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‘Peace Schools’ under scan after ban on Naik’s TV

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Dhaka: Schools in Bangladesh bearing the name “Peace” came under government scanner on Wednesday following the ban on Mumbai-based controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s Peace TV.

The schools in the country were allegedly being operated in line with Naik’s ideology by adding “Peace” to their names, bdnews24 reported.

The government banned Peace TV after allegations that at least two of the assailants in the July 1 terror attack in a cafe in the upscale Gulshan locality were inspired by Naik’s speeches.

“Peace TV is not consistent with Muslim society, the Quran, Sunnah, Hadith, Bangladesh’s Constitution, our culture, customs and rituals,” Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said.

Naik, 50, is a qualified doctor who left his profession and founded the Islamic Research Foundation, which runs the Islamic International School and an NGO United Islamic Aid.

The Bangladesh government does not have any specific information on how many schools were being operated with the word “Peace” in their name, bdnews24 reported.

The Dhaka education board said it only approved temporarily an English-medium school at Lalmatia to operate under the name Peace School. The others do not have any such permission.

“First the authorities establish an educational institution. They apply for government approval after reaching a certain stage. The government then inspects the institution and takes a decision on whether to give it permission to continue operating,” the official said.

None of these “Peace Schools” in Dhaka had applied for permission to the ministry or the board, an Education Ministry official said.

Intelligence agencies were asked to inquire into the 20 “Peace Schools” so far detected by the government.

“If these schools actually follow Zakir Naik’s ideas, they will face action,” the officials said.

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