The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) said today it was seriously concerned about the statement made in Parliament by Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa about the Muslim community.
MCSL said in a statement that they strongly objected to the misplaced statement by the minister as facts given by him were reported in the media more than one year ago when a Sri Lankan combatant died fighting with ISIS and added that there have been no new reports of any others involved after this incident.
“It is believed that one family had gone to Syria to provide humanitarian support to the war wounded and refugees. Some of the men are alleged to have joined or forced to join the fighting forces of ISIS. The Muslim community, including the Muslim Council, Jamiathul Ulema and other organizations cooperated with the government in identifying the families to provide the necessary support for the intelligence agencies to investigate. Those who have gone to Syria as quoted by Mr. Rajapaksa include women and children,” the statement said.
It said Minister Rajapakse’s statement comes at a very opportune time to certain extremist elements bent on tarnishing the image of the Muslim community for reasons only best known to them.
“The Thableeq Jamath, Sunnath Jamath, Thowheed Jamath and Jamaithe Islam and several other organizations are all Muslim religious and social service organisations. They do not promote any form of violence as implied by the Minister Rajapaksa. Certain parts of his statement are verbatim of the hate speech spewed by the extremist priest Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero,” MCSL President N. M. Ameen said.
He said the Muslims of Sri Lanka has a long history of peaceful co-existence and have stood with the Sri Lankans at good times and at times of adversity.
“The entire Muslim community has condemned the un-Islamic comments of the Secretary of the Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath, Abdul Razick. Twenty-three Muslim Religious and Civil Society organizations headed by the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulema issued a statement condemning the speech made by SLTJ’s,” he said.
He said as alleged by the Minister, no Muslim international school invites extremists to indoctrinate its children with fundamentalism.
“ Such has been the language of certain countries who created terrorists out of Madrasas in Pakistan to achieve their own ends. We urge Hon. Wijedasa Rajapaksa to provide the evidence and take immediate action against anyone may have violated the laws of the land irrespective of ethnicity or religion,” Mr. Ameen challenged the Minister.
He said the Muslim community was seriously alarmed about the re-emergence of the racist campaign that was carried out by extremist Buddhist monks since the end of the war in 2009.
The statements made by the Hon Minster would only help to disturb peace and promote the interests of certain vested interests to destroy our country. We urge the Minister and the Government to investigate this and take appropriate action,” he said in a statement.