Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addressing a program at the Hajj Camp in the city on Wednesday. -PID
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said nobody has the right to defy Islam. She has laid emphasis on holding Islam in high esteem. Sheikh Hasina expressed her dismay over the spread of misperceptions about Islam. She made these remarks on Wednesday in the capital's Ashkona while addressing a program in Hajj Camp.
Sheikh Hasina said, "Islam is a religion of peace. Islam emphatically speaks of protecting human rights and puts stress on improving the living standard of people. But this peaceful religion faces adverse questions when some people carry out militancy or terrorism in the name of Islam whereas Islam allows everyone to practice respective religions independently."
Sheikh Hasina said some people are responsible for violence under cover of Islam. Nobody should be allowed to defame Islam by doing wrong activities, she further said. The government has taken up a project at an estimated cost of Tk 8,722 crore for building up a model mosque and Islamic cultural center in each district and upazila. More than four lakh devotees including 31, 400 women will be able to say prayers in these mosques.
Sheikh Hasina at the Parliament also said BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia has been jailed by court on corruption charges. The government has nothing to do with it, she added. The Premier laid the foundation stones for nine such mosques on April 5.
A number of 560 model mosques and Islamic cultural centers will be constructed across the country. Sheikh Hasina said the aim of these model mosques and Islamic cultural centers is to propagate the true message of Islam to all people of Bangladesh so that no confusion arises about this religion.
According to Hajj agreement with Saudi Arabia, this year 1 lakh 26 thousand 198 people from Bangladesh can perform Hajj. 6, 798 Hajj pilgrims are supposed to visit Saudi Arabia for this purpose this year through government management while
1 lakh 20 thousand pilgrims are scheduled to avail private service. Hajj is expected to be observed on August 21 which is subject to moon appearance.
Hajj flights from Bangladesh will go on from 14 July to 15 August. Bangladesh Biman will carry 64 thousand 967 pilgrims on 187 flights and Saudi Airlines will carry 61 thousand 831 pilgrims from Bangladesh on 188 flights. Return Hajj flights will begin from 27 August and continue till 25 September.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that every year she eagerly waits to meet Hajj pilgrims and to seek their blessings. Recalling the tragedy of 15 August 1975, Sheikh Hasina said to the pilgrims, "Please pray for my parents and family members whom I have lost so that Allah places them in heaven."
She further said, "I have lost my parents and brothers. I have been always at the service of the country's people with utmost devotion. I have no demand or desire other than serving the nation." Sheikh Hasina added that, "Please keep me in your prayers so that I can keep on serving you."
Sheikh Hasina said that Bangladesh Hajj Mission was shifted from Jeddah to Mecca in 2009 which facilitated Hajj management and it has been admired for improving Hajj-related services. She also referred to the launching of web portal on Hajj, mobile app for Hajj services and the online registration facilities for Hajj pilgrims which have been very much helpful for all concerned. Hajj pilgrims are now being able to get all necessary information and services through sophisticated technologies, Sheikh Hasina remarked.
Services like renting Hajj terminal plaza, providing medical aid to Hajj pilgrims, administrative and IT teams have been operating in Jeddah, Mecca and Medina since 2010 for the convenience of Hajjis, Sheikh Hasina stated.
The program was presided over by Religious Affairs Minister Matiur Rahman. It was also addressed by Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister AKM Shahjahan Kamal, Parliamentary standing committee chief on Religious Affairs Ministry BH Harun, Sahara Khatun MP, Charge De Affairs Amir Bin Omar Bin Salem from Saudi Arabian Embassy and Religious Affairs Secretary Anisur Rahman. Afterwards Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina exchanged greetings with the Hajj pilgrims.
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