Finally, ISIS has claimed the responsibility of Sri Lankan suicide attacks which killed more than 300 innocent people. In a statement issued by official ISIS’s official al-Amaq news agency made the claim on messaging app Telegram saying the suicide bombers were “fighters of the Islamic State”. Sri Lanka had earlier named the local Islamist group, National Thowheeth Jama’ath, as the chief suspect, for the barbaric act that has sparked local and international outrage.
In a later statement, the terrorist group released photos of eight people who it said were behind the “blessed attack” that targeted Christians during their “blasphemous holiday,” referring to Easter. This statement showed the kind of hatred these groups are spreading against other religions. The hatred has no boundaries. The hatred on the basis of believes becomes more poisonous. What happened in Christchurch in March and what happened now in Sri Lanka is the result of hatred. One was based on the race and other was on religion.
Seven of them had their faces covered and three of them held knives. The one man who displayed his bearded face also appeared to carry an assault rifle. The authenticity of the image could not be independently verified.
According to international media, US intelligence sources had earlier said the attacks bore some of the hallmarks of the ISIS. International experts had said, even if a Sri Lankan group had carried out the attacks, it was likely that the ISIS were involved given the level of sophistication of the apparently coordinated bombings.
On the other hand, Ruwan Wijewardene, Sri Lanka’s junior defense minister told the members of parliament that the serial bombing of Christian churches and hotels in Sri Lanka may have been an act of retaliation for the gun rampage at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. This is the initial findings of investigations so far. The minister also told the MPs that two domestic Islamist groups, the National Thawheed Jama’ut and the Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim, are suspected by investigators of orchestrating the Easter Sunday bombings.
The initial investigations indicating that these attacks on churches and five star hotels were carried out by the local hardline militant Islamic groups to take revenge of Christchurch massacre of Muslims in which 50 Muslims were killed. The massacre in Christchurch happened in mid-March, when a self-described white supremacist gunned down 50 people in two mosques in the central part of the New Zealand city.
The religious extremist militants groups like ISIS and AL Qaeda claimed to be serving the Muslims and Islam but their terrorist activities have been making Muslim populations more vulnerable and exposed. Such terrorist activities have been proved counter- productive so far. The Western powers use the terrorist activities of such groups to attack countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. These attacks bring more destruction and misery for Muslim populations.
How the killings of innocent people busy in their prayers at the places of worships could be justified to take revenge. How the attack on innocent unarmed non-combative people in a hotel could be justified. No religion in the world allows taking the innocent lives under any circumstances. These extremist militant groups and their reactionary ideology brings bad name to Islam and Muslims. Islam is the religion of peace, love and tolerance and overwhelming majority of Muslims lives peaceful life. But handful of religious fanatics continue to disrepute the Muslim societies and Islam.
How can the killing of 45 children serve the cause of Islam and Muslims? These innocent children went to the hotels and churches with their parents. These children were not the enemy of anybody. They hated nobody but still they fall prey to the hate and revenge. The use of religion to spread hate and to kill people must be stopped. These militant extremist groups are not serving the cause of Muslim populations. For example, these attacks now would make local Muslim Sri Lankans more vulnerable and suspicious. The other communities will see the Muslim community with suspicion. They will be marginalised and isolated.
The extreme right wing forces in Sri Lankan society will use these attacks to spread anti-Muslim sentiments and hatred in the society. These attacks will affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Sri Lanka.
It is true that terrorism has no religion or ideology. But it is also true that terrorist used religion, different ideologies and race to carry out the terrorist activities. They use both religion and race to spread hatred against one and the other. Hate and revenge will cause more bloodshed and killings. It will not solve anything.
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21 May, 2019