Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday announced that her government will construct 560 model mosques and an Islamic university with the Saudi assistance, in an attempt to woo hardline Islamists ahead of the parliamentary elections scheduled next month.
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 event was organised by Al-Hiyatul Ulya Lil-Zami'atil Qawmiya Bangladesh, the highest organisation of Dawra-e-Hadith of Qawmi madrasa, to honour the prime minister following her government's recognition of the Dawra-e-Hadith degree of the Qawmi madrasa system.
Thousands of students and teachers of Qawmi madrasas attended the rally.
At the rally, Qawmi leaders expressed their desire to see the prime minister in power for a third consecutive term.
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."
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.
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