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Sri Lanka: Some Flagrant Accusations on Ustaz Hajjul Akbar

Sri Lanka badly needs peace and community cohesion. All these irresponsible politics or otherwise, personal grudges would not help to build peace and prosperity in Sri Lanka. 

by Dr S. L. M Rifai writing from London

It is a moral duty of each Sri Lankan to protest to this unlawful detention of Ustaz Hajjul Akbar. He has been a patriotic son of Sri Lankan soil. Each Sri Lankan who loves to see law and order in Sri Lanka must protest this illegal detention of this great Sri Lankan Muslim scholar. It appears that he has been detained on some false information and allegation.

Ustaz Hajjul Akbar is one of leading Islamic scholars and social workers in Sri Lanka. He has dedicated 40 years of his life for community service in Sri Lanka. He has been a teacher, college principal, and community leader for more than 40 years now. He has worked as a leader of Jamathe-Islame for more than two decades. He dedicated entire his life to promote peace and social harmony in Sri Lanka. He has worked day and night to eradicate religious extremism among Muslim youth. He has done no crime or offence in his public or private life and yet, to bring false accusation against him does not make sense. Human consciousness does not accept this. Neither Buddhist teaching nor humanism will accept this blatant accusation. To accuse an innocent man is a crime itself and it isnot acceptable at all according to all legal norms and convention. Sri Lanka government should not play dirty politics with innocent people.

There is nothing to hide about Ustaz Hajjul Akbar. He is an honest and transparent person in his life. He has written many books and given hundreds of talks. He has contributed to hundreds of TV and radio talks on different topic. Like all other Muslim community leaders, he has been calling people to be united to build this beautiful country. He has been calling people to contribute to the process of nation building in Sri Lanka. He has encouraged Muslim community to interact with wider Sri Lankan community with respect and kindness. He has encouraged Muslim community to contribute to this nation economically, intellectually, socially, and culturally. He has been teaching people the arts of living among different Sri Lankan communities, respecting the religious sentiment of different religions and culture.

Neither Ustaz Hajjul Akbar nor his organisation has supported any political parties in Sri Lanka. He has nothing to do with politics. Some opponents of Uztaz has been spreading false information about him for some personal grudges. These personal family disputes and allegation should not have any legal implication or legal ground to persecute a Sri Lankan intellectual at all. It is in the national interest of Sri Lanka to create a peaceful environment among Sri Lankan communities. It appears that Sri Lankan government is targeting Muslim community in the pretext of Easter Sunday attack by some radical Muslim group. Neither Muslim community nor Ustaz Hajjul Akbar supported this radical groups. So, making any deliberate connection between this group and Ustaz Hajjul Akbar does not make any sense. In fact, he has been against this radical group.

So many conspiracy theories are coming out about his detention. These conspiracy theories do not have any substantiated evidence. Sri Lankan government should not act based on some fabricated stories and lies. It should have solid evidence to detain any Sri Lankan citizen. It should not discriminate between community in application of law in Sri Lanka. Yet, it looks that politics is behind all this drama. To detain an innocent Islamic scholar who has worked day and night for the progress of this nation is against all humanistic values and legal norm. I hope and pray that Sri Lankan judiciary and politicians speed up legal process to release him without causing unnecessarydistress for the family of this great Islamic scholar in Sri Lanka. It is reported that the elder son of Ustaz Hajjul Akbar has been also questioned about his activities in Turkey. He is doing his PhD in Turkey and has been promoting Sri Lankan tourism among Arab and Turkish community and yet, he has been questioned now. I think that the intelligence community in Sri Lanka must be educated in Islamic culture, tradition, theology and custom to know the moderate Muslims from extremist Muslims.

Sri Lanka badly needs peace and community cohesion. All these irresponsible politics or otherwise, personal grudges would not help to build peace and prosperity in Sri Lanka. We all know that multiculturalism and pluralism are inevitable social phenomenon of this modern world. So, today, Sinhalese, Tamils, Christians and Muslims must know how to live side by side in the greater interest of Sri Lanka. In fact, they have been living side by side for hundreds of years now. Any incitement to create a communal division among Sri Lankan should not be allowed for the greater interest of this nation.

I hope that Sri Lankan politicians and community leaders behave with a great responsibility and accountability to take this great nation forward…

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