Bangladesh launches campaign to build ‘model’ mosques to counter radicals

Bangladesh has launched a billion-dollar campaign to build hundreds of “model mosques,” partly with Saudi funding, to try to counter radical Islam, officials in the Muslim-majority country said Friday. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who inaugurated work on nine mosques through a video conference on Thursday, is also trying to bolster links with Muslim groups in an election year, AFP said. According to a senior official, 560 “model mosques cum cultural centers” would be built in the next 30 months as part of a government attempt to fight extremism. “In the next one to one and a half months, work on another 100 mosques will begin,” said Shahmim Afzal, who heads the government Islamic affairs department.