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Bangladesh film star turns Islamic preacher

AFP  |  Dhaka 

A Bangladeshi film star who became an Islamic preacher said today he wants to use his fame to draw young people in the Muslim-majority nation to the faith.

Ananta Jalil is the latest actor to take up the practice after 22-year-old Naznin Akter Happy, whose decision to become an ultra-conservative Islamic preacher was the subject of a best-selling book.


Thousands of fans turned out late last month to watch 39 -year-old Jalil preach in the capital Dhaka. Photos of him wearing an Islamic turban and long robe went viral on

He told AFP he had joined the Tablighi Jamaat -- a Sunni Muslim evangelical movement that boasts millions of adherents in -- after a pilgrimage to Mecca earlier this year.

"The main reason Allah gave us life... Sent us to the earth is to worship Him. I learnt it there," he said by phone today.

"If I can preach Islam to the young generation, they'll abide by Allah and the traditions of the prophet and they'll say prayers five times a day."

Unlike Happy, Jalil said he would keep making movies although his next one would be used to "propagate Islam".

Jalil made his fortune as a textiles entrepreneur and used the money to bankroll films in which he played a starring role.

He has made six movies, starting with "Khoj" ("The Search") in 2010, in which he played a secret service agent who takes on an international arms syndicate.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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