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  • Niqab Ban In France Violates Human Rights Of Muslim Women: UN Human Rights Committee
    The United Nations Human Rights Committee said France’s niqab ban violates the human rights of Muslim women and risks “confining them to their homes.” Women in France can be fined up to 150 euros for wearing the niqab, a full-face...
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  • Rathana At It Again; ACJU Is The Punching Bag For Everyone
    By Mass L. Usuf Mass Usuf Let this column begin with a Disclaimer. It is only an analysis and the writer is not holding a brief to defend or protect the All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulema (
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  • Democracy Threatened: Impunity, Political Patronage & Rollback Of Devolution
    By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole – R. Sasilan: Assistant Commissioner of Elections Today we are opening new living quarters for our Election Commission’s man-in-charge in Batticaloa. I am so glad because R. Sasilan is a man I am proud of. He stands up for what is right without fear or favor. When a minister distributed gifts in elections some years ago, he confiscated a gift pack and filed a complaint with the police. The police, as often happens, disappeared the evidence. Sasilan sent a report to the Commission and that too disappeared....
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  • Coronavirus funerals: Sri Lanka's Muslims decry forced cremation
      Image copyrightEPA Image captionSri Lankan Muslim women wait for a Covid-19 test. Some in the community are fighting cremation rules Sri Lankan authorities are insisting on cremation for coronavirus victims - a practice forbidden by Islam. The nation's minority Muslim community says they are using the pandemic to discriminate, writes BBC Sinhala's Saroj Pathirana. On 4 May, Fathima Rinoza, a 44-year-old mother of three from Sri Lanka's minority Muslim population, was admitted to hospital with a suspected case of Covid-19. Fathima, who lived in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, had been suffering from respiratory problems and the authorities feared she had caught the virus. On the day she was admitted to hospital, the family was "set upon" by the authorities, her husband Mohamed Shafeek said. "The police and military along with...
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  • ජිනීවා මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලයේදී රටවල් 5කින් ලංකාවට චෝදනා
    පාස්කු ප්‍රහාර සම්බන්ධයෙන් සැකපිට අත්අඩංගුවට ගෙන සිටින නීතිඥ හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා රඳවා තබාගැනීම, විශේෂ බළකායේ සැරයන් සුනිල් රත්නායකට ජනාධිපති සමාව ලබාදීම ඇතුළු කරුණු ගණනාවක් පදනම් කරගනිමින් එක්සත් රාජධානිය ඇතුළු රටවල් 5ක කණ්ඩායමක් එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලයේදී ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට චෝදනා එල්ල කර ඇතැයි ජිනීවා තානාපති...
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  • මුස්ලිම් නීතිඥයාට එරෙහිව 'ත්‍රස්ත සාක්කි' ගෙතූ රහස් පොලිසියට විනිසුරු විරෝධය

      පාස්කු බෝම්බ ප්‍රහාරයට සම්බන්ධ යැයි ජනමාධ්‍ය මගින් ප්‍රචාරය කරමින් ත්‍රස්තවාදය වැළැක්වීමේ පනත යටතේ අත්අඩංගුවට ගනු ලැබු මුස්ලිම් ජාතික නීතිඥවරයකුට එරෙහිව ව්‍යාජ සාක්ෂි ගෙතීමට රහස් පොලිසිය විසින් දරණ ලද උත්සාහයක් විනිසුරුවරයකුගේ මැදිහත්වීම නිසා ව්‍යර්ථ වී තිබේ.

    නීතිඥ හිජාස් ඕමර් හිස්බුල්ලාහ් රඳවා...
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  • Gnanasara Thero Once Again Inciting Sinhalese Against Muslims
    Malicious campaign pushing discriminated and frustrated Muslims to wall Few weeks ago Ven Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thero, known for inciting Sinhalese and unleashing violence against Muslims, said he would dissolve his organisation Bodu Bala Sena as it has achieved its target of setting up a Sinhala Buddhist government without minority support. Latheef Farook Following the election of the present government to power on 15 November 2019, he was rather quiet. Now that the parliamentary election is forthcoming, he has started his campaign once again pitting the Sinhalese against Muslims.There were reports that during the presidential elections in November 2019 Buddhist monks and temples were used to demonize Muslims to win Sinhala votes assuring security. As part of this campaign to win Sinhala votes, he attempted to brand as extremist, several...
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  • Hejaaz: A lawyer for all seasons

    A year has passed since the deadly Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka. Victims, survivors, and the general public still await answers. Amidst these desperate demands for accountability, Hejaaz Hizbullah, a prominent Muslim lawyer, is suddenly – and most unexpectedly – arrested and detained.

    I met Hejaaz during the first-ever debating tournament I participated in. He led the team from S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia, and I represented St. Joseph’s College, Colombo. Our teams made it to the finals that year. I recall Hejaaz as a fierce competitor with the rare gift for conveying an argument with charisma and conviction. He also had a great sense of humour, taking friendly banter in good spirit. The Thomians triumphed that year, and deservedly so.

    What strikes me now is...
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  • Muslim writer in jail for 60 days without "explicit evidence"
    A group of activists in Sri Lanka has called upon the government for the unconditional release of a Muslim writer who has been held in detention for more than
    sixty days without “explicit evidence being produced”.

    In a letter to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim activists say that Ramzy Razeek arrested on April 09 for allegedly violating the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Cyber Crimes Legislation has also been denied medical treatment and legal access in detention.

    “Despite orders from the Magistrate to allow him access to medicine, reliable sources state that his health condition is deteriorating due to lack of access to specific medicines of which he is in dire need. A lawyer attempting to visit Razeek this week, was also denied...
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  • அடையாள அணிவகுப்புக்கு முன் ஹிஜாஸின் அடையாளத்தைக் காட்ட சிஐடியினர் முயற்சித்தார்கள்
    இரு சிறுவர்களிடமிருந்தும் வாக்குமூலம் பெறுவதற்கு முன்னர் சிஐடியினர் தனது அறையில் வைத்து ஹிஜாஸ் ஹிஸ்புல்லாஹ்வின் புகைப்படத்தை அவர்களுக்குக் காண்பிப்பதற்கு முயற்சித்தார்கள் என கோட்டை நீதவான் ரங்க திசாநாயக்க தெரிவித்துள்ளார்.

    புத்தளம் மத்ரஸாவொன்றின் மாணவர்களுக்கு தீவிரவாதத்தைப் போதித்தார் என சிஐடியினர்...
    Read More...
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This could be your last Ramadaan

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REMEMBER the beginning of Ramadan last year: the festive supermarkets with their jampacked aisles, the makeshift roadside stalls outside restaurants selling crisp sambusas and subiya, the sounds of Adhan emanating from Masajid...

My house overlooked a Maghsalat-Al-Amwaat Al-Khairiyyah (a charitable organization which prepares bodies for burial in the Islamic manner), and as I walked home from the neighborhood supermarket laden with packages of food and other essentials in preparation of the next day’s fast, I caught sight of a family accompanying a bier in a hearse. The women huddled together, sobbing quietly, while the men stood at a distance in somber silence.

It struck me: While I was going home to the comfort of my home and the company of my family, this person was being dispatched alone, to answer the stern questioning of the grave. While I would be given the opportunity to fast and perform other deeds as Allah willed, this person, who had been given the same opportunity in past years, had been deprived of it this year.

Our Imam and Khateeb, may Allah preserve him, used to remind the congregants of the favors of Allah in allowing us to witness yet another Ramadan, by contrasting our state with those of the people of the graves, who would gladly give the world and all that is in it if they could, in lieu of the chance to worship Allah a little more, to add the tiniest good deeds to their scale that would enable them to draw closer to Paradise and take them further away from the Fire.

In a khutbah, Imam Abdul Bari Al-Thubayti, may Allah preserve him, said: “Whoever remembers death frequently is honored with three things: hastening towards repentance, contentment and energy in performing acts of worship; and whoever forgets death is punished with three things: delaying repentance, lack of contentedness and laziness in acts of worship.”

With disturbing reports of the MERS virus and the resultant panic pouring in from all over the world, it is no wonder that our thoughts naturally turn to death and dying.

Unlike some belief systems which consider the contemplation of death “inauspicious” or “macabre”, Muslims are encouraged to regularly remind themselves and others about the inevitable end of life, and what awaits a person in the Hereafter.

The Prophet once stood at the edge of a grave and called out to his Companions: “O my brothers! For this, prepare yourselves.” (Ibn Majah) and in another narration, he said: “O people! Remember often the destroyer of pleasures: death.” (Al-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah)

Once a man asked the Prophet , “Who is the wisest among the people, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied: “The one who remembers death most often and the one who is best prepared to meet it. These are the truly wise, honored in this life and distinguished in the Hereafter.” (Ibn Majah, Al-Tabarani).

The remembrance of death acquires a special significance with the advent of Ramadan, since it is the season of Hope and Blessings and an opportunity to earn innumerable rewards that can be reaped eternally, which is open to everyone equally.

Yet, many of us greet Ramadan with a sense of complacent déjà vu, a “been-there, done-that” lassitude, that could cost us dearly. Let’s face it: for many of us Ramadan has turned into a time for socializing with friends and extended family, spending hours preparing and sampling traditional dishes, watching TV sitcoms from Iftar to Isha – to the extent that we even spend the precious nights of Ramadan in auto-pilot mode, performing our prayers perfunctorily before hitting the supermarkets, malls, coffee shops and Internet cafes to shop or while the night away.

Somewhere at the back of our minds is the assurance that there’s always next year – or a succession of years – to count on, when we will magically have the “Ramadan of our dreams” with plenty of time to read the Qur’an, stand in prayer at night, seek forgiveness in the early morning hours, serve the ailing and poor, be hospitable to our neighbors and friends.

However, the sad truth is that as the years pass by, our energy and health dissipates and our responsibilities and distractions increase exponentially, distancing us from the mirage of the perfect Ramadan even further... until it may be too late.

The Prophet advised us: “Hasten to do good deeds before you become busy. Are you waiting for such straitened circumstances which will make you unmindful of devotion? Or such prosperity which will make you corrupt? Or such disease which will disable you? Or such senility which will make you mentally unstable? Or sudden death? Or the Dajjaal (Anti-Christ), who is the worst apprehended (sign of the Hou r)? Or (are you waiting) for the Hour? That will be most grievous and bitter.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

We have no guarantees that we will live to see another Ramadan, let us seize each blessing with eagerness and each opportunity to earn rewards with enthusiasm, to make this the best Ramadan of our lives.

Rahla Khan

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