A hardline Islamic school in Bangladesh confiscated hundreds of mobile phones from students and burnt them down to ashes, hailing the devices ‘unislamic’ and a distraction for its pupils.
Darul Ulum Moinul Islam madrassa in Hathazari, close to Chittagong, is spearheaded by Ahmad Shafi, the head of extremist Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam which has been campaigning for the return of Islamic rule.
“Pupils in the southeast Bangladesh school were ordered to hand over their phones Sunday to school administrators who then tossed the devices en masse into a fire in a nearby field,” the Daily Mail reported.
The school’s spokesman Azizul Hoque said, “These devices are ruining their character. The students use internet (on their phones) throughout the night and then doze during classes the next morning. Their parents are concerned…We are flooded with letters seeking fatwas (Islamic edicts) from Muslims against the use of mobile phones, as many complained that the gadgets were frequently used for extramarital affairs.”
He added that the school was not against technology but that “the negative results of mobile phones far outweigh its positives.”
The 123 year old institution has 14,000 registered students and is run by Muslim clerics who continue to be influential in the Muslim-majority Bangladesh in spite of its secular government.