A number of countries have extended support to stop forced cremations in Sri Lanka.
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said that they have received support on the matter from South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
It is “a political measure where a collective punishment is given to the Muslim community for political reasons,” said Sir Iqbal Sacraine, the founding secretary-general of the UK’s biggest Muslim umbrella group, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB).
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Sacraine pointed out that the “situation in Sri Lanka is quite serious.”
Sacraine said the MCB “has set up a special task force … and God willing we have now launched a major campaign.”
He said: “We have been in touch with more than 20 countries, with different heads of states, departments and ministers of foreign affairs and they have all started putting pressure on the Sri Lankan government that what it is doing is unfair and illegal under the international law.”
Sacraine said they are also in touch with the office of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and “we hope he will help stop this practice.” He said the British Foreign Office has also written to its Sri Lankan counterpart, expressing concern over Muslims’ cremation.
He said they have received support on the matter from South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Indonesia so far. “All these countries are now supporting us. So, it’s a matter of time. The sense will prevail and it will end. We do not want this dangerous precedent to be established by Sri Lanka.”
He said if Sri Lanka gets away with this action, “then there are other countries who for political, … Islamophobic reasons, can impose similar actions.”
“We should not desecrate dead people, we should not be committing acts of sacrilege against those dying from COVID-19.”
Pointing out a statement by Sri Lankan officials that the bodies could be used as “a biological weapon against the communities,” Sacraine described it as “nonsensical”.
He also noted: “International media should highlight this issue. I hope and pray that more and more people around the world would protest in a dignified manner through high commissions and convey a very powerful message that this injustice will not be accepted by Muslims in any part of the world.” (Colombo Gazette)