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Sri Lankan Muslims raise concerns to hate campaign


08:42, March 22, 2013

COLOMBO, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lanka Muslim Council on Thursday said that it had written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, raising concerns regarding the recent incidents targeting Muslims in the island nation.

In the letter, the Muslim Council said the Muslim community had recently been targeted by extreme Buddhist groups for virulent attacks of hate and abuse on the basis of religious beliefs and cultural practices and erroneous assumptions regarding the increase in their numbers.

It said the groups who were targeting all minority religions had created a great sense of unease among Muslims throughout the country.

"Their campaign has also affected all businesses--not just Muslims--and resulted in a threat to the maintenance of law and order affecting all communities. These groups have been using the traditional media, social media, public meetings, posters, leaflets, and the circulation of rumours and misinformation insulting Muslims to inculcate a sense of fear and hatred of Muslims among Sinhalese," the letter signed by the President of the Muslim Council N.M. Ameen stated.

The letter also said rumors are also circulating about Muslim armed groups operating in the east. The Muslim Council said if there are such groups they should be apprehended and dealt with immediately through due process of the law.

The Muslim Council also urged the President to take decisive action by publicly condemning the hate campaign of the Buddhist extremists, continue to proclaim publicly that the minorities are equal citizens and equitable stakeholders in the country.

Several Muslims have been targeted in Sri Lanka recently by Bhuddist extremist groups who have alleged that Muslims should be prevented from wearing the hijab and abhaya, the beard and thobe and more specifically, the nikab.

Muslim MP's in Sri Lanka's parliament have denounced the hate campaign calling for an immediate probe into the complaints and have urged President Rajapaksa to intervene.

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