International

Sri Lanka arrests the former Leader of Jamath-e-Islami

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Colombo (13 March 2021): It is really alarming to note how Sri Lankan government is misled by some uneducated people on Islamic ideological groups. Like Buddhists and other religious people, Muslims too have different denominations.

The Jamath-E-Islami has been a moderate Islamic group since its establishment in 1950s in Sri Lanka. It has been functioning since 1950s and has never been labelled as a radical group. It has never been branded as a Wahabi movement for the last 70 years. It does not make any sense to make this claim suddenly now. Jamath-e-Islami Sri Lanka has been publishing Al-Hasanath monthly journal since 1950s. In fact, this magazine has been publishing articles against Wahhabism. Salafi and Wahhabi groups follow the literal school of thought and they have been promoting all kind of extremism. Radical groups such as Al-Qaeda, ISIS are products of extremism.

Wahhabism was promoted by the Saudi government for its political interests. In fact, Muhammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab and Saudi ruling house signed an agreement for cooperation and mutual support. Muhammed Ibn Abdul Wahab signed a pact with Muhammad Bin Saud giving his obedience and since then, the Wahhabi group has been an obedient to the Saudi government and Saudi Arabia has been promoting Wahabism.

JI does not have any connection with the Saudi government or with any Wahhabi group. So, to accuse Ustaz Hajjul Akbar with such a false accusation does not make any sense. It looks that CID and TID officers do not know anything about these groups. It looks that now Sri Lankan CID and TID function as an agent of some political party rather than protecting the national interests of this country. They do not seem to be working objectively. It appears that they do not know the difference between moderate and radical Islamic groups. They cannot make any distinction between moderate and extremist groups. They do not know who the Wahhabis are and who are not Wahhabis among Muslim groups.

The arrest of Ustaz Hajjul Akbar is nothing but a distortion of truth. Police spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana says that “According to the investigation, the suspect had written various articles about Wahhabism in the magazine Alhasanath published by the Jamaat-e-Islami organization”.

We do not know what kind of investigation they have done. All his articles are written against the doctrines of extremism and Wahhabism. He has been writing since 1980s against Salafi and Wahhabi groups. Yet, to claim that he has written articles in support of Wahabism is utter falsehood.

Ustaz Hajjul Akbar has been devoting his time and life to promote peace and communal amity in Sri Lanka. He has written hundreds of articles promoting peace and communal harmony. He has written nothing against the interests of his country, and he has written nothing against peace and communal harmony. He never incited hatred or extremism of any kind. Yet, to arrest him without any substantial evidence against him does not make any sense.

Sri Lankan government badly needs some experts on Islamic radicalism and Islamic extremism. Moreover, it needs some experts in Arabic language too. It appears that some mysterious groups are creating this confusion among CID and TID officers by passing wrong information about JI and other moderate groups. It appears that CID and TID do not maintain objectivity in their mission. They should find out the truth and should not go after wrong people to waste time and resources.

Instead of arresting true extremists and radicals, an innocent man who stood for moderation and peace has been arrested on some false tip off. It looks that CID and TID work as agent of some Buddhist extremist group. The current Sri Lankan government deliberately creates this kind fuss to divert public attention from the country’s main problems and challenges that the country faces today. They must fear the concept of Karuma. It could befall on them if they keep arresting innocent people like this. It is utterly wrong to arrest innocent people. People are innocent till you have true evidence against to them. We have thousands of exhibits and evidences to say that Ustaz Hajjual Akbar is an innocent man. His articles and talks are proof of his innocence.

He has been calling people to contribute to the nation-building process of this country. Indeed, he has given hundreds of talks and lectures about peace, communal harmony and nation-building. He has, indeed, promoted the interests of this country locally and internationally. He never incited any youth to act against the national interests of his country. He has been talking and discussing with different religious leaders about interfaith dialogues, peace initiatives and nation-building processes in his country. It is difficult to understand why and how the Sri Lankan government brings this kind of false allegation against this innocent religious leader. He is highly qualified religious scholar and has never spoken ill of any person or group. It is very much difficult to digest this news of his arrest. He is clever enough and sharp enough to prove his innocence. It is hoped that the investigators will examine his case objectively without any prejudice.

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