2010/09/20 දින දෙරණ රූපවාහිණීයෙහි රාත්රී 8.00 “අද දෙරණ” පුවත් විකාශනයේ ප්රථම පුවත වශයෙන් විකාශය වූ ප්රවෘතියක් සම්බන්ධයෙන් මුස්ලීම් ප්රජාව ඇතුළු සමස්ථ ශ්රී ලාංකීය ජාතියේම අවධානයට කරුණු කිහිපයක් මෙම යහමඟ අඩවිය හරහා එම ප්රවෘත්තිය විකාශනය වූ පසු දිනම මා විසින් “වහාබිසම් පිලිබදව දෙරණ හෙලිදරව්ව” යන මැයෙන් ලිපියක් ඉදිරිපත් කලෙමි.
ඉහත ප්රවෘත්තිය සම්බන්ධයෙන් ජාතියේ අවධානය යොමු කරමින් කරුණු දක්වමින් මා අයාචනයක් කර සිටියේ ඒ “සමස්ථ මුස්ලීම් ජනතාවම අවධානමකට ලක්කරමින් පටුවාසි ලබාගන්නා ‘රියාස් සාලී’ වැනි පිරිසගේ සැබෑ ස්වරූපය සමාජයට අනාවරණය කරන ලෙසයි” මාෂාඅල්ලාහ්! එම මෙහෙවර බලාපොරොත්තු වුවාට වඩා ඉහලින් ඉටුකොට ඇත. මෙය මුස්ලීම් සමාජයටම අලංකාර වූ ආදර්ශයක්. මෙවැනි සාමුහික මැදිහත්වීම් වර්ථමාන මුස්ලීම් සමාජයේ කාලීන අවශ්යතාවයක්. ඒ “වහාබිසම්” හෝ “තව්හීද් වාදීන්” සදහා පමණක් නොව සමස්ථ සමාජයේ ඇති වන ගැටළුකාරී තත්වයන් හි එහි සාධාරණ විසදුම් සෙවීම සදහාය.
ඒ අනුව රටේ වගකිවයුතු තනතුරුවල කටයුතු කරන දේශපාලඥයන් හා ආගමික පූජකවරැන්ගේ මෙම කාරණය සම්බන්ධයෙන් සාමූහික ප්රකාශනයක් 2010.09.26 දින “Sunday Observer” පුවත්පත හරහා නිකුත්කිරීම ප්රශංසනීය කාරණයකි. විශේෂයෙන් එම ලිපිය අවසානයේ (තම නම හදුන්වා නොදී) කරුණු ඉදිරපත් කරන මහත්මයෙකු ඔහුගේ අත්දැකීමක් තුලින් අවධාරනය කරන්නේ එවැනි මැදිහත්වීමේ අවශ්යතාවයයි. ඒ පිලිබදව ඉහත පාර්ශවයන්ගේ දැඩි අවධානයක් යොමු වියයුතු යන්න මාගේත් යෝජනාවයි. එපමණක් නොවේ මාධ්යවල පුවත් මවමින් “සත්ය ප්රථමයෙන්” යැයි කියු පමණින් සියල්ල සත්ය නොවන බව වටහා ගැනීමට මෙය පොදු ජනතාවට මෙන්ම මාධ්යකරුවන්ට ද හොද නිදසුනක්. ඇත්තෙන්ම දෙරණ මාධ්ය ආයතනය මඟින් කල මෙම අසත්ය පුවත් විකාශනය නිවරැදි කිරීම තමා මාධ්ය සදාචාරය මෙන්ම මාධ්ය ආයතනයක වගකීම වන්නේ. ඒ සදහා පහත ලිපිය හොද පූර්ව ආදර්ශයක්. විශේෂයෙන් ඉහත අර්බුදකාරී තත්වය නිර්මාණය කිරීමට මැදිහත් වූ “රියාස් සාලී” ගේ අදහස් පවා එම ලිපිය තුල අන්තර්ගත කොට තිබීම එහි සමබරතාවය වඩාත් හොදින් තහවුරු කරයි. ඒ අනුව දෙරණ පුවත් විකාශනය තුලින් මුස්ලීම් සමාජයේ කිසියම් පාර්ශවයකට බලවත් අසාධාරණයක් සිදුකොට ඇති බව පැහැදිලිය. එම අසාධාරණයට ලක්වූ පාර්ශවයන්ට සාධාරණයක් ලබාදීමේ වගකීම ද ඇත්තේ ඉහත මාධ්ය ආයතනයේ වගකීමකි. එසේ නොමැතිව “මී වදයට ගල්ගසා බලාසිටීමේ න්යාය” සමබර මාධ්ය ආයතනයකට ගැලපෙන කාර්යයක් නොවේ. එය මා ඉහත ලිපියෙන්ද අවධාරනය කලෙමි. ඒ සදහා පූර්ව ආදර්ශයක් පහත ලිපියෙහි කතෘ වන මන්ජුල ප්රනාන්දු මහතා ලබාදී ඇත. ඒ කිසියම් පුවතක් සමාජගත කිරීමේ දී එහි සමබරතාවයක් තිබියයුතු යන්නයි. එය ඉහත දෙරණ මාධ්ය ආයතනය පැහැර හැර ඇත. එයට හොදම සාක්ෂිය තමා පහත ලිපිය.
දැන් එම 2010.09.26 දින “Sunday Observer” ලිපිය වෙත අවධානය යොමු කරමු…
(කිසිදු සංශෝධනයකින් තොරව එම ලිපිය ඉදිරිපත් කොට ඇත.)
Threat of Islamic extremists propagating fundamentalism:
No cause for alarm, assures leaders
By Manjula FERNANDO
Following disturbing reports that an extremist Islamic sect propagating fundamental ideologies was unfolding its wings and infiltrating the moderate Muslim community in Sri Lanka, the Sunday Observer contacted a number of Muslim community and religious leaders in a bid to extract fact from fiction.
The news gained momentum after Indian media reported that a Lashkar e taiba terrorist, the mastermind behind the blast at the German Bakery in Pune, confessed to Indian investigators that he underwent bomb making training in Colombo, a claim vehemently denied by the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Later the Indian reports said the terror suspect Mirza Himayat Baig did not in fact undergo training in Sri Lanka but instead had come to Colombo to meet two ‘elites’ (leaders).
The news reports indicated that mosques propagating the preachings of an extremist Wahabist Islamic sect were mushrooming in the country and these institutions are funded by certain Islamic countries.
The following question was posed to those interviewed: “What can you say about the reports that there is a fundamentalist Islamic sect propagating their extremist ideologies here, creating divisions and rivalries among the moderate Muslims in Sri Lanka?”
Western Province Governor Alavi Mowlana
I think somebody is trying to gain cheap publicity at the expense of our religion. There are various sects among the Sri Lankan Muslim community but there are no schools preaching terrorism.
I met theologists of all sects, even Tawhid Jamaat this morning (Thursday), and some of the religious leaders and Muslim journalists again at 4.00 p.m. This news has created quite an uproar among the community and we are highly disturbed.
There may be differences of opinion. But there is no such issue that extremism or fundamentalism is seeping into the country. Any foreign link or funding is connected to development and every cent is being sent to the mosques. This is not being used to develop forces bearing weapons against the country. We have been preached to love our country from birth.
SLMC Leader and MP Rauff Hakeem
This news which has been disseminated by a certain interested party has been given undue publicity. It has caused us, community leaders, a lot of stress. The person who had been very vocal on this issue is telling this over personal prejudices.
Every community has intra communal issues and occasional reports of violence. That there is Wahabism infiltrating the country, is an unwarranted speculation.
Allegations that there are violent movements and Jihadist groups, those are all speculation. In any community there are tensions.
The Beruwala mosque attack (two Wahabi followers were killed in an attack by a group of Sufis at the Masjidul Rahuman Mosque in Beruwala in July 2009) was one such incident. The attack was due to differences in religious opinions. People realize that a few individuals flare up these things.
The Society of theologians are a powerful community. There is also no foreign interference and funding. Someone is trying to create a mountain out of a mole hill.
If US had knowledge of such a thing, they should have communicated it to the proper authorities, not to the media and cause panic. It is unbecoming of them. There is no such thing as a Jihadi problem in Sri Lanka.
The country has a well honed intelligence network. In my opinion this whole issue ridicules our own intelligence network.
Sri Lankan Muslims are a peace loving community. We pride ourselves on that. We don’t allow any foreign force to disrupt this set up.
During the LTTE war, groups of Eastern Muslim youth were given arms training (similar to that of civil defence force). That was exclusively to protect their villages from LTTE attacks. Whoever who retained arms in the Muslim community did that with the knowledge of the intelligence community. But the war is over now and things have all been settled.
All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama President Ash-Shaikh (Mufti) M.I.M. Rizwe
ශ්රී ලාංකීය බහුතර ඉස්ලාම් භක්තික ප්රජාව නියෝජනය කරණ ACJU සභාපති
Sunni and Wahabism had always been there among us. There is nothing to fear. None of them engage in any unlawful activity. Recently the ACJU sponsored a unity declaration among all Islamic sects. This was given little publicity as against the news on Islamic terrorism and fundamentalism.
Wahabism does not preach terrorism. It is not like the LTTE. They have a different approach on Islamic teachings that may sometimes hurt feelings of other Islamic sects. Those are religious differences and have nothing to do with terrorism.
I can, with authority, say that there is no such issue in our country. The Defence Secretary was very correct when he said that there was no room for terrorists in Sri Lanka. We appreciate his statement. He is well aware of the situation.
ACJU will shortly convene an international conference on Terrorism. The date is to be finalized at a meeting scheduled on September 25. We are living in a Buddhist country where Muslims consist of just 10 per cent. We respect all religions and want to live in harmony.
Muslim Media Forum President N.M. Ameen
The war has been won and the country is on a development footing. This could be an attempt by foreign elements to destabilize the country and create problems in the region. They are trying to magnify a trivial issue.
There had been isolated incidents of violence but most of the time the victims were followers of Tawhid Jamaat. The Beruwala incident was an example. The two individuals who got killed were from Tawhid sect. The court case into the Beruwala mosque attack is still proceeding in the Kalutara Courts.
There are differences of opinion over religious practices but to imply that there is terrorism involved, is inane. The Muslims lamented in IDP camps for 20 years due to the conflict. They never took up arms or fought back.
I spoke to the person who whipped up this allegation and said that he should have settled his differences within the community. Sri Lanka is a liberal country. We have never had problems with the Sinhalese. Many Buddhist monks were seen in Mosques during the recent Ifthar celebrations.
The Sinhala Traders Association in Mawanella organized a special Ifthar for their Muslim brothers. Muslims are highly worried that these disturbing reports will damage this communal harmony.
A Community Leader Riyaz Sally
People have criticized me over my revelations about the presence of an extremist sect. They have accused that I am after cheap publicity.
I studied at D.S. Senanayake College and I learned from my father not to mix up religion and education with politics. The Sufis follow a century old tradition and there is no need for a new group to preach us on the proper way of practising Islam.
You don’t point a gun at one’s head and say what to do. Religion is your own free will. These Tawhid Jamaat people are extremists. They are disrupting the Janaza (funeral) rituals and creating discord even within families.
They are setting up mosques outside the norms set by the Waqf board. According to law a new mosque needs the consent of three mosques in the area and the Jamayyathul Ulema’s (the leading association of Islamic theologians) approval. Such places are mushrooming in the country now. They are being funded generously by the Middle East. Their extremist ideologies have infiltrated the state sector, private international schools, and even the media organizations.
I have nothing against Saudi Arabia. If the Saudi Government sends in their money for poverty alleviation and development activities and if it has been put to wrong use, they must look into this.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa gave leadership to eradicate terrorism. Now we have no terrorist problem here in the country. There should be no room for new problems as well. After my expose, there are threats on my life. But I am not scared.
A Journalist (name withheld) based in Sri Lanka
I wrote a series of articles on the Islamic preachings of the new school and how it has made a positive impact on the lives of the community especially the Muslim women, after a visit to Kathankudi in the Eastern province. I was introduced to the local community by a resident and the article was compiled after interviewing some members of the community. Following its publication, the story was reproduced in the local vernacular press. Unfortunately the translated version did not convey the exact meaning.
I received a number of threatening calls thereafter and a team from Kathankudi came to Colombo in the hope of confronting me. They had planned to organize a demonstration here in Colombo against my report.
But due to the intervention of a well meaning intermediary, the team was dissuaded and sent home after handing over a copy of the original report that was compiled by me.”
The fact is that there are contradicting reports on the presence of an alleged extremist Islamic sect in the country. Thus it is the responsibility of all stakeholders to take appropriate action to ease tensions within the Muslim community before it snowballs into a bigger issue.