A Malaysian Muslim organization has called on Sri Lanka to allow the bodies of Muslims who died of COVID-19 to be buried according to the Islamic practice.
The Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organizations (MAPIM) said that the current religious slur on the minority group of Muslims does not augur well to the pluralistic make-up and harmonious co-existence of the Sri Lanka nation.
In a letter published on the New Straits Times, MAPIM President Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid said that allowing religious prejudice to dominate the minds of people will not resolve the health crisis that has besieged the world.
“We regret that some choose to use the outbreak to target a certain religion’s followers while dividing the community according to religion. Religious communal hatred should not be condoned,” he said.
He expressed concerns over news that in Sri Lanka, Muslims are cremated by the government itself instead of the Muslim way of burial. Cremating the bodies is against Islamic values.
“This has not been a practice worldwide on bodies of deceased from the Covid-19 contraction. We are saddened by this insensitivity. The decision to cremate bodies of Muslims without due respect to their religious rights is most outrageous,” he said.
Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid said that the right of Muslims to attend to the dead by observing all the obligations that need to be performed according to Islamic rituals is being denied.
He said that Muslims consider this as not only against religious freedom, but also the violation of International Human Rights.
“We regret concerns expressed by the All Sri Lanka Jamiyathul Ulama organization and other Sri Lankan political parties were ignored. The authorities must consider science-based facts rather than assumptions that virus would spread from dead bodies to others. This has been refuted by internationally renowned medical experts and biological scientists,” he said.
MAPIM called on the Sri Lankan authorities to submit to the religious rights of the minority Muslims.