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Ahead of polls, Hasina announces to build 560 model mosques, Islamic university in B'desh

Press Trust of India  |  Dhaka 

on Sunday announced that her will construct 560 model mosques and an Islamic university with the Saudi assistance, in an attempt to woo hardline Islamists ahead of the scheduled next month.

Speaking at an Islamic clerics rally here, urged the clerics not to be agitated by anti-Islam propaganda on social media, saying her has enacted tougher laws to expose to justice perpetrators of any malicious campaign regarding the religion.

"I know that a lot of propaganda spreads on not pay any heed to them, she said.

The said that her has introduced tough cyber-crime laws to deal with such malicious campaigns and anyone who spreads such false information would be exposed to justice."

She said the will assist her government in building the mosques and the Islamic university, the reported.

Hasina's is considered as the secular party while her rival Khaleda Zia's Nationalist Party (BNP) is close to hardliners.

Her move to build hundreds of mosques is seen as an attempt to woo Islamist voters who have been traditionally voting for Zia's BNP and her ally Jamaat-e-Islami, according to experts.

The rally was organised by Lil-Zami'atil Qawmiya Bangladesh, the highest organisation of Dawra-e-Hadith of Qawmi madrasa, to honour the following her government's recognition of certifications offered by non-government madrasas as equivalent to postgraduate degrees.

Thousands of students and teachers of Qawmi madrasas attended the rally.

In a rare instance, the government earlier deferred Sunday's public exams to allow teachers and students of the Islamic seminaries to attend the rally.

On September 18, parliament passed a bill to recognise the Dawra-e-Hadith degree as equivalent to a post-graduate degree in Islamic Studies and Arabic.

A large number of students are enrolled in Qawami madrasas in Muslim majority and the government's recognition to its highest degree appeared as a step to woo the Islamic clerics ahead of

At the rally, Qawmi leaders expressed their desire to see the in power for a third consecutive term.

"Since has recognised (the top Qawmi madrasa degree) we want her to come to power again, so that she can fulfil the rest of our demands, said.

The speakers said "there is a change in Bangladesh now, and Qawmi leaders were not able to receive a prime minister before, with such warmth, because none had listened to their demands.

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

First Published: Sun, November 04 2018. 17:25 IST