SL orders 161 foreign Islamic clerics out

23 January 2012 02:58 am - 49     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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COLOMBO — Sri Lanka has ordered a group of 161 foreign Islamic clerics to leave the country, for flouting visa regulations by preaching to pockets of Muslims around the country, an official said Sunday.

Controller of Immigration and Emigration Chulananda Perera said the clerics, who were mostly Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Maldivian and Arab, had travelled into the country on tourist visas.

"We have ordered them to leave the country by January 31. They have violated immigration laws. A tourist visa is to have a holiday or visit friends and family and not to preach Islam," Perera told AFP.

He said the group, which belongs to the Tabligh Jamat group, arrived in Sri Lanka last month in small batches.

Perera said he acted on several complaints by the Muslim community, that the clerics were not preaching the moderate Islam practiced on the Buddhist-dominated island.

"Foreign clerics wishing to preach Islam in Sri Lanka, must first apply for permission through the religious affairs authorities," Perera said.

In January, Sri Lanka launched an online-visa application system, scrapping the one-month visa on arrival for foreigners, except Maldivians and Singaporeans. (Source: AFP)

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  Comments - 49

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  • Christo Monday, 23 January 2012 05:01 AM

    Ignorance Mr. Ahmed is a sin in a sense. We have what is called accreditation?

    fahim Monday, 23 January 2012 05:02 AM

    this is just pure racism

    Christo Monday, 23 January 2012 05:02 AM

    If all of then are not clrics Who are they? Taliban?

    Ishq Monday, 23 January 2012 05:01 AM

    This people are going form country to country / town-town to build their religious bond as the prime objectives in addition to preaching others about the duties of Muslims. they all are not clerics, in a group one or two will be clerics and others will be ordinary people who wants strengthen their believes. There is no moderate Islam, it is common for all the time and it has the guidelines for any generation to come.

    fahim Monday, 23 January 2012 05:03 AM

    If that is the case one must realize that this would not have been a budhist country cause even a average person knows that budhism came from india.

    Aristotle Monday, 23 January 2012 05:06 AM

    If a visa was required 2500 years we would have lost the exposure to the Buddhist philosophy. We are born free should have the freedom to move. We are all Africans (quoting from Richard Dawkins)

    jana Monday, 23 January 2012 05:11 AM

    correction, there is a religious category under the visa category if you are coming for religious purposes such as preaching, even Buddhist monks have to apply for that if they are coming into Sri Lanka, this is a break of law that is being over exaggerated by the media, they can leave the country and apply for the correct visa and come back.

    jana Monday, 23 January 2012 05:20 AM

    correction, there is a religious category under the visa category if you are coming for religious purposes such as preaching, even Buddhist monks have to apply for that if they are coming into Sri Lanka, this is a break of law that is being over exaggerated by the media, they can leave the country and apply for the correct visa and come back.

    Calistus Jayatilleke Monday, 23 January 2012 05:13 AM

    Very good move. Religious fundamentalists of any religion should not be allowed to freely roam around the country and preach distorted versions to arouse people.

    roshan Monday, 23 January 2012 05:25 AM

    This is a very good move by the government.
    What is the religion they are trying to teach the Muslims in this country? I know most of my Muslim friends are practicing their religion. What I got to know was that this group call themselves as going in Jihad “Allah’s Path” has attracted most of the youth who are after O/L & A/L to their movement. Initially they have been coached on Prayers then on Jihad. For me it makes no sense about this movement, people from Sri Lanka going to other countries in Jamath to preach, and then people from other countries come here to preach Islam. Why can’t people here teach religion to other Muslims in Sri lanka.

    pasqual Monday, 23 January 2012 05:25 AM

    it is a very good move. we should respect all religions but should not take a risk by givig a free hand got to put strict regulations at the airport checking. and also a local Representative to take the responsibilities in case of any illegal matters.

    Imtiyaz Monday, 23 January 2012 05:25 AM

    Tablighi Jamat is a religious body which was incorporated under parliament act in 1999. I never heard any member of that it had involved in any unlawful act. all what they do is preach the proper teachings of Islam among muslims only. They never talks politics, terrorism etc. this is solely a spiritual movement.

    Practicing Proper Islam is not extremism and one religious right.

    bash Monday, 23 January 2012 05:21 AM

    Yes, it is unconditional submission to the will of Allah, and only one rightful path... it is fully PEACE not VIOLENCE

    Out you go Monday, 23 January 2012 05:34 AM

    If they are not a recognized scholar with proof, uneducated riffraff's shouldn't be encouraged to preach... and if found preaching in public they should be charged... Just an attire alone does not give one knowledge ... that's for clowns...

    Amdan Monday, 23 January 2012 05:46 AM

    In which country the rape rate has gone high? In Islamic countries? Why so racist comments? This is why people like LTTE came up... Daily Mirror please be unbiased in publishing this reply.

    Raj Monday, 23 January 2012 05:59 AM

    Igrnorance is not a excuse, other religion knows the law and don't break the law.

    HASAN Monday, 23 January 2012 06:02 AM

    The people like Karu are the ones who think in negative way and indirectly induces the situation/ground for the formation of unrest,terrorism,discrimination, etc in the country.

    refugee Monday, 23 January 2012 01:34 PM

    How many of our monks are religious scholars? Next time i see a monk in the bus i will ask him, before i get up!

    Haffie Monday, 23 January 2012 06:36 AM

    There is no question about the deportation if they have violated the Sri Lankan immigration laws.But, we should not give the wrong impression about their motives. This group is only involved in propagating basic Islamic values and practices among Muslims and not among other communities. They never preach violence but only strive to enhance the moral vaules.

    Ahamed Monday, 23 January 2012 06:44 AM

    They are not clerics. This movement encourages Muslims to spend their time, money and self in order to learn their faith. These people live in mosques, cook for themselves, travel in local transport. Some of them go overseas while the others stay locally. It is part of a learning process and it involves talking to other Muslims about faith, simplicity, their purpose of life etc. There is absolutely no violence involved. This practice takes place in the whole world. There many Sri Lankans who similarly travel to other countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, US etc etc.

    Fahir Monday, 23 January 2012 06:55 AM

    haha..... so pitty on your lack-of-knowledge attitude..... What is Taliban?? Tel me your view..... then i'll explain my comment!!

    Aristotle Monday, 23 January 2012 06:56 AM

    Agree. Sadly the majority are religious fundamentalist in Sri Lanka.

    mervyn perera Monday, 23 January 2012 07:04 AM

    @ Amdan...so you believe LTTE came up because of this...do you know where is the LTTE and it's leadership now...?

    nimal ediri Monday, 23 January 2012 07:25 AM

    hatred will bring hatred and eye for an eye can make people blind. which one is correct. can someone explain this ?

    Mfzansr Monday, 23 January 2012 07:21 AM

    @Christo,

    Don't be so rude, normal muslims do have the complete permission to join these groups and no need to be a Islamic cleric. many local Muslims do join these groups and visit the mosques within the country. they would visit the Muslims in the area and encourage them to adhere the teachings of Islam to the best - the objective of these kind of meeting is nothing to do with Taliban (who have contributed much to damage the pure image of Islam) but to achieve the heaven in afterlife - which is the utmost goal of each and every Muslim.

    anon Monday, 23 January 2012 07:34 AM

    good time to increase taxes im guessing

    imca Monday, 23 January 2012 07:39 AM

    I agree who ever it's should abide the Land of the law...
    & this group has to be sent & find an alternative legal frame work to enter country. BTW
    This is to clarify to whom got Mis-interpreted this group, Thabliqh means to reach out the message. this just guiding the Muslims who are not following the religion rather just name sake being a Muslim, without a good conduct, Not praying fasting or not involved in charity.. etc..
    Ex: One of the big achievement of this movement is converting drug addicts to normal life.. As we (Most of Buddhist / Muslim & rest) know very few in this country making high propaganda about peace loving SL Muslims which is not even 0.01% truth.

    nonis Monday, 23 January 2012 08:15 AM

    After reading all these comments person can understand how fastly increasing the racism in this country,so sad,good bless Sri Lanka.

    roshan Monday, 23 January 2012 08:16 AM

    IMCA you must accept the fact that most of these thabliq pple are the one involved in heroine business

    faqi Monday, 23 January 2012 09:20 AM

    If any of them are from Pakistan, we are asking for trouble. They are the worlds greatest exporters of terror in the last decade.

    imca Monday, 23 January 2012 09:22 AM

    Machang Roshan,
    There are lot of Silva's n Chinthaka's & Noufer's involved in drug business, Not only that there so many criminals from all the religion filled in SL prison.

    Do not link that here..
    There good n Bads in all the religion. As per ur earlier comment within ur friend circle How many Muslim do u personally know selling drug n preaching tolerances among others? Overall Majority of SL muslims Speak Sinhala fluently... living with other religion calmly..

    sajitha Monday, 23 January 2012 09:30 AM

    So can I go to Saudi on holiday visa and start preaching buddhism and come alive?

    Patriot Monday, 23 January 2012 09:37 AM

    We had a racial conflict and do not want a religeous one now. These fundamentalists have already started breaking the Muslim families setting one family member against the other by applying their fundamentalist strict rules. See how many hibajs now in Srilanka! Next thing will be they start setting suicide bombers against other Muslims. We do not want a repeat in what is hapenning in Pakistan and some parts of ME. The government should have kiked them out before letting their feet here. We need to safeguard our law abiding moderate muslim brothers and sisters from these hate spreading fundamentalist muslim mullahs.

    roshan raz Monday, 23 January 2012 03:14 AM

    that is a good move.. cheating for preaching should not be allowed

    Mohd. Monday, 23 January 2012 09:51 AM

    Good move by the Government! Overstayers must be expelled regardless of theirs purpose of stay!!!

    Aristotle Monday, 23 January 2012 03:17 AM

    It that was so most of the problem on earth will not be there.

    sumathi Monday, 23 January 2012 03:12 AM

    good riddance!

    Dickson Athugala Monday, 23 January 2012 03:19 AM

    This is the correct move.

    Aristotle Monday, 23 January 2012 03:28 AM

    God delusion.

    pluto Monday, 23 January 2012 04:22 AM

    This is good move actually ,but there is no word as moderate muslims in the world.

    Ahamed Monday, 23 January 2012 04:25 AM

    Our country issues only 2 types of visas. Toursit and Business..
    So are they required to abtain Business visas?

    karu Monday, 23 January 2012 04:27 AM

    If this kind of alert made 500 yrs ago in every country in the world...today most part of the world could live non violent with peace and decent life....Good move.

    Fahir Monday, 23 January 2012 04:34 AM

    i think the authorities should consider providing some different kinds of visas for the visiting religious groups to participate in religious activities. moreover, those 161 people are not all clerics.. most of them are ordinary people taking part in a routine country-wise visit to boost religious involvements. Just like a visiting Buddhist monk or a Christian priest!!

    wahoo Monday, 23 January 2012 04:38 AM

    Timely move and do not let them in again..

    freehi Monday, 23 January 2012 04:30 AM

    I thought our country moving towards freedom of expression, proved not to be so.of course they were not threat for our country.then why such step is required?..I have not even seen a single evidence so far where they were threat to our country. so I don't think it is a good move rather it will give wrong signals to minority.

    citizen1 Monday, 23 January 2012 04:43 AM

    This is silly. We Sri Lankans are so paranoid about religions other than Buddhism. Plus we are a terrible example.

    God Monday, 23 January 2012 04:47 AM

    People do all sorts of illegal things putting God in front. Every visitor has to abide the rules and regulations of the visiting country except VVIPs. Clerical or ordinary the rules are same. Can we over stay in another country and work for community???? This is a correct move and need to expedite fast. According to any religion, this is illegal.

    a muslim Monday, 23 January 2012 04:40 AM

    As a Muslim I agree with you. A person is either a Muslim or not. There is no such thing as a moderate Muslim. Islam is all about peace if you happen to read and understand. All the rest is propaganda to dilute the truth which gives even a good Muslim the idea that violence is part of your religion. The war machines and industries like a monster needs this to keep breathing and controlling.

    MOHAMED ASFAR Monday, 23 January 2012 04:58 AM

    if anyone breaks the law of the land send them home. lying to enter a country and preaching religion is not permitted in any religion. by the way is there only muslims who are breaking the law ? not a single person from any other religions ?


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