Following the suicide bomb attacks in Sri Lanka by suspected IS operatives, attempts have been made to link Islamic outfits in Tamil Nadu with the terror strike. However, political parties, particularly those representing the interests of Muslims, have cautioned against such a tendency.
At the same time, Indian Union Muslim League president Kader Mohideen said the attack had flagged the need to be vigilant of youth falling prey to “misguided” interpretations of Islam.
Stating that these attacks had reiterated the importance of promoting inter-faith dialogue, Mr. Mohideen said, “We need to revive the good old days where there was communal amity and harmony among various religious communities. We used to organise inter-faith religious events where people of all faiths would get together on the same stage for peace and unity. We used to have a Moulvi, a Hindu religious leader and a priest on the same stage. We need to restart such activities on the ground.”
The IUML leader added: “I have been telling people in the Jamat to be vigilant of those who promote a misguided interpretation of Islam and oppose certain Islamic traditions followed by Muslim communities. Such people should be sent away. We must first consider ourselves human beings. That’s what all the scriptures also say. People who commit such terror are committing a crime against humanity,” he said.
In a statement, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi founder Thol. Thirumavalavan on Wednesday said the after-effects of the terror attack could be felt in Tamil Nadu just as the State felt the effects of Sri Lankan civil war.
Mr. Thirumavalavan said the democratic forces in the State should uproot fundamentalist forces without any compromise and defeat the plan to demonise the Muslim community as terrorists. “Not just the Sri Lankan government and society, but it is important that the Indian government and Tamil society should learn important lessons,” he said.
Prof M.H. Jawahirullah, president, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, rejected concerns that attacks in Sri Lanka would have a major spill-over effect in Tamil Nadu – within and against the Muslim community.
“No Muslim has or will recognise such an act. In Tamil Nadu, the democratic forces are strong and any such adverse effects will be prevented. Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamat and other organisations have condemned the act of terror. Terrorism has no religion,” he said.
Asked about the effects of certain Muslim organisations that prescribe a more ‘stricter interpretation of Islam’ that criticises other Islamic traditions, Mr. Jawahirullah said, “These reformist arguments have been made for a long time now. These are internal debates within the Muslim community. I reject that such debates will lead to some turning to terrorism.”