SOME QUESTIONS TO EU
Posted on July 1st, 2019

Sugath Samarasinghe 

We read in an editorial in ‘The Island’ newspaper of this country that the Colombo Office of the EU had stated that: “We are deeply concerned by political and religious pressure being directed at Sri Lanka’s Muslim community which is undermining peace and reconciliation in the country.” We believe that the EU office referring here to the incident of suicide bomb explosions committed by some Muslim extremists on 21st April in this country in 9 different places such as Catholic churches and Tourist hotels that resulted in an unprecedented over 250 deaths of men women and children in churches and over 500 other people who have been injured some of whom are still under treatment in hospitals. We are curious to know why the EU is not accusing the Muslim extremists in this country for causing such horrendous crimes on the rest of the communities by way of political and religious pressure”. How are these crimes committed on the other communities by the Muslim extremists be ignored by EU? When such incidents happen in EU countries too, do you arriange your comments that way? Could you please tell us which of these incidents did not undermine peace and reconciliation going on in this country?

Now that you have shown concern on the ‘political and religious pressure directed at the Muslim community in Sri Lanka, tell us whether following freedoms provided to Muslims here, is afforded to them in your countries?        

  • The Muslims in this country who comprise a mere 10% of the population enjoy the facility of calling their flock to prayer daily, five times a day over the public address system fitted on top of the mosques though some people among the other 90% sometimes consider it a public nuisance. We are curious know whether any of your countries provide such a facility?
  • The Muslims in this country stop their work in work places at noon on Fridays and rush to mosques to pray. That is not counted against their leave. Do they enjoy that kind of facility in your counties?
  • The Muslims here enjoy food stuffs classified as ‘Hallal’ which only is considered wholesome food for their  consumption, marked so on packets, available in our supermarkets etc. Do you have such a facility available to them in your countries?
  • Do you have as Public Holidays in your countries, days that are considered Holy by Muslims such as Ramadhan, Haj Festival and Prophet Mohamed’s Birth Day etc. where the 90% of the rest of the community also enjoy a holiday? 
  • Is it possible according to the common law prevailing in your countries for Muslim males to take more wives than one which facility is not provided to males of the other communities who constitute 90% of the population though it is discriminatory against them? If they afford themselves such a facility it is construed as polygamy which is a criminal offence here.  As a result, even some members of the 90% rest of the community who wished to enjoy such freedom started converting to Mohamedism. Curiously, this practice was ruled as illegal. More curiously no body challenged this ruling as discriminatory or as unequal treatment of one section of the community! Yet more curiously, no such freedom is made available the Muslim women!!
  • Similarly, does the law prevailing in your EU countries permit males to marry girls under 12 years of age even without their express consent? If not, are you devastated to know that this is possible exclusively under the Muslim Marriage Law in this country? Do you know that if any other member of the 90% of the community do such a thing, he will be arrested, charged and convicted for a criminal offence of rape according to the prevailing criminal law of this country? Do you know that this practice is not challenged as cruelty to children or a violation of children’s right or even discriminatory against them for the fear of bringing undue pressure on them endangering peace and reconciliation? Very strangely, this issue is not an issue for Human Rights groups in this country or outside our country, even in spite of the fact that we have an Independent Commission for Human Rights? Does that offend the righteous sentiments prevailing in your countries?
  • Do you have in your countries, separate courts called Kathi Courts to settle disputes among Muslims, which other communities do not have? We do have.
  • Do the Muslims have in your countries a variety of schools called ‘Madrasas’ to teach the Quranic doctrine to Muslim Children? We have. In fact we have allowed our Muslims to import some 600 foreign teachers to teach religion in these schools. Will our countries allow such facility? 
  • Quite apart from that, do you have Schools exclusively for Muslim children run by the state as we do have?
  • If so are such schools given holidays for three months when the students are required to observe ‘fasting’?
  • We learn that in 2016 – 137 mosques were attacked – 60 in France, 54 in Germany, 21 in Sweden & 2 in Switzerland. Is this true or mere blasphemy? In fact the Muslim Affairs Ministry here has reported that there are in this country 180 unauthorized mosques already. In such circumstances, how valid do you think your assertion that political and religious pressure being directed at Sri Lanka’s Muslim community which is undermining peace and reconciliation in the country”? Or, is it the other way about?
  • On the other hand we have heard some disturbing information about your good countries. It is reported that1700 mosques exist in UK and half of these were attacked since 9/11. 57% of British public support burka ban in UK (YouGov poll) in 2016. After the Manchester attack a mosque was torched in Oldham.
  • We have another curious situation in our country in that an ancient Buddhist temple at a place called Kuragala is taken over by some Muslims claiming that it is a Muslim shrine. In another place called Mudu Maha Viharaya, we have a situation where the entrance to an ancient Buddhist temple is blocked by Muslim encroachers. Does that kind of things happen to ancient churches and other places of worship in your EU countries? If such a thing happens your counties, what will they do? Here again, isn’t it being political and religious pressure directed at Sri Lanka’s Muslim community which is undermining peace and reconciliation in the country” in the reverse?

In our country hitherto, Muslim women were wearing ‘hijab’, ‘niqab’ or whatever else they call such dresses covering their heads and faces, without any problem. After the recent bomb attacks, the Secy. Public Administration ordered a dress code for public servants, with view to enhance sense of security in public offices. The Secy. was questioned at a Parliamentary Select Committee sittings as to how dare he did that apparently violating Human rights. Does that kind of thing happen in your EU countries?

Again we are told that Netherlands – bans full face veil in government buildings, schools, hospitals and public transport. Party for Freedom declares to ban all mosques in Netherlands. Could this be true? Isn’t Netherlands an EU country?

  •  Furthermore, we are told that the European Court of Justice interprets law for the EU and decisions are binding of member states. ECJ allows employers to ban hijab. Accordingly, it is reported that France was the first EU country to ban burka & niqab wearing in 2011. France has shut down 20 mosques and prayer halls for preaching radical ideology since 2016. After Paris bombs pigs head were thrown at mosques. Could such political and religious pressure” be exerted on Muslims in a highly civilized and democratic EU country like France? If it is not true, please tell us so that we could disabuse our minds. This information is claimed to have been found in http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/thousands-take-part-in-anti-islam-pegida-protests-across-europe-a6857911.html.

Again, in Italy- in Lombardy burka ban was approved in local government buildings and hospitals. Taken in this light, has our Secy. Public Administration violated any Human Rights of anybody?  

  •  Austria had banned foreign sources of financing and Imams must speak German. 156 assaults against Muslims in 2015. Austria’s new ‘integration law’ banned full face veil in 2018. Isn’t Austria an EU country? Could this information be true?
  •  Belgium has banned halal animal slaughter. Belgium is the 2nd country after France to ban burka in public in 2011. We believe Belgium is an EU country? Could they exert such political and religious pressure on Muslims living in their country? Are they violating any Human rights laws? 
  •  In Denmark TV2 survey is alleged to have revealed that a third of respondents believed Denmark was at war with Islam – 5 Muslim hate speakers were banned and 6 radical Islamic preachers were banned from entering Denmark. Halal animal slaughter was banned in Denmark in 2014. Could this, if true, be considered Religious and Political pressure being brought on the Muslims in this country? Isn’t Denmark an EU country? 

In view of all this we in this country are confused. Could you please enlighten us as to how we could reconcile these confounding positions in EU countries and your comments on Sri Lanka?

Sugath Samarasinghe                         

One Response to “SOME QUESTIONS TO EU”

  1. Hiranthe Says:

    Fantastic work Sugath.

    This should be sent in a letter format to each EU country with copies to other crying baby NGO’s including Amnesty, and Pakya-soth-thi’s NGO.

    Can anyone organise it? Do you give your consent to do so Sugath?

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