Sri Lanka’s Muslim community ready to make key changes

The Muslim community in Sri Lanka today said that they are prepared to make some key changes to ensure their lifestyle is in line with how Sri Lankans live.

Minister of Highways and Road Development and Petroleum Resources Development, Kabir Hashim said that legal amendments have also been proposed including the Madrasa Act which will regulate Madrasas in Sri Lanka.

He said that anything which is not suitable for Sri Lanka and influenced by foreign cultureĀ  will be looked into as the unity of the country is important.

Hashim was speaking at a media briefing in Colombo today also attended by Former Ministers Imthiaz Bakeer Markar, Ferial Ashraff and lawyer Ali Sabry.

The Minister said that the Muslim community in Sri Lanka have assisted the authorities to crackdown on Islamic extremist groups.

Asked why steps are not being taken to arrest Buddhist extremists, the Minister said that the Muslims will do their part to crackdown on Islamic extremist groups and it is upto the others to do the same.

Former Minister Imthiaz Bakeer Markar said that the Muslim community have made it clear that they will not accept the teachings of the bombers involved in the Easter Sunday attacks.

He also said that globalisation has impacted Sri Lanka as a whole and not just the Muslims.

However, he said bombs and mob violence is not the way to address those concerns. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. We saw qeastionable projects allegedly under Muslim name board during the last few years. Eg. Wilpattu, Kaththankudi, Baticaloa campus, Madrsas etc. General public couldent reconcile these trends with the goodwill of the Muslim general public. Most importantly instead of an explanatory answers what we saw was adament justification. That led to mutual suspicion. What you are doing now should have done in the immediate aftermath. Still we haven’t heard any one of you are saying sorry to the Catholics. Yes His eminenance prevented a catastrophy but your reciprocation is very lame. This why even lately opposing extremist groups found inroads to stage violence. Still your voice is not loud enough. What your brethern committed on Easter is glaringly inhuman and brutal. Acceptance of that and repentance only can prove your bonafides. Over to all of you politicians and lawyers.

  2. It is a pity that pseudo intellectuals and polticians who cannot comprehend the aspirations of the Muslim community, their inner urge to live according to the tenets of their faith, try to pontificate to them as to how their religious affairs should be managed. The emergence of Muslim extremist groups and they being able to expand is mainly due to our opportunistic politicians. We are not against changes but not at the expense of our fundamental beliefs and practices. For this the ACJU and the Masjid Federations should be consulted and consensus obtained. As Muslims we love this country and wish to contribute to its well being. There is no necessity to curb fundamentalism and conservatism which is not anathema to national integration and unity, but extremism and radicalism is and must be eliminated. Muslims must be ever vigilant that it should be never allowed to raise its tenacious head again.This applies to all communities. A Buddhist fundamentalist or conservative will never cause harm to minorites in fact it will be the very opposite. But a Buddhist extremist or radical will do so. In fact to use the term Islamic/Buddhist extremist is a fallacy as it goes against the very nature and fundamentals of their faith. For eg. The meaning of the word Islam is Peace. So how can anyone coin such a term Peace extremist? Similarly Lord Buddha is said to be a symbol of Maithri. So how can one coin the word Maithri extremist?

  3. It’s good that the “Muslim Community” has said this, but one notes that it is only Kabir Hashim, Imthiaz Bakker Markar, Ali Sabry, and Ferial Ashraff, who have identified the key issues, and committed themselves to strive for changes. I have not met any of them, but have come to respect the three men. I’m not necessarily excluding the lady; it’s just that when her husband was alive I was rather wary of them.
    I have no reservations about considering these people worthy intellectuals who should fashion the necessary changes with representatives of other communities who happen to be in Parliament. It is true that we are all fed up with the archetype politician, but we’ve got to be realistic. The sort of changes that are needed are clear to all intelligent Sri Lankans. Few of the Parliamentarians are perfect, but that doesn’t matter provided they push through the necessary changes. Ibn Yousef seems to me to cast aspersions on the four Muslims named here. In that, I perceive efforts to stymie change. Please desist from being thus anti-social.
    Raja Wijegunaratne wants these people to say all sorts of meaningless things. We don’t need that. We need concrete steps. I’m very happy with what has been stated in the main article. I myself have a Christian (not Catholic) background. I’m fed up with all religions now, and particularly with people like Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. His initial comment was horrible; since then he appears to have collected himself. There are things said by him quoted by the Mahanayakes. I hope that those were things said by him long ago. I will have to read many more positive things said by him before I stop regarding this cleric as anything better than an opportunistic politician. Yes, Cardinal, that’s what you are to me.
    I make many comments on Colombo Telegraph. I shall sign off the way I do there, and hope that it is how I have registered with the Gazette when I made a few comments.
    Many thanks, Colombo Gazette, for this article.


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