20 September, 2020

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From The Safest To An Insecure Sri Lanka For Muslims – III

By Ameer Ali –

Dr. Ameer Ali

Whatever happens to them, the Muslims of Sri Lanka, like the Sinhalese, are here to stay, and they, like the Sinhalese, have nowhere else to go. It is malicious to spread the canard that just because Muslims follow Islam they can migrate to Arabia. It is also a myth believed by some Muslims that if anything untoward happens to them the world of Islam will come to their aid. Those who have some inkling of understanding of how the world order works will realise the absurdity behind these beliefs. The global aspirations of so-called Brotherhood of Islam has never overtaken sectional aspirations of nation states. Every community in Sri Lanka therefore, has to confront and solve its problems with its counterparts by working within the national framework, and no foreign power or its agency is going to intervene to solve for them. This is one bitter lesson that the Tamil community must have learnt after the civil war, and a lesson that others cannot ignore. The country belongs not to any one community but to all communities inhabit there.

The civil war it faced was an unnecessary and a costly political tsunami driven by ego. It only showed that the political system the country inherited from the British failed to produce statesman when it needed one, but instead allowed self-centred and megalomaniacs to take the country along a blind alley. The current wave of violence against Muslims reinforces my belief that the country needs a systemic change to get out of its ethnic quagmire. Former president JR and leaders who followed him wanted to transform Sri Lanka into another Singapore without realising that Singapore achieved its growth and prosperity on the solid foundation of ethnic harmony. Lee Kwan Yew, with a technocratic cabinet and an iron fist, kept the Chinese chauvinism at bay when it clamoured for Chinese to be the official language. Where is the leader in Sri Lanka who can provide this foundation?

The recurring anti-Muslim violence from a short term perspective is a law and order problem but from a long term perspective is a symptom of political pathology. As a law and order issue the solution is simple. Take immediate action whenever and wherever violence breaks out. It was the government’s delayed action that allowed the incident at Digana to snowball. In this era of instant communication technology lack of information to act upon is no excuse. This only allows one to suspect that the delay was deliberate. Such delayed action is not new. SWRD did that in 1957 and JR did it in 1983. Time in their hands became a political weapon. Related to this is the role of funeral marches. It was the funeral marches in 1957 and 1983 that triggered widespread violence against the Tamils. Needless to say that it was also the long funeral march to Horogolla that swung peoples’ sympathy for Srimavo to become Prime Minister. Had the funeral march been stopped in Digana it would have at least reduced the severity of the mayhem.  The political exploitation of funerals must be stopped.

However, these measures can only help prevent anti-Muslim violence from escalating. To stop them occurring at all the fundamental issues that I discussed in the earlier parts have to be tackled, both by the Muslim community as well as by others. Let me take the Muslim community first. 

The progress of the Muslim community and its peaceful coexistence depends crucially on the quality of its political leadership. Any political leadership of any community for that matter should be one that must be unreservedly patriotic to start with and should staunchly believe that the advancement of its community is not possible unless the country advances. Without enlarging the size of the national cake, competing for larger pieces is an exercise in futility. On this score, the attitude and performance of the current Muslim leadership is shockingly disappointing. On national issues such as rising cost of living, mounting national debt, depleting natural resources, privatization of education and healthcare, role of foreign capital and so on, has any Muslim parliamentarian made any positive contribution to the national debate? True, Muslim community has a number of grievances, but should that be the only concern of their representatives in the national legislature? Shouldn’t they care about the nation as a whole? By concentrating solely on their own community’s problems, the leadership becomes parochial and inward looking. The importance of the national outlook and patriotic commitment cannot and should not be underestimated because, it is that which is ultimately going to create the image that Muslims are not simply in Sri Lanka but of Sri Lanka. It was the absence of that national concern among Muslim leaders, which once prompted late Colvin R. De Silva to remark that Muslims in Sri Lanka are “like the cow and the grass”.

This is why I said in part II, that the formation of SLMC was a historic blunder. It worsened the community’s image in the country not only by isolating the Muslims politically, but also and more dangerously, by promoting communal parochialism at the expense of nationalism. Had Muslim political leadership, even before SLMC was born, been more nationalistic and inclusive in outlook, they would have been the bridge builders between the Sinhalese and Tamils. SLMC in particular, accentuated ethno-nationalism. What have the SLMC leaders achieved so far except ministerial positions to accumulate wealth for themselves and their cronies? Does it have an economic policy? The long-term solution to the current crisis demands that the community produces a political leadership that is patriotic, intellectual, honest and inclusive.       

If the political leadership is bad enough a backward looking religious leadership is making the situation even worse. Part (II) of this article pointed out to certain developments that took place within the community since 1980s, in the name of religious purity, which appeared confronting to non-Muslims. This is a phenomenon that happened word wide wherever Muslims live as minorities. Whether those developments were actually necessary and whether they enhanced public welfare – two important criteria on which Muslim jurists in medieval times accepted or rejected any phenomenon – was never discussed by their modern counterparts.  This is a fundamental problem facing Muslim minorities everywhere. Today, almost one-third of world Muslim population live as minorities in 149 countries.  Islamic jurisprudence that is in practice today is more than a millennium old and developed by Muslims for Muslims when Muslims were a hegemonic power. There is guidance in it as to how a minority should be governed by a Muslim regime, but there is hardly any guidance as to how Muslims should live as minorities under non-Muslim regimes. There is therefore a desperate need for a serious revision of this jurisprudence by modern Islamic scholars. Even though some efforts along this line have been undertaken, their achievements remain largely rudimentary and incomplete. This explains why the ruling orthodoxy in Islam remains so rigid and Sri Lanka is no exception to this rigidity. The controversy over the MMDA is a classic reflection of this problem. The spread of ultraconservative Wahhabism with financial resources from Saudi Arabia has made the ruling orthodoxy even more uncompromising and oppressive.

This throws a challenge to secular intellectuals in the Muslim community to open the debate on controversial religious issues and initiate changes in the larger interest of the community and country. Their silence is understandable because of the fear of reprisals from orthodoxy, which, as I mentioned before, has the habit of shooting the messenger without reading the message. The time has come for these intellectuals, though small in number, to become a catalyst for change. In this context, I may even employ the contentious term jihad to emphasize the importance of their role. If they continue to remain on the sideline and be as mere observers, history will condemn them for abetting the rule by the ignoramus.

In a multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-lingual society such as Sri Lanka, cross-pollination amongst religions and cultures is unavoidable. If that pollination does not affect a believer’s inner faith while helping to foster communal amity and togetherness those must be encouraged and should not be allowed to be crippled in the name of religious purity. In the current situation of deteriorating Buddhist-Muslim relations Muslim leadership should look for such opportunities even if orthodoxy becomes a bulwark. This was how Muslims and Buddhists lived in the past for centuries in this country and should live in the future. About three years ago, I made some specific proposals along this line to a small group of Muslim activists, but nothing has materialised.

The reason why Islam was able to spread so fast and so widely across different cultures is not because of the sword as the orientalists try to make us believe, but because it was able to blend its religious precepts with the cultural ethos of new societies that it encountered. The burka and niqab for example, the two confronting pieces of cloth some Muslim women wear, is therefore not religious but cultural. How else can one explain the growth of Muslim music and musicians in Egypt, India, and other parts of the world when religious orthodoxy condemns music? Umm Kulthum, the nightingale of Egypt, was not the product of Islam but of Egyptian culture; so was Muhammad Rafi of India and Mohideen Beg of Sri Lanka, and so is Baba Mal of Mali. While religions divide communities, culture unites them. If there was one Muslim sect that blended the two in the extreme it was the Sufis, against whom the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia waged war in the 18th century and continues to wage even now. Needless to emphasise here that it was the walking Sufis in their coarse robes, like the Buddhist monks in their saffron robes, more than the Arab traders and ulama, who spread Islam in Sri Lanka. It was the failure to separate the religion of Islam from the culture of Sri Lanka by an Islamic orthodoxy, and the failure of Muslims to adapt to the cultural ethos of the country, which contributed to the deteriorating relations between Sinhalese and Muslims after the 1980s.              

Thus, from the Muslim side, a qualitative change in political leadership, an enlightened religious leadership, and the entry of secular intellectuals in religious debates are imperatives to reverse the current tumultuous relations between the Sinhalese and Muslims.  What about the others?   

The descent of Sinhala-Buddhist nationalism into a philosophy for ethnic cleansing is the legacy of the civil war. Yet, the vast majority of the Sinhalese and Tamils, and the mainstream Sangha are as disgusted as the Muslims at the way this nationalism has allowed lawlessness to rule the country. The government’s delayed action has proved its incompetency. The Sangha, which has more than 15,000 monks, is surely aware of the few amongst them who spit racist venom whenever they open their mouth. This tiny minority, which is now running riot, will certainly lose its stamina and voice when the majority in Sangha starts speaking out loudly and publicly. Only the Sangha can weed out its bad elements, and if possible, de-robe them to protect its image as an embodiment of compassion, peace and tolerance.  As I mentioned in part (I) Sinhalese Buddhist politicians, on both sides of the fence, are not ready to put the racist genie back in the bottle, because they will lose a trump to win elections if they do so. It is therefore, the prelates of mainstream Sangha and prominent Sinhalese civil society leaders, who should come to the aid of the Muslims at this critical hour. It is they, who has the power and influence over political leaders and their supporters. It is heartening to hear that members of the Sangha went to protect the Muslims during their Friday prayers. It is time the Muslim leaders, individually and as a group, approach this sector of the Sinhalese society and appeal to them to speak out on their behalf.  Invite these dignitaries, together with political leaders from all camps, to a public arena, preferably a mosque in the capital city, and appeal for a public declaration condemning anti-Muslim racism and for a public pledge to douse the racist flame permanently. Following that event groups of Muslim leaders visit Buddhist temples around the country and with permission from their prelates address Buddhist worshippers. The pledge so obtained should receive widest possible publicity in the Sinhala print and electronic media. Muslim leadership has to work with the Sangha, which is the heart of the Buddhist community, and Sinhalese civil society leaders.  The only way to put out this racist fire is for Muslims to work with the Sinhalese grass roots. THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE. 

Even then there are other groups like the BBS and the Sinha-le, whose ethno-chauvinistic ravings have no bounds and are now leading the anti-Muslim campaign. They are a post-2009 product representing the darkest side of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism. Their message is the carbon copy of Myanmar Buddhist extremism. These groups neither have a coherent political philosophy nor an economic agenda except to exterminate every minority in the country. One should not attach too much importance to this lunatic fringe, some of whom may even be hirelings of certain external forces. They are now being used by certain domestic political factions to make the country ungovernable for them to rule the streets. They should simply be treated as a law and order problem. To go back in history, and to early 1970s, even JVP started its campaign with such ravings though unlike the current delinquents had a radical agenda about the economy and society. Yet, how JVP transformed itself, after experiencing the debacles in 1971 and 1987-89, and did become a credible alternative to choose by voters is a lesson the BBS and Sinhale will also learn in due course. The Sinhala Buddhist civil society and the apex of the Sangha are too wise, matured and experienced to allow these political juveniles to dictate terms to them. As long as the government is alert and instruct its security forces to monitor their activities, and keep them within the bounds of law, the nation can be saved from falling into a dangerous kakistocracy.

*Dr. Ameer Ali, School of Business and Governance, Murdoch University, Western Australia

Part one – From The Safest To An Insecure Sri Lanka For Muslims

Part two – From The Safest To An Insecure Sri Lanka For Muslims – II

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Latest comments

  • 2
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    Islam spread because the Muslim traders were the first to spread a tax code. Hindus and Buddhist’s who lived in the lands that became Islamic accepted the order of their birth and serviced the rulers and kings of the land with produce and labour. Muslims offered a more exploitative means of wealth. Ibn Batututa came to the Maldives when it was Buddhist and introduced the King into this system. Which If I am not mistaken is called Burka.
    Muslims like the Jews have never worked with their hands. Living off the industry of others. Look at the Gem business. it is the Sinhala who crawl on their knees for gems, while Tammbiyas sell it it to their buddies in the Middle-east at massive profits.

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      Dr. Ameer Ali,

      RE: From The Safest To An Insecure Sri Lanka For Muslims – III

      Part 1.

      Thanks for the three articles the above subject, on the conflict between the Para-Sinhala Para-“Buddhists” and the Para-Muslims, who follow supposedly follow Para-Islam.

      Para is the shortened form for Para-deshis, Foreigners, Stranger, Alien in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

      “95% of the solution is identifying the problem'” -Bertrand Russel, Philosopher.

      Anmarasuri has identified the problem as to the fact that the Sinhala, Muslims, Buddhism
      and Islam being Para on the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

      It looks like, the Mahawansa, with its lies and imaginations has given a diffident view, which the Para-Sinhala Para-Buddhists believe. The was the core problem with the conflict with the Para-Tamil Para-Hindus.

      The Para-Wahabi-Salafi culture and ideology has certainly added fuel and catalysts to the Para-Sinhala Para Buddhists. The average IQ of 79 of the Paras certainly does not help.

      Mitochondrial DNA history of Sri Lankan ethnic people: their relations within the island and with the Indian subcontinental populations

      https://www.nature.com/articles/jhg2013112

      Journal of Human Genetics volume 59, pages 28–36 (2014

      Lanka Ranaweera, Supannee Kaewsutthi, Aung Win Tun, Hathaichanoke Boonyarit, Samerchai Poolsuwan & Patcharee Lertrit

      Through a comparison with the mtDNA HVS-1 and part of HVS-2 of Indian database, both Tamils and Sinhalese clusters were affiliated with Indian subcontinent populations than Vedda people who are believed to be the native population of the island of Sri Lanka.

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        Dr. Ameer Ali,

        RE: From The Safest To An Insecure Sri Lanka For Muslims – III

        Part 2. (299 Words) Existential Threat to Buddhism from Hinduism

        Having established in Part 1, that the Sinhala, Tamils and Muslims are Paras in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, who claimed the land as their original homeland, by walking between 8,000 and about 30,000 years ago, when the seal levels were low, we can dig deeper into some of the issues that has bothered the Para-Sinhala Para-Buddhists in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho vis-a-vis the Para-Tamils Para-Hindus, and the concern of the Para-Buddhists, exemplified by the Para-Monk Mahanma of Mahawamsa in the 6th Century CE.

        Mahāvaṃsa, (Pāli: “Great Chronicle”), historical chronology of Ceylon , written in the 5th or 6th century, probably by the Buddhist monk Mahānāma.

        The text—written in Pāli, the sacred language of Buddhism—is generally considered to be based on two main sources: a similar but cruder 4th-century chronicle, the Dīpavaṃsa, and oral tradition handed down by Buddhist monks. Because of the inclusion in the Mahāvaṃsa of much from these sources that is mythical or supernatural, large portions of the text are of dubious historicity.
        https://www.britannica.com/topic/Mahavamsa

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decline_of_Buddhism_in_the_Indian_subcontinent
        The decline of Buddhism in the Indian subcontinent has been attributed to various factors, especially the regionalisation and internal decline of Buddhism between 400 and 700 CE, loss of patronage and donations, accompanied by a resurgence of Hinduism. The Hun invasion from Central Asia destroyed Buddhist monasteries and persecuted monks in Northwestern Indian subcontinent . Buddhism continued to thrive in central and eastern parts of India, between the 8th- and the 12th-century, particularly under the Pala kings. Thereafter, the invasion by Muslim Turks and Persians ended the various dynasties including the Pala dynasty, destroyed the Buddhist monasteries and its institutional structure.

      • 3
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        Dr. Ameer Ali,

        RE: From The Safest To An Insecure Sri Lanka For Muslims – III

        Part 3. Existential Threat to Buddhism from Hinduism and Mahawamsa, an Insult to the Buddha.
        (292 Words)

        Having established in Parts 1 and 2, that the Para-Sinhala Para-Buddhists are weary of the Tamils (due to invasions from South India) and the threat from the resurgent Hinduism, Para-Monk Mahanama of Mahawamsa twisted the chronicle narratives in the Mahawansa to establish that the Para-Sinhala evolved from a Lion and that the Island of Lanka was endowed to be a Buddhist Island, Dhamma Deepaya for 5,000 years, thus protecting from the resurgent Hinduism in India.
        Mahavamsa- An Insult To The Buddha! By Sharmini Serasinghe

        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/mahavamsa-an-insult-to-the-buddha/

        In this “wonderland” called Sri Lanka, and in this day and age, one still comes across ‘academically’ educated, and supposedly intelligent ‘Buddhists’, but sadly lacking in wisdom, who reverently believe, that the Buddha walked out of his mother’s womb, and walked seven steps, while lotuses blossomed, under his feet!

        These very same supposedly educated, and intelligent ‘Buddhists’ also believe, that the enormous indentation, resembling a footprint on a boulder, at Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada to ‘Buddhists’), to be that of the Buddha.

        Then, there is the ‘Dalada Maligawe’ in Kandy; most Buddhists believe, the tooth relic housed within, belonged to the Buddha.

        However it does not matter, if the tooth is over-sized, belonged to the Buddha or not, because he the ‘wise one’ asserted, that his followers must not revere, nor worship, any part of his physical self, nor idolize him. Had the Buddha wanted otherwise, he would have left not just a tooth, but his entire skeleton, for his followers to worship.

        All these events predate Islam and the advent of Muslims to Lanka.

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        Dr. Ameer Ali,

        RE: From The Safest To An Insecure Sri Lanka For Muslims – III

        Part 4. From Mahawamsa, to 1505, and Invasion by the Portuguese.
        (299 Words)

        Having established in Parts 1 -3, that the Para-Sinhala Para-Buddhists are weary of the Tamils (South Indian invasions from South India) and the threat from the resurgent Hinduism, that continued until the 13th Century CE, the focus of the Kings generally was to protect their Kingdoms while giving protection to Buddhism, that supported the Kings. The monks in turn blessed the King. This tradition is being followed and even today the President, Prime Minister m Ministers, MPs and even Sinhala Racist “Buddhists’, request their blessings
        The greatest threat to Para-Sinhala and Para-Buddhism was from the Chola Invasions from South India..
        During this period the Para-Muslim played no part, and was not a threat to the Para-Sinhala or to Para-Buddhism.

        In fact the Para-Muslim traders were an asset that prompted trade. The Islam of the period was Sufi Islam, a moderate version of Islam, that was compatible with the general culture pf Lanka, and the Sufis tolerated others being non- Muslims and did not mind the dress codes. According Hamid Al Ghazali, the Sufis had t righter, because they lived God, Allah by the heart.

        When I had finished my examination of these doctrines I applied myself to the study of Sufism. I saw that in order to understand it thoroughly one must combine theory with practice. The aim which the Sufis set before them is as follows: To free the soul from the tyrannical yoke of the passions, to deliver it from its wrong inclinations and evil instincts, in order that in the purified heart there should only remain room for God and for the invocation of his holy name.

        https://www.ummah.com/forum/forum/general/the-lounge/142552-imam-ghazali-on-sufism-and-the-reality-of-spiritual-inspiration

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        Dr. Ameer Ali,

        RE: From The Safest To An Insecure Sri Lanka For Muslims – III

        Part 5. From 1505, and Invasion by the Portuguese, Dutch and English to 1948, Independence
        (295 Words)

        The threat to Para-Sinhala Para-Buddhists now came primarily from the Para-Portuguese, who destroyed temples and converted the Buddhists to be Catholics, especially the low-caste Sinhala. As well as the low-caste Tamils. The Muslims were prosecuted, and got shelter among the Sinhala Buddhist Kings of Kandy. Persecution under the Dutch was much less, and there was apparently no persecution of the Muslims under the English, as they tended generally to treat all the Paras equally under their Laws.

        Despite being under the British, the Para-Muslims of Gampola showed their religious hegemony and stupidity by causing a trivial incident of a Buddhist Perahara, procession, 1915, that resulted in the subsequent 1915 Para-Sinhala riots. Since the British were in charge and law and order was established, and the culprits and rioters punished. Both the Para-Muslims and the Para-Sinhala, demonstrated their low IQ of 79 or lower then. The low IQ Para-Tamils followed by inciting the low IQ Para-Sinhala, that resulted in riots in the The First Sinhala-Tamil Riot, 1939.

        https://dh-web.org/place.names/riot1.htm

        The 1930s were the seed bed of the racist politics that plague Sri Lanka today. It was also the period when world politics was dominated by the rise of racism (Nazism) and Marxism (Stalinism in the Soviet Union). These influenced the young Ceylonese intellectuals as well as their Indian counterparts. The similarities between Indian and Sri lankan nationalist politics have been discussed by many authors.

        http://sangam.org/2012/05/Ponnambalam_National_Question.pdf?uid=4725

        Satchi Ponnambalam concentrates on the post-independence period, and provides a detailed record of the discriminatory measures successive governments have taken against the Tamil population.

        Part 6. Post-Independence: Your 3 Articles.

    • 0
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      Niro
      If Muslims and Jews did not toil, who produced the wealth in their lands?

  • 3
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    with due respect to the Muslim citizens of Sri Lanka; I must say all there is a proliferation of Muslim authors coming out of the woodwork like worms and preaching.

    where were they during the 30 years of civil war! May be they go in to hibernation when the Tamils are attacked …and come out only when their own folks are attacked to feed on the frenzy!

  • 3
    8

    I saw in your articles that you were in a hurry to accuse BBS, and blame the Bhikku who is heading the BBS. I think that was cheap journalism from your side it was not gentlemanly. Anyway, you are muslims and you always try to Islan is better than others. Here in these artcles you di dnot mention how Saudi Arabia wrecking muslims by allowing to build a Little Saudi arabia in Kathankudi and Rishad bathiuddin’s venture to be a muslim powerhouse. I think he is trying to Ashroff -TWO. He got money from QATAR . I think muslims need help from sinhala people but, mosque, maulavis and politicians want it the other way. So nothing to do. You need to understand that there are muslims override mosque’s influence and try to reach for help from sinhala people. I think we should keep it hidden because Islam is predatory and destructive.

    • 0
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      JIM

      What about miyanmar

      • 0
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        What did you read about myanmar. first read about from different sides and then talk.

        • 0
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          Watch BBC wordl news totally destroyed by fire in northern Rakhine state

  • 3
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    Mr Ameer Ali, writing articles of this nature is an intellectual exercise, do you think any of our politician read this article and take steps to rectify the present and the past mistakes? We have to open their minds. All of them who harangued in public flat form are now stand muted either through political position and perks or through fear of losing it. They have proved themselves double-faced and will do nothing to uplift the community or strive to stop recurrence of violence again.
    The political parties need to unite and should have only one voice and one identity. Muslims NGO’s too should speak in one language and have one voice. May God save and protect our country and its people.

  • 6
    0

    Hate groups should be banned in this country. If you take a look at the disgusting racist paraphernalia, and anti Muslim material that the police have found, in the offices of what you may call Buddhist extremists, you realize that these attacks are never spontaneous crimes of violence, but a well organized campaign, and that these haters seem to have bus loads of equally despicable goons and thugs, waiting to vent their anger, and resort to violence, against helpless Sri Lankan Muslims. The investigators must follow the money, and see exactly who is funding these haters. They seem ready and willing to unleash terror on civilians, before they can say “Wanda Pethi”.

    The BBS and Sinha-le movements while pretending to be strong nationalists, are a danger to this country, and the property of our nation. They HAVE to be banned from spreading false rumors, and adding fuel to the fire. There is no other way to curb the ethnic violence.

  • 2
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    As an academic Dr. Amir Ali has looked at the situation objectively. According to my understanding before western colonial parasites came all the communities lived in harmony. When Portuguese persecuted Muslims, it was a Sinhala Buddhist King Senerath who saved them. But during British rule, few Muslims betrayed Sinhalese and worked as spies for the British. That created a mistrust. British, with their ‘Divide and Rule’ policy broke the harmony prevailed among different communities. Ultimately things boil down to sharing limited resources in the country and sharing the economic pie. If the Government has economic policies to make the economy grow and create employment opportunities, communal tensions will slowly disappear. That happened in Malaysia. Even in Western countries, racism raised its head during recessions. Once in USA there was a thing called ‘Japan Bashing’. In UK, racially motivated violence increased during the financial crisis. Unfortunately this Government has made a mess with the economy. From the day this Government came to power economy of the country has been going down the drain. If the same trend continues we can expect more troubles.

    • 0
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      Its wrong to say few Muslims betrayed Sinhalese during british rule. Dont forget it was the very Sinhalese who betrayed their own king and invited the British in to the Kandyan kingdom. Also the British army which defeated the Kandyan army had one whole Sinhalese regiment. I’m sure there must have been Muslims sided with the British to make a living. But include your brothern as well when you point your fingers at them

  • 3
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    Yes, for a long time the country was safe for all.
    Then it became unsafe for Tamils and still is
    Now Muslims have been added.
    Next step is: Unsafe for all except the ruling elites.

    • 0
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      KP
      Was it safe for the Muslims in 1915?

  • 2
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    Dr. Ameer Ali,

    I am not a woman wearing Abaya or even thinking of putting one on me. If Abaya, Niqab and any other Arabs dress is the root cause of these violence Muslims should stop this nonsense. But what guarantees that Abaya is not just another pretext like Halal or Wanda Pethi?

    For me, the main difference I see when Muslim women wear Abayas and wear Sarees is that in Abaya women’s identity is revealed as Muslims. Was it just hiding Muslim identity helped us peacefully coexist with others in the past in Sri Lanka? Isn’t a shame to hide one’s religion to live peacefully in a country and call it multi-religious and boast about our literacy rate? Was Abaya the reason in 1915 Sinhala-Muslim violence? I guess it was census + trade created the hatred, then some pretext kicked the violence and police inaction escalated the situation, remarkably in Kandy.

    • 0
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      Fathima,

      The Sri Lanka Muslims espoused a unique Sri Lanka Muslim Identity by which the women in Particular wore sarees and covered their heads elegantly. It is this unique culture that they are loosing by embracing an alien dress code that is not even muslim!

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        Burning Issue, sounds like, “No, you can peacefully coexist, if you wear the dress what we want you to wear!”. I should have the right to choose what I should wear, be it alien or non-Islamic.

        Among all communities in SL, can you finger point at any community where the cultural dress is still prevailing? For example, Sinhalese have adopted Western-style clothes. Women wear skirts and blouses and Indian style Sarees for ceremonials – This makes sense in the present day’s busy life-style, and you accepted it. Cultural changes do happen in the world, knowingly or unknowingly when people realize what fits them best, and that should not be interpreted as a threat.

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          Fathima,

          I personally have no issues with people wearing clothings of their choice. However, I feel that the face-covering inhibits social integration and degrading of women.

          The point about the western attire is that Sri Lanka went through about 500 years of western colonisation and the western attire became synonymous with our way of life; whereas, the Arab attire remains alien. I say it again that this should not be the reason for the Sinhala to attack the muslims.

    • 0
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      FATHIMA: first acknowledge that you muslims killed two sinhala people. One wass a fahter of two children. there was an attack at a muslims restaurent connected with the way they treat women. both together made these revenge attacks. So, discuss the sequnce of events as they are. YOu all mix up things and talk nonesense. Remember Wanda pethi, killing of two sinhala people at two locations, IT says those two had been converted but they did not go the mosque. that iss alsoa problem. So, talk the issues as they are.,

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        Jim softy,

        First you need to get some Aralu pethi and cleanse yourself, not sure it can cleanse you mind of superstitions as well. Why are you talking about the incidents that you and me did not personally witness? Currently investigation is going on and will wait to see how the perpetuators are taken to the books.

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    Dr.Ameer
    Now that we have been treated with three installments on the behaviour of Sinhala Buddhists and how to solve the problem kindly give us an example of a Muslim majority country to follow in respect of treatment of non Muslim minorities.
    Soma

    • 2
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      Absolutely zero.

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        Ameer Ali ,

        Would you consider Turkey to be an exception, with Kamal Ataturk, who separated Religion (Islam) and State, which is being eroded by the Islamists, and therefore would not qualify today?

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          Amarasiri
          Yes, Turkey could be considered as exception, but Kamal went too far to repudiate everything that Islamic civilization produced and that is why we see a reaction now under Erdogan. The rationalism of the Mu’tazilites in the 8th-10th century did not deny the core values of Islam. Religion was separated from state long before Kamal. This is what we need today. This why Muhammad Arkoun the Tunisian scholar in his book “Islam: Reform or Subvert” is calling Muslims to switch from a mytho-historical mindset to a tele-techno-scientific mindset. My article on this will appear soon in an international journal.

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            Ameer Ali:

            The Catalysts in Sri Lanka.-From the Vines…
            (295 Words)

            “Most Sinhalese happy about recent riots: EC”

            The Curse of Wahhabi-SALAFISM AND ALIEN THE ARAB DESERT CULTURE

            Dismissing the popular view on the attitude of a majority of Sinhalese towards the attacks on Muslim-owned properties and mosques during the recent riots in Ampara town and the Kandy District, Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya claimed they seemed happy about what happened.

            “The claim that a majority of Sinhalese were against the recent attacks on Muslims is wrong,” he said.

            At a workshop on ethnic harmony on the theme, “building Bridges” held on Saturday at SLIDA, Mr. Deshapriya was quick to observe that a majority of Sinhalese were happy to see the Tamils too being attacked in 1983, only to regret it a few years later.

            He said embracing some aspects of Arab culture by Muslims in Sri Lanka is fanning fires of distrust while Muslim girls were being further and further pushed into an insulated society since they had been compelled to go to the mushrooming small international schools run by Muslims, as they have no schools to attend.

            Mr. Deshapriya urged the Muslims to assimilate themselves into a Sri Lankan nation and reminded the Sinhalese that there is no unmixed community in the country or in the world.

            Mr. Deshapriya said the word “Marakkalaya” and “Hambaya” were derived from the names of the vessels that were used by the early Muslims to come to Sri Lanka and added that in that sense, even King Vijaya was also Marakkala, as he too used that vessel to come to Sri Lanka.

            He threw a challenge to the Muslims with a question whether they would invite a Buddhist monk for a lecture in a totally Muslim institution.

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      nothing worse than eviction that is taking place in myanmar

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      absolutely none.

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    I think there is an organizd movement to use muslims as a the pawn and destroy sinhala buddhists or at least prepare them for the coming “another Common Candidate ” elelction. Probably, christians/Catholics – NGOs/INGOs want Sri lanka inUNHCR to defending it. IT time the Sri lankan govt take care of muslims too by reachign to them. Tamils say, that they are not racist but it is the politiiasn who want it that way. So, only a handful may be racist tamils. IT should be the same with muslims. Muslim politicians are for relifious fanaticism and for money and wealth. bypass the politicians and reach to good muslims who understnds the need to live with other religions.

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      Jim softy

      “I think there is an organizd movement to use muslims as a the pawn and destroy sinhala buddhists or at least prepare them for the coming “another Common Candidate.””

      The average IQ of Sinhala “Buddhist” is 79, and that is why there is a saying “Sinhalaya Modaya, Kavun Kanna Yodaya”. The Sinhala are fools, only good for eating sweets. There are plenty with IQ’s swell below 79, based on the standard deviation of the distribution.,

      Do you think this is part of the Global Christian fundamentalist and the rump LTTE strategy to divert the activities of Christian fundamentalists converting Sinhalese Buddhists to Christianity, and let the wrath of the Moda Sinhala be directed towards the innocent Muslims?

      After all, there is a saying “Sinhalaya Modaya, Kavun Kanna Yodaya”. The Sinhala are fools, only good for eating sweets.

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    Please, google Best Countries 2018 – US News & World Report the ratings

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    Dear Dr Ameer

    I followed all 3 part of your article and analogy and thank you. As you said below sums up the fundamental/foundation for a “strong” Sri Lanka for her to survive all kinds of “internal and external” challenges to come……what you said in part 3 applies to all the “segregation/prejudices” that exists within us today not limited to religious issues only.

    “Thus, from the Muslim side, a qualitative change in political leadership, an enlightened religious leadership, and the entry of secular intellectuals in religious debates are imperatives to reverse the current tumultuous relations between the Sinhalese and Muslims. What about the others?”
    “The long-term solution to the current crisis demands that the community produces a political leadership that is patriotic, intellectual, honest and inclusive”.

    “There is no alternative” indeed.

    Thank you

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