30 September, 2020

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Few Opinions On Internal Discussions Of Sri Lankan Muslims 

By N.M Rishard – 

N.M. Rishard

Two months have completed. It was an unexpected explosive attack that took place on 21st of April 2019 and none of Sri Lankan Muslims had any prediction on it. Few years back, some Muslims from Kattankudi had arranged a massive demonstration against Zahran Hashim, leader of banned terrorist group NTJ and the for-frontier of suicide bombers. In which they requested the government to arrest that particular person who was abnormal in his speeches and activities. Anyhow, the attack was a shocking incident not only for Muslims, but for entire human beings who respect ‘others’ irrespective of religion, race and ethnicity.

Post-Easter attacks (post 4/21) have created a new atmosphere where suspicions are rampant and each ethno-religious group has scarcity towards others. Particularly, Muslims are observed with black tinted glasses. When analysing the contemporary context, we can categorise it in to three major phrases. The first phrase is, three decades of civil war with LTTE, which was one of the dangerous terrorist groups internationally and was an unbearable burden to the nation politically, socially and economically. The second phrase is post-civil war which seemed to be a golden period in Sri Lankan history where the terrorism was eradicated. In fact, it starts from 2009 until Easter Sunday attacks. The third phrase will be post–Easter Sunday attacks where the terrorism has been planted again in this beautiful land for mere political purposes of few whose drama has been staging internationally and nationally. It is obvious that Post 4/21 is quite crucial period to Sri Lankan Muslims since they are anticipated to play a pivotal role in upcoming days. 

In future, Muslim society will pay more attention on external discussions than internal discussions. Many instances and incidents upon the attacks have urged Muslim community to rectify some misconceptions prevail among many people who are coming from various religious background. Numerous questions related to Islam such as Jihad, Shariah, Women, Freedom, relationship with other believes, suicide bombing and so on have been put forward to Muslims who mingle with Bhuddists, Hindus and Christians. Muslims are compelled to respond to these issues. This emerging new trend is unavoidable.

But, I strongly believe that Muslim society should focus more on creating very serious discussions in internal reformation rather than involve totally in external. I mean proper percentage should be given to both internal and external. Approximately 65% of the entire efforts and endeavours of the society can be provided to internal reformation. Following paragraphs try to suggest briefly few major points that can be given priority in internal reformation propaganda of Sri Lankan Muslims:

1. For Sri Lankan Muslims, self-criticism and self-evaluation are quite important at this crucial time. They have to step back and should have a courageous critical analysis into the way they are dealing with their sources, Quran and Prophetic traditions. We are able to identify four major trends that are adopted by Sri Lankan Muslims such as Sufism, Salafism, Traditionalism and Moderate Islamic Thought. All of these sects have been practicing for a long period and most movements that are following above mentioned trends, abstract its theology and worldview from foreign countries rather than contextualizing it according to the nature of our nation, people and environment. Furthermore, literal approach to the texts, Quran and prophetic traditions, has a great influence even inside the Moderate Islamic Thought groups and the objective based approach to the text is ignored in high extent. Only very few Muslim scholars make their uttermost effort to develop a contextualized method as well as objective based approach in this country. For instance, approximately one year back a well-known Muslim scholar had a talk on slaughtering cow and goat in Haj festival, in which he strongly argued that money can be given instead of slaughtering animals. His insistence was, one of the ultimate objectives of the prophetic action in slaughtering which is obviously taking care of poor and needy people in that joyful day and make them laugh. Giving money perhaps fulfils above mentioned objective and purpose much more. Unfortunately, unhealthy reactions and accusations were thrown towards him. My humble suggestion is, Muslims may slaughter only few animals in their particular area remembering the Abrahamic tradition and for the rest of the part they may provide money for the needy people in forth coming Haj festival. I argue that this kind of objective based approach, instead of literal approach, should be promoted, so that we can achieve the objective in multi-ethnic and pluralistic society.

2. Moreover, Sri Lankan Muslims should be very vigilant on extremist ideologies that can be stemmed again and promoted among youngsters particularly. Mosques can play a significant role in providing adequate guidance, educating and training young generation on moderate thought that totally rejects terrorism, racism and violence. Suspicious individuals who indoctrinate extremist ideologies even through in social media should be identified and their named should be informed to the relevant authority. In order to maintain the peaceful coexistence in this country this vigilant observation and other precautions are too essential.

3. Religious schools -Madrasa- are another sphere, in which a critical review should be taken place. Almost all madrasas, except very few, have orthodox approaches that are based on only traditional books. Graduates of Madrasas are educated and trained on a narrow perspective and worldview. For instance, in Islamic jurisprudence they are taught based on school of Shafie tradition only. Rather, they should be educated varieties of jurisprudent schools and further the students should be trained to analyse various opinions aiming to prioritize most suitable opinion to our county. Moreover, modern Islamic Thought, that emphasises on knowledge of minority, knowledge of priority, knowledge of contextualizing and so on, should be thoroughly taught to the students as well. These kinds of changes will provide a wide range of knowledge to the graduates who will be able capable enough to confront the prevailing problems and challenges with proper answer and adequate response.

4. Muslims religious leadership, that is the production of Madrasas, is another area on which Sri Lankan Muslims should pay more attention. All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama is considered by the layman group as the one and only accepted civil leadership for Sri Lankan Muslims. The structure of the particular organisation is quite complex and questionable. The main reason is that any graduates from any Madrasa even a small madrasa that has a narrow and unscientific syllabus can get membership in it. No any academic qualification, except graduating from a madrasa, is asked from a Mawlawi in order to gain a membership in this institution. The dangerous consequence of this unhealthy structure is that most of its members have no enough educational qualification such as Master or PHD in Islamic studies. This structural formation indicates a severe crisis among the religious leadership of Sri Lankan Muslims. It is very clear that the institution needs a radical change that starts from a structural reform, not mere arranging few seminars and workshops to empower its members.

5. Another unprecedented dimension is emerging aftermath 21/4 attack. Some civil leaders other than religious such as Ali sabri, Imtiyas bakir Markar, Kabir Hashim and ferial Ashraff have frequently appeared and they have been spotlighted in media. They were interviewed with critical questions that need an in-depth knowledge in Islamic sources, history and heritage. There is a possibility in future that this new emerging civil leadership will gain more support from limited Muslims groups that mostly consist of intellectuals, businessmen and other elites while religious leadership will gain support from public groups. This new phenomenon may create a huge division among Sri Lankan Muslims in advocating leadership. There is a high possibility of emerging rivalry between liberal and traditional approaches. The pros and cons of this trend should be analysed by the relevant people.

Here we have mentioned only few issues that have to be discussed very lengthy and there are some more issues that also to be discussed such as dress code, Muslim women, engaging with others and contribution to the nation. In short, we would like to emphasis here is that each and every society needs an internal discussion in order to reform itself and subsequently to contribute for building a peaceful country where every citizen has the religious freedom and the loyalty to the nation. 

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Latest comments

  • 7
    3

    I know Quebec, Canada and France have strict Dress code and all muslim attire is banned. Because, muslims are using the western democracy to subjugate the West. It is the same for Buddhists. so, Sinhala politicians are the culprit. Interested groups should go behind sinhala politicians who promote these things. They should be voted out and the electoral system should be changed.

    • 1
      1

      N M Rishard,

      Thanks for the article. Can Muslims and Islam, or Islamism be reformed by using Reason over Revelation ?

      Regarding I
      Item no. 1 of your essay,
      this project goes back to 1,400 years. The Ulama prevailed with Revelation with the help of the rulers, and the Reason and Philosophy, the love of wisdom, was downgraded.
      Read about the Islamic Golden age and the banishment of Ibn Rushd, aka Averroes, in the 12th Century.

      The mean IQ of Muslims in Sri Lanka is 79. Even if you add 1 SD, 15, the IQ is 94. This is not sufficient to learn and study science and Philosophy, and Reason, well.

      So, they cannot understand the context of the Haj Sacrifice of the animals and the distribution of meat to the poor populace. Sacrifice and mean are just mediums to help the poor, the main objective.

      Now the Saudis do not sacrifice animals any more , or do in a small scale. They just take the money and supposedly distribute to the poor,. Money is medium of exchange. No need to import millions of sheep from Australia and New Zealand.

      Another example is the sighting of the moon for Ramadan.Traditial net gold by the Arabia in the 7th Century vs. contemporary methods that may be used.

      Is the Earth spread out like a carpet? The Sun goes around the Earth and sets in muddy waters? All in the Quran.

      • 3
        4

        Amarasiri just tell us here how do we see earth by standing at point on earth in your country or any country. Does it appears as a ball? Sun appears from east goes around earth and go down on the other side. This is the truth. Can you show us this is not the truth? But don’t bring Astronomy and physics into it. Just describe it from what you see. I mean describe it by what you see. Otherwise you are an idiot.

        • 1
          1

          rally hamid,

          You are misled by the illusions, just like the 7th Century Arabs and others were misled, the including the Greeks and the Indians , on relative motion, which Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler corrected it, with the axial rotation of the Earth and orbiting the Sun, and Galileo paid a price bng persecute by the Catholic Church.

          When you are Galle Face, see how far you can see into the se, looking West.Noe up to the top of the Akasa Kade, Ceylinco Building of Shangari La Hotel (don’t take any Wahhabi bags), see how far you can see. Perhaps you can do the same experiment at Talaimannar and see how far you can see.

          Remember Aristotle and Estracenes around 250 BC. They knew the Earth was round and measured the circumference of the earth

        • 1
          0

          Ralli Hamid,

          The idiots are those who believe in the scriptures and kill others for the scriptures, when there is overwhelming evidence against, what is claimed in the scriptures .

          Those require low IQs.

          Examples are Earth spread out like a carpet, Sun goes around the Earth and sets in muddy waters (Quran) , and Joshua stopping the Sun for 24 hrs (Bible, Book of Joshua).

      • 0
        1

        Without any knowledge of Quran you are talking rubbish. Islam is a way of life. France didn’t prohibit Islamic dress. Only face covering is not allowed.
        After all Islam is the fastest growing religion in the globe according to the google.
        A bad and unscientific religion cannot grow at a such speed.
        In Sri Lanka all Himalayan lies against Muslims are knocked downed one after the other.

    • 3
      3

      Muslims are selfish,self centred, and self seeking as amplified by their ‘fast unto death’ against the Tamils demanding the upgrading of their council in the north.

      • 2
        0

        Kanaga, first you fact find before commenting. Muslims never staged fast unto death against Tamils demand in the North. You have unfairly used “self” adjective thrice against Muslims in one sentence.

        • 0
          0

          Whether fast was in North , East ,South or West,. Muslims fast was against the Tamils demanding the enhancement of the powers of North Kalmunai council . Muslims action is similar to a set of donkeys trying to prevent the monkeys from climbing the tree even without getting on to their shoulders. It is like the recent actions of the Sinhalese trying to prevent the Muslims from doing successful business. Only difference is, they used weapons against the Muslims and the Muslims used their political power unfairly. Both actions were unfair against a community.

    • 1
      0

      JD know your facts before you talk it’s not Muslim attire that is banned in Quebec please do your research better next time. Quebec is trying to prove they are a secular province therefore all religious symbols including Crusifix, Jewish caps, shikh turbans and even A monks robe if he is in public service not ONLY mislimnattire you are a twister of truth

    • 0
      0

      Actually only the niqab and the burka is banned. Please verify what little news you gain through FB or whatsapp before commenting like a retarded goat.

  • 3
    5

    Ideologically Muslims are in an inescapable loop.
    To be or not to be is the question.

    Soma

    • 0
      1

      Soma,

      Muslims are still debating Revelation vs. Reason, observation and data.

      When the Ulama prevails, Revelation prevails, and they are stuck.

      When Reason , observations and data prevails, the rationalists and philosophers prevail and they advance.

      That is Islamic History, Islamic Science and Islamic Golden Age in s nutshell.

      Muslims missed the Age of Reason and Enlightenments, 1000 years ago. They need to get there, to escape the loop, the Ulama Trap.

      • 0
        0

        Amarasiri aiya
        I thought Islam is based on Revelation – Revelation based on Quaran
        Where did this Reason, observation and data come from?
        You are risking your head.

        Soma

  • 4
    1

    Question for the Tamil political masters:
    The Caliphate will be incorporated within a Greater Ealam or alongside a cutdown Ealam?

    Soma

  • 7
    6

    N.M.Rishard, we cannot accept what is said the First paragragraph of your article. Strong evidence are there for Minister Rishard Badurdeen and Governor Hisbullah having close links with Zahran Hashim. The five suspects N.M.A. Milhan, M.A Mohamed Mila, A. Abusally, M.I.M. Ismail, and M.M.M. Shahnawaz Sabri who were deported from Jeddah to Sri Lanka, will have to disclose the truth about the Easter Sunday bombings and the links they had with Governors Hisbullah, Azath Ali and Minister Rishard Badurdeen through Zaharan. N.M.A.Milhan was a key associate of the leader of NTJ Zaharan who killed in the at the Shangi La Hotel. The issue is whether N.M.A.Milhan was involved in the murder of two constables at Kathankudy where Zaharan had his base. If this is the case the other issue is why did Hisbullah established a Sharia University and now he says it is his University. The 500 acres of land at Mannar purchased by Hisbullah was another concern. We will have to wait till the investigations are over. The NTJ cannot be considered as a small group when there are thousands of members The discovery of arms in mosques, destruction of statues of Lord Buddha and Hindu idols, demolition of Hindu temple and building a fish market on it, incidents of sterilization at hospitals in Kurunegala, Kandy and at Hindu temples mixing mysterious powder in the Panjamirtham, the mystry surrounding the textiles purchased from Muslim shops at Galle and Jaffna, etc have compelled the public to boycott everything from the Muslims because of fear for life. The arrogant interviews by both Rishard badurdeen and Hidbullah and his inability to provide adequate answers to the PSC allowed room for suspicion on Muslims by the other communities.

    • 4
      1

      Mr. Ayathuray Rajasingam

      Karuna was with Prabagaran now he is with the Government, with his current bid for peace. Also Zaharan was livid with Muslims

    • 0
      0

      Mr. Ayyathurai, I really hope you read all news. Did you see the recent news item on your beloved Hindu news paper. It is said that IS did not in fact know these attackers or have connections with them. It’s only after the fact that one who has a common connection with IS and NTJ contacted Is and begged them to recognize them as an IS attack. Moreover who can get to your poosaris pooja stuff except for the ones in the kovil. May be poosaris are in bed with the Muslim ones as you claim

      • 2
        0

        Roman Leslie,
        So do you want to maintain that Rishard Badurdeen and Hisbullah have no links with NTJ. Now there is suspicion as to what happened to the case of disappearance of Tamils. I know something mysterious is going to happen in Sri Lanka. People have already boycotting the Muslim shops. Do not forget that I also have a Muslim daughter-in-law, but very broad-minded. Rishard Badurdeen, Hisbullah and others having close links with ISIS and NTJ are going to be responsible. The best remedy to neutralize this tense situation is either to bring the INdian Military or US Military with Israeli intelligence. Do not think that Muslims are majority in population as there disputes among Muslims States which may spark as a major destruction of lives. Whatever said, Buddhist priests maintain non-violence which should not be provoked by unwanted activities.

  • 2
    0

    The success of Muslim community not only in Sri Lanka but also in the world depends how they respond to modern challenges. How do read the divine texts and modern social realities. You be be experts in Islamic texts and yet, if you do not knowledge how to relate them into modern conditions and modern social realities. it could create a lot of trouble for Muslims.. so, called experts in Islam will find it hard to relate Islamic teaching into modern time unless they master both modern sciences and divine texts in contexts … Neither classical interpretation no literal interpretation provide ready made answers to our social problems of the 21th century.. Brother A. Razik, who gave witness to our parliamentary select community was trying to preach his form important Islam from Tamil Nadu ( PJ form of Islam) into Sinhalese community ( all select committee members are not experts on Islam) ..yet, with his language skills he tired to convince them with answers. Any expert on Islamic science would know what is difference between Tamil Nadu Tawheed Islam and other form of Islam.. This literal school of Islam knows only what PJ teaches them.. At the same time traditional schools follow Islam blindly.. between them all these so called Muslim civil leaders have come out to protect Islam.. Ali Sabri and his cohorts try to follow a moderate path, they too badly need sound Islamic background knowledge to address modern challenges.

  • 1
    4

    The major problem is ability of anyone who says, I am a devoted muslims or a cleric, Imam, Mullah, or Maulavi can interpret the Quran. See Indonesia is the largest muslim country. but, they are not wahhabis or do not kill. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia treats it’s women like THRASH.

  • 1
    0

    All three Buddhist countries in Asia, Thailand, Myanmar and Sri lanka has this muslims problem. It is created by the west. Just stop addressing and treating minorities separately.

    • 0
      0

      JD,

      Yes, and they will come in the heading to assist Sri Lankan authorities.having other agenda.
      Iraq/libya

    • 0
      0

      JD you yourself says it’s created by the west so why do you want the blood of the Muslims go and find ways to ease your west problems

  • 0
    0

    This guy is a trader in the sinister and light version of Taqqia as deadly as its extreme version. He pretends to give direction to Moslems, and all along does not give an inch on any of the extreme Jihadi radical views that give birth to violent, barbabric terrorism we saw on Easter Sunday.

    There will be more and more such Taqqia experts and very likely the gullible Lankan Kaffir Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and pagan simpletons will fall for it. This is the tragedy of this country. So many nice, simple, regular people who don’t have an inch of fanaticism about them, giving the benefit of doubt to murderous Moslem monsters again and again. The greatest strength of the Kaffirs of Lanka, the broad smile, innocent and simple outlook on life and having no thought of malice against anyone, is unfortunately going to kill them. And the undertakers of the Kaffir are their own utterly corrupt, totally selfish and ethically bankrupt leaders working like vultures to feast on the cadavers of the moribund Lankans.

    As Lanka eventually falls to barbaric Islam, the world at large has blood on its hands, particularly the multitude of Europeans who have visited and have a good knowledge of what I am talking about. It’s the blood of the dead Kaffir, and YOU my European cousins, you were the only ones who could have helped. And you preferred to stay silent. The guilt you will have is no less than the guilt of allowing Auschwitz, Matthausen, Treblinka and Bergen-Belsen to exist an thrive. The Moslem built Sharia version of Auschwitz now in full swing in Lanka needs only another 10 years to totally subjugate the Kaffir and raise the ISIS flag over Lanka.

  • 0
    0

    We need to keep in mind that Muslim community too comes under the
    democratic process of the country meaning there’s no such a thing as
    Muslims can come under one flag as long as there are many schools of
    thoughts that are being followed by different groups not only by
    religious views but also in politics ! Srilankan politics of all colours is
    as of now , playing a game with the situation . Cardinal Malcom is not
    happy about the way the situation is dealt with by the government it
    was reported ! The government went after each and every Muslim of
    the country and failed to protect Muslims in certain areas from goon
    attacks that was well coordinated . All political parties eagerly and
    greedily still try to take maximum advantage from that mass murder
    scene instead of focusing on why the whole of Muslim community
    should come under suspicion ! I think , in the name of security , entire
    Muslims were subjected to humiliation as if every Muslim has a bomb
    in his possession ? Did they find it ? Do they , the authorities feel
    embarrassed about how they dealt with Muslims because of a dozens
    misled or born evil creatures ? It’s being proved day in day out that
    Muslims had been providing information to relevant sources about
    the criminals and nothing happened until the criminal succeeded in
    their evil plan ! So , why should anyone want to expect Muslims to
    sit and talk about their lifestyles that has nothing to do with some
    terrorists ? The Monks and some Foul Politicians are trying to fish
    in the muddy water and the government that Muslims largely
    contributed to bring to power is doing nothing to be a comfort to
    them at this hour of need ! How does anyone want to describe what
    Muslims are faced with today in the aftermath of the attack ? NOT
    EVIL ?

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