We register our strong objection against the forced cremation of deceased bodies of Muslims in Sri Langka.
Sri Lanka made COVID-19 cremations compulsory in April with baseless claims by influential Buddhist monks that burying bodies could contaminate groundwater and spread the disease.
This claim is unfounded and it is a statement of hatred targeted towards Muslims.
It is an unacceptable ruling by the Sri Lankan court and the authorities on the pretext of curbing the covid-19 pandemic to force cremation of Muslim bodies.
In addition to the ruling the Sri Lankan authorities are incurring charges to be burdened on the bereaved families for the cremation of the bodies.
The ruling violates the minority rights and it is abusing its powers by imposing rules that are against the religious laws of the Muslims.
We question the basis of the Sri Lankan court decision since WHO has given its guidelines of how to handle the bodies of those who parished by Covid-19.
The Sri Langka government has not provided any scientific evidence that a deceased body will be infectious.
We are outraged to receive the news that a 20 days old baby from a Muslim parents was cremated in Sri Lanka.
We condemn strongly this act of crime against an innocent toddler from a Muslim family. Of what sin has the baby done to be treated in such a manner? Why is the authorities of Sri Lanka denying the right of a decent burial for Muslims while knowing that there is no evidence that the bodies can infect others or spread the pandemic.
We demand that the imposed cremation on the deceased bodies of Muslims be revoked. The right for the option for a normal burial must be given back to the Muslim communities as was done before.
The earlier practice of giving the option of either to bury the bodies in accordance to the Muslim’s burial practice or cremate the bodies , must be re-enacted.
We are shocked by the Sri Lankan ruling to cremate Covid-19 victims as compulsary despite family objections.
Cremation is a practice forbidden under Islamic law – though under the strict supervision of health authorities.
We are dismayed by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka which rejected the protest petitions last week, without giving reasons why it made that decision.
Even the Amnesty international, reported that the cremation of Muslims are against their religious beliefs , and it was “unjust”.
What Sri Lanka is doing is in violation of the International guidelines which clearly state bodies of COVID-19 victims can be buried or cremated.
We condemn the Sri Lanka’s stand to use the pandemic to further marginalise the Muslim community.
The Sri Lanka Muslims are fearful that a majority of the country’s coronavirus victims were Muslims.
Being infected and seeking medical help if they are tested positive for COVID-19, resulted in many not wanting to be cremated if they die.
We regret that the Sri Lanka Atorney general has taken this arbitrary decision.
We urge the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to keep pressurizing and to prevail upon Sri Lanka to permit Muslims to bury their family members “in line with their religious beliefs and obligations”.
We question why is Sri Lanka ignoring the World Health Organization which states both burials and cremations are permitted.
We object vehemetly the “anti-Muslim hysteria” and pointing fingers at Muslims for the spread of the virus.
We urge the government to halt the hate campaign against Islam and Muslims in Sri Lanka. Hatred and animosity will not augur well for nation building of Sri Lanka.
Mohd Azmi Abdul Hanid
President Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organizations.