Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged Islamic scholars and religious leaders to play their role in maintaining peace in the society, assuring them that her government would not allow anyone to spread any propaganda against Islam.
“I know that a lot of propaganda spreads on social media … do not pay any heed to them,” she said while addressing the Sukrana Mahfil at the historic Suhrawardy Udyan, reports BSS.
The rally was organised by Al-Haiyatul Ulya Lil-Zami'atil Qawmiya Bangladesh, a combine of Qawmi education boards, to acknowledge the government's recognition of the highest degree offered by non-government Qawmi madrasas as equivalent to postgraduate degree.
The combine is led by Hefajat-e Islam chief Shah Ahmed Shafi.
“Anyone spreading any propaganda against Islam and the Prophet, would be brought to justice under the law. We will not take the law into our hands,” she said.
The government has made the cybercrime law to prevent propaganda on social media, Hasina said, adding that she and her party always followed the path shown by Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him), reports UNB.
She also called on everyone to shun hatred and enmity.
At the rally, Hasina was dubbed “Qawmi Mother” by Islamic leaders, who also demanded that Hefajat chief Shafi be given the Swadhinata Padak, one of the highest national awards, according to Bangla daily Prothom Alo.
“You are playing the role of a mother for 14 lakh students. From this Qawmi sea, I want to announce today that I give you the title of Qawmi Mother,” said Mufti Ruhul Amin, director general of Gawhardanga Madrasa in Gopalganj.
He also called Hasina's son Sajeeb Wazed Joy “my brother” and urged the PM to help build a connection between Joy and them.
Maulana Farid Uddin Masoud, a member of Al-Haiyatul Ulya, demanded that Shafi be conferred with Swadhinata Padak.
“I think he deserves Swadhinata Padak … So we hope you [PM] will consider him for the award this year,” Prothom Alo quoted him as saying.
In her speech, Hasina said the essence of Islam was peace, brotherhood, cordiality and the spirit of non-communalism. “Everything -- good and bad -- has been created by Allah. And we must have our trust and confidence in Him.”
She also called on everyone to shun the path of hatred and enmity and think about the welfare and development of the people.
Talking about the ongoing enmity and killing among the Muslims around the world, Hasina said the arms producers and sellers were the ultimate beneficiaries of those killings.
She said that when she had meetings with the OIC secretary general and the Saudi King, she told them that the Muslim Ummah had to be united and move forward together.
Conflicts can be resolved through talks, she said. “Islam is the religion of peace and we want to prove that."
The PM also reiterated her firm stance against terrorism, militancy, drugs and corruption.
Islam must not be stigmatised because of a handful of people, she said. "Terrorists have no religion, no country and no society. They are just terrorists and militants. When a person believes in Islam properly, they cannot become terrorists and militants."
The PM said the government did not want the prevailing peaceful situation to fade away. "If peace prevails in the country, it'll achieve prosperity. If the country develops, everyone will be benefited."
She also sought blessings of the Alem-Ulema as the next general election is getting closer.
Hefajat chief Shafi presided over the programme. Mufti Nurul Amin read out Shafi's written statement.
In the statement, Shafi said he had no involvement in politics and his speeches were often misinterpreted for political purposes.
He also said there was negative publicity about him on social media.
He requested those involved in Qawmi education not to be misled by the negative propaganda against him on social media and electronic media.
Allama Ashraf Ali, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, AL religious Affairs Secretary Sheikh Abdullah, Maulana Azhar Ali Shah, Maulana Farid Uddin, Allama Abdul Kuddus, PM's Military Secretary Maj Gen Mia Md Jainul Abedin also spoke at the programme.