The madrasa in 2013 had demanded for the enactment of a blasphemy law. (Representational)
An Islamic seminary in Bangladesh has burned hundreds of mobile phones seized from students claiming that they were getting distracted by it, according to a media report.
Mufti Jasim Uddin, the superintendent of Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam, known as Hathazari Barha Madrasa on Monday said that the resident students are not allowed to use mobile phones, bdnews24 reported. “We seize mobile phones, especially the ones that play music and videos, from the resident students during admission every year,” he said, skirting a query as to whether they have destroyed the phones.
Some students, requesting anonymity, told the newspaper that the authorities seized and burnt two sacks full of around 400 seized handsets on Sunday, the report said.
The seminary — a 123-year-old institution with 14,000 registered students — was not against technology but the negative results of mobile phones far outweigh its positives. The madrasa is run by Shah Ahmed Shafi, chief of Hifazat-e-Islam, an Islamist pressure group of madrasa teachers and students, which in 2013 had demanded for the enactment of a blasphemy law.
The Hefazat-e-Islam or ‘Protectorate of Islam’ has unleashed riots on Dhaka streets to mount pressure on the secular Awami League-led government to implement its 13-point demand, including the enactment of a blasphemy law to punish those who insult Islam.
The members of Hefazat, comprising mainly teachers and students of several thousand unregistered madrasas, allegedly backed by Jamaat workers carried out the two days of mayhem in the capital city and Chittagong. In Muslim-majority Bangladesh, Muslim clerics are highly influential, particularly in the socially conservative rural areas of the country.