Sri Lankan intelligence agencies are on the vigil against Islamic preachers who create communal tension and spread rumours threatening the security of the country, the State-owned Daily News said on Saturday.
Some previously armed Eastern province-based Muslim fundamentalist groups, which used to pass off their killings as those done by the LTTE, had changed track since 2010 and were operating as “preachers of Islam”, the paper quoted a top intelligence official as saying. “They conduct religious discourses. Terror groups like Osama, Knox and Jetty, which operated prior to 2010, have resorted to this tactic,” the official said.
“Several” Muslim fundamentalist groups were involved in rumour mongering. Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had issued a directive to take action against such groups.
Speaking at a seminar in September last, Gotabaya had said: “There are some foreign groups that wish to encourage Lankan Muslims to identify themselves more with the global Muslim community, thereby reducing their integration with the rest of the population. Muslim fundamentalism is spreading all over the world. The possibility that such extremist elements may promote Muslim extremism in Lanka is a concern.”
Muslim leader Rauff Hakeem of the Sri Lankan Muslim Congress stoutly deny that there is any Muslim extremism threatening Lankan. Muslims have always been a peace-loving trading community, he says.