A madrassa in Bangladesh revealed on Tuesday that it had confiscated hundreds of mobile phones belonging to students and set them on fire, making a huge bonfire. The decision to burn the phones was taken in light of the fact that the devices were distracting students from concentrating on their studies.
It was revealed that students at the seminary, which is located in southeast Bangladesh, were ordered to hand in their cellphones on Sunday. Once the administration had all the phones, they tossed it in the fire in a nearby field, creating a bonfire.
“These devices are ruining their character,” said Azizul Hoque, a spokesman for the Darul Ulum Moinul Islam madrassa, or Islamic seminary.
“The students use internet (on their phones) throughout the night and then doze during classes the next morning. Their parents are concerned.”
Hoque 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.”
“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.”
Bangladesh is a secular country but there are a number of extremist Muslim groups which try to exert pressure on the government to impose conservative rules in the country.
Most recently, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has also given weightage to the seminary education in the country by allowing their students to apply for government jobs.