Posted on February 27th, 2016


The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) will include their long standing demand for a separate province when submitting their proposals for constitutional reforms, SLMC Secretary General and former MP Hasan Ali told the Daily News.

The Party stance has been to lobby for a separate province for Muslims from its inception. Out of the nine provinces in the country, one is recognised as a Tamil Province while all the other provinces are Sinhalese Provinces, Ali said.

“We should be given a separate province to recognise our status in the country,” he said.

The MP said the government should explore different models available to establish a separate province, taking into consideration demographic and geographic elements.

Highlighting the example of Pondicherry, Ali said that the same mechanism could be established to accommodate their request for a geographic area much smaller in size compared to the Indian union territory.

“There are enough models in the world for the government to consider in finding a mechanism to accommodate their proposal,” he said.


In Sri Lanka, there is prejudice between the Tawheed and Tablighi sects. The Tablighi Jamaat is concerned about the hereafter, not this world, but how can this be so – religion is for the living, not the dead!” he exclaimed. In a geo-political sense, according to Dr Ali, this intolerance is dangerous.

It is a totalitarian political ideology that religious bodies such as the Jamaat and Ulaama spread when there is no room for dissent,” he noted, While the Jamaat must be given credit for filling our mosques and ridding them of the social evils such as drunk Muslims walking in like in the 70s, they should not be allowed to give political guidance.


The Ulaama is an unelected body that is trying to dictate to everybody, and, in turn, they are being used by politicians. We are a minority and yet we are asking the majority to tolerate the intolerant”.
Towards the end of our conversation, we tried to look at how Muslim culture is represented within Sri Lanka’s national culture, and found very little to point to. Why don’t Muslims take part in the Peraheras?” he asked Do we have no cultural contributions?”

Why can’t we hoist the national flag at every mosque?” he asked, and recalled that it was the Muslim politician A. Sinnalebbe who proposed that the flag be hoisted at Parliament in 1948. Dr Ali urged that mosques cease to call azan in urban settlements, citing this as the cause for Bana to be amplified.


The Muslims of Sri Lanka must take the example of the Jews in Europe and America,”he said, They participate in society, invest carefully and contribute intellectually. What have we contributed?”

Conservatism and rigidity cannot bring peace to the world. They are trying to create a New World Order,” he claimed, What is the position of Christians and Jews in this Islamic worldview? They are protected minorities. What is the position of Hindus and Buddhists? They are kafirs against whom we must wage war”.


History, in the eyes of the Muslim, has been frozen after the fourth caliph, and, thus, Dr Ali urged that we go back to the humanist movement in Islam. We cannot continue to fear God. We must love God. That is the message of the Sufis that the Wahabis so hate,” he added, There is a story of Rabiah of Basri, the first female mystic, carrying a fiery torch in one hand and a bowl of water in the other. When asked why, she said that she wanted to burn heaven and put out the fire in hell”.


Dr Ali states that the Islamist is unwilling to tolerate differing views, but who is to judge which way is right? Today, Muslims are living in a parallel society and that is creating tension all over the world. The fault exists in the way we educate our children,” he claimed, They are being indoctrinated, not educated”.

While the Quran states that it is the book for those who think, the conservative Islamists state that questioning is the devil’s work. And, so, those who come up with new ideas are persecuted as apostates. This is what has happened to Bassam Tibi and Amina Rasul. Laila Bakhtiar, who wrote The Sublime Quran, questioned whether a husband can beat his wife and she has been condemned,” he added.

The uprisings in the Middle East have been hijacked by religious bigots. The revolution started by the youth was hijacked by the Muslim Brotherhood and has led to a totalitarian state in Egypt. This is the vested interest of the US, to protect the centre of their world.


The Prophet sought an egalitarian society that provided justice for all. He saw a majority suppressed by the rich. Today, some of the worst poverty in the world is in Islamic states. Just look at Bangladesh, Pakistan and Yemen. We have given too much importance to the rituals and forgotten about the spirit of jihad.


During the course of our conversation, it became increasingly pertinent to address the issue of ethnicity and the authenticity of the ethnic marker of Sri Lankan Moor. According to Dr Ali, the Sri Lankan Moor is a superficial identity, superimposed by the Portuguese. It is an epithet bestowed by the Portuguese – not with love, but to denigrate a community which they hated,” Amir Ali said.”

The Portuguese were zealots. They were against Islam. With the fall of Spain, they looked down upon Muslims,” he added, For the sake of convenience they called any Muslim they met in the Indian subcontinent as Moors”.

This matter of the ethnic marker was not taken up seriously until the 1880s when legislative councillor Ponnambalam Ramanathan wrote an article about the Sri Lankan Moors that claimed that they were of Tamil origin. He had a political agenda to say that,” Dr Ali noted.

It was a time at which the colonial government was considering giving representation for Muslims in the legislature. In order to sabotage this, he argued that the Moors were Tamils. The Muslims of the Colombo elite, at the time, realized that if they did not abolish this idea, they would lose representation. So, they took on the identity of Moors as opposed to Tamils. This is how the Muslims of Sri Lanka came to embrace this identity.”


The SLMC came out with a religious cry,” he said, This was evidenced by their first leader M.H.M. Ashroff shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ at the opening of political rallies. It is a political abuse of religion when the name of God becomes a rallying point”.

According to Dr Ali, the Tamil National Alliance, the Bodu Bala Sena and the SLMC are one and the same. They are all playing petty politics with ethnicity,” he claimed.

Former advisor on Muslim issues to the Howard government in Australia, Dr Ameer Ali is a graduate of the University of Ceylon who went on to read for a Master of Philosophy from the London School of Economics and obtained his PhD from the University of Western Australia with a thesis on the religious precepts and economic practices of the Muslim community in Sri Lanka.

Dr Ali is of the opinion that Muslims have played pragmatic politics in the past by joining national parties and have achieved political gains for their community. However, he regards the advent of the Sri Lanka Muslim Council (SLMC) as unnecessary and counterproductive. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Dr Ali claimed with conviction, Ethnic politics is the bane of this country”.



  1. Lorenzo Says:

    “Ethnic politics is the bane of this country”.


    Ban ALL ethnic political parties – TULF, TNA, ACTC, ITAK, BBS, SU, SLMC, ACMC, etc.

  2. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Fast multiplying Sri Lankan Multiplying Community (SLMC) of course wants to take Sri Lanka down the road former iran, afganisthan, pakisthan, bangladesh, maldives, malaysia and indonesia went. Those countries’ native population was outnumbered by the breeding machines in double quick time. Now the multiplying xxxx have realised they want more and more space. They even destroyed our Wilpattu Sanctuary to make space for xxxx. They have bred enough to have a lot of mussies in parliament, urban councils etc. etc.

    Wherever mussies went trouble follows since they are breeding too much. They lack common sense and have no joy in life. No music, no drinks, no socialising. Like the old Sinhalese saying hunter goes home and bash the deer skin when he couldn’t get any deer and the mussies go home and have a lot of bedroom accidents. There is a thing called condom nowadays and they should learn how to use it and try to curtail these bedroom accidents. These bedroom accidents are a menace to any society. You can see what too much breeding doing to middle east, afganisthan, pakisthan etc. They kill non believers first and then start killing each other. Reason? Fighting for resources! So stop
    having too many bedroom accidents. Have one or two like other communities. Buy some rubber. Be happy and be responsible members of society!

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