The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama has strongly condemned the information presented by Kirama Wimalajothi thero about the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama at BBS conference, held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium.
Issuing a statement today the ACJU said; “The venerable thero has misled those present, stating that the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama is a recently established and extremist organisation.”
We publish below the statement in full;
The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama statement opposing the ideas expressed at the Bodu Bala Sena Conference on 2014 .09.28
The Bodu Bala Sena is unrivaled in the history of Sri Lanka in its campaign of insulting other religions and posing a threat to the harmony and peaceful co-existence between the ethnicities. It is extremely hurtful that they would choose to degrade, insult and humiliate Islam, a resplendent religion that teaches the great values of equality, brotherhood, and humanity; with a history of 1500 years and followed with unwavering faith by over 1620 million people worldwide.
Many media outlets reported excerpts of the speech made by the leader of the Bodu Bala Sena, Ven Kirama Wimalajothi Thero on 28 – 09 – 2014 in Colombo at its ‘Mahaa Sanga Samuluwa’ conference. We strongly condemn the false information presented by the venerable thero about the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama at this conference, held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium and attended by members of the clergy and the lay population. The venerable thero has misled those present, stating that the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama is a recently established and extremist organization.
The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama is the apex body that is tasked with providing religious guidance for the Muslims of Sri Lanka. This is an organization with no political affiliations. Established in the year 1924, it has since been engaged in its duties diligently and continuously, and the Muslim community of Sri Lanka carries out its religious and social work under its guidance.
The contributions of the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama to the motherland during the times of conflict in the past, and in the post conflict era are well recorded facts known by all. Labeling this responsible organization that constantly promotes religious coexistence, patience and unity, as an extremist organization by a religious leader, is a grave mistake.
This country has a security apparatus, and an intelligence apparatus. At a time when all these high-level organizations are issuing statements that there is no terror activity among the Muslims of Sri Lanka; we see it as truly amusing that the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama is being identified as an extremist organization by some elements.
We express our dissatisfaction in the strongest terms, at the expression of racist ideas at this conference held for the purpose of inciting tensions.
We would like to ask Ven. Vimalajothi Thero if he could present any evidence proving the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama’s involvement in inciting or supporting violence, at any time. We would also like to ask who could deny the fact that, even when the Muslim community was viciously attacked and their shops and properties were set on fire, it was the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama that urged them to practice patience and responsible behavior. Furthermore, we would like to emphasize that the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama has been an organization dedicated to peace, harmony and co-existence at all times.
We would like to question what right the venerable thero has, to label the Muslim community’s apex religious organization as an extremist organization. It seems that the venerable thero hoped to incite the Muslim populace by expressing such outrageous ideas, and therein start a new drama. On many previous occasions too, the venerable thero and members of his organization have attempted to prod the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama. At every such instance we have requested them to refrain from such activities. The venerable thero’s actions are contemptible, and should be rejected with disgust. The venerable thero should change his mind-set and his ways. The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama would also like to request that the venerable thero withdraw the wrongful statements made by him.
The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama also deeply condemns the attempts made at this conference to label organizations such as the Muslim Council and the Shoorah Council, which are engaged in community development and social work, as extremist organizations. We strongly denounce the actions of Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera, who, with the immature intention of creating a great divide between the Muslim and non-Muslim community of the country ignorantly chose to interpret verses from the Qur’an and traditions of the prophet; in much the same way the four blind men described an Elephant. We are also in the process of producing the correct interpretation of the same as soon as possible. Many of the other ideas expressed at this conference too are extremely upsetting. The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama is studying these in more detail.
On behalf of the entire Muslim community of Sri Lanka, the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama humbly requests that the actions of those who insult religions should be immediately brought to an end, and that His Excellency the President and the venerable Maha Sangha should pay immediate attention to this issue.
It has become a global phenomenon for extremists to point the finger of extremism at others, to hide their own nature. We see most of the ideas expressed at this conference as being unconstitutional. Totalitarian Fascism is not an ideology that accepts the existence of any religion. The constitution has ensured the protection of all ethnic groups and religions, and presenting totalitarian fascist ideas to deny those rights, raises serious legal questions. We believe it is now time that all Sri Lankans including the venerable Maha Sangha and the moderate Sinhalese who form the vast majority of the population, came together hand in hand to reject such fascist ideologies and create an environment of peace and harmony in our motherland.
Ash-Sheikh Fazil Farook
Secretary – Media Division
All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama