Leader of Muslim sect killed
[TamilNet, Saturday, 30 May 1998, 23:59 GMT]
A Leader of a Muslim sect, ostracised by the Ulama Committee, the highest religious body of the Sri Lankan Muslims was shot dead at his home in Kaththankudy near Batticaloa town last night around 10.30 p.m. Sources said that the killing was the result of a long standing religious enmity between orthodox Muslims and followers of the sect who have been branded as heretics by tthe Ulama committee.
Sources in Kaththankudy, a large Muslim town 6 km south of Batticaloa, said that Farook Mowlavi was called outside his house by unidentified persons who shot him dead.
Farook Mowlavi is the second rung leader of the Islamic sect based mainly in Kaththankudy and other Muslim towns and villages of Batticaloa and Amparai districts.
The sect was established two decades ago by the charismatic Raub Mowlavi who also lives in Kaththankudy.
About 2000 Muslim families mainly on the east coast follow the teachings of Raub Mowlavi.
The orthodox Muslims in Kaththankudy have clashed with Raub Mowlavi's followers on several occasion in the past.
Houses and shops have been burnt in the violence.
Despite pressure from powerful orthodox Muslims in various parts of the island, Raub Mowlavi has continued to wield considerable political and social influence in Kaththankudy and other Muslim villages in the Batticaloa and Amparai districts.
According to his teachings and interpretations of the Koran, God is immanent and hence his true followers can worship images of him (God) and the prophet Mohammed.
The Mowlavi and his followers have established their own mosque for their worship. Raub Mawlavi's critics say that his teachings have borrowed from Hinduism and is the work of some Muslims who came from Tamil Nadu and settled in Kaththankudy.