Extremism feeds extremism – Ali Sabry

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President’s Counsel Ali Sabry says that the number of members in terrorist leader Zahran Hashim’s group grew significantly following the ethnic clashes in March last year and that this goes to show extremism feeds extremism.

He said Zahran’s terrorist group had only 20-25 members in the past, but after last year’s unfortunate clashes in Digana a large number of youths had joined them and this has been confirmed through statements.

“What does this show? Extremism feeds extremism. Terrorism feeds terrorism,” he said.

He made these comments during a press conference held today (16) by representatives of the Muslim civil society of Sri Lanka. Minister Kabir Hashim, former Minister Ferial Ashraff, former Minister and attorney-at-law Imthiaz Bakeer Markar also attended the event.

Ali Sabry said that the people of this country should not be deceived by this hidden agenda every day. “We have to identify this hidden agenda.”

“We have to strengthen the bonds between the people of the country,” he said.

He says as Muslims they have a big responsibility to fulfill and that some things need to be done within the Muslim community itself such as regulating Madrasas and reflecting on their culture.

He also said that there are some decisions which need to be taken with the entire Sri Lankan society coming together for a common purpose.

The prominent civil lawyer also voiced his objection to the segregation of schools based on religions

Mr Sabry said he believes that by dividing schools as Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Hindu and Catholic we are dividing the country’s children from the tender age of five.

“And once they start to live separately after the age of 18, we ask them to join together for national unity,” he said.

He stated that the national anthem says we are all the children of one mother and that if so the children of one mother should not go to separate schools.

“This is a very important juncture in the history of this country,” he said, adding that everyone has an important role to play to bring longstanding peace and prosperity to the country.