Sarah Malani Perera: Muslim community failed.
A three member team which visited the Mirihana Police on Monday, 12 April l 2010 found that the allegation that Sarah Malani Perera was ill treated was false.
Instead, according to Sarah Malini Perera, she had been treated with respect and dignity and provided with all required facilities.
The team which included Senior Journalists, Hamza Haniffa, Latheef Farook and community activist Zurfick Ghouse visited Mirihana Police where Sarah Malani Perera was detained.
The purpose of the visit was not only find out first hand her condition besides ensuring that the controversy surrounding her detention was not exploited by unscrupulous elements to pit the Sinhalese against Muslims.
They were received very well by officers at all levels who took time to explain in detail the manner she was treated.
They all said that the delay in finalizing her issue was due to last week’s parliamentary elections which kept the police busy as that had to work round the clock.
When the team asked whether they could meet Sarah Malani and talk to her in person to find what really had happened, the officer concerned gave immediate instruction to bring her.
She entered our room, dressed in black abaya and head-scarf, with all graciousness and greeted us with salaams.
When asked what really had happened she had this to say;
She had written and published with her money two books – From Darkness to Light and Questions and Answers.
One book is a comparative study of five different religions and one among them is Buddhism.
In fact, was a comparative study and was an intellectual exercise.
It was not aimed at criticizing any religion in keeping with the strict Islamic teachings which strictly forbids any form of, mild or otherwise, insult of other religions and those who practice it.
She went to courier service ARAMEX office in Colombo suburbs to send some copies of these books to Bahrain .
The officer concerned was very polite and she did not find any hostility towards her although later he started questioning whether she was a Sinhalese and then converted to Islam.
Though irrelevant to the ARAMEX official whose duty was only to send the cargo and do the documentation Sarah Malani answered all his questions and left the office to bring the balance following as the money was insufficient to pay for the cargo.
She the discussions were pleasant even at the point of her leaving the office.
She visited the ARAMEX office following with the required money and even presented copies of her these two books to the officer with whom she was dealing there and told him clearly to read the book in full to understand it properly and not to take out of context.
After completing all formalities with regard to her cargo she left the ARAMEX office. Even at that point the officer concerned was very pleasant with her.
Stepping out of the ARAMEX office she was met with a person in civil who inquired about her name and stopped for while before started talking on mobile and giving the direction of the ARAMEX office.
Then, the vehicle came and she was brought to the Mirihana Police.
She was shocked and surprised.
Obviously, the ARAMEX officer who pretended to be friendly had informed the police. However, as a person with strong faith in Allah she decided to accept what was going on.
She claims she has not done anything wrong and the police officers treated well there up-to-date she is confident that she would be released within days as there is nothing to be accused of under any law.
“Pray for me” is the only answer with a pleasant smile and confidence when we asked whether she needs any assistance from us.
Meanwhile, police officials said routine inquiries have been underway and it is matter of days before this issue was solved.
Concerned Muslims (there were just a few of them) expressed shock that the plight of this sister in Islam had not evoked concern by fellow Muslims in the Island .
As a writer in a Sunday paper remarked: “While the case of Rifca Barry in the USA had been taken up by a host of Muslim lawyers ,in the case of Sarah there were no Muslim lawyers to help her”.
The Prophet(sal) had said that the Muslims were like one body, if one part felt pain, the whole body would feel it”.
Unfortunately, at the present time, as seen vividly in the case of Sarah brotherhood and sisterhood seem to be a thing of the past.
Muslims seem to have become like the Israelites of old who told the Prophets when confronted with enemies “you and god go and fight the battle…
Muslim apathy and indifference is unbelievable, and if this situation continues we are in for great disaster.
May Allah guide us all!
Sara, alias Malani Perera released
Sara, alias Malani Perera who had written two books about her conversion from Buddhism to Islam and was in detention on the orders of the Defense Secretary was released today (20th). Colombo Additional Magistrate Mrs. Praharsha S. Ranasinghe relased her on bail of Rs 5000 cash with two sureties for Rs 50,000 each.
Sara alias Malani Perera was arrested on a complaint made by a courier service and on checking the suspect the police found that her identity card contained her name as Malani Perera and she was dressed like a Muslim. The police told Court that their investigations revealed that she had written two books on Islam and they investigated to identify whether she had any involvements with any terrorist movements. The investigations conducted so far had not revealed any such involvements said the police and stated they would not object to granting her bail.
The magistrate after considering the submissions granted bail to the suspect and ordered the sureties to produce the Grama Nilasdari certificate and the Police report in court. The suspect’s passport was retained in court. The case was postponed for 19th May.Scridb filter