Muslims in Sri Lanka are not allowed to bury their dead, despite new guidelines from the World Health Organization on the burial of coroners.
The bodies of Muslims are being cremated at the official level, which has caused great grief, anger and fear among the local Muslims.
Muslims in Sri Lanka say authorities are taking advantage of the Corona virus epidemic to discriminate against them by forcing them to burn their dead in an un-Islamic way instead of burying them.
According to a BBC report, Fatima Renoza, 44, a member of Sri Lanka’s Muslim minority, was admitted to a local hospital on May 4 on suspicion of cocaine 19.
Fatima, a mother of three from the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, was suffering from respiratory problems, which led authorities to suspect she may have contracted the coronavirus
According to the report, her husband Muhammad Shafiq said that on the day she was admitted to the hospital, her family felt that she was under a policy.
“Policemen came to our house with soldiers,” he said. “They kicked us out of the house and sprayed us with pesticides everywhere.” We were all scared but they didn’t tell us anything.
Even the three-month-old baby in our house was tested and they took us to a quarantine center like animals. ”He said the whole family was kept there overnight but was released the next day.
And was instructed to quarantine himself for two weeks. Meanwhile, they received news that Fatima had died in the hospital. Fatima’s young son was told to come to the hospital to identify his mother’s body. She was told that her mother’s body could not be taken back home as she suspected that Fatima had died of cowardice.
Instead, he was forced to sign some papers so that his mother’s body could be cremated.
The young man’s father, Mohammad Shafiq, believes he was not informed of the real situation. “He (the son) was told to separate some parts of his mother’s body for further tests,” he said. If they didn’t have corona, why did they need to have their body parts removed? Staff testing the virus said Fatima did not test positive. After this information, the wounds of Fatima’s family have been renewed. Shafiq said, “We Muslims do not burn our dead. If they knew Fatima didn’t have a corona, then why burn her? ‘
According to Ali Zahir Maulana, a former Sri Lankan minister and a Muslim candidate in the upcoming elections, out of 182 members of the World Health Organization, Sri Lanka is the only country where the bodies of Muslims who died in Corona are cremated.
‘Burial can contaminate groundwater’
Ali Zahir Maulana told the BBC Sinhala that “if there is scientific evidence to substantiate the claim that burial is dangerous to public health”, the Muslim community would accept the government’s decision.
Fatima’s family has joined Muslim families in Sri Lanka who are sharply criticizing the government for discriminating against Muslims.
When the country’s first Muslim died of the corona virus on March 31 this year, various media outlets began blaming Muslims for the spread of the Covid 19 epidemic. In Sri Lanka, only 11 deaths have been recorded from the epidemic and 11 of the 11 bodies have been cremated instead of being buried.
Dr Sogat Samaraweera, the government’s chief epidemiologist, says it is the government’s policy to burn the bodies of all those who have died or are suspected of having died from the corona virus. Will go because burial can contaminate groundwater.
Dr Samaraweera says the health ministry’s medical experts have adopted the policy for the “good of society”. However, Muslim and social leaders and politicians have called on the Sri Lankan government to reconsider its policy.