07/18/2016, 14.32
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Anti-terrorism sermons distributed nationwide for Friday prayers

by Sumon Corraya

The text is written by the Bangladesh Islamic Foundation and pronounced by the imams in the Bengali language. Of a total of about 600 thousand mosques in the country, almost 300 thousand have received the document. The authorities want to curb the spread of extremist ideas among young people. Three supporters of Dhaka terrorists arrested.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - For the first time in the history of the country, the Dhaka government distributed sermons that imams gave during the Friday prayers. The initiative of the anti-terrorism sermons is an attempt to curb the spread of Islamic ideas and radicalization of young people in Bangladesh.

Speaking to AsiaNews several Muslim welcome the government's move, announced last week and put into practice as of July 15 last (Friday). Safiqual Haq, a Muslim resident in the Uttara, says: "In our mosque, the imam asked us to pray for peace in the country and condemned the terrorist attacks in the name of Islam. He said clearly that we must refrain from any terrorist activity. "

After the massacre in Dhaka, carried out by young militants belonging to prominent families, and the following attack during the Eid al-Fitr prayer in Sholakia, the government has implemented a series of measures to curb the violent and fundamentalist drift of local Islam. This included closing down "Peace TV" belonging to the Indian preacher Zakir Naik, whose speeches glorifying jihad and directly influenced the bombers of the Holey Artisan Bakery Cafe in Dhaka.

The Friday sermons (khutba) were written in Arabic by the Islamic Foundation Bangladesh and then pronounced in Bengali language. In all, about 300 thousand mosques, out of a total of almost 600 thousand, received the text, which also sent out staff to monitor compliance with the guidelines. Shamim Mohammad Afzal, head of the foundation, explained that "it is not mandatory to follow the sermon, but we hope that the imams do so, or take a cue from it."

Faruk Hossion, another Muslim, declares: "The attackers are very few. If we all stand up against terrorism and pass on the right lessons to our children, no one would be misled by these ideas. So we could to stop any violence in the name of Islam. " He also adds that "whoever kills another person in the name of Islam, is not a true Muslim."

Meanwhile the Dhaka authorities continue to hunting down suspected supporters of the five terrorists who spread terror in the bar of the Gulshan diplomatic district. After the detention of dozens of middle school and high school teachers who urged their students to target non-Muslims, the police arrested three people who had rented an apartment to the attackers in the residential area of ​​Bashundhara. These include Gias Uddin Muhammad Ahsan, vice-rector of the North South University (NSU) in Dhaka where one of the terrorists studied.

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