| by A Special correspondent
( August 25, 2014, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) It is learned that a Muslim lady called Rizana has joined Sri Lankan army recently. This is the first time in the history of Sri Lankan Muslim a female Muslim joined the Sri Lankan army. Along with 35 Tamil ladies this Muslim lady has got army training and graduated with after three months of initial training.
This lady has really opened the eyes of Muslim leadership and I hope that this would create vigorous debates among Muslim leadership. While 60% Muslims are languishing in poverty this lady should have opened the eyes of Muslims and has given an impetus to Muslim women to wake up Muslims to render a wonderful service to our mother land.
I’m sure that this unprecedented event should have created some religious controversies among Muslim clerics in Sri Lanka. For some it may be haram for Muslim ladies in Sri Lanka to join armed forces and for some others it may be a despicable act for Muslim ladies to work in armed forces in Sri Lanka. For some others it may be OK for Muslim ladies to join and work with Sri Lankan forces. For some Salafi fanatics this may be clear cut religious innovation and an act of rebellion against religion. Yet, for some others it this event may be an eye opener to gauge the prevailing socio-religious and political conditions of Muslims living under Non Muslim environments. Muslim minorities should reconsider and revaluate many issues like this when they live under non- Muslim political environments.
I’m not here to issue religious verdict on this issue rather I would like to provoke thoughts of Muslims to see and gauge this issue practically and viably rather than debating this issue dogmatically and academically. This event tells us the ground reality of Sri Lankan Muslims.
Some questions are relevant in this regard. Why did this lady join the army? What make her to join the army? Is it poverty that made to take this path? Or is it her democratic right or is it her patriotic feeling that made her to do this? Is it something else made her to join SL army? What are consequences of such act? Will others follow her? Is it an isolated incident? What does Sri Lankan government’s special provision to meet religious needs of such Muslims joining the Army? Do they have halal food provisions? Do they have other religious facilities for Muslim ladies in the army and how could they preserve their religious rites and identities. These are some of the questions that we should clarify on this issue. Can we blame her for her decision or our community should take responsibility for issue. It is communal duty and responsibility to deal with issue like. Can our politicians make some special provision for Muslims who want to join in the forces
There are nearly 400 hundreds thousands armed forces in Sri Lanka and yet, Tamil and Muslim represent less than % 3 of all these forces. It is high time that Muslims and Tamils reconsider this issue and fully participate in the services of armed forces. It is a democratic right of Tamil and Muslim to do so. Of course, Sinhalese might have some still physiological fear of Tamil joining for Sri Lankan forces and yet, there is no reason why Muslim should not join the armed forces.
Today, social reality of Sri Lankan is totally different Muslim boys should have courage and bravery to join army and represent Muslims in all forces. Muslim leaders should encourage them to do so. Firstly it is a collective duty of Muslims to defend the country and show our loyalty to the nation and secondly, this would create employment opportunities for Muslims in Sri Lanka in general.
This lady has really opened the eyes of Muslim leadership and I hope that this would create vigorous debates among Muslim leadership. While 60% Muslims are languishing in poverty this lady should have opened the eyes of Muslims and has given an impetus to Muslim women to wake up Muslims to render a wonderful service to our mother land. This should be an exemplary precedent for all others and to show our loyalty and parasitism to our mother land for the Muslims who are born and brought up in this Island.
In the past we Muslims have made tremendous contributions in the defence of this great nation and this lady has come forward to show our loyalty to Island and should be encouraged and welcome by all.