Since the mastermind of the Easter Sunday terror attacks on 21 April 2019 and National Thawheed Jama’ath (NTJ) Leader, Zahran Hashim supported certain politicians connected to the Good Governance Government in 2015, they may also have supported him in return, alleged Rashid Akbar, brother of Rashid Mohamed Ibrahim, a suspect in the Mawanella incident where Buddha statues destroyed in 2018.
Akbar was giving evidence before the Presidential Commission appointed to investigate the Easter Sunday bombings, yesterday (11). He is also a resident of the Mawanella area.
Akbar further said Zahran had made some statements in 2010 that the Jamaat-e-Islami organisation was acting against Islam. At that time, Akbar was Chairman of the Jamaat-e-Islami organisation and he had responded to allegations levelled by Zahran against them. Zahran had also invited him for a debate and he (Akbar) had not participated in any such debate.
He also submitted a compact disc (CD) which is believed to contain a telephone conversation between him and Zahran. The Commission ordered the Government Analyst to submit a report regarding that CD in two weeks.
Responding to a question posed by Senior State Counsel, Suharshi Herath Jayaweera as to whether he was aware that his brother Rashid Mohamed Ibrahim’s sons, Mohammad Ibrahim Saheed Abdul Haq and Mohammad Sadiq Abdulla Zahid had recorded the religious sermons in an upstairs room of their house in the Delgahagoda area in Mawanella, he said that he had visited the house on several occasions but that he was unaware of such a thing.
Responding to another question as to whether he was aware of the fact that Mohammad Sadiq Abdulla Zahid had gone to Turkey for some training, he said that Mohammad Sadiq Abdulla Zahid had left for Turkey to learn the Turkish language, adding that he was unaware of Mohammad Sadiq Zahid’s involvement in any terrorist activities or organisation.
Akbar also said he had spoken to several intelligence officials over the phone and said that Mohammad Ibrahim Saheed Abdul Haq and Mohammad Sadiq Abdulla Zahid were carrying out some acts of hatred against other nationalities.
He also submitted a confidential document to the Commission in that connection. According to him, they had resorted to such activities after some anti-Muslim incidents in the Aluthgama and Teldeniya areas.
He said that Shariah law is being taught in Arabic schools in the country and that the students are not educated on what is and what is not relevant to a country such as Sri Lanka. Adding that the Sharia law is taught in these schools, he claimed that different people interpret them according to their needs.
Responding to another question posed by Commission Members on the role of the Jamaat-e-Islami organisation, he said it was their role to carry out social service and certain activities related to the propagation of religion.
Then the Commission Members asked him whether separate institutions or organisations were required for the propagation of the religion since all Muslims automatically are followers of Islam from birth, Akbar claimed that the propagation of the religion is carried out only among Muslims.