The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama group speaks. Leader Moulavi Farood Farook says the bombers of April 21 "have neither religion nor faith"; this is why their bodies were not cremated in the Islamic cemetery. Christian leaders call for peace and non-violence.
Colombo (AsiaNews) - Muslim religious leaders are asking forgiveness on behalf of the whole Islamic community of Sri Lanka for the Easter Sunday massacres and for other incidents that are creating havoc in the country.
The appeal for forgiveness was made yesterday during a press conference organized in Colombo attended by Asiri Perera, bishop of the Methodist Church, Diloraj Kanagasabai, bishop of the Church of Ceylon [Protestant] of the diocese of Colombo, and Moulavi Farood Farook, president of the local division of the Muslim group All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama.
The initiative is an important gesture in the country devastated by the massacres of April 21st. The attacks on three churches and three hotels in Colombo were claimed by the Islamic State, although the government continues to attribute the responsibility to the local Islamic faction National Thowheed Jamath.
Moulavi Farook stressed that "there is no tiny link with the Muslim community, this is the dirty work of a certain terrorist group. We, as believers of Islamic philosophy, strongly condemn this act of terror. There is not even a recommendation in the Koran or [pronounced] by the prophet [Muhammad] ”.
The religious leader points out that "in 2014, when we heard about the organization of the Islamic State, we stated publicly that Muslims have no ties to this group. Suicide bombers have joined [IS] in foreign countries and received training there, undergoing brainwashing ". "Since there is no relationship between them and Islam - he adds - their bodies have not been allowed to be cremated in our cemetery. They have neither religion nor faith ".
In turn, Bishop Pereira said: "We want to give all Muslims a message: "We forgive you ". It was not you who perpetrated this disaster, but a group that used your good name in doing so. You, on the other hand, have been truly loyal to ask for forgiveness." He then recalled that the first to forgive his executioners "was Jesus on the Cross". He also urged: "Together we support our religious values in times of crisis".
Bishop Kanagasabai appealed to the population: "My dear people of Sri Lanka, I appeal to you in the name of God and humanity, so that you protect the lives of all people. Keep away all forms of violence, obey the laws of the country and demonstrate what it means to be a Sri Lankan citizen who loves, cares for and cares about others. Remember that Muslims are not terrorists. Since we have always lived together with unity and love, we have a duty from the supreme power that governs our lives to take care of others, guarantee their safety and their life together with ours. " Referring to the recent violence against the Muslim community, he invoked: "Keep calm, avoid all violence. May Sri Lanka be healed of its wounds ".