Millions Attend Islamic Gathering In Bangladesh

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DHAKA – Millions of Muslim devotees have raised their hands to seek divine blessings, world peace and revival of Islamic values at one of the world’s largest Islamic gatherings near Bangladesh’s capital.

The first phase of the three-day World Congregation of Muslims, or Biswa Ijtema, ended Sunday through a final prayer on the banks of the River Turag at Tongi, just outside Dhaka, said local police official Faruk Hossain.

The gathering, held each year since 1966, aims to revive the tenets of Islam and promote peace through prayer. Biswa Ijtema shuns politics and has no history of violence. The second phase of the gathering began on Jan. 18.