20 August, 2019

Blog

Anti-Islamic Or Radical? Who Am I?

By Sharmila Seyyid

Sharmila Seyyid

I am a woman who never at any time upheld the Islamic fundamentalist ideas nor had ever worn the ‘hijab’ or the ‘burka’. In any of the places I was I had not volunteered in appearance, dress code or anything whatsoever to be identified as a “Muslim woman”, unless such an identity was a coincidence. My understanding of religion is far more different, that it is a spiritualistic inward journey into yourself, the very core, the subconscious mind. I am unable to get free myself of the impacts of the shock that I am being looked upon as a terrorist suspect, in spite of all my detachments from religious identity.  

From 2002 onwards I had associated myself with several social welfare activities and project. The facets of my career, in keeping with changing circumstances, had changed from time to time, as a journalist, writer and activist. I had established Mantra Life in 2015 as a self-generating multi-welfare-organization. There are friends with me in this journey of non-profit organization. Other than myself and another colleague, all the others are non-Muslims. Transcending racial and religious differences, we had rendered services, successfully through several welfare projects. This includes empowerment of women, child development, psychological counseling, rescuing of the affected, and providing them assistance, professional guidance, organic farming and many others. Although I am a Muslim, none of the projects were focused on the Muslim community. The organization was started and registered in Ethul Kotte, a pre-dominant Sinhala area and the majority Sinhalese was the beneficiaries of the projects. Continuously operating in one single location for three long years and executing   several welfare activities, the Mantra Life had gained distinct recognition. We were also engaged in social reconciliation projects. Inviting leaders of different religions and faith we held discourses with the people. All projects of the Mantra Life were focused on promoting mutual understanding, brotherhood and goodwill among those representing different communities, cultures and religions. 

The question of exorbitant monthly rent for the building that Mantra Life occupied, made its continued operations a problem. The Mantra Life was not dependent on any Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). It operated as a self-generating organization and was engaged only in projects generating its own funds. We generated most of the funds from food preparation and Yoga classes. Mostly women were involved in all these activities. The Mantra Life that was operating on the new and rather “un-familiar to Sri Lanka” concept of social business had established net-work connections with other organizations guided by similar concepts. This was one reason for the success of the Mantra Life. Many social business organizations had accepted the social business network, popularly known as “Good Market” and the Mantra Life too accepted it and offered many opportunities. 

The outcome of the Easter serious of bomb explosions has made every individual in suspicious, worthless and fear. Without exceptions stones have fallen in the dreams of Mantra Life. We are uprooting forcefully from the new location of Mantra Life, Wadduwa.

A situation, where the minority Muslims is looked upon as terrorist suspects, has now come about or has been deliberately brought about. The forces of power want such a state to persist. The media too are contributing their share to it. The magnanimous actions of the Christian and Buddhist religious leaders give some hopes, appearing as a silver lining in the dark cloud. But no words of solace or reconciliatory measures would offset the loss of innocent lives in the bomb blasts. Their dear and near ones are in untold distress. There is no remedial panacea.  The mental agony, disgrace and heart pain due to the realization that it was committed by “Muslims” hurts me, as also the others. I do not agree on debates that the attacks were staged by the “ISIS terrorists who can’t be Muslims”. What is right is  “it was committed by brainwashed Muslim youth who joined the ISIS terrorist movement“. All debates and discussions should be based on the nexus of that logical standpoint. Debates on whether or not they were brainwashed, how and the involvement of international politics in the background are matters that also have to be based on this standpoint.   

Forces of power want the country unstable and the future of individuals in uncertainty and fear. Their goal is political mileage from such a state. Past history of the country bears abundant testimony to it. The country is in the grip of communalism and religious fanaticism which are outcome of decisions of individuals for several reasons. I am writing this under traumatic situations where my pride as a citizen of this country, hopes and sense of security have become questionable.        

During my visit to the 130-year-old “Church of the Holy Spirit”, a Catholic Church in Wadduwa, I directly confronted that accusation. I have been a resident of Colombo or several years and my first and last encounter with the Wadduwa Chatholic Church  happened on one single day. I visited and entered the Church on 06.05.2019 with due reverence and respect same as any other devotees who entered Churches or Temples.

My relations with Wadduwa town, next to Panadura on the Galle Road, began in January this year.  The contact was through the Mantra Life organization for which I am working. I set foot on that town with a clear, unblemished and innocent mind and with a specific good-intentioned, clear objective. Prior to that, I had no dealings or contacts in that town. 

In or about December 2018, we started our search for a premise on a moderate rent for the Mantra Life started and we finally decided to buy our own land on the basis hire purchased basis. In that effort we found the right property in Wadduwa. In other words the property found us. The owner of that property contacted us , told his property was in Wadduwa and we could use it for the Mantra Life. He had come to know of the Mantra Life projects through the “Athpavura” TV program and was found it interesting. Since it was a suitable location for the Mantra Life we wanted to buy it. But due to financial straits, we decided to take it on a 15 year lease and, consequently, we reached an understanding with its owner on acquiring its ownership at a gradual phase. We were engaged in preparing the legal documents relating to the agreement and the deed. The landlord is a Sinhala majoritarian and he born and bred in Wadduwa. He has better understanding of minorities in Srilanka and he didn’t have any second thought of ensuring an agreement with us even most of us are belongs to minority.  

During this period, a family was occupying the property on rent. Transgressing their two year rent agreement, they had unlawfully continued to live in that property for seven years. The circumstances confronting the owner’s inability  to  evict them due to his overseas residence, with his family, was understood and I visited the family on a number of occasions and held friendly discussions with them on the issue. I came to know that they were in the process of constructing a new house. They requested for permission to live in that  house until they completed their new house and we agreed to it. The period of that permission  exceeded more than a month and the man failed to vacate the house. He had all facilities to move away any moment because he was  born and bred in Wadduwa and his mother’s house was in the same street. His intentions seemed ambiguous and we had to engage in minor arguments. Incidentally it was on the day that he finally vacated the house that the Easter Sunday bomb explosions rocked the country and the situation completely changed for the worse.  

We were only in a position to keep that house which was procured for  Mantra Life closed. On the ninth day after the serious of bomb explosions, I went to the property with a construction worker to carry out renovations to the house. The earlier mentioned tenant who had vacated the house hurriedly came to the house  and informed me that the Grama Niladhari had wanted me to meet him. The Grama Niladhari also wanted to know about the my proposed operations in that site, he said. It was not a day to meet the Grama Niladhari and I did not meet him on that day.  

The following day a police officer by the name Priyantha called me from the Wadduwa police station and inquired details of the property. He asked me to come to police station with the relevant documents. At the same time the owner of the land also called from abroad. He said that the priest of the Wadduwa Church had called him and wanted to know details of the party  now in possession of the property . He texted the phone number of the Church Priest with the request to get in touch with him. I immediately contacted the Priest. He asked me to come and meet him in the Church and gave the time and date – 8 am on 06.05.2019. 

I was under the impression that this may be due to routine security checking that have been taking place in virtually all places but the shock of my life awaited me there. He had summoned me there to warn me to quit the land after coming to know from the previous tenant that I was a Muslim woman.     

The church priest began with the words that “the people here do not have good opinion of you and they are scared”. 

I replied “the people here do not know me or our organization and, furthermore, we have not officially come into occupation of the place. We have only bought it. How is it possible for the people to form any opinion?” 

The Church Priest immediately remarked “You are a Muslim”. It was shocking and appeared grossly  ‘unjustifiable’  in the background of the fact that I had been captivated by the acts of Archbishop His Highness Cardinal Malcom Ranjith’s  calling for peace and harmony and ,consequently, in  his speech in Batticaloa in the aftermath of the bomb explosion that “ he had forgiven the terrorists and their families”. In the light of his discourses, amidst pain of heart,  preaching communal amity and brotherhood  , the behavior that I encountered seemed unjust. I was held there as a culprit although I never deserved such an accusation. In spite of the just and peaceful reasons that I explained to the Priest, he was rigid in his stand. What he repeatedly said was “ You are Muslim. You will start centers with various names and we see in the news what finally happen. You are concealing weapons in Mosques. We do not need either your services or your activities. We will take care of the social development programs for our people. If you want to do anything, you go and do them for the Muslim community. Give psychological counseling to those who want to jump with explosives tied to them. Try to mend their ways. If you by pass what I say and come here again, we will stage people’s struggles together  with Buddhist monks .” He was firm in his position. 

In the police station they never threatened me in that manner. They only stressed that it was not safe to come there and the people will not allow it.       

I do not comprehend as to whom they are referring to as “people’. None among the people there know me. All these decisions have been taken in according with the desire of certain individuals. 

In 2012 , I was forced to flee the country, with my infant child, under threats to my life from Muslim fundamentalists. In 2014, after the publication of the novel “Ummath”, there was once again threat to my life. In spite of all these and my inability to go to my native place for nine long years, I returned to the country. This decision was prompted by nothing other than my love for this country and trust. In order to keep away from the eyes of protectors of Islamic cultures, I quit Dehiwala, the area of Muslims’ large concentration, where I had lived and socialized for 16 long years and went to live in Sri Jayawardenepura area. It was because I had so much trust and goodwill towards the Sinhala people and I still have.   

The Muslim community looks upon me as an anti-Muslim. The Sinhalese community is trying to brand me as an Islamic radical. The question that surfaces endlessly is whether it is possible at all to live in dignity and security in this country and it is an eternal torture of the mind and unending trauma.  

I can even come to terms with the crumbled dream of a property on its own for the Mantra Life. But I am unable to put up with the manner I was told how I should function and for whom and the particular place where the message was rigidly conveyed to me. This keeps threatening me as a monstrous issue. The soul of this country has been blood stained at different stages by different forces. Now this has been staged by certain ISIS terrorists. I consider it a bounden duty of every citizen of this country to cleanse this stain in order to hand it over to our future generation as a country free of conflicts and contradictions.

There is no basis, whatsoever, for the people of Wadduwa to reject me. Religious institutions have themselves taken a decision on behalf of the people to reject me. Those religious institutions have failed to comprehend the gravity of the rejection which will transform into hatred that will systematically erode the very roots of peace. 

I understand the sentiments, anger, fears and pain of the people of the majority of Sinhala Buddhists and Sinhalese Catholics. But how does it say that a violence action can’t be a solution for another violent action.  How do we make sure that the medicine to heal our wounds is united? As one who was guided by lofty principles to stand opposed to religious and communal fanaticism and have been contributing to it through my writing and activities now feel helpless, abandoned, secluded and insecure when these very two fanatic forces directly attack me. Everything surrounding me seems to sound warnings and I am concluding this with no knowledge what to do next.                         

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 25
    1

    This is a common story nowadays. Moderate Muslims have been thrown from the frying pan into the fire by the actions of a few Muslim terrorists. The parish priest of Wadduwa, even though he should know better, is paranoid like the bulk of his community. If he doesn’t follow their wishes, he will be out on his ear. Christian charity, like Buddhist non-violence and Islamic tolerance is mostly limited to fine speeches.

    • 15
      16

      Why are the security forces raiding mosques, madarasas, shops and houses of Muslims searching for swords, guns and bombs. Are they ignorant that swords are used for circumcision, guns are used for halal slaughter and bombs are used for excavating earth for their graves. Unfortunately for Muslim apologists none of them are found in places of worship of other religions. When meeting a Muslim delegation recently that idiot par excellence Sirisena told them that they keep swords to protect their girls and therefore Muslims keeping swords even to kill non Muslims is not an offence.

    • 2
      0

      Dear Sharmila Seyyid ,

      RE: Anti-Islamic Or Radical? Who Am I?

      “Everything surrounding me seems to sound warnings and I am concluding this with no knowledge what to do next. “

      Expose, expose and expose the bigots.

      Thanks for the excellent eye witness news of the resulting bigotry, after the Wahhabi-Salafi-ISIS Tauheed Jamat terrorism , who follow Satan, per prescient Hadith of Najd, imposed on Muslim communities in Sri Lanka, where Islam was initially introduced a thousand years ago by the Sufi traders.

      Q. Anti-Islamic Or Radical? Who Am I?

      Go back 900 year. Ibn Rushd, aka Averroes, Anti-Islamic Or Radical? He was a well known Judge, Jurist and Islamic Philosopher. The religious orthodoxy did not like him, and the statement that there was no conflict between theology and philosophy, put the Ulama at odds with him. So, they used political power of the ruler to punish him and burn his books.

      Ibn Rushd in his darkest hour

      https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/artsandculture/2015/4/9/ibn-rushd-in-his-darkest-hour

      Ibn Rushd is the most capable rationalist philosopher in the history of Arab civilisation, and the best versed on the achievements of his age and the ages before him.

      Ibn Rushd was summoned to the Mansur’s court, publicly insulted and cursed and accused of heresy. The king ordered him to be exiled along with anyone who spoke about philosophy.

      A final reason offered was Ibn Rushd’s book The Incoherence of the Incoherence, in which he responded to the fallacies of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali’s The Incoherence of Philosophers. He did this despite knowing Ghazali was the master of the Almohad dynasty who were in power, and believed the earth was located between the horns of a bull.

      Therefore, philosophy threatens to expose political authorities and social oppression.

      This group always accuses scholars of rational, deductive sciences of heresy

  • 18
    2

    I understand your sentiments Shermila. You are right. But, the problem is the terrorists use the opportunity of free people to get their inner intention realized. He does not take your difficulties for granted. I am as a Sinhalese never reject you or hate Muslims. I have many many Muslim friends both male and female. They are working with us in unison. But, in fear, people used to be suspect others. It is natural. Please don’t take it serious. When time passes it will die down.

  • 9
    16

    Sharmila Seyyid

    You answer my question then am sure you will find the answer to your own question. Why do you bitterly hate snakes when only 10% of snakes are poisonous and when bit, harm humans? Even the poisonous snakes attack only when threatened either accidentally, unintentionally when trampled without noticing the snake or purposefully.

  • 12
    0

    Sorry to read your article, Sharmila. But this is the reality today. The whole situation is in a big mess and as I always believed all the races and religions have to bear the burden of this mess. Religions are a curse not only today but ever since various religions have been created, certainly not by any gods, but by men and women with warped minds and beliefs and faiths and based on unknown and unidentifiable fears of the unknown. When you referred to your religious faith, that is exactly what a philosophical and rational religious belief or faith is all about and something on which no one can point a finger. But what is today’s religion? It is an expression of power, wealth, ignorance and stupidity that is destroying our human values. It is worse than even our dirtiest Sri Lankan politics. I was appalled by the treatment you were meted out by a catholic priest at Waduwa. These people are not godmen or super humans but people embarked on various journeys to make a living with perhaps super added blind faiths and self interests. This priest ought to know how their churches being attacked periodically by Buddhist fanatics in the name of Buddha who never ever endorsed their acts. But why do they attack? Because all are suspicious about Christianity too and their exploitation’s and conversion of vulnerable people. From Vatican to every church worldwide are riddled with sexual and financial crimes. Even in India these churches are under attack. Recently at Mannar a Tamil priest led a group Tamil christians to attack a famous, ancient, historical Hindu place of worship. So do you need any more explanation to describe the worthiness of any religions. I was in North India recently and Modi in a frenzy to create anti-Muslim violence.

    • 0
      0

      Nathan,

      Thanks for your comment.

      “Religion is the opium of The masses “ Philosopher (love of wisdom) Karl Marx.

      Only man who evolved from primates gave religion. Other primates don’t. Doesn’t it explain everything?

  • 21
    2

    Many Sinhalese felt a sense of guilt after 1983 July, although not many of the Tamils thought of every Sinhalese as a racist bully.
    Tamils had a hard time with the escalation of the war, and for quite some time every Tamil was treated like a potential terrorist if not already one by the security forces.
    The plight of the Muslims is no different.
    There is need for sensitive conduct by the security forces. On my way to Jaffna a week ago in a private bus, the identity of all passengers were checked inside the bus, but a group of Muslims, perhaps in their sixties, were made to get off. (This was despite an earlier thorough checking past Vavuniya.)
    This is targetted humiliation of individuals.
    There is a lot that enlightened members of all communities can do to combat such crude conduct.

    • 7
      11

      SJ

      “Tamils had a hard time with the escalation of the war, and for quite some time every Tamil was treated like a potential terrorist if not already one by the security forces.”

      While all these things had been happening what was the Tamil leadership doing to alleviate them from their suffering?
      Tamils were to be blamed for they themselves brought all these unfortunate experiences on to them self.

      • 1
        1

        Native Vedda, I want to make sure, first. Are you the one who is asking / saying,
        ‘While all these things had been happening what was the Tamil leadership doing to alleviate them from their suffering?
        Tamils were to be blamed for they themselves brought all these unfortunate experiences on to them self’.
        .
        I need to get that confirmed before I make my nastiness public!

        • 2
          2

          Thappu

          This was an ongoing issue between SJ and the Tamil leadership (Federal Party).

          SJ tends to believe every misfortunes that befell on Tamils were caused by Tamil Leadership, for example 1948 Citizenship ACT, Sinhala Only Official Language Act, all riots from 1956 to 1983, the massacre of Tamils at Language Seminar (1974) in Jaffna, floods in late 1958, 1960s, ………… Tsunami, and world oil crisis in the early 1970s, world war I & II, drought in Africa, Wars between India and Pakistan, …

          He also believes Federal Party should have prevented wars in Middle East, Vietnam, ….. CIA initiated and executed coups in South America, Iran, …. Indonesia, …. increase in world food prices, and supported weeping widow in all her efforts to destroy the island, congratulated her for aiding and abetting Pakistan’s share of war crimes in Bangladesh, …..

          • 1
            0

            Thank you Native Vedda. You have dispelled my fear. SJ … … ? I have no time for him.

    • 4
      2

      SJ,
      I agree with you whatever said. I also would like to highlight few other things. There were lot of opportunistic behaviour in many institutions including police, military, and Govt departments. For example, I worked for a government department. One of the department was headed by a Tamil senior scientist. He was very good in his work but he was from Mullaitivu. One of the Sinhalese who was eying his post told the police that the scietist was an LTTE man and he was harassed by police and after some time he himself got transferred. Even now if you travel from Katunajake to Jaffna in a van they will stop and warn the drivers that they have to pay a fine and they will ask to hand over the licence. They will ask the driver to come to their post and they will pay 500 or 1000 rupees to avoid that. There were lot of arrests falsely charging that they carry bombs, drugs etc. Then you have to pay big lumpsum to come out of that. These sort of things are very common in Srilanka and even at the high level bribe happens. A good example was the October Political coup by Our Top level politicians for buying MPs.

    • 3
      5

      “This is targetted humiliation of individuals.”

      No, it is not a targeted humiliation of individuals. If one group has a higher propensity for carrying out acts of violence, then it makes sense to target that group. If the security forces search old women, they are wasting their time. But if they focus on male Muslims within a certain age group, the chances of preventing an attack are significantly higher. Also, potential terrorists will find it more difficult to carry out their work if the security presence is strong.

  • 3
    11

    Dear Sister. What to do next? Billion pound question. It looks you have been trying to please people and their desire. You will never and ever please them at all. If you try to please Sinhalese you will get anger and resentment from Tamils or from other community, like wise, if try please A , B will not be happy with you. This is the nature of this world. Please believe me after reading your story, I come to conclusion you are in a no man land now. No one will help you neither Sinhalese majority nor Muslim minority. Because you branded with different name; Think carefully. I’m not 56 years old man. I’m telling you with my life experience. We can not please any one in this world. So, why not we try to Please our creator who created us in this world. Please think what would be your fate and destiny when you die. you may live another 30 or 40 years in this world. neither your family nor your good friends come to save you from punishment in next life.. If only keep your death and next life in your mind, you would not care about all this problem.. That is a true reality.. that is what we all heading for. yet, people are so materialistic now they only consider this world. I do not ask to wear Hijab but think about your next life and plan for it. This world is not eternal place to live..So, prepare for your eternal life. That is a big challenge. then all this minor problems in this world will disappear one by one.

    • 4
      1

      The meaning to life,

      It is evolution. Evolution makes sense as it tried to continue to reproduced DNA. What is the purpose of a flower? Another flower? Purpose of life? Another life.

      It is not afterlife. In afterlife, after you are dead and buried, the energy contained in the body and atoms and molecules are recycled.

      The Wahhabi-Salafi ISIS Terrorists have been brainwashed to think that there is after life, they will get 72 virgins, when their bodies rot and decay here on Earth? What are these suckers going to do with no body in afterlife?

      The Earth is 4,630,000,000 years old. Life evolved around 2,000,000,000 years ago based on fossil data. Neither the Bible and the Quran talks about that.

      Then, about 4,000 years ago, all of a sudden, God wakes up, and appears in the driest parts of the Muddle East, not in India, not in Asia, not in the new world, to reform evolved humans.

      Do you have any support and data about your after life beliefs? About rebirth beliefs? The only support for after life and rebirth is DNA.

    • 6
      2

      Hello true meaning to life
      “So, why not we try to Please our creator who created us in this world.”
      It is exactly for this purpose the Catholics went to church on the last Easter Sunday. It is exactly for this purpose that Muslims exploded themselves on the last Easter Sunday. You will NEVER please your Creater or you will NEVER find true meaning to life. Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud may take you half way. The rest of the journey is BEYOND your capacity. Come back and join a night club. To be on the safe side don’t harm other creations. Good luck.

      Soma

      • 2
        8

        somass

        By any chance the Tamil Diaspora planned and planted the bombs hoping to prevent cancel 10th anniversary celebrations of war victory ?

        How is your planning of a riot against Muslims/Tamils progressing?

        Probably true meaning to life is looking for excitement.
        Why don’t you take him with you when you start the next riots?

        • 1
          1

          Native
          I can understand your feelings when Wahabis outperformed you in your own technology. Your incoherent output has increased.

          Soma

          • 1
            1

            somass

            “I can understand your feelings when Wahabis outperformed you in your own technology.”

            Wahabis outperforming us?
            No chance.
            Can they beat us the keyboard warriors/ worriers?
            No chance.

            “Your incoherent output has increased.”

            It must be hurting you.
            Thanks for your feedback.

  • 3
    3

    There comes another gundu from True Meaning of an issue that is not true. This is only a consolation for a person who is suffering. In reality our hell and heaven are right here and all the happenings are a reality of every life, humans and animals. While you suffer my friend is asking someone to think of the eternal bliss of the after life and to work for That? Ha…moksha is the final prize for all your sufferings in this life, samsara and Dukka. Most of our suffferings and hatred are due to man made gods and religions. We must if so use the “God”:given brain to lead a humane life and not use race and religions to kill each other and mislead all. In our case this lady is suffering because she happened to be a Muslim at this point in time. I was suffering for many years because I happened to be a Tamil. If she is in an Islamic country she would lead a comfortable, stress free life (assumed). I being a Hindu yet never enjoyed a moment in India looking at the way Hinduism is practiced. It is simply lies and hopes without any hope. For millions of poor this life is hell and thus the hope of heaven in the next birth is the only thing that keep them going in India. To make matters worse Allah added that you will receive 73 virgins for killing in his name! Many men know that experienced women are better than virgins and may be this will get amended to attract more.

    So we have to tackle this life, the only life, in whatever best way we could , and don’t get misled by next birth, heaven and moksha. The moment one dies and that is the end of samsara and it’s sufferings.

  • 5
    0

    For years this hatred , suspicion and lack of trust (not recent) has been around within different communities.( target keeps changing). The architects of this unfortunate situation are none other than our own politicians and religious heads who in turn has conditioned the common man.And cardinal Ranjith is one of them.

  • 1
    0

    Hello true meaning to life
    “So, why not we try to Please our creator who created us in this world.”
    It is exactly for this purpose the Catholics went to church on the last Easter Sunday. It is exactly for this purpose that Muslims exploded themselves on the last Easter Sunday. You will NEVER please your Creater or you will NEVER find true meaning to life. Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud may take you half way. The rest of the journey is BEYOND your capacity. Come back and join a night club. To be on the safe side don’t harm other creations. Good luck.

    Soma

  • 7
    0

    Its all about trust. How you behave with fellow men and women. If you consider any one as a human being and respect their identity these problems won’t arise. Being a Tamil my fellow Singhalese protected me form everything during the trouble days. It is matter of earning the trust of others. Unless our politicians realise that we all should develop a Sri Lankan Identity collectively we have to suffer. Just look at Singapore . That is a fine example.

    • 3
      0

      FYI
      There were communal riots in ‘Little India’ there only a few years ago.

      • 0
        0

        It was not not a communal. Violence was connected connected to.a drunk foreigner who was knocked by a car.

        Font twist .

        • 1
          0

          The cause is one thing. The consequence is another.
          Singapore is an oppressive police state.

  • 4
    9

    Sharmila,

    The country’s economy isn’t doing well. Yet these businesses have a lot of money spilling over in profits which they give for social work. Noble thing of course. But we can deduce that most of this donated money does not come from the business industry that emerged from the skill of the Lankan, but from Middle Eastern Shariah funds to build up these businesses. Either directly or indirectly, this money quadrupled in our land, and our economy is held hostage by it.
    _
    It is held hostage because our land is not an Islamic country. In Islamic countries like UAE and SE Asia, where the majority are Islamic, other faiths and cultures are tolerated, Sharia funds will not include Jihadists. But in a country where another religion is the majority, tolerance for others by the Sharia Muslims is a zero-factor. It is all out war against the infidels as prescribed by the Koran. Even if there are many parts of the Koran that speak about peace, it usually comes after a satisfactory war where Islamists took control. The only places where Islam was won over by peace, were places where religion was not yet purely established.

    Your social business networking for charitable causes can only belong in another Muslim country but not to our Buddhist one. We need to crush these Shariah funds, and you need to find different avenues for donations to  your charitable causes.

    • 4
      2

      Grandma T,
      You didn’t actually read the article, did you?

      • 1
        5

        Read it in detail OC. You should do so also.

        • 2
          0

          Ramona dear,
          “The Mantra Life was not dependent on any Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). It operated as a self-generating organization and was engaged only in projects generating its own funds. We generated most of the funds from food preparation and Yoga classes.”
          Either you didn’t read the above OR you don’t understand English. Take your pick.

          • 0
            0

            Like food preparation and yoga will generate funds.

            • 0
              0

              This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

            • 0
              0

              Why do you think there are five hundred yoga classes in Pittsburgh if they are unprofitable (at $30 aweek)? Check it out.

              • 0
                0

                Different economic conditions and monetary values, OC. And they are just another set of businesses, breaking even in their profits.

                Best scenario is that the lady and sponsors want to promote goodness in Islamic style (whilst linking with other faiths in all-encompassing humanistic solidarity). Unfortunately, for every 100 good set of Muslims who want to fund goodness, a Wahhabi will come sneaking in on the side. Very precarious situation indeed.

  • 8
    1

    Please write to Cardinal Ranjith about this priest who threatened you. We don’t want a Sinhalese Fr. Emanuel or a thug in robes.

    • 2
      0

      Adrian,

      You unfairly slander Fr. Emmanuel. He is a good man of peace who had spent many years in the Sinhala South engaged in peaceful socio-religious work.. Just because he speaks in defence of Tamils targeted by communal minded Police and the armed forces in the Tamil North-East does not make him a “Terrorist” – Tamil, Sinhala or any other. Well-intentioned Sinhalese, Tamils and others are all victims of the environment of communal prejudice that has exponentially grown progressively in the country since the 1950s. The recent April bombs have only exacerbated the poisoned atmosphere. Everybody suspects the other in these troubled times.

      Catholic Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith rises above ethnic hatred and pleads for communal harmony in these complex times. Hindu, and Muslim clerics join him in trying to diffuse tensions. Thugs, rogues, charlatans and opportunists will rush to gain from the misery. That is human nature so far as Sri Lanka is concerned.

      Let us all do our little bit to enable the divided Nation to heal in our different walks in life. There is no other way.

      Puththisali

  • 8
    4

    The hatred and the fear of Sinhalese towards muslims is there sinister plan to turn Sri Lanka into a muslim state. Why was the publication of the last countrywide statistical survey suppressed? This was due to the influence of certain muslim ministers who did not like the people know about the phenomenal increases in muslim population. Unofficial statistics indicate that more than 50% of the children below 7 years belong to muslim parents. This is the tactic practiced by muslims the world over to gain dominance in their respective countries. Their preachers preach against birth control and as a result the muslim population is exploding. This is the real problem faced by the world today. In 1966 there were only 100,000 muslims in the USA and today it is 9 million! Statistics show that the whole of Europe will be muslim dominated by the year 2050. Already mayors of Brussels and London are muslim. The reason is that the birth rate of Europeans is around 1.2 children per family while for the muslims this is around 8.1! Only Burma has seen the real threat of muslims where they are introducing a new rule to limit the number of children of muslim families to 2. In Sri Lanka allowing a separate rule for muslims to marry when the girls are only 15 years or less is another subtle attempt to increases population.

    I may be called a racist for telling these statistics but this is reality and this is the essence of the problem. It is for the Government to deal with this problem and find solutions.

    • 4
      1

      oc
      The hatred existed long before any ‘sinister plan’ was imagined by anybody.
      *
      What we have now is not general hatred, but cultivated by a few and articulated powerfully in social media.
      *
      Anti-Muslim violence in this country has a long history that many like to forget.

      • 0
        0

        SJ,
        History is not a popular subject among the population.It is only used for passing exams. In any case, most people can’t remember anything more than six months.

        • 0
          0

          OC
          Thanks.
          Sadly, even what is remembered in the six months is selective.

    • 0
      2

      ordinary citizen

      As a matter of fact

      Please let me add some in this regard

      There should be a scarcity of young girls to marry in Muslim community due to polygamy, that demands going for underage girls & them to be discriminated by forced childhood marriage.

      If the recent revelation by mainstream Muslims, that they keep swords to in households to protect women might be right because there should be women stealers within the community.

      It must be noted that never in the history in Sri Lanka, any reports of Sinhalese or Tamils attempt to grab Muslim girls, so the fact now is that there’s a fight/struggle for Muslim men to find a woman to marry.

      That goes to the extent of compelling Muslims to grab/lure Sinhala & Tamil girls to marry.

      Most often poor innocent underage girls become victims to these cruel opportunity minded set.

      So there’s a responsibility for the government to expedite banning polygamy in Sri Lanka.

  • 6
    0

    Sharmila

    The first time I read you was when you published an article on CT in the aftermath of the bombings. You were the first muslim woman to do so, and I was very heartened to see that. For many decades muslim women have been pushed to the sidelines by their OWN community – be it in discussing divorce regulations and their attire!!

    So it was great to see an articulate muslim woman speaking her mind – freely and publicly. Please continue to do so.

    As for the nastiness of your experience with the church officials. It is true that the natural human response is fear under duress of the bombings. Most people know that our government is impotent to contain terrorists and protect us. The police and the military too have been influenced by politicians and others to sometimes be biased and at others abuse their powers.

    So many people feel that it is UP TO THEM and ONLY them to take care of their OWN security. Hence, people are forming – unconsciously- vigilante groups. You would need to meet with the people, be open about your plans and make sure that your organization is multi-religious AND INCLUSIVE or the beneficiaries of your charity.

    Many foreign organizations- with good intentions – do a lot of HARM when they ignore the very people they claim to help. Do not fall in to that trap.

    Work with the people in Wadduwa (my great grandfather was from there) and over time they will come to trust and respect you. Remember respect and trust are earned in the long-term.

    Good luck to you! Keep speaking freely and working for ALL Sri Lankans.

    • 4
      1

      Just saw all this. But yesterday, (well, it was on the 10th evening) I had to discuss something similar at an OBA meeting.
      .
      Sharmila, all strength to your arm. There are so many situations in which we have to take stands against racism, communalism and bigotry. To recall the similarity/differences in the circumstances would be tedious.
      .
      But there are some of us trying to keep a tab on what is happening.

  • 3
    0

    Relax Sharmila

    Time will solve your problem. Until then minimize your social work.

    Just think that minimizing or no work for some time is also a social work.

    Non-Muslims are made to believe that there’s an unusually strong, religion inspired solidarity among Muslims.

    Whether right or wrong they favor Muslims. You & people like you have that disadvantage these days.

    Note that Buddha preached us to extend love, kind & compassion to every living being.

    Jesus preached us to extend love, kindness & compassion mainly to all the human beings.

    Prophet Mohamad wanted his followers to extend love, kindness & compassion to Muslims, the followers/believers.

    So non-Muslims have a reasonable fear.

  • 7
    0

    Dear Sharmila,
    I am both sad and angry about the treatment you have received, especially from the Wadduwa priest. Perhaps you should take Adrian’s advice & write to the Cardinal.

    A Catholic friend recently sent him a letter & addressed it as follows:
    His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, Archbishop’s House, Gnanartha Pradeepaya Mw, Colombo 8.
    I suggest you write to him as soon as possible. Maybe under registered post. I hope he will be able to help you to secure a place for your foundation to work from.

    • 4
      0

      Sharmila,
      .
      [Edited out]
      .
      However, we are certainly on the side of people like you.

  • 1
    4

    You like it or not you have to accept the fact that in our Sinhalese society Muslims were treated or recognized as Dalit lot . Evan in townships Muslims residential lines was & is always alone with Sakkiliyar or Garbage & toilet cleaners residential lines.With that recent suicide bombs incidents people of the other faiths might have recollected their past traditions with regard to treating Sakkiliyar & Muslims. That is the nature.No Almighty is there to change people attitude toward your community. Nature is above all. You can not go against nature. If you try it spot fine is there. You can not destroy nature’s wealth like rain forests. If you destroy it you will be ended up in desert without foods & water. You Muslims have to realize it. Until such time you have to go through these agonies. Give call to your so called Almighty Allah & try to influence this lot. wish you all the best.

    • 1
      0

      Sparrow Ranjit,
      “Evan in townships Muslims residential lines was & is always alone with Sakkiliyar or Garbage & toilet cleaners residential line”
      So your residence must be in the same area. But Muslims don’t like the smell of fish cleaners . So you are forced to live in the drain?

  • 2
    0

    Dear True meaning to life and Miss. Seyyid!

    Who do you think you are to advice the author? She is not a kindergarten kid. She said she is a Muslim and she is in limbo because both the Muslims in the past and now on behalf of people of Waddua a Catholic priest said no for her charitable work. Do you think just looking at the sky and and waiting for next life doing nothing in the life, which has been given to humans by God to live and let live. Stop advising and do something good to mankind.

    Miss. Seyyid,

    The timing is essence here . You simply want to relocate to new a area for right reason. But the priest has his own reason to have some reservation because what had happened on Easter Sunday.

    Who could have suspected the Ibrahim brothers who carried out the attack at Shangri La hotel? They were well dressed and come from well do family with good political connection. There was nothing to suspect in normal situation.

    You said at you Mandir there are other volunteers who do belong to other religious belief as well, and why didn’t you take one or two of them with you when you met the priest. Had you taken few of fellow volunteers the priest might have had clear picture. Therefore I don’t think the priest has behaved extremely strangely. I’m of the opinion that he was extra cautious. There are so many places where your services may need. You also need some protection from lunatic people. So your right must be compromised here taking into consideration of the situation. Time will cure everything. Until that moment be quiet and hopeful. May God bless youbfor your good intentions.

    • 4
      0

      Ahmad Navi,

      I absolutely agree with your suggestion that she take some of her non-Muslim co-workers along with her when she goes to enquire about a place. I, too, had thought of that but forgotten to include it in my posts.

  • 1
    0

    i don’t think any one of you including the writer is wrong. read classical literature, you see the same thing. in classical literature, there is a story, there is one wrong guy, good guy and may be a bad guy bad for either himself or everybody. But when you analyze individual by individual, was he/she wrong. So, keep on proving that you are honest to yourself and you do no harm anyone. Carry on.

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 1
    0

    you will keep pleasing people until you die. When an angel death come to know that these people did not help you

  • 2
    0

    [Please write to Cardinal Ranjith about this priest who threatened you.]

    This cardinal is one of the opportunists in SL. He is a political bum sucker and I have my doubt about an unbiased mind. We can say that he is not a racist. He is a bit cornered because the churches were attacked. But yet he is a smart ass and now using that to his best advantage to propagate his name. Another local Jesus. Some morons are even suggesting Nobel Prize for him, come on and now this prize has lost its glamour. he is talking of maithriya, love, forgiveness more than even Buddha. He rejected the bribe of a bullet proof car. So hope he will favour the new team in the forthcoming elections. He is working very very closely with Buddhists and and even buddhist clergy and they are even sweeping the churches. A God Sent time for our cardinal. Hope he will also advise his teams to stop these forced conversion of poor innocent people and stop this boru kathawa of “Jesus is coming are you ready” to hoodwink the innocent. Already we have seen the curse of religions and that is enough for Sri Lankans.

  • 2
    0

    As long as there are absolute morons and idiots like Ranjith exist in SL we will continue to live in cesspits. What a rot this guy writes. Morn Buddha created Buddhsim because of Hindu caste system. You moron after 2500 years again spitting your stupid ignorance and modakama. Anyway modaya there ought to be someone to carry your shit baang. Do you have any idea what your sinhala society is all about? Assaulting unarmed civilians, looting their belongings and the entire family walking on streets proudly with stolen good from tamil homes. You moron is severely confused being misled by Mahanama and I promise you that all that is wrong. If muslims are low cast you too a low cast and have no doubt about that. Stop your venom baang and let people make peace. I am sure you moron is not living in SL and instead living some where on someones charity and dole. wake up man. If you have any self respect get lost from this forum. This is not freedom of expression and dont drag sinhalese into your venom. One cannot change your attitude but by right teaching many could be changed.

  • 6
    0

    For anyone who does not already know about Sharmila, her writing and her persecution for criticising growing “Talibanisation” (for want of a better word) among the Muslim community here, I suggest you look her up in the Net, Twitter, etc. She is a very brave young woman who was compelled to leave Sri Lanka for a number of years, possibly in fear of her life.

    I hope her attempt to settle back here and carry out useful work will be successful.

    While I agreed with Adrian that she contact the Cardinal, I am by no means a great fan of his. That he has taken a commendable and important stand in the present situation is in no doubt. However, I cannot forget his initial outburst on the 21st or aspects of his behaviour during the coup and pre-2015 regime. And I certainly dont support the call for him to have the Nobel Prize. He is doing what any religious leader should be doing at this time, and perhaps he should be doing more to support his priests in troubled areas so that they, too, stand against any form of communalism.

    I dont mean to preach at this difficult and painful time, but a man like the Cardinal has been bestowed with special responsibilities. That he appears to be living up to them (at last?) is surely no reason to bestow prizes on him. However, in a situation where few, if any, of our political leaders have shown any guts or concern, I do appreciate the Cardinal for the stand he has taken.

  • 1
    3

    Idiot Muslim man alias L A Buddhadasa Come up with your true Identity Siam Rasak. You Idiots are ancestors of refugees who were Avajathakayo or base born lot of dalit south Indians women and Afghanistan Soldiers. Beggars lived licking bath oruva located in every junctions in Kotte Era. Have you found suitable place in Somalia.?????? Yes in our society you Muslims were treated as Vasalayans. Gery Mas Kanno Vasalayoya. ( Those who consume beef are dalit ) residents is & was alone with Sakkiliyar. ( Toilet cleaners & Garbage collectors) That is & was the case in Every townships.

    • 0
      0

      Bird brain Ranji,
      Haven’t you still got the ticks out of your tail? Oh, I forgot , it is still stuck in your a***hole, so you are having diarrhoea from the other end . I don’t boast about my Lewke Walauwa ancestors, but it is really funny to see a fish cleaning Patabendige criticising Salkilis . Ha….ha….ha..ha.

  • 1
    0

    Sharmila Seyyid thinks outside Square One, albeit whatever this self-generating multi-welfare-organization Mantra Life is.
    We need Lateral Thinkers.

  • 0
    0

    You don’t know which direction the country is going to go. Rent out the new office until all there election are over. Then decide what to do.

  • 0
    0

    Thangachi Sharmila, if you posses any PR elsewhere please pack your back and go away. Let only old people to live and die in the mother land known as ammagay ratta. “Appitta hadanta bay, namuth kadanda puluwang”.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.