Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday (January 16) said people would get true knowledge of Islamic values and culture from the model mosques and Islamic cultural centres which help them not to be misled in the name of religion.
"We have taken the projects of constructing model mosques as none can mislead people in the name of Islam alongside creating awareness on the Islamic values," she said while virtually opening 50 more model mosques across the country from her official Ganabhaban residence.
The prime minister described Islam as a religion of peace, brotherhood and friendship and said the model mosques would increase the knowledge of the people about the Islam, reports BSS.
It would also help stop terrorism, militancy and torture on the women through providing the people with true knowledge of Islamic values and cultures, she added.
Describing the Alem and Olama as the "Orasatul Ambia", she said the people of the country will respect the Khatibs and Imams of the mosques, adding: "Make sure none can mislead the people using our religion."
"You can make aware people of refraining themselves from getting involved in irregularities including drug addiction, child marriage, repression on women, food adulteration and corruption by your daily sermons and Jummah's khutba," she said.
The prime minister also called upon the alems to spread proper humanitarian values among the people and help them stay away from terrorism, militancy and drug addiction as these are destroying families and the society as well.
Sheikh Hasina urged all particularly the children not to get involved in militancy, saying, "Militancy is dishonouring the Islam."
The premier said the guardians and teachers of the educational institutions will have to be cautious as their children cannot get involved in militancy.
"We can build our society beautifully by erasing ill-education, differences, conflicts, terrorism, and militancy through realising the true sense of the Islam," she said.
The prime minister said the Islam ensures free exercise of religions by people of every faith.
"We all irrespective of party and opinion can build a developed, prosperous and "Smart Bangladesh" having equal respect to every religion and with the non-communal spirit," she added.
Referring to a speech, she said religion cannot be used as a political weapon.
"Our target is to put an end to torture and repression on the people using the religion," she added.
The prime minister mentioned the Awami League is always a servant of the Islam and said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman stopped playing race, gambling and taking liquor alongside establishing madrasah board, giving places for Baitul Mukarram Mosque and Ijtema ground to serve the Islam.
"Bangabandhu had taken initiatives to hold Biswa Ijtema in Bangladesh and made Bangladesh as a member of the OIC," she said.
Following the ideal of the Father of the Nation, she said they have taken various programmes to dignify the Islam that included construction of 564 model mosques at each of the upazilas and districts.
The premier said she has so far opened 100 model mosques across the country while the rest of the mosques will be opened in phases.
They are now building three storey model mosques and Islamic cultural centres in every upazila while four storey mosques in every district, she said.
With opening 50 mosques in the second phase, the premier so far inaugurated 100 mosques out of 564 being built at a cost of Taka 9435 crore as she earlier opened 50 mosques in the first phase on June 10 in 2021.
She is expected to open 50 more mosques and Islamic cultural centres in the third phase at the end of February next.
The construction of the rest of the mosques is scheduled to be completed by June 2024.
The newly opened model mosques and Islamic cultural centres are located at Bhanga upazila, Nagarkanda in Faridpur, Kapasia in Gazipur, Sadar upazila in Gopalganj, Sadar upazila, Katiadi in Kishoreganj, Gheor upazila, Saturia in Manikganj, Sadar upazila, Monohardi in Narsingdi, Goalanda upazila in Rajbari, District headquarters, Bhedarganj upazila in Shariatpur, Dhunat upazila, Nandigram in Bagura, Niamatpur upazila in Naogaon, Boraigram upazila in Natore, Sadar upazila in Chapainawabganj, Bhangura and Sujanagar upazila in Pabna, Kazipur in Sirajganj, Rajshahi city Corporation, Gangachara and Kaunia in Rangpur, Sadar upazila in Thakurgaon, Sadar upazila in Sherpur, District headquarters in Pirojpur, Sadar upazila and Koshba in Brahmonbaria, Sadar upazila and Manikchhari in Khagrachhari, Chandina and Chouddagram in Cumilla, Rupsha in Khulna, Khoksha and Bheramara in Kushtia, District headquarters and Gangni in Meherpur, Debhata in Satkhira, Goainghat in Sylhet, District headquarters and Jagannathpur in Sunamganj, Chunarughat in Habiganj district.
The model mosques and Islamic cultural centres include separate places for aju (ablution) and namaj along with air-conditioned system.
Besides, there will be registration and training arrangements for Hajj pilgrims, Imam training centre, research centre and Islamic library, autism corner, ritual systems before burial, car parking facility, hifzakhana, pre-primary education and Quran learning arrangement, conference room for Islamic cultural activities and Islamic dawat, Islamic books sale centre, boarding facility for local and foreign guests along with the mosques.
State Minister for Religious Affairs Md Faridul Haque Khan and its Secretary Kazi Enamul Hassan spoke at the function from the Osmani Smriti Auditorium here.
Rajshahi, Shariatpur and Chouddagram sites of Cumilla district were also connected to the programme, as the local lawmakers, public representatives, political parties' leaders, government officers, alem-olamas and common people were present.
A video-documentary on the model mosques and Islamic cultural centres was screened at the function.
Being imbued with the spirit of Islam and following the footsteps of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Sheikh Hasina has come up with the idea of constructing 564 model mosques across the country.
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.
Under category B, 475 mosques are being built with a floor space of 1680.14 square metres each, while 16 mosques under category C in coastal areas will have a floor space of 2,052.12 square metres each.