
Prime minister's advisers HT Imam and Maj Gen. (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique and Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad, among others, were present.

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