by Staff Correspondent in Dhaka;
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has opened 50 model mosques having amenities for conducting research on Islamic culture, hoping to regain the true spirit of Islam, image of which is believed to have tarnished due to terrorism in the name of religion.
“We’ve seen how some people turn to terrorism in the name of religion. Killing people and spreading hate have tarnished the image of Islam,” Hasina said inaugurating the model mosques in different parts of the country.
The 50 mosques are part of the government’s plan to build 560 model mosques across Bangladesh considered to be the world’s largest mosques project at the cost of 8,722 crore taka.
The rest of the mosques are likely to be opened to the devotees in phases sometime in September and December this year.
Predominantly Muslim Bangladesh currently has more than 300,000 mosques, according to data provided by the Bangladesh Islamic Foundation.
And the new project has been taken to protect and promote Islamic values in the country, according to the project officials.
Deputy director of the government’s mosque project Shafique Talukder said the purpose of the project is publicity of Islamic brotherhood and its values as well as disseminating the essence of Islam against extremism and militancy as the religion never support those.
Creating awareness against terrorism and violence against women along with disseminating development activities of the government are other objectives of the project.
While inaugurating the new mosques through a videoconferencing at her official residence in Dhaka, Prime Minister Hasina urged all to understand the true essence of Islam and refrain from engaging with any unwanted activities such as militancy and terrorism in the name of Islam.
These model mosques and Islamic cultural centers would do nursing and publicity of Islamic values through spreading Islamic knowledge and culture as well as creating people’s commitment towards honesty and justice.
According to the project details, under category A, some 69 four-storey mosques having the elevator facility and a floor space of 2,360.09 square metres each are being constructed in 64 districts and city corporation areas.
Some 475 mosques are being built under the category B with a floor space of 1680.14 square metres each, while 16 mosques under C category in coastal areas will have a floor space of 2,052.12 square metres each. The ground floor of the mosques in coastal districts will be used as shelters during any disaster like cyclone and tidal surge.