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Muslim leaders call for united Sri Lankan identity

IANS  |  Colombo 

Sri Lankan Muslim leaders have called for one united identity of the island nation while expressing solidarity with the victims of the April 21 terror attacks and those affected by the recent spate of violence.

"We, as a community, have done a lot of soul searching following the attacks. We could not imagine that they came from us. We concede that we saw elements but didn't think it would turn to this," quoted Public Development as saying on Thursday evening.

Addressing a at which former Ministers and were present, Hashim said the need of the hour was to "forge a Lankan identity".

He added that there was "soul searching from within the community unbeknownst to many".

A Muslim leader said that admonishing a whole community of two million for what the terrorists did was unjustifiable.

"We immediately took steps to take on the issue of the Madrasas and want them regulated under the We want to know what is taught at these Madrasas and who is teaching them, they all must be regulated. The overview of mosques and sermons, the steps to ban the Niqab were all done by the Muslims themselves before intervention of the government.

"We are doing everything possible to quell any form of extremism," he added.

Former Ashroff pleaded against marginalizing of an entire community due to actions of the terrorists.

"We are still in shock as to what happened on We are still grieving. We couldn't imagine that these terrorists could come from our community... But I plead of you to not look at an entire community with hate and suspicion" she said.

Earlier this week, rioters torched Muslim-owned shops, homes and vandalized mosques in several towns as the anti-Muslim unrest spread in the aftermath of the April 21 attacks in which over 250 people were killed. The killings were claimed by the Islamic State.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 17 2019. 14:16 IST