Sri Lanka Thowheed Jama’ath (SLTJ) organisation has today condemned the statement made in Parliament by the Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe about the Muslim community. They have also responded to the allegations levelled against the Muslims by the minister.
We publish below the statement issued by Sri Lanka Thowheed Jama’ath by in full:
On last 18.11.2016, Hon. Minister of Justice, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe addressed in parliament about the steps that the government of Sri Lanka has taken with regard to restraining the racialist activities in Sri Lanka. While accepting the minister’s views about taking severe legal action against those who involve and sow the racism in the country, we totally find fault on the knot that the minister has made between terrorism and Islamic organizations together with religious education institutes.
ISIS terrorists must be eradicated
Hon. Minister recorded a view point that 32 members of 4 Muslim families from Sri Lanka have gone to Syria to join the international terrorist movement, ISIS and the Sri Lankan people are much frightened with regard to it. Indeed, for the first time, the said view that some Jihad groups functioning in Sri Lanka have connection with ISIS is a point that was spread in Sri Lanka in the previous government.
However, the then Defence Secretary refused this opinion and issued a denial report in public saying that it is not only the wrong statement but also Sri Lanka has not got such an organization. Even when if it was later confirmed that a few members of a single family from Sri Lanka have gone to Syria to attach ISIS, the whole Muslims living in Sri Lanka and the total Islamic religious and civil organizations together fervently condemned this activity and had declared that ISIS was a vulgar terrorist organization and their entire agenda were un-Islamic. All the Muslims in person and with their organizations strongly said in their statements and reports that the activities of ISIS had no a minute connection with Islam and the entire Muslims in Sri Lanka were unsupportive to any form of terrorism.
No any Muslims in Sri Lanka agree with terrorism or terrorist activities. Thowheed Jama’ath, on behalf of all the Muslims in Sri Lanka, request the government of Sri Lanka to take necessary measures to immediately arrest any individual person or an organization if they keep link with any terrorist organization in Sri Lanka or outside the country.
When the situation is in such a condition, a matter that was wrongly spread a long ago against a particular community in the country and the proper answer was also given at the same time by the same community individually and organizationally, how a responsible Minister, all of a sudden, superficially without looking at the people, place, time and the situation can reveal such a statement in Parliament when the racist waves are intentionally being raised in the country against Muslims. This would definitely increase the density of the problem and fearing in all societies rather than reducing. We therefore would like to bring this matter to the utmost consideration of the Minister that tying all Muslims and Islamic organizations with terrorism will sharpen the volume of the issue between multicultural communities in our mother land.
Are Muslims brainwashed for terrorism in Islamic Religious Schools?
In Hon. Minister’s speech, he accused that the foreign Islamic scholars who come to Islamic international schools in Sri Lanka are teaching terrorist views to Muslim students in order to wash their brains towards terrorism. This false accusation was also spread in Sri Lanka by some racist movements in the majority community of the country in the ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime and the Muslims community and its organizations clearly answered to this allegation at the time of its arrival.
If such incidents are occurred in Muslims educational institutes as per the statement of the Hon. Minister, we earnestly request the Minister to take necessary action against such Islamic schools on the basis of the proper evidence and proofs.
These allegations have been put forwarded in Sri Lanka as rumours since the year 2012 without giving any single proof. A racist or a racist movement can spread a false message of this nature, but it is unfortunate that an Hon. Minister of Justice being in a very accountable position expresses such a fake statement through his tongue which is fiercely pricking the hearts and minds of helpless Muslim community of this mother Lanka. We undoubtedly consider that this statement would have created a flawed sight in the mind of other religious followers with regard to Muslims’ educational institutes.
We are very much sad to mention herewith that it is unfortunate, that the Minister’s notions about Muslims’ educational institutes are like pouring kerosene in the flaming fire of racism in Sri Lanka at the movement.
Are there fightings of religious sects among Muslims only?
Another viewpoint that the Hon. Minister has put forwarded is that Muslims are fighting among themselves with divisions of religious thoughts and views. It is natural that there are different kinds of religious sects with various opinions and views within a major religion. Such divisions are irreparable in any religion in the world. Muslims are not exceptional to it. Like Theravada and Mahayana among Buddhists, Roman Catholic and Protestant among Christians, Brahmin and Sutra among Hindus, Muslims are also divided with different kinds of sects and groups with different views and opinions. Though, Islam does not allow these divisions among Muslims. Due to misunderstanding of certain things, Muslims are divided themselves.
However, the Minister’s talk has created a notion among the general public that the Muslims only have such divisions and group fighting among their religious sects. When it is connotatively said, together with the erroneous views that the Muslims’ educational institutes are teaching Jihad motivated syllabi for Muslim students to join ISIS and Muslims are fighting among themselves creating disharmony to the nation, these opinions of the Minister would certainly make an awful remarks say Muslims are terrifying people and they are needless to this nation as said some racist movements.
Is the General Secretary of Sri Lanka Thowheed Jama’ath, Abdur Razick remanded for insulting Buddha?
As the Minister has revealed the above misinformation which would be able to cause a misunderstanding code among other religious people about Sri Lankan Muslims, he also has said the arrest and remand of the General Secretary of Thowheed Jama’ath was on the basis of the reason that he had said “Buddha ate human flesh”. While talking about taking action against the Buddhist – Muslim extremism, Hon. Minister joined and knotted the General Secretary of Thowheed Jama’ath with extremism.
We would like to remark here that this expression of the Hon. Minister’s is too being incorrectly portrayed by the people. We never accept the descriptive wording of the Hon. Minister looping Thowheed Jama’ath with extremism. This is because of the fact that Thowheed Jama’ath never talked about using harsh extremist words like beating, cutting, attacking or killing towards any majority or minority religious individuals or groups of the country at any movement.
Whenever some members of specific racist organizations described Islam, Al-Quran and Muslims wrongly, Thowheed Jama’ath always faced them with democratically accepted ways and means of expressions so far. It is true that the racist movements are up to this minute, expressing heartburning phrases damaging our religious belief, threatening us that they are preparing to kill us in the forthcoming days, and startling to demolish our properties. But Thowheed Jama’ath would like to strongly emphasise that we have never involved such extremist activities up to the date in the country.
In the same way, the Minister has said that the reason for the arrest and the remand of the General Secretary of Thowheed Jama’ath was due to insulting Buddha. This view of the Hon. Minister is false because there has been already a court case on trial for several months without verdict whether the Secretary has insulted the Buddha or not. The court has not yet judged that the Secretary has involved in insulting a religion. Showing a pending court case without verdict and describing it as the cause for the arrest and remand of the Secretary is untruthful and sowing unnecessary viewpoints in the mind of the ordinary people.
We would like to bring this matter to the Hon. Minister’s notice that court has not accounted for the cause of arrest and remand of General Secretary as the reason that the Minister has expressed.
Justice should be erected against racism
Although the Parliamentary speech of the Hon. Minister of Justice began as the views against those who reveal racism, it is vividly clear that the all knotted things with terrorism in the middle are oriented with Muslims and Islamic organizations.
At this critical point, it is true to say that the viewpoints of this nature would absolutely produce huge vibrations in the general public of the country where racist opinions are continuously disseminated in social and other media. We and the all Muslims of this nation are fearful whether the views stated in the Minister’s conversation would pay the way for the racist who have been thirsty for the past few years to make divisions among the multi-ethnic diversities through ethnic riots, extend opportunities for foreign powers who are very much ambitious to induce local turmoil that provides them profits, and give provender for those who are wandering with power hunger politicizing everything in the country to protect their seats in Parliament and come into power from the back door.
We therefore earnestly request the Hon. Minister to publicize true information and views without providing opportunities for such turncoats.
Muslims are not third class citizen of this country. We are aboriginal citizens of this nation. Our and our forefathers’ umbilical cords were buried in this land. The contribution of Muslims to this country in relation to the growth, development and co-existence are equal in accordance with the percentage of the Muslim population and it cannot be underestimated in any way. For the past three war-prevailed decades, Muslims of this country suffered a lot and being chased away from their native place as they severely opposed terrorism and separatism. So far they wander here and there as refugees without being resettled. Thowheed Jama’ath would like to further elucidate the fact on behalf of the Muslims very clearly that Sri Lankan Muslims so far in the history of the nation did not make any attempt to separate the country. We have been always peace loving people of this mother Lanka. We love this country very much as it is our flesh and blood.
M.F.M RASMIN MISc
Thawheed Jama’ath (SLTJ)