Muslim Council issues recommendations for improved cultural assimilation

The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) has compiled a list of recommendations to be followed by the country’s Islamic population with the objective of creating a Sri Lankan Muslim identity without compromising on the right to practice the religion.

Signed by MCSL President N. M. Ameen, the recommendations cover such contentious areas as dress code, signage, cultural assimilation and Islamic education.

Noting that an apparent change in religious practices and other behavioural changes over the past few decades have contributed to anger and suspicion directed at the Muslim community, Ameen said in a statement announcing the recommendations, the wider Sri Lankan community feel that Muslims are distancing themselves from mainstream Sri Lankan society.

“Our self-isolation has not only ruptured interaction with others, but also leaves no opportunities for creating understanding between Muslims and other communities,” he said.

Muslims have lived in Sri Lanka for 1,200 years as a peaceful community loyal to the country, Ameen went on to say, adding that recent trends have created divisions where there were none.

“The recent trend in Muslims attaching themselves to various reformist groups with ideological differences has not only created a divide between the community and other Sri Lankans, but has also resulted in fissures within the Muslims themselves, cauing intra-religious conflict, sometimes leading to violence,” he said.

The full list of recommendations are as follows:

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