COLOMBO : The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) expressed its displeasure and concerns over the move by the Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers for repealing the Quazi court system and abolishing polygamy under the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA).
In a statement issued by the ACJU, the press release recalled that the Muslim Family Laws were in practice in Sri Lanka throughout history of more than 1,000 years among the Muslim community, in accordance to the Islamic religious teachings and cultural practices. “ These customary laws were codified and implemented since the Dutch and English colonial eras and post-independence period until today and were subjected to amendments time to time as required upon due consultation from community representatives as it was related to the Muslim community’s religious and cultural affairs. In this context we agree that certain reforms are needed in terms of the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act. Especially the grievances of the Muslim women should be addressed through these reforms.
Since this matter is concerning the religion followed by the Muslims, our stance is that, the appropriate reforms are required to be made considering the fundamental teachings of the religion, and upon due consultation of the concerned stakeholders by taking their views into consideration. Accordingly, the ACJU has presented its submissions on the necessary reforms in the prevalent Muslim Personal Laws on various occasions.
However, the statement said, it is saddening that the Cabinet of Ministers has proceeded to take some decisions with regard to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act, without taking into consideration the opinions given by Islamic religious and civil organisations. The ACJU expresses its displeasure and distress with regard to this matter.
Thus, the ACJU has kindly requested the Government and the Minister of Justice, to reevaluate the above decisions made by the Cabinet of Ministers, by adhering to an inclusive decision-making process, while giving due consideration to the fundamentals of the religion with regard to this matter and honouring the rights of all citizens of the country, in order to ensure that no one is served injustice and the multicultural diversity of our nation is upheld.
The ACJU reiterated that it would support every decision that is taken based on the abovementioned criteria, in the best interest and development of the country and the Sri Lankan Muslim community,” the statement concluded,