Dhaka: Clerics on Friday delivered an identical sermon in hundreds of thousands of mosques across Bangladesh condemning terrorism as part of a beefed-up campaign to combat extremism in the wake of recent terror attacks in the country.
The clerics read out a two-page special sermon ahead of the weekly Friday prayers denouncing violence and extremism in the name of religion citing verses from the Holy Quran and sayings of the Prophet, officials said.
"Whoever kills a person unjustly, it is as though he has killed all mankind," it read, citing a verse from the Quran.
It quoted the Prophet as saying the killing of a human being is the biggest sin and urged parents to take good care of their children so they cannot be "brainwashed".
"A human being, no matter what his faith is, has been secured with the right to live a safe life...the Prophet says the greatest of all sins is to kill a human being while he made no distinction between Muslim or non-Muslim in his directive," it said.
The move comes after the deadly attack in an upscale Dhaka cafe in which 20 hostages, including an Indian girl, were brutally hacked to death in Bangladesh's worst terror attack by suspected Islamist militants. A subsequent army-led security clampdown killed six militants next morning.
The state-run Islamic Foundation earlier said it prepared and disseminated the special sermon in Arabic and Bangla to be read out alongside the routine Friday sermon.
"We have distributed the special sermon both in Arabic and Bangla to more than 300,000 mosques...We requested the police and district administrations at grassroots to encourage imams to deliver it properly during the Friday prayers," an Islamic Foundation spokesman told PTI.
On the Eid day, the terrorists tried to attack the country's biggest Eid congregation at northern Sholakia where they killed 2 policemen before one of the attackers was gunned down.
A high-level cabinet committee last week decided to enforce a vigil on sermons during Friday prayers in mosques so no provocative sermons were delivered inspiring extremism while the government issued a clarion call on imams and religious leaders to use their influence in uprooting militancy.