28 September, 2020

Blog

For Muslims, The Chickens Have Come To Roost

By Soraya M. Deen –

Soraya M. Deen

“I am for truth no matter who tells it. I am for justice no matter who it is for or against.” ~ MalcolmX

For almost ten years the Marsoof Committee worked to bring about consensus and reform to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act. (MMDA). Female activists stood in protest on the streets, braving the sun and the rain with signs that called on Parliament and the All Ceylon Jamaithul Ulama to reform MMDA laws. The pleas of activists, victims and advocates were ignored and disregarded and fell on deaf years.

We avoided reality, but sadly today, we are unable to avoid the consequences of avoiding the reality.

It is surreal. In the year 2020, Muslims women were being told by our religious actors that, child marriage was a religious requirement. Muslim women were incapable of heading Qazi courts. (Even though in Muslim majority countries like Tunisia, Malaysia, Egypt, Morocco have female Muslim judges). Female Genital Mutilation is religiously mandated. That polygamy must be acceptable as it is stated in the Quran.

I myself watched and participated in a myriad of ways to highlight the anguish and suffering of muslim women. The hard work of fellow activists calling for urgent reform to the Muslim family laws, fell on deaf ears. For Muslims denying truth will not change the facts. We Muslims must acknowledge that the man made Sharia laws comprising the bulk of the Muslim Family laws does not favor Muslim women.

Last year I met Fathima (not her real name) who was working with about 20 Muslim women who have suffered untold hardships at the justice served to them at the Qazi courts. She herself was a victim. She said to me that, “Men were liberally allowed to pronounce Talaq, their divorces were finalized and granted. Maintenance payments were always in dispute with the men refusing to pay or denying means to pay. Before such important issues of maintenance, child support were settled, before any formal redress was given by the Qazi court to the woman, the man already enters into a second, third and sometimes fourth marriage.”

Fathima continues, “Almost all these women I counsel have been left with no means of sustenance. Bereft of any financial support, we struggle to enforce the divorce decree only to find that the man has moved out of town. I live around Kandy, I can’t afford transport costs to Jaffna to collect a small amount of child support.”

The stories are endless.

The suffering of these women has never been acknowledged. The Qazi courts could have learned from its mistakes if it weren’t too busy dyeing them.

Religion or Reason..

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, articulated the rights and freedoms to which every human being is equally and inalienably entitled. It has become a yardstick by which we measure right and wrong. Available in more than 360 languages, the Declaration is the most translated document in the world. It inspires us to continue working to ensure that all people can gain freedom, equality and dignity. It goes further to say that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

This Declaration I assert, is one of the finest documents dealing with Human Rights. We must read and reread this. Spending hours looking for hidden wisdom in our scriptures has not benefited the community.

The long standing grievances of Muslim women has became a political tool. Sadly the Muslim Parliamentarians have also failed to take and promote decisive action. The community as a whole did not support reform either. Succumbing to our biggest weakness of “Muslim Fragility,” we always chose to hide behind the wall of a pristine Islam and an imaginary monolithic perfect Community – The Ummah.

Rather than face the contextual realities of our times, we are seeking to freeze our religion and look for 7th century solutions for 21st century social problems.

New realities are emerging in the public square…and the community continues to lack strong visionary leadership. Citizenship, civic responsibility are no values we instill in our youth anymore. Versed in the text but not in the context the Muslim communities are silenced by religious authority and political pundits.

We didn’t want to offend Islam, we thought we were defending Islam. Authority became truth and we did not dare question any practices and rituals, we failed to stand up against the abysmal rights of women. We watched helplessly as the religious actors, making good living, with foreign sponsorship using not the Quran but books of Hadith to preach and teach a new Islam where the men claimed legitimate lustful privilege of even taking a child as a wife.

During one of my trips to Batticaloa, my friend and colleague sought my counsel to stop the child marriage of a 14 year old little girl who was the friend of his daughter. The story was that the father was adamant to give her in marriage, the mother didn’t want it, and the little girl wanted to study! Everyday, this little girl who needed books not a husband would silently cry in the classroom thinking about the impending marriage against her will, without her consent. We must grieve because we know without a doubt that this level of reluctance in the community to educate the girls will keep half the community backward.

Today we know that child marriage has reached the highest in Batticaloa. Today we also know that even in Muslim majority countries, this law has been reformed. In countries like Bangladesh, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia they have set the minimum age of marriage to 18 years.

Hiding behind the umbrella of religion and borrowed culture, the ACJU (All Ceylon Jamaithul Ulema) was-adamant to control the outcomes…
So they delayed meaningful action, reform and any change …

The President’s Call ….

In parliament on August 20th, the President outlined the government’s plans. He mentioned that the first task of the government would be to remove the 19th amendment and , “After that all of us will get together to formulate a new constitution suitable for the country. In this the priority will be given to the concept of one country, one law for all the people.”

Moreover, the rising Buddhist influence in Sri Lanka is no passing weather…The President has claimed that the state ministries were structured based on the views of his Sangha Advisory Council. In addition the placement of minority religions including Islam under the ministry of Buddha Sasana Religious and cultural Affairs with a Sinhala Buddhist cabinet and state ministers is deeply disturbing.

For Muslims the hallowed words “One Country One Law,” conjure up one possibility. So far these words have been defined by hard line Buddhists to mean the removal and repeal of the Muslim personal laws.

The chilling backdrop…

The reprisals for the Eater Sunday bombings that killed more than 250 people has been heavy on Muslims. Muslims lost majority Buddhist support. Using the security of the Bo-tree, hard line Buddhist monks continue to spread hatred and ill will towards the Muslims. Anti-Muslim violence with mobs vandalizing mosques, homes and businesses has brought the Sri Lankan Muslim communities to its knees. We have since witnessed the Buddhist nationalistic anti Muslim hatred demanding the abolishing of the MMDA.

Racism and bigotry have become celebrated values in Sri Lanka.

The Bodhu Bala Sena Bodu Bala Sena, the Sinhalese Buddhist nationalist organization headed by Venerable Galagoda Atte Gnanasara has openly called for the discrimination and annihilation of Muslims and establishing a Buddhist only government and nation. The Thero does not mince his words when he claims that his groups worked hard to bring the current government to power and their business is not finished until there is one law in the country.

We didn’t treat our women right

“There is the presumption that men and boys are superior to women and girls. This is not an extremist thought, it is mainstream in my Baptist tradition and in your Islamic tradition. This discrimination is supported by some male religious leaders who distort the Bible and the Quran and other sacred texts. Many men disagree, but remain quiet in order to enjoy the benefits of their dominant status. We MUST STOP this.” – President Jimmy Carter

The only time I saw the ACJU stand up for the Muslim women was to demand that she be allowed to wear the Hijab and Burqa. They have been adamantly active against reform. They have failed to ensue the fundamental rights of Muslim women From the Halal fiasco to the 14th century patriarchal norms they were legitimizing, without a strong vision for the community our religious actors have failed the community in every way. There has been an exercise of absolute power, especially in a cruel and oppressive way.

What are we trying to preserve?

Between the calls for reform and repeal, we Muslims must know what we are fighting to keep and what we are rejecting.

The MMDA has legal provisions that are discriminatory and unjust towards Muslim women.

The claim of the religious actors are that these laws are based on Sharia and therefore cannot be changed. Nothing can be further than the truth. The laws contained in the MMDA are all man made.

These laws are cultural and unique to Sri Lanka. They are based on Islamic and non Islamic sources.

These laws have failed to take into account any human rights principles. The Muslim religious actors so far have led us to believe in the assumption that what was good for us 1400 years ago, would be good for the Muslim women today.

How effective is it to preserve these laws of the past to engage our future?

Can these draconian unjust laws ensure the liberty of our women?

What values do we embody as a community? There was a time when preservation meant saving something here or there. But those days are gone!

Are the laws contained in the MMDA a part of our heritage? Is it our only link to our identities and legacies?

Have these laws made us who we are today?

Our continued refusal and unwillingness to acknowledge these outdated laws have frozen much of our faith to a 7th century dogma. Our rush to blame, shame and obstruct the very few who call for reform and change undermines religious freedoms this country has always offered us.

I have watched with great dismay the compromises that we continue to make in the name of religious sensitivities. If we continue to fail to embrace changes and silence those Muslims who call for change, it will become nearly impossible for Muslims embrace a pluralistic nation.

Moderate Muslims have a crucial role to play in facing this problem head on and promoting a real and honest dialogue—free of political correctness and comforting lies—about the true nature of political Islam that thrives on the opression of women.

Our denials and failure in taking full responsibility to discuss these debilitating issues within our community, has prompted a national outcry and call by certain others, outside of the community, in some instances to viciously attack us. The time has come for us to rally around and promote secular liberal values and human freedoms.

A Muslim Round table

The Sectoral Oversight Committee on Women and Gender has recommended that a Constitutional Amendment be drafted to repeal Article 16(1) of the Constitution.

Article 16 (1) holds that – “Notwithstanding any inconsistency with the preceding provisions contained in Chapter III of the Constitution which concerns Fundamental Rights (FR) {Art. 10-15}, “all existing written and unwritten law shall be valid and operative.”

This means that such written and unwritten laws that existed prior to the promulgation of the Second Republican Constitution of 1978, the Committee observed, cannot be challenged in Courts including the Supreme Court in the instance of the violation of Fundamental Rights.

The Committee stated the proposed Constitutional Amendment seeks the abolition of personal laws, specifically the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act, No. 13 of 1951 as Amended, which allows and provides for child marriages.

This is grave news for Muslims who oppose the repealing of their personal laws. For a while now the Muslims in Lanka have experienced unexpected threats and challenges. From Digana, to Aluthgama, Minuwangoda to Kandy,we have held tight to the people around us and hoped for a political leadership in our country that enables us to build trust, that will make us safer and secure.

The government must conduct a wider study with experts, instead of succumbing to political gain and slogans and appeasing the calls of a few of the base on issues of repeal and reform.

The polarizing environment the country must be considered. More than laws, what we Lankans need is to learn how to speak to each other and balance the call for empathy.

As many writers have pointed, repealing Muslim personal laws overnight will be a tragedy of epic proportions. In a hate filled environment as we are in now, this will be a blow to Muslim person hood, citizenship and dignity

The process must be gradual.

We must know what provisions of the Muslim personal laws that are not compatible with our common laws are.

These must be discussed with a cross section of Muslim civil society leaders and religious actors and very particularly women. Justice must not only be done but seem to be done.

The cake for all to eat…..

During his inaugural address to parliament Justice Minister Hon. Ali Sabry roused us all to action. He said we must all reject “Jathi Wadaya” and promote “Jathikavadaya.” He spoke about one united Sri Lanka and shared with us the vision of the President for safety and dignity for all Lankans. And he concluded by saying- “let’s create an ‘Inclusive Nationalism’ and make a cake for all of us to eat.”

For Muslims participating in the baking of the cake will be easy. But the question remains as to whose ingredients will be accepted and whether the cake will be divided justly and equally?

Mr. Sabry is a Muslim and is no stranger to Muslim sentiments. Religion and rituals rank high in Muslim life. Any prospect of taking away their freedom to practice their religious laws (Sharia law) will break the spirit of the community.

Even though Minister Sabry must be bound by cabinet decisions, repealing the Muslim Laws will create much pain and uncertainty for the Muslims.

The Muslims need to be coached up and they need to be educated about what the heck is going to happen to their personal laws.

The government must bear its soul on these amendments whether to choose to call it reform or repeal!.

The Minister has a sacred duty to summon the heads of Muslim civil society, religious leaders, rights groups, victims – particularly women, to look into the impact of the proposed changes particularly if it is to repeal the Muslim personal laws.

The psychological aspects of a repeal of the Muslim Laws, will be a blow to the community and the unity of our nation. Let our nation strongly enshrined in Buddhist virtues, be known for its commitment to justice, equality and compassion.

Changes are needed, but we can’t win the battle and lose the war.

*Soraya M. Deen,  is a lawyer, community organizer and an award winning international activist. She focuses on countering violent extremism and deconstructing Received Theology by educating and empowering women to action.  She is the founder of the Muslim Women Speakers Movement and Author of SERVE: A Call to Muslims,  She is also the President and co-founder of the Interfaith Solidarity Network, one of the largest interfaith organizations in Los Angeles.

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Latest comments

  • 17
    4

    One law for all.

    Sri Lankan law must be supreme over Sharia law, Vesawalami law, Muslim law, Kandyan law, Rajapaksa law, etc.

    Man = woman

  • 4
    9

    Sori Sinhala Lanka’s solution is already in place in China in a very large scale. All Sori Sinhala Lanka has to is to bring the solution with tailoring towards local conditions, and China will eagerly oblige, even provide finance in the name of education development, and it will be win-win-win-win for China, Pakses’ pocket money, Chingakalam, grudging-resenting-money-pocketing-Muslim-leadership.

    Muslims are badly missing accommodation-event-at-harming-self Tamil hedge against Chinkalam.

  • 3
    6

    I must congratulate the top bow-wow’s of Colombo Telegraph whilst being based in the hell-hole where the colony of the beggar is strategically placed to have so many credible writers who are not afraid to pen their frustrations and thoughts.

    If these petty racist living on the proceeds of crime Rajapuk’s continue to aid and abet their fellow no class hora boru rogues especially the saffron shop soiled amude wearing gangster monks to run amok like wild beasts the Muslims should hold hands with the Tamils fight back and induce the Arab world to forcibly send back all the ayahs, cooks drivers and all the other Lankan of the Sinhala race back squatting on their hunches to demand their daily needs from the Rajapuka’s for whom they gave their lives away.
    =
    The million-dollar question I for one have is what will these swollen-headed mangy flea-ridden Rajapuk clan will do.
    #
    Similar to what happened in France a few centuries ago where the members of the then royal families were beheaded if the Rajapuk’s do not give up power migrate to Swaziland they should be beheaded.
    #
    If they choose to give up squatting on the royal less latrines they should be exported to Swaziland where Alibaba Mahindapuka and his next of kin can begin a roaring trade in deflowering virgins.

  • 2
    11

    Now. A Muslim Ministry for justice could do some changed. So, do not bark too much

    • 15
      6

      Lebbe,
      Muslims are deaf. Unless we bark loudly, they do not hear. They prefer to act deaf and go on with ‘Business as Usual’.

  • 13
    6

    Muslims have ‘Family Laws’ and ‘Personal Laws’. What are these laws and why these laws only for Muslims? Are they a different breed?

    If a Muslim man marry a woman who is under 18 years and have sex, that is legal because Muslim Law applies to the Muslim man. Sinhala man cannot marry a woman under 18 years because Roman Dutch Law applies to Sinhalayo. If a Sinhala man have even consensual sex with a woman under 18 years old that is rape. This is ridiculous. I do not know who are the dumbos that came out with these dumb laws? Why Muslims can enjoy young chicks and Sinhalayo cannot?
    ONE COUNTRY ONE LAW. In the Land of Sinhalayo and Vedda Eththo ‘Para’ people cannot have separate laws.
    ====
    “We Muslims must acknowledge that the man made Sharia laws comprising the bulk of the Muslim Family laws does not favor Muslim women.”

    “hard line Buddhists to mean the removal and repeal of the Muslim personal laws.”

    • 0
      0

      According to legends, Budhdha got married at the age of 16. His wife was 14. Age doesn’t matter. Maturity does.

      This is from internet. You are free to deny it:
      As the boy reached the age of 16, his father arranged his marriage to Yaśodharā ( Pāli: Yasodharā), a cousin of the same age. In time, she gave birth to a son, Rahula.

  • 5
    11

    A Muslim by definition is the one who accepts wholeheartedly and puts into practise without any reservation the Noble Quran and the authentic ‘Sunnah’ (methodology) of Prophet Muhammed SalAllahu Alaihi waSallam (peace and blessings be on him) and declares sincerely that there is no God worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammed SalAllahu Alaihi waSallam is the last and final messenger/servant of Allah.

    Islamic values are extracted and followed upon our Divine Scripture, the Noble Quran, the Hadith (statements) of Prophet Muhammed SalAllahu Alaihi waSallam and it is applicable universally. Sadly most of the so-called Muslim countries don’t follow this process/requirement. Practising Muslims will know what is meant. Those who violate and lie about the sacred scripture will face serious consequences.

    • 6
      8

      There is no evidence in Islam that child marriages are a religious requirement, that is mandatory. Your religious actors will have to produce evidence from authentic Islamic sources. In Islam, there are two components for a union of marriage. 1. ‘Nikah’ (Marriage Registration) and 2. ‘Waleema’ (Marital Consummation). In Islam, we consider a person below the age of puberty as a child and as an adult after attaining puberty. Only Adults are permitted the ‘Waleema’ (Marital Consummation) and there are stringent requirements for the couple based on maturity, psychology, culture and Islamic values.

      Child betrothal was a prevalent custom up to the 20th century C.E. and it is a historical fact that it was practised all over the world and by all religious faiths not restricted only to Muslims. The pros and cons of early marriage are too many to enumerate here. Enacting laws will not mean anything if justice is ignored/absent.

      Islamic values have enormous benefits to mankind. Those who recognise it, learn it and practise it may find peace and tranquillity in their lives.

  • 8
    0

    These chickens that have come home to roost….are they halal?

    • 0
      0

      Stanley – Live chickens are not Halal or Haram…
      the way they are slaughtered defines whether the meat (dead chicken) is Halal or Haram.

    • 1
      0

      why bother?

  • 9
    4

    All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) is the evil – you need to have Galle / Beruwala muslims there and also muslim women.

    We (Majority of Sri lankans of Buddhist and Catholic) waited to see if the Muslims can be smart and avoid fundamentalism and act as part of one country. More and more the ACJU and rest started taking the Muslim community to radicalization with Burka, Niquab, Muslim men wearing Thawb etc.. Look back 25-30 years and no Galle muslim would be like that.. they had no breads – cap was for Friday.. Muslims in SL started to be brain washed over last 8 years – started to ask for facial products for halal etc..

    Now enough is enough – so the law (one law to rule them all) will come. We gave u a change (being the Singhala way) and your showed you are not ready for it..

  • 4
    5

    A secular liberal mentality is subconsciously embedded to most Muslims purposely to mislead and stray them away from Islam. Sadly some fall prey to it.

    • 6
      2

      Rubbish. ‘A secular liberal mentality’ is a Muslim’s conscience telling him that something is not fair. He has probably known it in his heart all along but the brainwashing that Muslims undergo in childhood has suppressed it with a fear of hellfire.

  • 3
    1

    We had JVP chicken then FP/ITAK/TULF chicken now the Muslim chicken and they all roost well so we as Sri Lankans remain as Toilet Washers around the world since Independence.

    Should we ask the Whitman to come back or should we settle down with the Indians and the Chinese to feed all the other chickens with their chicken feed(it works is proven beyond reasonable doubt with all the Mother Lankan Children lost in the last 40 years) in SL will see to us to the eternity?? Believe me there are plenty of chickens ready to rooste…..in the land like no other.

    One World Order Toilet Washers man power supply Inc., Registered address SL, Indian Ocean

  • 2
    2

    We Muslims must acknowledge that the man made Sharia laws comprising the bulk of the Muslim Family laws does not favor Muslim women.

    What the solution that when woman want to be actress, like the men becoming actors, everyone wants to keep there children in safe direction when they living after the parents death the children will be trapped on wrong direct that is the reason or thinking to give there daughters quick in marriage the knowlege of looking after themself is week in some families.

    • 3
      0

      High Time for a Muslim Reformation

  • 8
    7

    The funniest thing is how some idol worshiping fools think they have any right to dictate anything to the adherents of any of the three Abrahamic Faiths (Judaism, Christianity & Islam).

    Maybe the idol worshipers can explain why the man who they worship as their god is dead (isn’t eternal), why the man they worship didn’t have knowledge to know he was eating “questionable meat” (isn’t omniscient) , why the man they worship abandoned his family in india, why they see fit to build statues and worship a man who would be classed as a heretic in eyes of hindus of his time ?? Also can any idol worshiper explain why they pray to and ask for their sustenance from a man who literally had to beg the people in his locality for food (isn’t self sustaining) ?

    How pathetic the state of the idol worshipers XD

    Lets also not forget the Fact that was uncovered during the previous administration and swiftly hidden; the fact that more than 70% of under age/child marriages are in the sinhalese community. lol from reading the comments on here from some of the idol worshipers of the sinhalese community I can very clearly see who are the frustrated perverts.

    • 5
      4

      sitrep24 your complete ignorance is astounding. It never ceases to amaze me that people who have lived in a Buddhist country for most of their lives can be so ignorant of the ONLY ‘religion’ that does not have God, prayer, eternal Heaven, Hell, holy books, sacrifices, blind faith, priests, idols or sin.

      • 2
        6

        Lol what !? the idol worshippers build a statue with their hands and they make prostrating gestures to it; that’s worship. I’m not surprised I have to explain such a basic thing to someone from a country filled with people who think worshiping idols they make with their own hands makes sense.

        Maybe the idol worshipers should pay attention to the rampant sexual abuse of minors that it is on going in temples and monasteries across the country. Can any idol worshiper explain why there are close to two million monks in a country that has such a small population of which only a smaller number are idol worshipers ?

        My message is simple, think if it makes sense to worship a statue someone made with their hands ? Leave the worshiping of idols. Is it not better for you to worship the All Mighty Lord that created heavens and the earth including you.

      • 1
        0

        Buddhist cosmology typically identifies six realms of rebirth and existence: gods, demi-gods, humans, animals, hungry ghosts and hells. Earlier Buddhist texts refer to five realms rather than six realms; when described as five realms, the god realm and demi-god realm constitute a single realm. Need more?

    • 0
      0

      Well said!~!

  • 5
    1

    Anyhow, to answer the matters you raised –
    .
    To start with the Buddhists do not worship idols. They bow to pay respect to their Teacher.
    .
    The Buddha had a human body. Human bodies die. That is not the same as the Buddha dying.
    .
    The Buddha knew he was eating questionable meat but did not want to deprive the donor of the opportunity of offering food.

    Siddhartha did not abandon his family. He and his family and all those that he knew were suffering from an incurable illness. Nobody had a solution to it. He left to find a cure and return with it in order to save them. Wouldn’t you do the same?
    .
    Nobody prays to the Buddha. It might look like praying to you when you see people bowing but you are wrong. For example when you see them offer flowers they are not praying, they are reflecting on the dying flowers and their own death.
    .
    Next time you want to write on Buddhism make sure you know what you are talking about. Or better still, write about Islam the most violent, cruel and merciless religion mankind has invented.

  • 1
    1

    All changed in 1995 when the minimum age to marriage changed from 12 to 18 for all the others except MMDA. Law makers want to legalize sex at 18 years but biologically teens need it at an early age. Yes, the law should be same for all. But shouldn’t the minimum age be 15 or 16 with parental approval? See how many illegal sexual relationships occur in ALL COMMUNITIES below 18. Will it stop just because law makes the min age 18? We are encouraging illegal Sex and abortions.
    Think of that too. Yes, All communities need to have the same minimum age limit, right to consent. But it should be practical too.

  • 3
    1

    Islam has been turned into a war like religion – by uneducated clots like ACJU – IN SL
    1. Muslims dont mind under invoicing or giving bribes at customs and clearing goods if they go to mosque 5 times a day..
    2. Mulims dont mind selling drugs /ganja as its part of trade.
    3. Muslims dont mind patronizing their own shops /restaurants to strengthen their own kind..
    4. Muslims dont mind having 3rd and 4th child for domindation- and dont use contraceptives.
    5. Muslims dont mind discriminating their own women – wont allow to the same mosque, cant eat at same wedding table, don”t educate the female children, no sports /dancing for girls.
    6. Muslims dont want to mix with others races – they want their own muslim international schools (See Dehiwela area now).
    7. Muslims women itself are discriminated by Wakuf , marrying under-age and draconian laws.
    8. Majority muslim houses dont have a garden and no trees are planted.. have no sense of environment or greener … see how they build houses in 6 perch land and then park cars always on the road? No sense of whats it’s like to like communally with other races..
    9. Muslim schools dont have music or drama, or girls schools dont have sports for girls.

  • 2
    0

    https://ceylontoday.lk/news/ntj-training-camp-at-al-zuhaira-madrasa-school

    Meantime, a Sufi Moulavi who said if the country needs to be liberated from Islamist extremism, the present All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) organisation, Shura council and other leading Islamist extremist organisations and sects should be completely banned.

    Recalling that, the early members of the ACJU organisation, which was formed in 1922, were traditional Muslims, he noted that around 1971, the Thowheed Jamaat, the Tabligh Jamaat, and various Wahhabi groups were able to seize power. He also stressed, at present, it is an institution based entirely on Wahhabism and none of its members are traditional Muslims.

    Meanwhile, in response to a question raised by the PCoI on the position of the ACJU on traditional Muslims’ rituals such as the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday and worshipping tombstones, he said, members of the ACJU never approved of worshipping tombstones and that they would not do anything in celebration of the Prophet’s birthday.

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