16 January, 2021

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Cardinal’s Statement Causes A Tremor In The Muslim Community

By Mass L. Usuf

Mass Usuf

The Muslim community was flabbergasted to read a sweeping statement made by His Eminence the Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith which hit the headlines in a local newspaper dated 04/12/2020.  In bold letters it read, “Easter Attacks, Sharia Law Played Major Part – Cardinal”. The report inter alia, stated:

“Muslims may consider Sharia Law important, but that does not mean it could be interpreted or introduced as the law of the country and forced on other communities or used to intimidate and influence other communities, Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith insisted.”

Three points are of relevance in this statement.  

(1) The sharia being ‘interpreted or introduced as the law of the country’.  

(2) Forcing sharia on other communities.  

(3) Sharia being used ‘to intimidate and influence other communities’.  

These are preposterous allegations reported as coming from His Eminence the Archbishop of Colombo. It is surprising and inexplicable. There has been some misunderstanding somewhere. There is no record of anyone interpreting or introducing the corpus of Sharia Law as the law of the country. Naturally flowing from this unequivocal denial, the sharia law could not have been forced on other communities nor used to intimidate or influence any other community. None of the above is true. And, we know His Eminence will not utter falsehood.  

“…….  You shall not lie to one another.” (Bible: Leviticus 19:11)

“Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies!” (Bible: Psalm 34:13)

When the Quran categorically states that there is no compulsion (forcing, intimidation or coercion) in religion, only an insane or stupid person can force Islam on any other community. To force Islam on others, be it a single person or a community, is doing exactly opposite to what the Quran teaches.  

“There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion.” (Quran: Chapter 2/256).

Sharia Law Is Impossible

Further, a condition precedent for the implementation of Sharia law is the existence of an Islamic government. Renowned Jurist, Christopher Weeramantry writes in his book, “This epitomises the approach of Islam to the question of government. The ruler’s power is held on trust from God. Apart from that relationship and compliance with God’s law, he has no right to rule.” (Page 124, Islamic Jurisprudence). It would be clear now that the blabber from certain fringe quarters about Muslims trying to introduce sharia to this country is absolute nonsense and a huge, huge lie.

It must also be stated that the Sharia law is a blessing on mankind. It upholds equity and justice as ordained by the Creator Himself. Certainly not like the frail and imperfect man-made laws which need to be amended all the time. Just in passing, with regard to the contribution of Sharia to the field of international law, even before Hugo Grotius (1625), who is considered to be the father of International law, the great Sri Lankan scholar and jurist Justice Weeramantry in an interview said,

“Like wise in the world of Islam there was much thought and writing about what we would today call international law – the treatment of prisoners of war, conduct on the battlefield, the sanctity of treaties, the privileged position of diplomats and the likes. All of these were elaborately discussed on the basis of the Holy Quran and the numerous traditions of the Prophet Mohamed known as the Hadiths, dealing with these matters. These were assembled in treatises on international law by writers like Al Shaibani which appeared around eight centuries before the work of Hugo Grotius, the celebrated Dutch Jurist who authored the great work on War and Peace in 1625”. (The right livelihood Foundation, Sweden).

Several hundreds of scholarly researched books have been written by internationally prominent Muslim and Non-Muslim jurists on Sharia law. In contrast to this, many in our country ignorantly utter this word, “Sharia” to spectacularly impress an equally ignorant audience listening with gaping mouths. As much as it sounds hilariously funny, there is the hidden danger of people being misled.  

Monotheistic Essence

For the benefit of His Eminence, the following Scriptural references are made which encapsulates the monotheistic essence of the Path (Sharia) of the Christian and Muslim religious beliefs. The greatest Commandment for both religions – the Oneness of God: 

Christianity preaches, “And Jesus answered him, the first, of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.” (Mark 12:28-29)

Islam preaches, “And your God is One God, there is no god but He, the Most Merciful, the All-compassionate.”  (Quran, Chapter 2:163)

Christians and Muslims believe in this Oneness. In Islam, this belief is part of the Sharia. In this case, even the Christians are following the Sharia of the Lord. And, what does this word Sharia mean? It literally means, “the path”,  “the path leading to the watering place” – the law that guides towards the Divinely ordained path of conduct. Therefore, if a Christian speaks against the Sharia, in essence he will be denying the very purpose of Prophet Jesus’ mission on earth – to establish the greatest Commandment – belief in One God.

Prophet Jesus (May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) (PBUH) brought this message:  

O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You. (Bible: Chronicles 17:20).

Prophet Muhammed (May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) (PBUH) brought this message:

Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; …… And there is none like unto Him. (Quran: Chapter 112:1-4)

The Period Of Jesus (PBUH)

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sent to confirm the messages of previous prophets, including Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus, peace be upon them all, as well as previous scriptures such as the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel in their original, unchanged form. The Quran states:

“Allah, there is no God but Him, the Living, the Sustainer. He has revealed the Book to you in truth, confirming what was before it, and He revealed the Torah and the Gospel. (Chapter 3/2-3).

We Muslims and you Christians all belong to the same chain of Prophets and the same monotheistic belief in One God. Prophet Jesus (PBUH) came into the world at a time of great turbulence, religious corruption and violence. The custodians of the law were fraudulent, unethical and cheating in the very courtyard of the Temple. (Bible: Matthew 23:1-36). 

“And for this the Jews persecuted Jesus and sought to kill him,” (Bible: John 5:16)

His Eminence the Archbishop will appreciate that today, the Muslims are living in a period similar to that of Prophet Jesus (PBUH). The Muslims have been targeted by everyone and from all places.  At these times of trials, tribulations and challenges thrown at the Muslims, they respectfully choose the Shariah (path) of Jesus (PBUH) in the Bible, which has resemblance in the Quran too. 

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Bible: Matthew 5:10)

“And endure with patience adversity and affliction (misfortune, hardship, peril, trials, tribulation). Such people who do these are truly righteous and pious.” (Quran: 2/177)

Easter Sunday Attack

I remember writing a Column just four days after the Easter Sunday attack, “I, Too, Am A Victim” (Colombo Telegraph, 25/04/2019). I am reproducing the pain and anguish that we Muslims as a community went through during that period. 

“To those of you who have suffered injuries, you have found a permanent place in my daily prayers. I am certain, there are many out there, in whose prayers also you would be kindly remembered. I beseech God to relieve you from all the pains, aches and discomforts that you have been subjected to. I supplicate to God that He relieves both you and your loved ones from the trauma, shock and anxiety that they must certainly be experiencing now. May God relieve all of you from all physical and mental agony that has befallen you innocent and peace-loving people.”

“It would give me a feeling of immense relief if I could visit you in the hospital. I wish I could stand by your bedside. I wish I could help you to get back your strength. I wish I could caress your hair with filial or brotherly affection. I wish I was able to attend the funeral of our loved ones. It will ease the weight that my soul is burdened with to sit and console those who have lost their dear and the beloved.  As you and I know very well, reality will not permit me to be by your side. This is a time of heightened emotions and I understand that.”

Seeking Justice

These were not weasel words but spontaneous outpouring. I, again, wrote on the anniversary of the Easter Sunday attack to the same newspaper which carried His Eminence the Archbishop’s statement. It was written under the heading, “A Year Has Gone By Without Justice” (Ceylon Today, 21/04/2020) bemoaning the delay in justice. 

The Muslim community wants to exonerate itself from being blamed for the actions of a few whose masters, planners and schemers have still not been identified. Both the Christian and Muslim communities are waiting for justice to be dispensed as both have been victims in different ways. Since there is no place in Islam for such behaviour, the Muslims from day one had been continuously stating that these terrorists cannot be true Muslims.

Way Forward

A group of 138 Muslim scholars and intellectuals, including many senior Imams and Muftis, issued an open letter in October 2007 to the leaders of every denomination of Christianity in the world, with specific reference to Pope Benedict XVI to engage in a deep dialogue for peace between the faiths.

Locally, I believe, we, the Muslims and Christians including all other Christian denominations have two significant steps to follow:

Firstly, all of us together must make every possible effort to ensure that justice is done to the victims of the Easter Sunday attack. Secondly, both the Christians and Muslims must sit and engage in dialogue to ensure that peace, justice, co-existence and national security is strengthened in our motherland.  

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  • 3
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

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    • 1
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      Muslims in SL should wake up from their long slumber. They just behave like deaf and blind. How Ali Sabry is performing being made NUMBER slave for Rajapakshes is being tolerated by Muslims. Not even burial rights are given to the muslims, but srilanken muslim stay further mum. Is that because they have no choice ?
      :
      Senior researchers in VIROLOGY speak out today – and confirm that COVID 19 virus would not spread by burying the dead bodies. If that was the case, US, Germany, UK, Netherlands, and any other civilized world would have cremated those dead bodies in that countries. But they did not. Neverthless our SO CALLED buddhist fundementalists to spread lies in favour of their majoritariasm, .. has reached all the high harms done to the its own citizens in srilanka.

      Prof. Witharana, a senior virologist stays as if his mouth is shut today. All other professors are speecheless but waging the tail still in favour of RAJAPKSHES.

  • 4
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  • 3
    1

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

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  • 16
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    There is no such thing as a creator god. it is just your foolish imagination. So what you do in the name of this non-existant thing is as foolish.

    • 12
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      “When the Quran categorically states that there is no compulsion (forcing, intimidation or coercion) in religion, only an insane or stupid person can force Islam on any other community”
      Anyone can come up with platitudes, but we know perfectly well that there are no churches or temples in Saudi Arabia.
      Still, with regard to the Cardinal, Mr. Usoof shouldn’t put read too much into his misguided statements. Even most Catholics don’t, because they see him as a Sinhala Buddhist in a Cardinal’s hat.

    • 0
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      a14455 / December 6, 2020
      But where you have taken asylum, majority would go after god creation. 75% of the world population believe in a god. Even buddhagama slaves incl my families down there believe in a god ( but they called it swabhawadharmaya) whenver they face anything in their day today life. How can you as minion, say that invisible forces dont exist ? You should better talk to your brother who is said to be a medical professional. He could help you educating you. I thought even a dog if lived in the STATEs or any other civilized world would behave better, but yours break all records. You the kind of stupid men are the majority in my home country. They are today speechless being caught by Beliattha rascals once again.

  • 10
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    Dear Mass L. Usuf,
    .
    Why don’t we forget that evil Cardinal, and focus on what the black-skinned Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole has written?
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/call-for-immediate-war-crimes-trials-trade-embargoes-against-sri-lanka/
    .
    Please comment there as much as possible for the next five days. Don’t worry about the damned Cardinal; I’m sure that his soul will be heading for Hades when the breath in his body has gone.
    .
    If we make the most of the current situation, we may be able to persuade Gota to go for some accord that ushers in peace for all Sri Lankans, instead of this eternal strife.

    .

    • 1
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    • 2
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      Dear Sinhala man
      Please tell me trade embargoes like the ones which reportedly killed nearly one million Iraqi children fall into which category?
      American answer is it is the responsibility of Sadam Hussain to comply and save his children.
      (Famously the lady Secretary of State at the time said it was worth it. Remember?)
      Presumably what this Hoole implying is it is the responsibility of Rajapakas to comply and save our children, right?
      .
      Would YOU say the same thing?
      If a terrorist is holding 50 children hostage would you refrain from sending food parcels in order to starve the terrorist?

      Soma

      • 0
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        Soma,

        “If a terrorist is holding 50 children hostage would you refrain from sending food parcels in order to starve the terrorist?”

        I believe you have the wrong address.

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          old codger
          If a terrorist is holding 50 children hostage would YOU refrain from sending food parcels in order to starve the terrorist?

          Soma

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            soman

            “If a terrorist is holding 50 children hostage would YOU refrain from sending food parcels in order to starve the terrorist?”

            In that case we should always use Kautilya’s four Upayas (diplomacy), Sama, Dhana, Bedha, and Dhanda.

            If Sri Lankan state is holding the Children hostages, we can normally skip the first three methods. The kith and kin of the hostages won’t see them life anyway. In the mean time avoid dealing with Basil.

          • 0
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            Soma,
            “If a terrorist is holding 50 children hostage would you refrain from sending food parcels?”
            Pardon me, but I thought that was SL govt. policy.
            I agree with your description of US policy in Iraq. But better analogies are:
            1. If your wife went off with your children, would you send food? ( SL)
            2. If you’re trying to get your neighbour’s wife, would you send food to the hubby? (US)

            • 0
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              Yes
              Yes

              Soma

  • 2
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  • 14
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    All religions exploit the stupidity and vulnerability of the human psyche. Long before Buddha, Christ, Mohamed, even when we were living hard brutish lives in caves, humans worshipped trees, mountains , sky, fire and so on.
    These beast like Homo Sapiens interpreted nature through these believes. They ate raw flesh and hunted animals in the cold.
    From the time of Adam and Eve our story is of suffering and eventually after about 60 -70 years dying from some disease in pain. Religion cannot even make a aspirin to relive our pain ( they wait for miracles ! like the Covid treatment !)
    These believes do not improve our lives in any way but give us psychological relief, a bit like the nice feeling when taking opium. Only that opium will harm your body, religion will only make you stupid and perhaps a little poorer spending hard earned money on priests and rituals. And of course ,wasting a lot of time talking mumbo jumbo.
    Reading this writer Usuf it is obvious he has a belief system which he loves . Same as the poor Cardinal ! Two deluded mediocrities arguing utter absurdities !
    In another 100 years ( if we are still are on Earth, not destroyed by our own hands or an asteroid hitting the planet)) any religious person will be a curiosity to be studied in a psychological ward or a museum.

  • 14
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    What the Cardinal said is true. The Rajapaksa regime is now in bed with Easter Sunday bombers. They always were. It was a joint venture.

    • 1
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      G
      Let alone the truth part of what the Cardinal said, can you be specific about where he even suggested that “The Rajapaksa regime is now in bed with Easter Sunday bombers.”

  • 4
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    At the PC on terrorist attack by Wahabi Muslims on Easter Sunday three people including former President Sirisena have mentioned that the attack was a conspiracy of a ‘POWERFUL COUNTRY’ but no one revealed the name of the country. People have a right to know who is this ‘POWERFUL COUNTRY’.

    • 8
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      Eagle,
      ‘POWERFUL COUNTRY’.
      Is it the one you are living in right now?

      • 2
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        Dear oc,
        .
        I agree. Dishonest EE. Ostensibly he faults Sirisena for not sharing the name of the country, but EE himself is not telling us who he is, or even where he lives.
        .
        It’s just not worth our while interacting with him.
        .
        In your case, Idon’t hanker to know who you are. You provide useful insights, you have principles, and you are consistent. Quite enough for me!

        • 3
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          SM,
          Our friend Eagle makes so many mistakes that it’s easy to get in a few digs.

          • 2
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            SM,
            “In your case, Idon’t hanker to know who you are.”
            I don’t think you’d be very impressed if you knew!
            Thanks anyway!

            • 2
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              Old Codger,

              I consider you, NV, SM, Ferry and few more are honest commenters on CT.
              .
              EE should be a hired person for Rajapkshe politics. It shoudl be the same with that Ms SCP. We dont need to know where he is hidden. SM, please dont go after him. W whose both ends are sealed off as of today. We all know EE is just an ultra racist by his thoughts and minds.

              May well be he is a sick person. He reacts mostly as a demented person to my eye. If anyone with some sanity could bring me any supportive info proving him otherway around – would be helpful.
              .
              Btw, EE would never come with facts. His is just based on his personal experience with some tamil srilankens. Even if we both sinhalayas and tamils come from India, EE makes every efforts to prove that sinhalaya to be put above as much as he can. DNA research outcomes seem not supporting his cemented thoughts in his little head.
              See how often he repeats the terms ” native sinhalayo, vellala tamil, etc”: I did not know much about Vellala caste until his posts revealed us about them. We knew that laundry men came to collect dirty linen in my childhood. The caste differences i guess are not that much in SL today. That is a tremedous improvement in the society.

              • 0
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                LM,
                “The caste differences i guess are not that much in SL today”
                We must all feel sorry for EE, because he can’t apply to be Malwatta Mahanayaka.

      • 0
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        OC
        If it is the country that you have suggested earlier, that country is in the pocket of a very powerful country.
        Will a mouse on the back of an elephant be a mighty animal by association?

  • 11
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    “For the benefit of His Eminence, the following Scriptural references are made which encapsulates the monotheistic essence of the Path (Sharia) of the Christian and Muslim religious beliefs. The greatest Commandment for both religions – the Oneness of God”
    .
    The problem is, the average monotheist, whether Christian, Muslim, or any other, interprets this as meaning his/her own God is the One; is the one and only true God. They will never understand the concept of the “Oneness of God.” So they feel insecure when they see people belonging to other religions worshiping “their own Gods” with the same sense of awe and devotion. They feel an uncontrollable primeval urge to impose their exclusive God on everybody else. The root cause of this malady is their Stone Age, anthropomorphic understanding of God. It is simply beyond their ability to see that the universe is totally indifferent to human existence. They’re intimidated by the “otherness of nature.”

  • 16
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    Quran (3:151) – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”. This speaks directly of polytheists, yet it also includes Christians, since they believe in the Trinity.

    Quran (5:33) – “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement

    You try to whitewash , the bottom line is carnage was inspired by Islam Teachings. Have no doubt about it folks. Suicide bombing, shore bombs , ramming to crowded places, gas-cooker bombs and all are handy work of people who dearly follow Quran and Allah.

  • 8
    2

    What have we got to say about the below statements in Quran?

    Surah 3:151: “We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve (all non-Muslims) …”

    Surah 2:191: “And kill them (non-Muslims) wherever you find them … kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers (non-Muslims).”

    Surah 9:5: “Then kill the disbelievers (non-Muslims) wherever you find them, capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush …”

    • 0
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      So bored, This was already answered 6-7 years ago when Gnanasara thero brought up these verses first time. You can find answers with couple of google clicks. Did you check why he doesnt bother about this now?

  • 5
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    There had been many warnings from foreign intelligence agencies about the attacks why there was no action.

  • 2
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    Holy Quran in no way justifies murder; it unequivocally states,
    “If anyone killed a person, it would be as if he killed the whole people: and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people”
    Quran (5:32).

    Prophet Muhammad Honored By the U.S. Supreme Court As One Of The Greatest Lawgivers Of The World In 1935

    Over the past few years, hate and communal polarisation, specifically targeted at the Muslim community, has emerged as a low-cost election winning formula.
    Hate mongers may be as bad as their logic, but they all manage to achieve the intended result – violence against Muslims.

    Hate speech is entering the mainstream, spreading like wildfire through social medias. Hate speech isn’t free speech. It’s racism.

  • 2
    3

    We need to have Chinese style one party rule for 20 years……..we got the first step extending the terms but the Military should go all the way to remove all the symbols of religions from public places…….and convert all the prayer places to homes/community centres/police surveillance posts and demand every individual deliver something to the Nation for their existence in return or go and wash toilet somewhere else just as we do now??we are a very primitive people and race/religion and languages are a burden for our souls period. In fact we have not evolved from the previous versions of whatever.

    We are all sodomising our own Nation under various disguises…even in the name of religions……need to go…..think of the past……

  • 3
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    No need to argue what the Koran says or doesn’t say. Like the Bible, it is full of contradictions and posters are selecting whatever is suitable to them. Read it for yourself, there are some very odd comments by the all merciful one. http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/index.htm

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