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South African Muslim bodies seek intervention over burqa ban in Sri Lanka

Foreign Minister of South Africa urged to intervene

19 March 2021 08:25 am - 10     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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South African Muslim organisations have called on the country’s foreign minister to intervene in the proposed Sri Lankan ban on the burqa and closure of hundreds of Islamic schools.

This followed the announcement by Sri Lanka''s minister for public security, Sarath Weerasekera, during the weekend that his country would ban the traditional full-face covering worn by some Muslim women because it posed a threat to national security.

This was quickly followed by a statement from the Sri Lankan foreign ministry, which said a decision would only be taken on the proposal after consultations and further discussion.

The United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA) has now asked South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Naledi Pandor to intervene in the matter.

UUCSA had earlier also called for such intervention when Sri Lanka decided that Muslims should also be cremated rather than buried, in defiance of Muslim requirements, which prohibit cremation. The cremation ruling was rescinded later.

“The UUCSA will once again appeal to the Department of International Relations and Co-operation to engage with its counterparts to stop state-sanctioned Islamophobia,” Yusuf Patel, the secretary-general of UUCSA, told the weekly Post.

“Muslims in Sri Lanka have become targets of virulent hate speech in mainstream and social media. The ban on the burqa and the closure of schools are meant to appease Sri Lanka’s Buddhist majority, who thrive on entrenching sectarian and religious divides through hate propaganda,” Patel said.

Adding its voice to the call for action against Sri Lanka, the South African Muslim Network (Samnet) said it was hypocritical of the Sri Lankan government to target Islamic schools.

“There are other religious groups who also have institutions that teach their religious teachings, but there has been no attempt to target those,” Samnet chairperson Dr Faisal Suliman told the weekly.

“Such moves like this, on the Muslim community, will likely give rise to radicalism, fundamentalism and underground movements, which will in fact be a greater source of insecurity than working with religious schools, interacting with them and looking at the syllabi taught. By doing this, they will be ensuring that there are standards and uniformity of the teachings.”

Suliman said Samnet would express its concerns to both the local foreign ministry as well as the Sri Lankan embassy in South Africa. (PTI)

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  Comments - 10

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  • Saman Friday, 19 March 2021 08:58 AM

    We have nothing to do with South Africa Muslim bodies

    Hindu Tamil Friday, 19 March 2021 09:02 AM

    All the Muslims of South Africa are of Indian descent, whose grand and great grand fathers were taken by the British, along with the Hindus, from India as indentured labourers to work in South Africa. Sri Lanka is the only non- white country that provided office workers and civil servants to other countries during the British Empire. We are not going to accept any interference from these South Africans.

    Joshua Friday, 19 March 2021 09:08 AM

    SL is in a soup all over. Let's see if SLPP has the guts to implement the ban or as usual it is only a big talk.

    Sangaralingham Friday, 19 March 2021 09:23 AM

    Tradition customs of a society must be respected. If not details why such actions is taken must be explained in detail to that community. We are creatures of habit. Mostly even we do not know why we follow those traditions customs

    Milinda Friday, 19 March 2021 09:24 AM

    These NGO s should not be given passages to Srilanka.

    RoaringCreek Friday, 19 March 2021 09:26 AM

    The fallout of "Pus" statements by a "Pussa".

    Ranaweera Friday, 19 March 2021 09:52 AM

    Terror funding sources now talking. In those schools being referred to in the article what is being taught is to hate others. These schools need to be monitored.

    ANTON Friday, 19 March 2021 10:13 AM

    FIRST GET OPINIONS FROM SAUDI ARABIAN QUEENS AND PRINCESSES WHO HAVE NEVER WORN THESE FANCY DRESSS.

    Gons Friday, 19 March 2021 12:40 PM

    Dont worry. You can use full-face helmets.

    Nomads Friday, 19 March 2021 07:02 PM

    Government is going to be well treated from the UNHRC for it's heroic acts. Let's see how far is the mileage they are going to gain from this new road show. "Gama andana pilisandara "


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