By Latheef Farook -
Unless BBS is contained and persecution of Muslims stopped country will be heading towards a catastrophe
Muslim parliamentarians should either get their government to stop the persecution of Muslims or leave the government if they have an iota of sell respect
Time for Jamiathul Ulema to confine to preaching and leave the community alone.
What is the ultimate goal of this disastrous hate Muslim campaign? What lesson they learnt from the three decades of carnage caused by this very same racism? It is unlikely that those who refuse to learn lesson from the recent past will ever learn any lesson .Under the circumstance isn’t it up to mainstream Sinhalese to contain these elements and save the country from a July 83 type bloodshed.
Obviously their immediate target is to crush the Muslim community in keeping with their long established dream of wiping out Muslims after crushing the Tamils. The question is at what cost and for whose benefit?
They have already succeeded in poisoning the minds of substantial section of Sinhalese community. Encouraged by the government’s refusal to bring them to book they may even, perhaps, attack Muslims, kill couple of thousands, destroy Muslim owned businesses and properties and turn the country into a permanent killing field.
What would be the outcome? Will they be able to wipe out the Muslim community from the island? Will they be able to produce a better Sinhala society on the misery of Muslims? Is it in the interest of the Sinhalese? Aren’t they bringing Sri Lanka to its knees and destroying Buddhism and Sinhalese society within? Aren’t they tarnishing the image of Sri Lanka in the international scene?
Who are the beneficiaries of this hate Muslim campaign especially at a time when the government’s alleged war crimes against one minority, Tamils, is discussed by the world community in Geneva. Under such circumstance whose agenda the JHU-BBS-SR combine is implementing to the detriment of all in the island.
Only a year ago Muslims protested the unjust treatment of Sri Lanka at the United Nations. Months later the BBS which appeared from nowhere and vigorously claiming to be guardian of Buddhism and Sinhalese began a well-orchestrated hate Muslim campaign in violation of the very Buddhist teachings which they vow to protect.
Aren’t the JHU-BBS-SR combine serving the interest of the enemies of Sri Lanka?
The All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulema, an association of religious preachers, and its leadership which brought the Muslim community to the brink of disaster, made representation after representation, meeting after meeting and plea after plea with the power that is to stop the persecution of Muslims and bring the perpetrators to the book.
All these pleas fell in deaf ears while the persecution of Muslims continues unabated with BBS emerging as a government within a government.
Disgusting state of affairs is such that a three wheel driver early this week spat at with chewed betel leaves on the clothes of a Muslim woman in Kotahena, niece of a very senior government Muslim politician. In yet another incident Muslim Students of a Buddhist school in Panadura were summoned by the Principal to be instructed to go down on their knees and worship their class teachers every morning when they come and leave the school.
Helpless Muslims living scattered all over the island live in fear and spend sleepless nights. The threat to the community remains the most talked about topic these days.
The shameful violent hate Muslim campaign is not something unexpected. Many predicted an attack on Muslims when Israel, international pariah expelled time and again from the island during the past five decades, managed to sneak into the country after the LTTE war ended in May 2009.
For more than a year and half, in many of my articles, I warned of the threat to the country posed by the by Israeli presence here. As expected, many suspect that the Israelis together with Norway have been behind the ongoing hate Muslim campaign. Some suspect that they picked up racist elements, trained and finance them to set the Sinhalese against Muslim as part of their global anti-Muslim agenda implemented by United States and Europe in active collaboration with Israel.
Justifying this belief it is worthy to note that the New Delhi based fortnightly “The Millie Gazette” of 1-5 December 2009, disclosed that Indian Information Ministry report (2008) stated that foreign money worth Rs 7877 cores was received by Hindu communal organizations in India to cause riots against Muslims. These organizations got money from Israel via Europe, instead of getting them direct from Israel. Similarly tours of leaders of Hindu organizations to Israel have also increased very much. They are brainwashed in Israel and used as tools against Indian Muslims. Hindu organizations use the foreign money on anti-Muslim riots, bomb blasts and other such activities. Investigations give credence to the belief that Hindu terrorists are poisoning the socio-political atmosphere in India and Israel is helping them through financial means”.
Isn’t this happening in the island now? Aren’t the ultra-nationalists and ethno religious fascists frequent visitors to Israel? So finally Israelis have brought Islamophobia to Sri Lanka and political leaders flock to Israel to shake hands with Zionists soaked in Palestinian blood.
If these extremists are genuinely interested in the Sinhala society they should start a campaign to close down the flourishing liquor industry, gambling, casinos, dealings in drug and fight against crime and corruption wreaking havoc in the country.
They are not interested, as their agenda is political, perhaps, to serve their local and foreign masters without realizing the harm they cause to the country. Halal issue, a non-issue, is a pretext to hoodwink the majority community. If there is a problem with the ACJU deal with it and leave the community alone.
They failed to understand the sacrifice Muslims made to preserve the territorial integrity of the country. Had the Muslims supported the separatist call at the early stage when the country’s armed forces were ill equipped to face the challenges posed by the LTTE the history would have been different and certainly there wouldn’t have been a united Sri Lankan for ultranationalists to claim as their exclusive property.
It was Muslim community’s fierce opposition to LTTE call for separate state prevented the creation of Tamil Eelam. Do they realize the sufferings Muslims were subjected to?
Even today Muslims remain a sidelined community under the overall Sinhalisation program underway in full swing while talking of unity. For example hardly any Muslim is recruited to armed forces, police and rarely one could see a Muslim employee in government departments and other state institutions. Even mercantile sector seems to have closed their doors to Muslims who are, by and large, excluded from Government contracts, tenders and all such activities.
Indifference towards Muslims remains open and around 130,000 Muslim refugees from north continue to languish in refugee camps in appalling conditions almost four years after the war.
The reality is that this is a multi religious, multi-racial, multilingual and multi-cultural and unless this reality is accepted peace and progress will remain a distant dream despite all out drives to promote the majority community. There is also no need for any Muslim to produce” certificate of patriotism” as demanded by few chauvinists as this country belongs to all citizens.
As constituent members of the government, Muslim parliamentarians remain party to this persecution against Muslims. The mood among the Muslim community is that Muslim parliamentarians should either get the government to stop the persecution of Muslims or leave the government-IF THEY ARE LEFT WITH AN IOTA OF SELF RESPECT.
It is time that the ACJU, a body not elected by the community, realizes its limit and confines itself to preaching instead of hob knobbing with politicians and insulting the community.
Hate Muslim campaign started around three years ago with an extremely venomous website campaign describing Islam and Muslims as uncivilized barbarians in the typical Zionist Jewish style of anti-Muslim propaganda. The strategy is to prepare the minds of the people for a violent anti-Muslim pogrom.
Muslims repeated appeals to the government to block these websites and check the anti-Muslim campaign bore no fruit.
In the midst from nowhere there appeared the BBS, in the same line as Hindu fascist Shiva Sena in May 2012. The unanswered question is who are these BBS ethno fascists and from where do get their financial resources?
The BBS occupies one of the most expensive newly built high-rise buildings in the city, seems to be having enough of money and a well-organized network of cadres covering many parts of the country to implement their designs. Some are even asking whether these cadres were the very same 300 Sri Lankans sent to Israel for what they described as “agricultural training” but, some believe, were trained by Israeli spy agent Mossad to cause anti-Muslim havoc in the island.
They commit crime after crime under the watchful eyes of the police.
Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara told the cabinet that men in three-wheeler scooters in some villages had gone around inviting people to gather at temples to be told to boycott Muslim business houses. Notices had been distributed in classrooms in schools in Colombo South requesting students to carry out a similar boycott. The irony is that some temples, meant for spreading Buddha’s message of peace and harmony, are used to sow seeds of hatred.
UNP parliamentarian Kabir Hashim said “the government is promoting BBS to divert the country’s attention from the numerous problems it is facing now.
JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe accused multi- billionaire Sinhalese businessmen of being behind Buddhist – Islam ‘bomb’. He said there are no conflicts between poor Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. It is the forces that want to maintain the vile capitalist system that are behind such conflicts.”
He added that “Sri Lanka is a country where Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and others live peacefully. Their beliefs should be respected. What is behind this issue is a business war. The government should comprehend this clearly and act accordingly. The ‘Halal’ bomb is about to explode in the country. The dominance is unleashed in various ways due to their economic interests. We should carefully identify the forces that kindle these clashes”.
Dropping a bombshell opposition parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera said Defense Ministry is secretly doling out monies to Buddhist monks from it slush fund to promote the BBS’s terrorism against Muslims. He accused the BBS of manufacturing problems to create tension between the Sinhalese and Muslims. As a result thousands of innocent Muslim families were living in fear.”
He accused the government of conspiring to divert the nation’s attention by stoking religious hatred and fanning the flames of racism. What is most repugnantly noteworthy is, this conspiracy is targeting our own section of Sri Lankans. The country is fast heading towards a holocaust against Muslim community.
Island wide campaign pasting anti-Muslim posters, running various websites and sowing seeds of racial hatred and protests have been underway. Moreover, it is learnt that the police too is not giving adequate protection to the Muslims and in some instances, the police had not even taken down the complaints. They are a blind eye.
He thanked the Muslim community for being patient amidst these provocative actions. But if this is to continue, this can constitute a serious threat to the Sri Lankans across the globe .This can have an adverse impact not only on the Sri Lankans in the middle east who are a mainstay of our economy, but even the High Commissions abroad and the staff.
Hence I implore these BBS extremists in this country not to play with the lives of the innocent Sri Lankans. Extremism feeds on itself, and begets extremism. Because of this country’s Buddhist lunatics, Islam extremists can be spawned. Today, the need is to reinforce the Lankan identity being a multi religious and multi-racial society. Just because we Buddhists have become the majority, the whole country does not belong to us. It belongs to Tamils ,Muslims, burghers and others said Mangala.
He added that while safeguarding our Sri Lankan identity, all of them have a right to carry on their traditions and customs, religious observances and protect their cultural heritage. In this country there should not be second class citizens. All should be equally protected. Specially, as Buddhists that is our responsibility. That is the best way we can serve Buddhism which was founded on the cornerstones of compassion, sympathy and non-violence.
Addressing the UNP parliamentary group on 19 Feb UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the Norwegian ambassador in Colombo makes secret visits to the BBS headquarters and BBS cadres also invited Norway at various times for discussions and given financial assistance. He alleged the government was not taking concrete action to diffuse rising tensions between religious groups in the country.