Hakeem rubbishes controversy over swords

Pictures by Pradeep Dambarage

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader and Minister Rauf Hakeem played down the controversy over the discovery of several swords at some Muslim owned houses and mosques following the Easter Sunday attacks.

Speaking at a press conference hosted by the All Ceylon Jammiyathul Ulama (ACJU) today, Minister Hakeem stated that it is usual for Muslim households to possess swords with the intention of self-defence.

He urged the media not to sensationalise mediocre matters and certain discoveries that were made by security forces, which may have been used for self-defence purposes in any community.

He further stated that the Muslim community had been cornered and looked down upon by the Sri Lankan community due to the focused search operations and investigations which are currently being conducted in areas where Muslim communities reside.

“Due to these discoveries being made, several media organisations portray the Muslim community as one that is very violent, waiting to create serious mayhem in the nation, however, that is far from the truth.”

He stated that there definitely was a small cult of dangerous radical individuals that existed within the Muslim community and who had carried out this heinous crime.

Hakeem stated that those individuals and their actions are condemned by the majority of the Muslim Community and that their condemnation was not only evident in their words but in their actions as well, where those persons were not accepted into their burial grounds.