Ban could provoke Muslims, Islamic leaders warn.
Islamist terrorists could carry out another series of coordinated attacks, this time dressed up as military personnel, warned Sri Lankan security forces following the Easter Sunday’s suicide bombings on churches and luxury hotels that killed at least 250 people and injured hundreds.
The Sri Lankan government has enforced a new emergency law banning women from wearing a burqa and other types of face covering due to security reasons — much to the dismay of the local Muslim leaders. “All sorts of face covers that hinders the identification of individuals” have been forbidden, the new presidential order states.
The veil ban could anger the country’s Muslim minority and provoke an “emotional” response, country’s leading Islamic organisation, All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU), warned. “If you make it a law, people will become emotional and this will bring another bad impact,” an ACJU official said, “It is their religious right.”
Reuters reported the latest security measures taken by the government:
“There could be another wave of attacks,” the head of the police ministerial security division (MSD) said in a letter to lawmakers and other officials seen by Reuters on Monday.
“The relevant information further notes that persons dressed in military uniforms and using a van could be involved in the attacks.”
The government has also banned women from wearing face veils under an emergency law that was put in place after the attacks.
There were concerns within the Muslim community that the ban could fuel tensions in the multi-ethnic nation. But government officials said it would help security forces identify people as a hunt for any remaining attackers and their support network continues across the Indian Ocean island, which was gripped by civil war for decades until 2009.
Left-wing media and “human rights” activists locked arms with the aggrieved Muslim leaders. “Sri Lanka’s face veil ban stokes fear of Muslims,” The Washnigton Post claimed, citing “experts.”
“That needless restriction means that Muslim women whose practice leads them to cover up now won’t be able to leave home,” Human Rights Watch director Kenneth Roth lamented.
While the liberal elite and the mainstream media obsess over some imaginary backlash against Sri Lanka’s Muslim community, churches across the country remain unguarded against another wave of Islamist terror attacks.
Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith accused the government of “not doing enough to bring those responsible for the Easter Sunday bombings to justice,” Sri Lankan newspaper The Island reported.
“I am not happy with the security measures that have been taken since the attack,” the Archbishop said. “I see neither any direction nor any coordination in the efforts that have been taken. Security forces tend to go to places on tip-offs but much more needs to be done I feel.”
Following the Easter Sunday terror attacks, police have raided several homes and arrested dozens of suspects. Two local Islamist groups, National Thawheedh Jamaath (NTJ) and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim (JMI), are under the scanner for carrying out the attacks. Islamic State has taken responsibility for the massacre.
More than a week after the attacks, some questions still remain unanswered. NTJ, the main Islamist terror group behind the bombing, also has had links to Iran-sponsored jihadi outfit Hezbollah, Sri Lankan newspaper Cylon Times reported.
“There are many serious questions that are being asked about Hizbullah (sic) and his [Zahran, suspected leader of NTJ] connections to the NTJ,” Sri Lankan president’s counsel M.A. Sumanthiran said. “Findings of this investigation should be made public because people deserve the truth,” he urged.
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