The minister has implied that 32 Muslims have joined the ISIS recently.
Issuing a statement today MCSL president N M Ameen said: “We strongly object to this misplaced statement. The facts given by the Honourable Minister were reported in the media more than one year ago when a Sri Lankan combatant died fighting with ISIS”.
He has pointed out that there have been no new reports of any others involved since this was reported last year.
“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 Hon. Rajapakshe include women and children.” he said.
Amen said: “Hon Wijedasa Rajapakshe’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 Hon. Wijedasa Rajapakshe. Certain parts of his statement are verbatim of the hate speech spewed by the extremist priest Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero.
“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 secretary.
“A little known fact that did not attract any media attention in July 2013 was that the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulema and Muslim civil society intervened in court in support of Ven. Soranathota Chandrarathana Thero who filed action and pleaded with the magistrate to sentence Abdul Razick and six others with maximum punishment. This is something that we would do irrespective of race or religion as we would expect from our governments in power.
“As alleged by the Hon. 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 Rajapakshe to provide the evidence and take immediate action against anyone may have violated the laws of the land irrespective of ethnicity or religion.
“The Muslim community is 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. Many youth too have started social media campaigns against the Muslim community. The statements made by the Hon Minister would only help to disturb peace and promote the interests of certain vested interests to destroy our country. We urge the Hon Minister and the Government to investigate this and take appropriate action. We urge the government to take immediate steps to halt all form of extremism and restore peace and harmony for all Sri Lankans.”