Reports that individuals aligned to the Government have taken steps to intimidate and divide the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) for political purposes have appalled Sri Lankan Muslims, former minister Imtiaz Bakeer Markar said.
In a special statement Mr. Markar said that the role of the ACJU is of significant importance to the Muslim community especially as a minority within a multi-religious Sri Lanka, therefore attempts to weaken the organization would only be detrimental to efforts to create a peaceful and harmonious Sri Lanka.
“Attempts made by any individuals or group to threaten or to force division among the Islamic scholars of this country will be seen by the ordinary Muslims as nothing short of extremely irresponsible and repugnant behaviour,” he said.
The statement said that ACJU - the unifying body of Islamic theologians representing all the main schools of thought existent in Sri Lanka - in addition to providing leadership on theological matters has and continues to play a vital and fundamental role in sustaining unity and harmony within the country’s Muslim community.
“Any citizen, including Presidential candidates has the right to seek a meeting with any of the religious leaders of Sri Lanka’s religious communities. Similarly, the ACJU has the right to agree to a meeting with any citizen of the country, be it a Presidential candidate or not,” the statement said.
He said that Muslims of the country demand these unscrupulous elements to cease their shameful efforts to create division and discord aimed at gaining narrow political benefits.