The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) has raised serious concerns about the statement made in Parliament by Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe MP, Minister of Justice about the Muslim community.MCSL noted that the Minister has implied that 32 Muslims have joined the ISIS recently. MCSL said it strongly objects to the misplaced statement. “The Thableeq Jamath, Sunnath Jamath, Thowheed Jamath and Jamaithe Islam and several other organizations are all Muslim religious and social service organisations. They do not promote any form of violence as implied by Hon. Wijedasa Rajapaksa. Certain parts of his statement are verbatim of the hate speech spewed by the extremist priest Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero. The Muslims of Sri Lanka has a long history of peaceful co-existence and have stood with the Sri Lankans at good times and at times of adversity. The entire Muslim community has condemned the un-Islamic comments of the Secretary of the Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath, Abdul Razick. Twenty-three Muslim Religious and Civil Society organizations headed by the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulema issued a statement condemning the speech made by SLTJ’s,” MCSL said.MCSL also said that a little known fact that did not attract any media attention in July 2013 was that the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulema and Muslim civil society intervened in court in support of Ven. Soranathota Chandrarathana Thero who filed action and pleaded with the magistrate to sentence Abdul Razick and six others with maximum punishment. MCSL also noted that as alleged by the Minister, no Muslim international school invites extremists to indoctrinate its children with fundamentalism.MCSL urged Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe to provide the evidence and take immediate action against anyone may have violated the laws of the land irrespective of ethnicity or religion. (Colombo Gazette) “The facts given by the Honourable Minister were reported in the media more than one year ago when a Sri Lankan combatant died fighting with ISIS. There have been no new reports of any others involved since this was reported last year. It is believed that one family had gone to Syria to provide humanitarian support to the war wounded and refugees. Some of the men are alleged to have joined or forced to join the fighting forces of ISIS. The Muslim community, including the Muslim Council, Jamiathul Ulema and other organizations cooperated with the government in identifying the families to provide the necessary support for the intelligence agencies to investigate. Those who have gone to Syria as quoted by Hon. Rajapaksa include women and children,” MCSL said. MCSL said Rajapakshe’s statement comes at a very opportune time to certain extremist elements bent on tarnishing the image of the Muslim community for reasons only best known to them.
An investigation by the Ohio State University Police Division into a potential shooting threat on campus is pending. Police believe the initial threat to be over with, but have not yet identified the perpetrator of the crime. “Ohio State University Police have been investigating postings to fantasy, role-player game sites which referenced a potential public safety threat of a shooting at OSU,” said OSU Police Chief Paul Denton. “We continue to investigate and are taking this seriously.” University Police released a public safety notice via email and text message to faculty, staff and students between 11:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. Wednesday, warning the university community of the threat, which Denton said was “specific to a cafeteria at the Ohio State University and today.” “We felt it important to notify the university community to heighten awareness and to stress the importance of ‘if you see something, say something,’ and report suspicious activities or individuals to the appropriate authorities,” Denton said. The public safety notice stated that anyone with information concerning the threat should contact University Police or Columbus Police. “I want to encourage anyone who knows anything about this situation to notify University Police immediately for further information,” said Jay Kasey, OSU senior vice president for Administration and Planning. Denton said police will continue to monitor the situation until they are certain the threat is over. “We have expert police and security presence on or around campus dining facilities,” Denton said. “Although we have moved past the window of concern, we will continue to have additional resources and presence for as long as necessary. The safety of our campus is our top priority.” Kasey said the person responsible for the threat has not yet been determined. “The matter will not be considered complete or closed until we’ve identified the individual or individuals who are responsible for this incident,” Kasey said. Denton said police will continue to have a presence at campus dining facilities throughout the evening. When asked whether the security presence will continue into tomorrow, OSU Director of Public Safety Vernon Baisden said they are handling the situation “one day at a time.” University Police sent another notice at approximately 4 p.m. Wednesday to inform the university community that it has moved past the window of concern but will maintain “security presence and heightened awareness for as long as necessary.” The increased police and security presence applies to areas on or around campus dining facilities, including at the Wexner Medical Center. Officers at OSU’s regional campuses were also informed of the threat and took necessary precautions, according to the afternoon notice.