14 August, 2022


Is There An Islamophobic Hate Campaign In Sri Lanka?

By Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

This is a very wicked animal. / It defends itself when attacked. – La Fontaine

There was of course an Islamophobic hate campaign, that of the BBS, under the last Government, but is there one now? The BBS campaign subsided after the present Government came to power, but the BBS itself has not been dismantled, it is dormant and can be reactivated to hot things up against the Muslims. In the meanwhile forces other than the BBS could be engaged in an Islamophobic hate campaign. Many Muslims, including this writer, are convinced that such a campaign has been going on, but according to reactions provoked by this writer’s recent articles many non-Muslims discount that.

The question is of national importance, not of importance to the Muslim minority alone. Before explaining the reasons for that the writer will pose another question: Was the last Government unique in the way it behaved towards the BBS? It was widely believed that the BBS had massive foreign funding, supposedly from Norwegian Christian fundamentalist groups. There were other indications that the BBS had an international dimension. Wirathu the Myanmar monk, who was internationally notorious after figuring on the front cover of Time magazine as the world’s worst racist hate monger, came to Sri Lanka as the honoured guest of the BBS. It was known that the Wirathu gang backed genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority, which has brought for Myanmar world-wide contempt. It was noted that the T-shirts worn by anti-Muslim demonstrators in Myanmar and Sri Lanka were identical, except that the logos were different. We now have the anonymous Backlash declaring his dog-like devotion to apartheid Israel and writing that Israel backed the BBS, and actually justifying that as a riposte to Muslim anti-Israeli demos in Colombo.

There is reason to believe that the reactions of the last Government to the BBS was unique, unparalleled by anything comparable in the wide wide world. Usually Governments attach great importance to forging a sense of national unity and will counter hate campaigns against any of its minorities, unless it has very special reasons for encouraging that. In this case the Muslims have been pre-eminently a loyal minority, siding steadfastly with the Sinhalese against the Tamils over the separatist problem. The remittances made by our maids working in the Middle East are crucially important for the Sri Lankan economy. The Islamic world has been steadfastly supportive of Sri Lanka at the UNHRC and other fora. Pakistan’s weapons support preventing a catastrophic debacle at Elephant Pass in 2000 was of crucial importance. In the context set out in the preceding sentences, any Government trying to forge some sense of national unity would have tried to sort out the problems between the majority and such a minority. Furthermore all Governments are fiercely resistant to foreign interference in their internal affairs, and usually would not tolerate foreign-backed hate campaigns against any of its minorities. There was no doubt about foreign backing for the BBS.

How exactly did the last Government react to the BBS hate campaign? Some very powerful personages in that Government were seen as obviously supportive of the BBS and the Government as a whole acquiesced. It refused to take legal action against the BBS leaders, in effect placing them above the law. That failure to counter the BBS, which is quite possibly unique in the world, seems to betoken something deeply defective about Sri Lankan nationalism. The writer has in mind not just the divisions between the Sinhalese and the minorities, not just the divisions of caste and religion among the Sinhalese, but a deep divisiveness among the Sinhalese that militates against the national interest to a serious extent. For instance, every attempt at a solution of the ethnic problem has been aborted by the Opposition, even if the solution was advocated by the Opposition itself while it was in the Government. This writer might seem to be ignoring the powerful nationalism manifested in the military victory against the LTTE. The truth is that the Rajapakse Government, just like its predecessors, swallowed the myth of the LTTE’s military invincibility and fought the war to a conclusion only or mainly because the closure of the Marvilaru anicut left it with no alternative.

Anyway, whatever might be the reasons, there has been a failure to build an inclusive nation in Sri Lanka, in fact to forge any sense of national unity, which was seen clearly in the failure to stop the BBS hate campaign. The failure to forge even a modicum of national unity could have adverse, even lethal, consequences in the future. In the new geopolitical configuration in South Asia, with a heavy Chinese presence, India could conceivably come to want to impose a Cyprus-style “solution” to the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka. That is only a very remote contingency, but we should never lose sight of it.

Another possibility is that the lack of a sense of national unity could lead to a loss of independence in all but name. Sri Lankans, just like the rest of humanity, want a better life, a better material life which requires economic development at a fast pace. That means that some inescapable facts have to be faced. It is a fact that Tamil Nadu and other Dravidian states are among the dynamic performers of India, and that means that our economic development can be greatly facilitated by linkages with those states. But fears will arise, among the Sinhalese and also among the Muslims, that those close linkages will lead to dominance by India, and a virtual loss of independence might ensue. Why? The underlying reason is the total absence of a sense of national unity in Sri Lanka. After all, most Sri Lankans believe that a substantial proportion of our politicians can be bought and sold like potatoes. A house divided cannot stand.

The above are, surely, powerful arguments to persuade the Government to take counter-action against the Islamophobic hate campaign that has been going on. But what evidence is there to show that there is such a campaign after the subsidence of the BBS? Part of the evidence is to be found, persuasively enough, in the attacks against this writer provoked by his articles in the Colombo Telegraph, attacks which have been going on for years. It was manifest that the attacks had two objectives: one was to stop this writer being published and the other was to spread Islamophobic hatred.

The Tamil dimension of the attacks requires careful analysis. The attacks have been predominantly, almost exclusively, by persons using nom de plumes that declared a Tamil identity. But how are Tamil interests served by their attacks? Certainly, as a result of the war there has been an increase, a steep increase, in anti-Muslim sentiment among the Tamils, but such Tamils are most certainly in a minority. Besides, the Tamil leaders of today are moderate, pragmatic, experienced men who can be expected to understand that no purpose useful for the Tamils will be promoted by fomenting Islamophobic hatred. They would certainly want a coming together of Tamils and Muslims on the basis of a commonality of interest as minorities.

The cases of the two Tamils, Backlash and Kettikaran, who have been persistently attacking this writer over the years, can be very instructive. They regard this writer as an abysmally low fellow, and his articles as not much better than verbal excrement, yet they read him week after week, month after month, and year after year, experiencing disgust, hatred, rage, to which they give frequent expression. But they have not been able to stop this writer being published: now four editors are publishing him every week. So, what purpose and whose purpose are they serving? Kettikaran gave a clear indication some time ago that he is the servitor of a fundamentalist Christian group, and Backlash that he is the servitor of the Zionists.

Even a cursory reading of the comments in the Colombo Telegraph provoked by this writer’s recent articles will show that a high intensity Islamophobic hate campaign is going on in Sri Lanka. A new propagandist, Lester, writes the prose of an educated man but what he writes is uneducated drivel: there is no such thing as an Arab civilisation because there is something primitive in the Arabs that makes them incapable of civilisation, and so on. The attacks against this writer can be best understood in terms of a world-wide Islamophobic hate campaign that is being promoted by fundamentalist Christian groups and the Zionists. The Government should look into the charges made in this article.

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Latest comments

  • 2

    @fuk khan ,all the drug smugglers ate Muslims, just read the above article , did not know Mervin and his son ate Muslims

  • 0

    Real Siva Sankaran Sarma,

    Are you Brahmin caste? Does your caste system void if you reach EU or AU or while on your journey itself it voids?

    • 0

      No one believes in that any more go the west and see the amount of Brahmins living there. Nehru and Indira Gandhi were Kashmiri Brahmins (Pandits) and they had their education in the west and travelled often. All Hindus( lower and upper) now travel and cross water and no one looses caste.
      Anyway there are rituals to perform if you cross water so that you do not loose caste,

      • 0

        RSSS, ‘travel and cross water ‘ you mean walk on water like those Fakirs used to do in old times? How can I see on doing that?

  • 0

    What I love about Sinhalese Buddhist is they are easily contend folks with Buddha Statues ,even thou they may never apply or practice Buddhism. Rajapakshes build a Buddhist statue in every nook &corner and filled his and his associates pockets ,people were happy ,Now Ranil is encouraging everyone Singhalese Buddhist to car a miniature statue in every Sinhalese Buddhist Car ,while he dishes out the WB cash flow to all his fav kolas and their families and sell the Island full scale, does anyone know that that real Estate Tamils Of One Million illegal Indian Tamils JR and UNP granted Citizenship is now grown to 7 million ?? So Modi will anex Sri Lanka soon .and as long as these happy folks can have UN vesak day and buddhah statues everywhere and especially in their cars Ranil can do what he wants.

  • 0

    Mr.Izeth how can you expect the government to take any action of the main culprits of Islamaphobia ,The present government is installed ,funded and dictated by these NGOS itself ,why did you think Gota brought under MOD all the NGOS ,he would have needed all the phobias if Mahinda did not keep interfering . remember ,all Wars are started by these groups , their aim always create a bogey coomunity and then start converting ,first hire the idiots among all religions,pay them ,finance them get them to do all the filthy ground work and then start concerting ,start with the poorest.

  • 0

    Mr.Izeth’s final part of the article has put the entire situation in a nutshell ,and I believe only a Powerful person like Gota can reverse the entire situation.
    Give him.the nation and he will fix it and fix all and once he close down all the Fake Relugous NGOs and kick them put of the Country . We can all live happily ,no more hate and suspicion will be spread anymore.

  • 0

    Yesterday A mosque came under attract in Panadura and BBS stormed Mano Ganeshan’s office.
    Today Mahinda or his family members are not in power ,then whoz behind it ?? Yes in the case of Racial hate I doubt very much Mahinda or his brother had any connections ,like Mahinda said its foreign NGOS, The government must banrd them and send them home ,There is a severe erge for them to start another civil War.without war ,NGOS have no meaning to be here,.. We ate going to regret it if This government does not reintroduce the ban..

  • 0

    Bodu Bala Sena Clash With National Co-Existence Minister Mano …
    2 days ago – Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera … Dialogue and Official Languages Minister Mano Ganesan at his ministry yesterday. … The BBS stormed the premises and insisted on meeting with the Minister. … Office of the Ruwanwella Divisional Secretariat opens on 18th.
    Gnanasara Thera storms Ganesan’s office – Ceylontoday.lk

    1 day ago – Gnanasara Thera storms Ganesan’s office … Minister for National Co-existence Dialogue and Official Languages Mano Ganesan stated that he was … Ganesan deplored the fact that the BBS was given free rein to … If 20th Amendment is passed Mobs will storm Temple Trees,President’s House – Wimal …

  • 0

    Yes Sir ,Mr.Izeth,
    You are right there is alot more hate than before , but it is discreet and mostly or exclusively Muslims ar targeted and yes foreign illegal fake religious NGOS with the support of powerful persons are funding in with large sums of money and other means .

    People who care for the country and do not wish to see the country messed up like in 83, which was also well masterminded by such foreign organizations ,must pressure the government to ban these NGOS before it is too late.
    Attack on mosque in Panadura – Ceylontoday.lk
    1 day ago – Police investigating Tuesday’s attack on a mosque in Panadura yesterday revealed that there was a racial element behind the incident.

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