Doing Away with Religious Extremism


Following the Easter Sunday genocide in Sri Lanka that killed over 400 locals and 50 foreigners as well as injured over 500, the Government is contemplating to have all the extremist organizations in the country banned, their members apprehended, properties confiscated and assets frozen forthwith.

It was revealed that many Sri Lankan Muslims who hold membership of Tawheed Jama’at which is confirmed to have perpetrated the Easter Sunday bombings of churches and star class hotels in Sri Lanka, maintain close links with the most heinous international terrorist outfit Islamic State (IS).

However, apart from Tawheed Jama’at, there are various other Islam extremist outfits that are secretly operating in Sri Lanka. The first Sri Lankan origin ISIS terrorist who died in Syria was not reported to have been an active member of Tawheed Jama’at but operated secretly and independently. Such individuals and organizations are still operating and information through intelligence services should be obtained of them to prevent future mishaps.

While banning racist, fanatic, fundamentalist and extremist religious outfits formed by radical Muslims, banning of the Muslim women’s enveloping outer garment known as Burqa and Niqab should also be taken into consideration. This garment does not distinguish between men or women when clad in, and even male terrorists can attire in such raiment and travel with weapons and explosives hidden inside the garment since no body parts including the face is visible.

It is noteworthy that a considerable number of women are also involved in the recent Easter Sunday martyr bombings. Moreover, security sources have confirmed that many female accomplices of the suicide bombers who caused a bloodbath on Easter Sunday,  fled wearing Burqas. Suspicions are also raised if the remaining attackers too escaped in Burqas.

The Government is mulling over the ban of such radical religious attires which pose a high threat to the national security. It is praiseworthy if the Government stands firm on this and impose a ban. It is however, doubtful if the ban would be implemented since this Government has constantly failed in delivering its pledges as well as in carrying out actions that are highly required to assure the national security, country’s sovereignty and the stability.

While giving due respect and the recognition to the moderate and harmless religious practices, the fundamentalist and extremist religious practices and teachings that can cause destruction and massacres in the name of religion or an unseen god should also be banned for the security of the majority public.

Many such illegal establishments that preach and coerce the ordinary Muslim youth to become radical Muslims and martyrs were reported across the country. Nevertheless, the Government took no action against such illegal schools known as Madrasas (not all the Madrasas in the country), letting them produce intolerant fundamentalists. Special attention of the Government should be paid on these illegal establishments, set up to spread and preach extremism.  

Due to Sri Lanka slack Visa and immigration procedures, cross boarder reach by some extremists have been made easy. It has been revealed by several intelligence agencies that highly influential extremist preachers of Islam and also Jihadists have arrived in Sri Lanka and had conducted teaching and training sessions. This is one of the aspects that a special attention to be paid. Such influencers, with their various techniques can attract ordinary Muslims to their extremist cult and can cause severe devastation.  

A foreign intelligence agency named SITE, tracking the online activities of Jihadists and terrorists, warned on 23 April that an IS supporter, motivated by the group’s claim for Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, has stated that the such events can be repeated in USA, Britain and France.

While these terrorists, influenced by the fundamentalist religious teachings, would continue their attacks worldwide, Sri Lanka cannot still be assured of its security that it would not be encountered with further terror attacks, unless the Government take actions to ban extremist religious organizations and illegal preaching establishments in the country.


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