By Latheef Farook –
A group of Sri Lankan Muslim expatriates in the West, comprising mainly professionals and intellectuals, observed “Remembrance Week” – between 8 and 14 of December 2022- marking the violence against Sri Lankan Muslims. This campaign which continued uninterrupted until the people’s uprising caused by economic bankruptcy and political instability and the realization by the Sinhalese that the hate campaign against the Muslims campaign had been used as a political tool by Rajapaksa brothers to return to power.
As part of this remembrance week Al Bayan TV which is based in Leicester in the UK organized a webinar highlighting the atrocities committed and the destruction of Muslim residential, commercial and industrial projects besides killing innocent Muslims.
Participants included Professor Aiyoob Azmin from Canada, Professor Imtiyaz Razak from Delware Valley University,USA, Prof Hyder Ali from France, and Ayub Khan from Canada and me – from Sri Lanka. The webinar held on Sunday December 8 was conducted by Shaikh Ismail Munaf, Managing Director of Al Bayan TV.
While highlighting details of the atrocities, the participants emphasized the need to prevent such hate campaigns which demonized Muslims and divided the Sinhalese and Muslims communities.
While insisting on the need to restore Muslim rights participants emphasized the need for measures to undo damage caused so far. They also insisted on the need for measures to re establish better ties and harmony between the two communities – Sinhalese and Muslims
Webinars and other such measures are needed in view of the presence of global anti Muslims forces in Sri Lanka such as United States, Europe, Israel and Hindutva government of India with their agendas against Muslims-which result in pitting communities against each other.
This well planned and executed hate campaign against the Muslims commenced soon after the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam, LTTE, in May 2009. It continued until the people’s uprising which overthrew President Gotabya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who were accused of carrying out this campaign for political purposes.
While Sri Lankan Muslims living abroad remain conscious about the plight of Muslims here in the island the Muslim community remain clueless and indifferent to conspiracies against them.
This is the reason why no such program was organized by Muslims in the island. Muslim political parties, with a reputation for going after position and perks dismissing the rights of the community and the country miserably failed to organize any such event reminding the country of violence and injustice to Muslims.
So is the case with the religious body All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulema, ACJU, which failed to use even the Friday Juma sermons to enlighten Muslims of the atrocities and warn them of the need to be vigilant to avert such a tragedy in future.
Every street corner there are asociatio0ns and societies. Even they failed to issue statements to remind the nation of the atrocities against Muslims. Civil society too, remain, by and large, inactive.
Instead some Muslims honoured these very same politicians who were proved to be the architects of the persecution against Muslims by inviting them for their weddings.
This is the sad state of affairs of the Muslim community which remains clueless to conspiracies as hostile elements remain active.
Isn’t it time for Muslim politicians, ulemas, civil society, professionals, educated women and all others to wake up and join hands with enlightened elements in the Sinhalese community fighting for restoration of democracy and national rights to work towards common benefit of the country?