Extensive measures taken against extremism: FM
Published : 22 Jun 2018, 18:53
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Friday said acts of terror and targeted killings have only strengthened the government’s resolve to eradicate fanaticism and religious intolerance from society.
“After the terrorist attack in the Holey Artisan Bakery in 2016, the government of Prime Minister Sheikh has taken extensive counter and preventive measures against terrorism and violent extremism,” he said.
Minister Ali was addressing the opening ceremony of the workshop on “Fostering peaceful and inclusive communities in Bangladesh: The role of religious leaders and actors” at a city hotel as the chief guest.
Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General for the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng and Resident Coordinator of the UN in Bangladesh Mia Seppo were also present.
Mahmood Ali said the government has undertaken massive awareness programmes to encourage the practice of tolerance, inclusiveness and cultural activism in society involving women, youths and community leaders.
He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has particularly called the teachers and imams to play the lead role in preventing religious extremism.
“Recognising the role of women in peace building, we’re currently in the process of developing national action plan on women, peace and security which will further consolidate women’s role in preventing violence and building peaceful communities,” said the Foreign Minister.
Ali said Bangladesh too has seen; briefly though, the rise of extremism in its society.
“Primarily motivated by some anti-liberation political elements, those acts of terror and targeted killings have only strengthened our resolve to eradicate fanaticism and religious intolerance from our society,” he said.
The Foreign Minister said the people of Bangladesh typically use religious norms to guide their day-to-day action and as such religious leaders are highly respected and influential members of a community.
“Their unique positions of trust and respect enable them to provide feedback on any changes at the local level, and communicate local priorities to government officials and development professionals,” he said.
Recognising their role, Minister Ali said, the government has long been promoting the engagement of religious leaders and actors in preventing violence.
“We’ve welcomed the Fatwa of Peace for Humanity published by the Bangladesh Jamaiatul Ulama and endorsed by hundred thousand Islamic jurists, scholars and clerics, which preach on the peaceful and non-violent nature of Islam.”
He mentioned that the government has also taken an initiative to build 560 mosque-based Islamic cultural centres at district and sub-district levels to promote Islamic values of peace and tolerance among the mass people.
Minister Ali encouraged the religious leaders and actors of Bangladesh to project their leadership roles to the new generation and encourage them to join the path of peace and harmony.
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