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All need to maintain dignity of respective religions: PM

Published on: 10:24 pm - Thursday | December 22, 2016

Currentnews.com.bd

Dhaka: Urging the Christian community to become part of Bangladesh’s development efforts, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday called upon the people of all faiths to maintain the dignity of their own religions so that no one could ever raise finger against any religion.

“The religion itself is undermined when it is abuse. It’s the duty of all to take their respective religion to a dignified position so that no one could ever undermine or raise finger against any religion. It’s the duty of all to maintain the dignity of their own religions,” she said.

The Prime Minister said this while addressing a function marking the celebration of the Xmas Day 2016 and reception of first Cardinal of Bangladesh Patrick D’ Rozario at Krishibid Institution Auditorium in the capital in the afternoon.

Being a Muslim, Hasina said, she wants such an environment in the country so that the people of other faiths could perform their religious rituals peacefully.

She said there are some people who interpret secularism as nonreligious one. “But, we don’t believe in irreligiousness. Secularism is that where an individual will be able to perform his or her respective religious rituals with dignity, peacefully and with full rights, not excluding the religion…this is the reality and we believe in that.”

Mentioning that it is the aim of her government to further develop the country, Hasina said, “You’ll (Christians) also become part of that development efforts so that we could turn Bangladesh into a hunger- and poverty free ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by the Father of the Nation.”

Hasina said those who pretend to be religious create conflict among religions. “Those who truly believe in religion and have the trust in their religions never take any unjust step.”

She said the people of all religions in Bangladesh are enjoying equal rights and are performing their own religious rituals independently as the government has ensured a congenial atmosphere.

The PM said the people of all religions had fought together during the Liberation War and earned the country’s hard-earned independence and they would continue to enjoy the equal rights.

She said the basic principle of the constitution is to ensure the equal rights of people of all religions in the country which was ensured by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman after the independence.

Hasina, however, said some incidents were orchestrated like killing people of different faiths, maligning the image of Bangladesh.

Referring to the countrywide mayhem and atrocities carried out by BNP-Jamaat before and after the January 5 polls, she said it is hard to believe that anyone could burn people to death to gain political ambitiousness.

She reiterated her stance is that there would be no place for conflict, terrorism and militancy on Bangladesh soil as humanity is the biggest thing.

Citing a verse from the holy Quran, she said great religion Islam honors all religions reiterating that in Bangladesh “Religion is for respective individuals, but festival is for all. “The people of Bangladesh have such liberal attitude. And they always celebrate the religious festivals of other religions.”

Congratulating the Christians community on the eve of holy X-mass day, she said the essence of all religions is same — to help humanity.

Referring to the appointment of Patrick D Rozaria as cardinal by Pope Francis, the Prime Minister said, “Not only for the Christian community, I do consider it as a matter of great pride, happiness and honour for the country. This joy not only belongs to the Christian community, this joy belongs to the whole of Bangalee nation irrespective of class and creed.”

Speaking on the occasion, Cardinal Patrick de Rozario sought continuation of due legal scope and environment from the government so that the Christian community could work for the state, maintain their religious freedom and enjoy civic rights.

Presided over Arch Bishop Shorod Francis Gomez, the function was addressed, among others, by Religious Affairs Minister Principal Matiur Rahman, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, state Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroz Chumki. Bangladesh Christian Association Nirmal Rozario delivered the address of welcome.

Earlier, the Prime Minister unveiled a publication on the occasion and cut Xmas Day Cake.

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