Thursday, April 15, 2021
   
Text Size

Follow SLMuslims on


 

Latest News

  • A country obsessed with racial and religious conflicts
    Sri Lanka, as a nation has been wasting time debating sensitive racial and religious issues for the past several years, without gaining anything. Only thing the country has been witnessing as a result is communities distancing themselves from each other, while portraying a false unity among them. 
    The situation seems to have come to a head with people of various communities being emotionally charged over these issues subsequent to the attacks on three Christian churches and three major tourist hotels by the Islamic terrorists on April 21, 2019, which was also the Easter Sunday.
    The terrorist attacks which caught the nation off-guard demanded united action by all communities and political parties to handle the immediate situation and to prevent future recurrence of...
    Read More...
  • Burqa ban: Security, human rights and male chauvinism
    A few years ago, on a Turkish beach exclusively for women, a bikini-clad woman offered her prayers. The video clip of the woman going through the postures of the Muslim prayer went viral and created a major debate among the Muslims.  Some censured her for not adhering to the dress code for prayers, but others said what mattered was her piety and not the dress.
    Following the release of the Easter Sunday terror attack commission report, Sri Lanka is mulling whether to ban burqa – the Muslim dress that covers a female body from head to toe – and niqab, which only shows the eyes of the wearer, but the issue needs to be looked at from human rights, security and spiritual angles to come to a right decision.
    If at the one end of the spectrum is public nudity, burqa will...
    Read More...
  • South African Muslim bodies seek intervention over burqa ban in Sri Lanka Foreign Minister of South Africa urged to intervene
    South African Muslim organisations have called on the country’s foreign minister to intervene in the proposed Sri Lankan ban on the burqa and closure of hundreds of Islamic schools. This followed the announcement by Sri Lanka''s minister for public security, Sarath Weerasekera, during the weekend that his country would ban the traditional full-face covering worn by some Muslim women because it posed a threat to national security. This was quickly followed by a statement from the Sri Lankan foreign ministry, which said a decision would only be taken on the proposal after consultations and further discussion. The United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA) has now asked South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Naledi Pandor to intervene in the matter. UUCSA had earlier also called for such intervention when...
    Read More...
  • Banning Burqas and Madrasas illegal: Fmr MP
    Former MP M.M .Zuhair said yesterday it would be unlawful to ban Burqas and Madrasas. Issuing a statement, he said some observations and recommendations of the Commission on Easter Sunday attacks are invasive of the absolute protection given to every person under Article 10 of the Sri Lanka Constitution. He said the Commission’s report though good in parts, can be seen as an attempted assault on Islam for the heinous crimes of a dozen suicide bombers. The right to the freedom stated in Article 10 is ‘assured to all religions’ under Article 9. No one, not even Presidential Commissions can invite or promote the State or any limb of the Executive or Judiciary to violate the freedom guaranteed under Article 10.This protection is guaranteed notwithstanding any national security concerns, as the law stands today. In this constitutionally...
    Read More...
  • Pakistan says likely ban on Niqab in SL to serve as injury on Muslims
    The Ambassador of Pakistan to Sri Lanka, Saad Khattak today said the likely ban on Niqab in Sri Lanka will only serve as an injury to the feelings of ordinary Sri Lankan Muslims and Muslims across the globe. In a tweet, the Ambassador said that at today’s economically difficult time due to COVID-19 pandemic and other image related challenges faced by the country at the international fora, such divisive steps in the name of security, besides accentuating economic difficulties, will only serve as fillip to further strengthen wider apprehensions about fundamental human rights of minorities in the country. Minister of Public Security Rear Admiral (Retd.) Dr. Sarath Weerasekera said today that in addition to banning the burqa, the cabinet proposal would also include banning the niqab which covers the face of the wearer except the eyes. The...
    Read More...
  • යුරෝපයේ රටවල් 8 කින් හිස්බුල්ලාට සහාය
    මානව හිමිකම් වෙනුවෙන් පෙනී සිටින ප්‍රමුඛ නීතිඥවරයකු වන හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා මහතා වැනි මානව හිමිකම් ආරක්ෂා කරන්නන්ට ගරු කරන ලෙස ශ්‍රී ලංකා රජයෙන් ඉල්ලා සිටිමින් යුරෝපීය රටවල් අටක මානව හිමිකම් තානාපතිවරුන් ඒකාබද්ධ නිවේදනයක් නිකුත් කර තිබේ. නෙදර්ලන්තය, ජර්මනිය, එංගලන්තය ස්වීඩනය, එස්ටෝනියාව, ලිතුවේනියාව, ලක්සම්බර්ග් සහ ෆින්ලන්තය...
    Read More...
  • Eight EU HR Ambassadors raise concern over Hejaaz Hizbullah
    In a statement issued today, Eight Human Rights  Ambassadors of Europe including the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden called on the Sri Lankan government to " respect human rights defenders such as Hizbullah". The statement issued by the Ambassadors of the United Kingsdom, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Estonia and the Netherlands said that after ten months of Detention, Hejaaz Hizbullah was being accused of speech related offences. Prominent Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah was arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department on the 14th of April 2020. He was thereafter accused in the media of various activities related to terrorism. He was thereafter produced on the 18th of February 2021 where the Attorney General informed court that the entire case against Hizbullah was to be based on purported statements made by children. Hizbullah...
    Read More...
  • Circular on burial of COVID-19 victims issued
    The circular containing the guidelines with regard to the burial of COVID-19 victims has been issued, the Health Ministry said. Some key guidelines are as follows, The relatives of the deceased should inform the Director/ Head of the health care institution (Where the death has occurred) of their desire to bury the corpse without delay. The Director of the hospital/ Head of the health care institution should obtain a written request from relatives for burial. The relatives need to provide a coffin in advance. It is the duty of the director/ Head of health care institution to transport the corpse in a coffin provided by the relatives to a designated location in Colombo Institute of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (office of JMO) / BH Welikanda where the corpse will be received by the designated officer. The vehicle transporting the...
    Read More...
  • Muslims to raise concerns over Iranaithivu burial with global bodies
    A leading Muslim organisation in Sri Lanka will this week send an official letter of concern to the global Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the World Muslim Congress, seeking their intervention to urge the Sri Lankan government to allocate a decent land for the burial of Muslim COVID-19 victims. The Daily Mirror learns that the Sri Lanka Islamic Centre, which is a member of the World Muslim Congress will raise serious concerns with the global bodies and will also send a letter to the World Muslim Congress office in Geneva urging for immediate intervention after the government announced that burials of the COVID-19 dead would take place on the Iranaithivu Island, in the Gulf of Mannar. Senior Muslim officials said they were disappointed at the government’s decision to allocate the Iranaithivu Isle for the burials and instead urged...
    Read More...
  • Hizbullah and Madrasa School Principal further remanded
    Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah and Principal of Madrasa School Mohammed Shakeel were further remanded till March 18 by the Fort Magistrate’s Court today. They were earlier remanded under section 2 (1) (h) of the PTA and section 3(1) of the ICCPR Act.   http://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/Hizbullah-and-Madrasa-School-Principal-further-remanded/108-206945 Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
    Read More...
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9

Dambulla Kahiriya Jumma Mosque

By Latheef Farook

User Rating: / 17
PoorBest 

Symbol of Muslims’ rights and dignity

By Latheef Farook

It is almost a month and half since a mob brought in from outside the area, led by a Buddhist monk, and vandalized Dambulla Khairiya Jumma Mosque on Friday 20 April 2012 in violation of all laws of the country and all known human decency.

The beleaguered Muslims await justice while the mob remains free backed by some undisclosed Buddhist Organizations.

The island is passing through one of its most difficult times in the independent history. There are numerous burning issues, both local and international, to be dealt with. The West in general has been very hostile since the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in May 29. On the other hand this is the time after 30 years of ethnic killings every effort needs to be made to bring communities together to move the country ahead.

In this critical time, instead of concentrating on these issues, a handful of racists, often led by Buddhist monks, started attacking mosques and madarasas which pose no threat to anyone.

Is there any need to antagonize the island’s Muslims and thereby antagonize the Muslim countries which remain a source of employment to almost a million Sri Lankans strengthening our economy besides having friendly relations with the island?

However the unanswered question is why not they campaign against ever rising crime, corruption, lawlessness, rape, incests, liquor trade, casinos, prostitution and the like to clean up the society? Do these miscreants understand the seriousness of their disastrous campaign? The frightening question is where will this end? Are we heading towards another July 83 pogrom?

The unanswered questions are who are these vandals? From where did they emerge? Who is financing and organizing them? Why no legal action against them? Isn’t it time that the government step in and save the country from yet another communal carnage?

However there is still hope for  the country  because the mob attack on Dambulla mosque was condemned by mainstream Sinhalese community as a whole .For example from politicians, journalists, Buddhist monks and even ultra nationalists distanced themselves dismissing this as a despicable act . UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa said this vandalism has nothing to do with Buddhism or the majority Sinhalese community. The country is yet to hear from the opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe on this burning issue.

Thus the good news is that this was not a dispute between Sinhalese and Muslims, instead lawlessness of handful of, perhaps, ultra nationalists backed by anti Muslim external forces, aimed at political gains.

The day after the incident, Saturday 21 April, 2012 morning, Senior Minister A.H.M.Fowzie, Minister Rishard Bathiuddin accompanied by several others went to Dambulla and made arrangements to open the mosque which was closed for prayer previous day.

In the evening on the same day, 21 April 2012, Muslim politicians, moulavis, civil society members and others gathered after Maghreb prayer at the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulmea head quarters, Maradana, to discuss the issue.

Amongst those attended the meeting were  ACJU  President Rizvi Mufti who presided, ACJU General Secretary Mubarak Moulavi, Ministers Rauf Hakeem , A.H.M.Fawzie, Rishard Badurdeen, former minister A.R.M.Mansoor,parliamentarians A.H.M Azver, Bashir Shegu Dawood, Feisal Cassim, Provincial Councilor Mujibur Rahman,lawyer Faisz Mustapha and several others.

Vandalism at Dambulla mosque took place in broad day light under the watchful of eyes of police. Thus the Muslim community expected the meeting to call President Mahinda Rajapakse to bring the culprits to book, restore law and order and ensure the rights and dignity of Muslims.

Instead the tone of the meeting was to yield to the demands of the mob. For example Minister Rishard Badurdeen said that the government will give a larger   land and even help build the new mosque.

Only provincial councilor Mujibur Rahman emphasized the need to pressure the government for legal action against those who vandalized the mosque. He also pointed out that if we agree to shift the mosque there would be no end .They may even call for the demolition of other mosques all over the country.

At the meeting it was unanimously agreed;

1-To condemn the vandalism at Dambulla Mosque.

2-All Muslim parliamentarians to sign a letter to President Mahinda Rajapakse appealing him to bring the perpetrators to book, protect the mosque and ensure justice.

3-Not to agree to demolish or shift the mosque.

4- To go for legal action seeking justice and protection.

5—Minister Rauf Hakeem to raise the issue at the cabinet meeting.

6- Any decision on the fate of the Dambulla Mosque to be decided by the special Jamiyathul Ulema committee which was to request the trustees of the Dambulla Mosque to consult them before taking any decision as this has become a national issue today.

Meanwhile a group of Muslims decided to hold peaceful demonstrations, but the ACJU opposed the move and asked Muslims not to join any demonstration instead to pray and fast.

On Tuesday 24 April 2012 a meeting, attended by several organizations, was held at the Maligawatta Young Men’s Muslim Association office to discuss the issue of peaceful demonstration. The ACJU President Rizvi Mufti said that that the ACJU will not be able to hold the demonstration under its banner, but   assured all his support in his private capacity.

However  the ACJU published advertisements in the media asking Muslims not to take part in   peaceful demonstrations but to wait until President Mahinda Rajapakse   returns to the country. 

On Wednesday 25 April 2012 a meeting was held at Senior Minister Fowzie’s office attended by Muslim parliamentarians to try to stop  peaceful demonstration. On Thursday 26 April 2012 after Isha prayer there were calls in the mosques all over Colombo asking people not to participate in demonstrations.

DEFIANCE was the only response of the Muslims island wide for the ACJU call not to join   demonstrations.

On Thursday 26 April 2012 shops and other business establishments were closed throughout the East and even in Puttalam. On the following day Muslims conducted peaceful demonstrations opposite Devatagaha Mosque in Colombo and other places despite severe pressure from leading Muslim personalities not do so.

Despite pressure demonstration was held outside Dewatagah Mosque on Friday 27 April 2012.  No Muslim parliamentarian participated, but was attended by Tamil politician Mano Ganeshan and leftist Sinhala politician Wikramabahu Karunaratne. They both condemned this racist vandalism. Manu Ganeshan even blamed the ultra nationalist Jathika Hela Urumaya for being this vandalism.

Up to date nothing was done to implement the decisions taken at ACJU meeting on 21 April. Some said that all Muslim parliamentarians signed the appeal drafted by an eminent lawyer. However, many believe, that Senior Minister Fowzie who had undertaken to hand it over to President Mahinda Rajapakse had not done so far.

Since then Parliament met several times and no Muslim parliamentarian bothered to raise this issue and no Muslim minister raised the issue in the cabinet. Perhaps they were scared that by raising this issue they may lose their positions. Instead, had they raised the issue, they would have earned the respect of all.

Some said that President may come out with a solution after the Wesak. Wesak came and went and even Poson is approaching, but there was no sign of any solution. However the failure on the part of the government to deal with the mob encouraged them to continue their lawlessness turning Muslims   helpless and frustrated.

Meanwhile the ACJU team which discussed the issue with President Rajapakse has not  informed the public of the outcome of the meeting.

However campaign has been underway in mosques sermons, radio programs and other means canvassing support for what they describe as peaceful solution –no one knows what does it means.

The government’s failure to take legal action against the perpetrators, Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratne’s order to shift the mosque and the decision taken by Sinhala government officials without   Muslim participation to postpone a decision on the issue for six months indicate the government patronage.

Shifting of the mosque means yielding to the demand of lawless elements. This may not end there. Already some monks entered a mosque off Bullers Road in Colombo and threatened people there not to pray. A similar incident had taken place in a mosque in Ariyawatta, Kurunegala .Yet another mosque near the Dehiwala zoo was attacked by a mob led by monks.

Now the question is where will this organized vandalism end? The island’s Muslim community, abandoned by their politicians, remains a deeply frustrated lot.

Under the circumstance, some innocent Muslims angered by continuous vandalisation of mosques   may inevitably respond and create a potentially dangerous situation which the country cannot afford especially after the 30 year ethnic carnage.

Login Form