Coinciding with the 'Mujib Year', 50 model mosques out of total 560 are set to be opened simultaneously across the country tomorrow, aiming at preaching the true message of Islam to eliminate religious misconceptions.
"Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will formally inaugurate the mosques at 10.30am through videoconferencing from her official residence Ganabhaban in the capital," Deputy Project Director (DPD) Shafique Talukder said at a briefing on the premises of Savar Upazila Model Mosque today.
The mosques are located at Savar upazila in Dhaka, Madhukhali and Saltha upazilas in Faridpur, Pakundia and Kuliarchar upazilas in Kishoreganj, Shibaloy upazila in Manikganj, Rajbari sadar upazila, Shariatpur sadar and Gosairhat upazilas, Shariakandi, Sherpur and Kahaloo upazilas in Bogura, Sapahar and Porsha upazilas in Naogaon, Sirajganj district and sadar upazila, Chatmohar upazila in Pabna, Godagari and Paba upazilas in Rajshahi, Khansama and Birol in Dinajpur, Patgram upazila in Lalmonirhat, Panchagarh sadar and Debiganj upazilas, Rangpur district, sadar upazila, Mithapukur, Pirgonj and Badargonj upazilas, Haripur upazila in Thakurgaon, Subarnachar upazila in Noakhali, Gafargaon and Tarakanda upazilas in Mymensingh, Chattogram district, Lohagara, Mirsharai and Sandwip upazilas, Jamalpur sadar and Islampur upazilas, Nabinagar and Bijoynagar upazilas in Brahmanbaria, Bhola sadar, Dakshinsurma upazila in Sylhet, Daudkandi upazil in Comilla, Panchari upazila in Khagrachhari, Kushtia sadar, Khulna district, Kachua upazila in Chandpur, Rajapur upazila in Jhalakathi and Chuadanga sadar upazila, he said.
Besides, 100 more model mosques will also be inaugurated by the end of this year marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the official added.
Some 50 mosques are being prepared under the landmark 560 model mosque considered to be the world's largest mosques project for inauguration in September under the second phase and another 50 will be opened in December under the third phase, Shafique said.
Imbued with the spirit of Islam and following the footsteps of Father of the Nation, the DPD said, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has come up with the idea of constructing the 560 model mosques across the country involving Taka 8,722 crore.
It is the second largest project after Padma Multipurpose Bridge, which is being implemented with own funding, he said, adding, "It is the first ever in the world that any government is building such a large number of mosques at a time".
The purpose of the project is publicity of Islamic brotherhood and its values as well as disseminating the essence of Islam against extremism and militancy as the religion never support those, Nazibar said.
Noting that Bangabandhu had established the Islamic Foundation (IF) and enacted Islamic Foundation Act, 1975, the project director said, in line with Bangabandhu's thinking, the project also focused on building a strong Islamic organizational structure by setting up mosques and Islamic cultural centers across the country.
It would also put concentration on creating awareness against terrorism and violence against women along with disseminating development activities of the government, he said.
The project director said construction works of 420 model mosques and cultural centers have started while the construction of the remaining mosques would start soon.
Earlier in February, Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Secretary Tofazzel Hossain Miah at a briefing at his office said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced for building 560 model mosques-cum Islamic cultural centers across the country and gave three models – A, B and C – for the mosques to be built.
She (the Prime Minister) selected one model for district and city corporations and other two for upazilas and coastal areas, the PMO secretary said, adding that Taka 15.61 crore has been allocated for each mosque to be built in district and city corporation areas, Taka 13.41 crore for upazila and Taka 13.60 crore for coastal area mosques.
Under the category A, he said, some 69 four-storey mosques having the elevator facility and a floor space of 2,360.09 square metres each are being constructed in 64 districts and city corporation areas.
Under category B, 475 mosques are being built with a floor space of 1680.14 square metres each, while 16 mosques under C category in coastal areas will have a floor space of 2,052.12 square metres each.
Terming the model mosques as complete ones, Tofazzel said, "The uniqueness of the mosques is that the Imam training programmes will be conducted and the Hajj pilgrims will be imparted training on religious matters by the mosques across the country".
Expressing gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Imam of the Savar Upazila Model Mosque Hafez Mawlana Maruf Billah said the mosques would work as hubs of Islamic research and speeding true message of Islam.
"Thanks to our honorable Prime Minister for taking such a religious project that proves her devotion to Islam," he added.