Wednesday, 22nd September 2021

Avoid radicalization of moderate Muslims: SL Minister

Colombo, May 6 (IANS): Radicalization of moderate Muslims should be avoided in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, Minister of City Planning Rauff Hakeem has said as he blamed “a cult” within the community for the carnage.

Hakeem told the media on Sunday that although Muslims support the security forces and police in carrying out search operations following the April 21 killings of over 250 people, there have been a few incidents of “concern” during such raids.

“Some people have suffered social stigma as a result of some minor happenings (during search operations)… One must not get carried away if Islamic literature written in Arabic or in Tamil is found in a house. It may not be terrorist literature.

“There may be anti-(Osama) Bin Laden or anti-extremist literature with some people. The security forces could get help from the Department of Muslim Affairs to interpret such literature,” the Minister was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror on Monday.

According to Hakeem, these incidents should be avoided as these could lead to radicalization of moderate Muslims in Sri Lanka.

He also said that the bombings had been carried out by a cult living among the Muslims which earlier attacked the “mainstream mosques in certain Middle Eastern countries”.

“We as Muslims had warned the authorities of certain activities such as speeches made by certain people promoting extremism, which is against Islam, by certain groups from time to time.

Asked about the weapons found in some mosques, Hakeem said places of worship should not be used to keep arms and added that “terrorist activities and ordinary crimes should not be mixed up”.


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