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SA Muslims express indignation at Sri Lanka attacks

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South Africa Muslim religious organisations have roundly condemned Sunday’s abhorrent terror attack in Sri Lanka, with local ulema calling for swift justice for the victims. Several coordinated suicide bombings ripped through churches and hotels on Easter Sunday, killing hundreds. On Tuesday, the deathtoll rose to 321, with more than 500 people injured. On Tuesday, Sri Lanka held its first mass funeral for some of the victims, many of them children. A state of emergency remains in place in the country.

In responding to the deadly violence, the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) issued its condolences to the families affected by the tragedy. It called on the factions in Sri Lanka to respect human life and to seek alternative and meaningful ways of resolving their conflict.

“In a climate of religious intolerance and disregard for human life, it is the responsibility of God-fearing communities to rise and become the voice of peaceful co-existence and tolerance,” said MJC secretary general Shaykh Isgaak Taliep.

The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa said it was concerned about the increased levels of depravity inflicted on people of faith and sacred spaces.

“This level of violence, which shows a total disregard for the sanctity of human life, let alone the sacredness of places of worship, is abominable. It is intended to inflict large scale carnage and mayhem,” said JUSA secretary general Maulana Ebrahim Bham.

The Claremont Main Road mosque hosted an emotional vigil at St George’s Cathedral in Wale Street on Sunday evening. Capetonians from various faiths stood side by side holding candles and saying prayers.
In a statement, the mosque made an appeal to Muslims to reciprocate the solidarity and compassion that was showed in the wake of the Christchurch attacks in New Zealand in March.

“These all too frequent attacks on sacred places of worship and the tragic loss of life and maiming that it causes, is emblematic of the heart-breaking hatred and cruelty that has beset our current world. We call on all peace and justice loving people to redouble our efforts to spread love and compassion to heal our troubled world.”

The Madina Institute Centre for Non-Violence and Peace Studies, which is built on the philosophies of love, peace and humanity as espoused by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), said the recent acts of violence in the global world required a deep reflection on the process of peacebuilding and reconciliation.

“Sri Lanka is a beautiful Island and the people are known to be kind, warm and loving people. These violent acts of terror attempt to rip apart societies by destroying all that is good. However, violence will not be triumphant. Good people of this world must collectively intensify peacebuilding efforts to love and work towards a more just, inclusive and equitable world for all.”

The MJC further called on the Sri Lankan community to support all legal efforts to bring the perpetrators of “these heinous acts of violence” to justice. VOC

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