Question :

Are the Saudis financing Bangladesh to build 560 model mosques?

Answer :

From the very beginning of this year, Bangladesh government used to say that Saudis are financing Bangladesh to build 560 model mosques in different cities of the country. Most of the national dailies covered the story. But Saudi government official said that the report was false.

On April 26, 2017, the Daily Star reported, “Of the total project cost of Tk 9062.41 crore, the government will provide Tk 892.62 crore while the rest Tk 8,169.79 crore will come as a grant from Saudi Arabia” to build 560 model mosques.

On April April 27, Bangladesh Awami League published a video entitled “500 Model Masjid and Islamic Cultural Centre at Upazila and Zila in Bangladesh,” where they said the project is financed by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. They also shared the same video on their verified Facebook page on April 28, 2017.

But this was a false news, according to Awwad Al-Awwad, minister of Culture and Information of Saudi Arabia. He said to the Fox News, “Saudi Arabia has never committed to pay Bangladesh $1 billion for the construction of mosques.”

He also said, “Any commitment by the Saudi government of this nature would only be considered after receiving an official request from the host country’s government. When such an agreement is finalized, there would definitely be an official announcement by both countries.”