IUMS demands Sri Lankan government to protect the rights of Muslims, establishing dialogue with their leaders

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IUMS demands Sri Lankan government to protect the rights of Muslims, establishing dialogue with their leaders

All praise be to Allah and peace and blessings be upon Muhammad, God’s messenger, his family, companions and followers;

The International Union of Muslim Scholars follows with deep concern the news and continued reports on racial tension in different regions of Sri Lanka, especially in central regions where a huge number of Muslims live. These tensions have affected the religious rights of the Muslim society and the business situation for Muslims in Sri Lanka.

The union has also followed the acts carried out by some extremist Buddhist groups backed by major officials in the country. These incidents included attacks on mosques, attempts to demolish them, harassment of Muslim youth and Muslim women observing the Islamic veil mandated by Islam upon every Muslim woman in the presence of men who are strangers to her. In addition, there have been slander campaigns against Muslims and their presence under claims that they form a threat to Buddhists. Some of these extremists have carried out recurrent attacks on the shops owned to Muslims, their trade markets and stood in the way of their business. These incidents as reported are a flagrant violation of the freedom of faith and freedom to practice religious rites.

In view of these extremist acts by these racist groups against our fellow Muslims in Sri Lanka, the IUMS views and asserts the following:

1- The union demands the Sri Lankan government to take all required procedure to appease the situation on the ground, achieve true partnership among the citizens of the same country, support social peace among its different sects and spread a spirit of equal rights and duties among the constituents of the Sri Lankan society. The union demands the government to leave no room for religious and racist discrimination and to confront those who wish to spark religion-based conflict and create sectarian strife after the prevalence of peace and security in Sri Lanka. 

The government is responsible for the security of all citizens and their rights according to international laws and all heavenly laws and so it must use firmness before seditions rage and rear their head in which case the loser would be all the components of Sri Lanka.

2- The union calls the Sri Lankan government to start dialogue with representatives of Muslims, and form committees to resolve the outstanding issues between extremist groups and Muslims in order to reach a frame of permanent peaceful coexistence that protects rights and duties.

3- The union calls the Organization of Islamic Cooperation as well as civil and rights organizations to put political pressure on the Sri Lankan government to guarantee the existence and rights of Muslims and communicate a message to the Sri Lankan government that these organizations pay heed to the security of Muslims on the island of Sri Lanka and their rights.

4- The union demands Muslims in Sri Lanka to unite, stand as one front, reject violence and take appropriate legal procedures to face the current challenges. In this regard, the union values the steps taken by the Scholars Association in Sri Lanka that decided to forsake the right to issue "Halal” certificates for national products in order to end the hate campaign.

5- The union expresses willingness to visit Sri Lanka represented by a high-profile delegation to examine closely the situation of Muslims and hold talks with the government and with scholars there to achieve security, stability, and peaceful coexistence based on justice and equality in the country. The union wishes nothing for this country other than prosperity built on a basis of tolerance, complete citizenship rights for everyone, and advancement toward comprehensive development and welfare. The union sees in this the good, progress, and revival for everyone: Muslims and Buddhists, government and people. Allah – Exalted He be – said {Help you one another in benevolence and piety, but help you not one another in sin and rancor: and fear Allah.} [Quran 5:2]

Doha : 22 Jumada Al-Awwal 1434 H
Dated : 3 April 2013

Dr. Ali Al-Qaradaghi                                            Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

IUMS Secretary General                                           IUMS President