Sri Lanka: Religious leaders urge women to avoid niqaab, cooperate with police

Colombo: Following the advisory issued to churches in Sri Lanka, under which they will remain closed for public mass, Muslims have also decided to hold their Friday prayers privately.

The All Ceylon Jamaiyyathul Ulama, a society of Muslim scholars, has urged the Muslim women to refrain from wearing the face-covering niqab. They have asked this to facilitate security forces in managing security and investigation.

Sri Lanka’s Muslim Council said that its leaders have agreed that bodies of terrorists would not be buried in any mosque burial ground. Muslims, in Sri Lanka, are anguished by the developments and they want to disown the terrorists.

A significant number of people from persecuted Islamic sect have sought refuge in the city of Negembo as tensions escalated in the aftermath of Easter Sunday bombings. Many of them had moved from Pakistan to Sri Lanka facing humiliation and catastrophe. They are Ahmadis who are persecuted in Pakistan and legally banned in the cities of Mecca and Medina. In 1974, Pakistan declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims through a constitutional amendment. Similar to Ahmadis, Sufis have been a target of religious fundamentalists as well. Police have warned the Sufi mosques of possible attacks.

Places of religious importance in Sri Lanka are under strict security check. Churches have been ordered to stay closed till further notice.

Earlier, the Sri Lankan government revised the figures of deceased to 253 from 359. The error was due to error in calculation of bodies.

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