Sri Lankan ulema 'worried' about reports of new attacks
by Melanie Manel Perera

The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama published a booklet against extremism calling on the faithful to “practise moderation”. Saddened by the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks, they criticise those who instigate hatred and forget the contributions of Muslims to the nation.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) said it was alarmed at the constant media reports about the possibility of another terrorist attack similar to those of Easter Sunday in 2019.

The organisation of Islamic scholars is encouraging the country's Muslims to read a booklet (written by them in Tamil and Sinhala) against extremist tendencies, and asking them to be “vigilant and cautious”.

“We appeal to the community to be wary of the ISIS and similar terrorist organizations which are misleadingly and falsely representing themselves as protectors of Islam while they are widely perceived as being orchestrated by elements hostile to Islam and all religions.” the ACJU said in the statement issued last Friday.

According to Sri Lankan ulema, Muslim scholars around the world have declared terrorist groups anti-Islamic. Already in 2015, the ACJU and other civil society organisations had issued a statement saying that terrorist movements go against the teachings of Islam.

“We are deeply saddened by the fact that innocent civilian lives were lost and many suffered injuries in the brutal attacks carried out by terrorists on the Easter Sunday on 21st April 2019. We need to emphasize that our community has made innumerable contributions and sacrifices in the national interest,” they said.

“It is however disappointing to note that a situation has arisen, where vested interests are continuing to instigate distrust and hatred on a grossly false basis against Muslims, following the cowardly and brutal terrorist attacks carried out by a few misguided elements with Muslim names, while overlooking the invaluable contribution of the community towards this nation.”

Muslim scholars again exhorted the faithful to “practise moderation”. To this end, in its statement, ACJU asked all district divisions and mosque keepers to be vigilant in this regard and “strive to build closer relationships with all communities”.