Monday January 21, 8:04 PM
Millions of Muslims gather to pray for world peace
DHAKA, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Nearly two million Muslims from around the world prayed on Monday for global peace and harmony at the end of a grand Islamic congregation on the bank of the Turag river near Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka.
Religious scholars and devotees from about 75 countries joined the Biswa Ijtema, the biggest Muslim gathering after annual Haj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Organisers said the scholars delivered religious sermons explaining the greatness of Islam, how it shunned violence and promoted peace.
They urged the Muslims to follow the footsteps of Prophet Mohammad and renounce violence in all forms.
Mulsim extremists, led by Osama bin Laden, are accused of the September 11 attacks on the United States. India and Pakistan have engaged on a dangerous military buildup on their shared border after an attack on the Indian parliament last month that New Delhi blames on Pakistan-based Muslim militants.
Muslims from Saudi Arabia, the United States, Russia, Pakistan, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Kuwait, India and South Africa participated at the annual ritual.
Bangladesh President A.Q.M. Badruddoza Chowdhury, Prime Minister begum Khaleda Zia and opposition leader Sheikh Hasina attended the prayer.