All too often, the teachings of Islam have been distorted and misused by fanatics to spread hatred and create discord amongst the peace-loving citizens, of this country and the world over.
But, as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said: Islam is a religion of peace, and teaches tolerance and harmony.
In this regard, her decision to set up nine model mosques and cultural centres is laudable, and goes a long way in introducing the real, peaceful face of Islam to the people of this country, especially the youth.
The last two years have shown us the horrible consequences of extremism, and to what extent this is used by certain people to further their own political agenda.
But Bangladesh cannot fall into that trap, and the PM has the right vision to solve this problem.
Bangladesh has a diverse populace and we, as a nation, will not tolerate religious and communal disharmony and violence.
The government has taken various steps to ensure that extremist militancy is quashed in our society, carrying out several successful raids in the past and eliminating terrorist cells. But, for a more well-rounded approach to the threat of Islamic militancy, education is crucial.
Schools and mosques which highlight Islam as a religion of peace are essential for continued peace and prosperity in the region. It will allow a platform for dialogue and discussion, and inform the public via religious leaders for whom they have the utmost respect.
These mosques and centres will expose the youth of this country to the true face of Islam which, as the PM has said, is essential for “peace to prevail.”