Society will have failed in its duty if one moderate person feels compelled to join extremist groups as a result of being sidelined and oppressed in the community, President's Counsel Ali Sabry said today (May 16).
"There are reports showing that only around 20-25 people had joined the terrorist group of Zahran Hashim. However, that number had arisen following the unfortunate Digana riots last year," he told a news conference convened by the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka today.
Mr. Sabry addressing the media said extremism should not be allowed to fuel more extremism and violence, and instead all communities should come together. He also remarked that as a society there was more that could be done as a whole in order to achieve communal harmony.
"We have divided our children from the age of five by sending them to Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, and Christian schools. However, after the age of 18 we ask them to display national unity," the President's Counsel said while citing that the process of establishing a common school for the students of all faiths could be done collectively.
However, he noted that discussions such as regulating Madrasas, distinguishing religious teachings and Arab culture, and determining whether such cultural aspects can be introduced into the religion, which are major responsibilities of the Islamic community, were currently being taken up.
Commenting on the lines of Madrasa institutions, Mr. Sabry pointed out that the Muslim community at large believes that Madrasa's must be regulated by the government.
While adding that there must be an Act to regulate Madrasas, he noted that the syllabus, lecturers, students and the funding of these institutions must also be monitored.
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