tazkiyya nscAL MASHOORAH       Issue no.8

“Indeed who succeeds, who purifies his own self, and indeed he fails who corrupts his own self” (Qur’an 91:9-10).

The National Shoorah Council (NSC) as a collective voice of the Muslim community consisting of 18 Muslim organizations of national reach released a press statement condemning the European Union for seeking review of the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) as a pre-condition to grant the GSP Plus status to Sri Lanka.

First and foremost the NSC vehemently condemns the EU precondition which unnecessarily draws the Muslim community of Sri Lanka into its machination of geopolitical strangulation of Sri Lanka in the guise of good governance, transparency and justice. The GSP Plus was revoked by the EU during the Mahinda Rajapakshe regime under pressure from LTTE Front organizations and Human Rights violations by the Rajapakshe government. It had nothing to do with the MMDA. The EU making review of MMDA as one of the Pre-Conditions is unwarrantedly interfering in the internal affairs of our country by creating a platform to nurture internal conflict between Muslims and others in the country to make Muslims seem a barrier to economic upliftment of the nation through enjoying GSP+. This is a dangerous trend that our national politicians must be cognizant of. Review of the MMDA is an internal matter of the Muslim community concern to keep it abreast of time within the constitutional provisions of Muslim Personal Law. This has nothing to do with the national economy, labour and industrial productivity. Sri Lanka is not a country of child labour.

The NSC having condemned the EU initiative and seeking the Yahapalanaya Government to treat MMDA as an internal Sri Lankan and Muslim concern, the NSC exhorts the public, its member organizations and other mainstream Muslim and Non-Muslim organizations about the implications of EU interference in the local affairs ingeniously pitting one community against the other in surreptitious means. This initiative potentially can unwarrantedly pit the Muslim community in collision course with the government and stifle with the national development initiatives of the government whilst driving certain segment to extremism.

The NSC envisions a peaceful Sri Lanka and is prepared to go to any length with all national stakeholders and with any governments in power irrespective of party politics to rebuild our country. External interference and divisive political brinkmanship is a scourge that makes fringe elements in society to turn to extremism. This is a danger that every citizen must be cognizant of. This is evident in the way how Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamaath (SLTJ) responded by protesting against the review of MMDA. While the mainstream Muslim organization responded to this with maturity and responsibility, the SLTJ being not of the mainstream and young blooded responded in unethical and provocative manner and strayed beyond the issue of MMDA and strayed to hate and racism.

The NSC deplores the way that SLTJ as a Muslim organization conducted their protest which is unislamic and unethical. Whilst condemning how they did it, the NSC appreciate their patriotism and community consciousness against EU call for review of the MMDA. The SLTJ and similar youth organizations should note that expediency and lack of maturity may drive them to extremism and thereby damages society more than their intent to restoring it.

As Muslims, it is our bounden duty to see that what we do is correct and within the Islamic ethical and moral codes for such actions to be accepted as good deeds by Allah SWT. We all have a duty to society and to discharge that as Muslims we are responsible to prepare oneself through ‘Thazkiyathun Nafs’ Purification of Soul so that we become qualified to be the best Muslim to respond to the call of humanity.