Hakeem says Muslims being unfairly branded

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader Rauff Hakeem says the Muslim community in Sri Lanka are being unfairly branded as extremists and terrorists, particularly after the Easter Sunday attacks.

Speaking at the 20th Commemoration day of the Founder Leader of the SLMC, the late M.H.M.Ashraff which was held in Muttur, Hakeem said that minorities in Sri Lanka have always been accused of either being extremists or terrorists.

He said that following the Easter Sunday attacks the Muslim community, including Muslim leaders, had been accused of having links with terrorists.

Hakeem said that even the media has turned the entire thing into a drama.

The SLMC leader also said that the Government and Opposition have failed to realise that either party will require the support of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress in the road ahead.

Hakeem said the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United National Party (UNP), which were two main political parties in Sri Lanka, have become dysfunctional and have almost disappeared from the political sphere at present. 

He said that efforts were also made to destroy the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. However, Hakeem said the SLMC could not be easily defeated. 

Hakeem further said the five SLMC MPs elected to Parliament have been bestowed with the responsibility of safeguarding the SLMC and its supporters. The activities of the five SLMC MPs in parliament will be carefully scrutinised over the next five years. Hakeem said the SLMC MPs will have to work together in this regard for the benefit of its supporters.

The new issue raised recently with regard to political parties being named after a race or religion was also highlighted by the SLMC leader. Hakeem said many have raised questions as to why certain political parties are allowed to function with names signifying a particular race or religion.

“Even if the names of such parties are removed they will continue their political activities as there is no significance to such names,” Hakeem said.

Commenting on the 20th Amendment to the Constitution Hakeem said the SLMC was party to the creation of the 17th and 19th Amendments to the Constitution and the SLMC supported the two Amendments as it consisted of various articles that benefited the nation.

Hakeem however added the SLMC has no part in the introduction of the 18th and 20th Amendments to the Constitution. (Colombo Gazette)