| by Dr Rifai Naleemi
( September 16, 2013, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Sri Lankan Muslim community today goes through an epoch of political bankruptcy in Muslim history in Sri Lanka. Muslim community became a voiceless community today in our time. This situation is unprecedented in Sri Lankan Muslim history. It is shame that those shameless Muslim politicians still go behind this ruling family in anticipation that they could secure some basic privileges and concessions in their political struggle. Yet, those hopes and aspirations have been shuttered in recent times. Of course, in this system of excessive executive presidential power, minority politicians are vulnerable to demotions and relegation, even to loose their seats. That is the sad side of political life in the third world countries. Yet, in Sri Lanka Muslim politicians could have acted collectively in this difficult situation. They have greatly failed to win the hearts and minds of Tamil politicians to meet challenges that our community faces today.
Muslim politicians have been totally marginalised today in politics. They can not raise their voice in parliament in any issue that concerns Muslim community today. They are really made dump-heads and can not do any constructive work in current political scenarios. In recent time mosques have been vandalised by BBS thugs, Muslim cultural heritage and religious rites have been mocked, Muslim ladies have been humiliated for wearing Islamic code of dress and Muslim people are banned from praying in some mosques. BBS and its cohorts continue to make mockery of Muslims and Islamic way of life and yet, Muslim politicians have done nothing constructively to stop BBS activities. It is like your house is burning and yet, you are standing idle in front of it doing nothing. While mosques are being destroyed with support of security forces our politicians openly says that mosques have not been destroyed.
It is reported to have said by one of Muslim senior ministers mosques are not being destroyed in Sri Lanka. The entire world knows that how many mosques have been destroyed and vandalised by BBS and its cohorts in Sri Lanka. How could this so called Muslim minister speak for BBS? One wonders if he works as an agent to BBS, Or if he works for defence secretary as agent for him. He should openly apologise to Muslim community in Sri Lanka. Moreover, he should seek repentance from Almighty Allah for his open lies of this kind. How could such misleading and dishonest person represent Muslim community? He should fear Almighty Allah in his words and actions. We have not seen this type of stumpy class politicians in Sri Lankan history. Some of these politicians are ready to even sell their religion for the sake of political seat and power. It was recently reported that one of Muslim clerics was invited for a iftar at presidential residence in Kandy. This Muslim cleric was about to do a hand shaking with President in an Islamic way and yet, one of Muslim MPs interrupted his hand shaking saying it was an alien and foreign tradition. He was asked to greet President as Buddhists do in accordance with Buddhists traditions.
It is so called Muslim politicians should be condemned and blamed for these types of disrespectful acts of shame. Today, it is political leadership that brings shame to Islam and Muslim all over the world. Look at Muslim political leaders in Muslim countries. They have greatly damaged good name of Islam and Muslims. In deed they have done more harm to Islam and Muslim in this century than any period in Muslim history. It is political reforms that Muslim community urgently needs in this century along sides all other reformation programmes. This is the case in Sri Lanka as well. We have more 18 members of Muslim parliament. They have become selfish and power greedy people. They do not care about our community. They do not bother what BBS do for Muslim community in SL. They do not have courage and charisma to speak out for Muslim community today.
What can Muslim community do to change this situation? I think that Muslim community should be sending highly qualified, pious and honest people into Parliament to speak out for our community. What we have now is a bunch of selfish politicians who worry too much about their pockets rather than Muslim community. Muslim community should try to replace these old fashion politicians with new vibrant and intelligent politicians who care for the welfare of Muslim community. I think this is timely needed collective duty of Muslim community today. Otherwise, our mere existence will be questionable in future in this country (May Allah protect this community). We are living as a minority community and we should work with other minority community at least in politics to secure greater interest of all minority communities. Unfortunately, we have not won the support of Tamil politicians in SL. Tamil and Muslim politicians should work together hand in hand in SL to safeguard interests of both communities. If we do this we could become a decisive political force one day in SL. Unfortunately, since independence minorities in Sri Lanka have failed to work hand in hand and consequently minorities are made to suffer at the hands of majority.