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Sri Lanka: Muslims Condemn Abuse And Threats Against Women From Within The Community For Advocating MMDA Reforms

Friday 18 November 2016, by siawi3


November 18, 2016


A cross section of Muslims have banded together to unequivocally condemn the recent threats against women activists who have been involved in recent campaigns to reform the Muslim personal laws.

In a statement issued today, signed by over 100 Muslims from Sri Lanka, comprising of professionals, academics, including Lawyers, social activists, teachers, lecturers, corporate leaders, journalists, authors, researchers, and mosque trustees, said that “We the undersigned Muslims categorically condemn the abuse, threat and intimidation perpetrated by some within the community against Muslim women activists who have been involved in recent campaigns to reform Muslim personal laws.”

According to the statement, women activists across Sri Lanka have come under threat, from some Muslim individuals and groups, in the last few weeks for advocating changes to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA). “Abusive anonymous phone calls warning activists to ensure their wives, sisters and daughters refrain from pursuing this campaign have been received by family members of women activists. Muslim women activists have also been named and abused in social media campaigns. These attacks, abuse and intimidation are organised and targeted against specific women’s rights activists,” the statement said.

“Such targeted and organised attacks against Muslim women activists are unacceptable and must cease immediately. We as Muslims have always condemned the use of violence, threats and intimidation. We stood united against such intimidation when used against members of our community by nationalist Buddhist groups and will therefore not accept the use of such tactics by members of our own community. We continue to assert Islam is a peaceful religion, tolerant and accepting of diversity, and will resolve differences through peaceful means,” the statement said.
The statement clarified that women’s groups have not suggested the Muslim Personal Laws to be repealed, but have only emphasised that they be reformed to protect the rights of women and girls.

“We recognise differing views within the community on the extent of reform, but there is broad acceptance that the law has to be reformed. We therefore call on all religious and civil society groups within the community to come together and engage in wide ranging discussions and so we may reach consensus on the nature of the reform.

Finally, we recognise the yeoman service done by these women activists who have tirelessly struggled for the rights of Muslims at great risk to their lives. They have dedicated their lives to help uplift sections of our community and have campaigned and advocated for minority rights, freedom of religion, political, civil and socio-economic rights of Muslims,” the statement said.

The undersigned said that they will not support or condone violence, abuse or intimidation in the name of Islam. “We ask those involved in such acts to immediately stop it and engage with this reform process in a democratic and consensual manner,” the statement added.

Signed By
1. K Nihal Ahamed, HEO;
2. Zahabia Adamally, Disability rights advocate;
3. K. M. Basheer Ahamed, Attorney-at-Law;
4. M.M.M Ajmal, Chairman, Social Education Development Organisation;
5. A. Alavudeen, Social Activist, Kinniya;
6. Enaya Ansar, Mawanella;
7. A. Arif, Federation for Social Upgrades, Mannar;
8. Rifaya Aroos, LLB;
9. Ferial Ashraff, former minister;
10. Abdul Halik Azeez, Researcher;
11. A Azmin, MPC, Northern Province;
12. Dr. Fazeeha Azmi, Senior Lecturer, University of Peradeniya;
13. Yazmin Azeez, President, Reach Lanka;
14. Zifna Borhan;
15. A. W. M. Buhari, Social Activist, Muttur;
16. Azra Abdul Cader, Researcher;
17. Fathima Cader, REACH;
18. Sabrina Cader, Researcher;
19. Fathima Razik Cader;
20. Ameer Faaiz; Attorney-at-Law;
21. Shenoza Feroz, REACH;
22. Aneesa Firthous, Social Activist and teacher;
23. Rushdie Habeeb, Attorney-at-Law;
24. Hyshyama Hamin, Independent researcher;
25. Mohomed Shihan Haniff, Company director;
26. Dr. Farzana Haniffa, University of Colombo;
27. Anberiya Hanifa, Muslim Women’s Research Action Forum;
28. Shafinaz Hassendeen, Muslim Women’s Research Action Forum;
29. Naseem Hassim, Past pupil, Muslim Ladies College;
30. Zeenath Hidaya, IT Professional;
31. Dr. M.S.M Hijaz, MOH, Wattala;
32. Ameena Hussein, Author and Publisher;
33. Zahra Imtiaz, journalist;
34. Zeeniya Iqbal, Past pupil, Muslim Ladies College;
35. Hasanah Cegu Isadeen;
36. Jausha Ishaq, REACH;
37. Dr. Zulfika Ismail;
38. Prof. Qadri Ismail;
39. Adnan Issadeen, Software Engineer;
40. A. A. Jabbar, Muslim Women’s Research Action Forum;
41. Farzana Jabir, REACH;
42. Mifthia Jalaldeen, REACH;
43. Ishan Jallil, Action Against Apathy;
44. M. M. Jarees, Social Activist, Mullaitivu;
45. M.J.M Jawrsz, Chairman, Green Social Service Organisation, Vavuniya;
46. M.I.M Jebeen, Engineer, CEB;
47. Nizam Kariapper, Attorney-at-Law and Deputy Secretary General, SLMC;
48. T.M. Kubais, Social Activist, Mullaitivu;
49. M. L. Lafir, Chief Trustee, Mohammadiya Thakkiya Masjid and Chairman Muslim League, Jaffna District;
50. Ramzeena Lye;
51. Dr. Kanzul Mahrifa, Vavuniya Base Hospital;
52. Rohina Mahroof, Women’s Organisation for Social Resolution;
53. Jansila Majith, Women’s Rights Activist;
54. S.H.M Manarudeen, Attorney-at-Law;
55. Florine Marzook, writer;
56. Dr. Farah Mihlar, Academic and researcher;
57. Noor Mihlar;
58. Zainab Miskin;
59. Buhary Mohamed, Women’s Rights Activist;
60. Naina Mohamed, Chief Trustee Mohideen Jumma Mosque, Velanai;
61. Roshan Mohammed;
62. Nawaz Mohamed, Kattankuddy;
63. Rizvina Morseth;
64. Himaya Muhshin, Past pupil, Muslim Ladies College;
65. Nazli Munnawar, REACH;
66. Munza Mushtaq, Journalist;
67. Bethoon Naina Marikar, REACH;
68. Mohamed Nalar, Accountant, New Zealand;
69. Farhana Nalar, Business Development Manager, New Zealand
70. Abdul Cader Nasiyathumma, Monaragalla;
71. Aisha Nazim, Journalist and writer;
72. Bilal Nazim;
73. Nushka Nafeel, Journalist;
74. M.M.M Nifahir, Chairmen Centre for Information and Guidance;
75. I. L. Niraz, Trustee Mohideen Jumma Mosque, Velanai;
76. Sumaiya Pallak;
77. M. M Rahman;
78. Raseen Raheem;
79. Sharmeela Rasool, Attorney-at-Law;
80. Faheema Razik, REACH;
81. A.R.A Ramees, Rural Development Foundation, Vavuniya;
82. Nisreen Rehmanjee, Accountant;
83. Fazeena Ruzain, REACH;
84. Dr. Marina Reffai; Al-Muslimaat;
85. Farrah Saldin;
86. Amjad Saleem;
87. Sandra Sourjah;
88. Ermiza Tegal, AAL;
89. M.U.M Thahir, Chief Trustee Mohammadiya Thakkiya Masjid, Jaffna;
90. Ziada Tokhi, Melbourne, Australia;
91. Fareena Wazir;
92. Faizun Zackeriya, Muslim Women’s Research Action Forum;
93. Rizana Zackariya, Teacher, Australia;
94. Aysha Zackariya, Producer , Melbourne , Australia;
95. Maryam Zachariya;
96. Shimal Zackariya, accountant, Melbourne ,Australia;
97. Dr. L Zubair, Visiting Lecturer, University of Peradeniya;
98. Rizana Zubair, Teacher, Melbourne, Australia;
99. S. M. Zubair, Retired teacher, Akurana.
100. Mirza Ameen -Past Pupil of Muslim Ladies College
101. Jezima Badurdeen- Past Pupil of Muslim Ladies College
102. Fawzia Jamaldeen- Past Pupil of Muslim Ladies College
103. Mehrun Preena – Past Pupil of Muslim Ladies College
104. Nafaha Nazeer – REACH Lanka
105. Honeida Packeer – Women’s Association of Sri Lanka Malays(WASLAM)