24 September, 2020

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Liberal Values And Sri Lankan Muslims

By Rajiva Wijesinha

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

I am pleased to have been invited today to the celebrations of the SLMC, since the Liberal Party was also recognized officially on the same day 27 years ago. In the midst of our satisfaction, however, we had to face tragedy for it was on that very day that Vijaya Kumaranatunga was assassinated. In the year before his death, he had stood out as a symbol of hope and enlightenment for all those who wanted Sri Lanka to reaffirm its status as a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country where there was not just mutual tolerance but also mutual understanding and affection.

I believe strongly that Islam too is based on such concepts, which are essentially liberal. This may seem paradoxical at a time when the world is deeply worried about what is termed Islamic fundamentalism. But while certainly there are extremists amongst Muslims, just as there are amongst adherents of all religions, let me say quite confidently that God can never be a proponent of prejudice or cruelty or selectivity. God is about love.

Of the four great religions that co-exist in uniquely significant proportions in this country, two are monotheistic, one is polytheistic, and the other is in essence atheistic. But as we all know, adherents of all religions visit the holy places of the others, as is exemplified in the wonderful museum at Kataragama, which was set up by Sudharshan Seneviratne, perhaps the best person to represent us now in India, given his pluralistic outlook.

Unfortunately in all religions there are those who crave exclusivity. This is not what God wanted. Nor does God want inclusivity based on compulsion. Sadly, for many centuries that was a trait practiced by many religions, because religion was used by rulers as a means of asserting identity.

MuslimBefore the will of the people became the foundation of a nation, rulers needed a pretext for presenting themselves as the embodiment of the people over whom they ruled. Religion was used as one such pretext, perhaps the most powerful. It is immensely depressing then that some people are still stuck in the mindset of the past, and believe that imposition of a uniform identity is the way to hold a nation, and peoples, together.

This is to ignore completely the intellectual revolution that overtook the world during what is termed the Enlightenment. That movement reaffirmed what all religions had initially put forward, the centrality of the individual. The relationship between an individual and God has always to be a matter of personal conviction. And indeed, even in Buddhism, which formally recognizes no divinity, the fantastic parable of the mango tree which was the basis of the conversion of King Devanampiyatissa, affirms the centrality of the individual in his or her relationships with the world.

The significance of the individual is the basis of Liberalism, which is why it is thev philosophy that has continued to dominate politics in the last three centuries. Other philosophies may be more successful in the short term, given that they appeal to particular interests, and it is always possible to cobble up majorities through presenting others as alien – whether on the basis of race or religion or class or caste. But history has taught us that such categorization can be used against anybody, and that is why in the end people have realized the need for opposing any form of discrimination. As we found out during the recent election, what we all have in common is much more important than our differences, and we must build on those commonalities to ensure a better future for all.

In this context I should stress the need for social equity, which I think binds the Liberal Party and Muslims together. Though all religions stress our common humanity, Islam is especially strong on the brotherhood of men. Unfortunately there are some Muslims who misuse the historical context of the founding of their religion to deny equality to women, but a proper reading of the Koran makes clear the respect in which women are to be held. In a changing social context that must entail equal rights, and also the right to express their own individuality without subjection to any other individual, father or brother or husband or son.

This has been a significant element in Islam, at least as far as Asia is concerned, as we know from the great Muslim civilizations of India and Iran, or the progressive Muslim democracies of today, Malaysia and Indonesia. I hope therefore that here too we will follow such examples and ensure equality of opportunity for women. In this context I would urge that the Muslim Congress also makes full implementation of the National Human Rights Action Plan a keystone of its policy, and supports the Liberal Party in ensuring that the Bill of Rights is incorporated in the Constitution.

But before I end let me stress the importance of cooperation in reintroducing a balance into the body politic. That was the basis on which we worked together so well with your Founder, Mr Ashraff. Sadly the agreement we negotiated on your behalf with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party was broken by that party in 1988, which was the reason for Mrs Bandaranaike failing to win the Presidential Election. Again the agreement we reached with your party was broken by your party in 1994, and I am glad that your leader apologized to us at our 25th Anniversary celebrations for his role in persuading Mr Ashraff to break his promise. I have no doubt myself that, had Mr Ashraff kept his word – and he told us his mother-in-law, a woman of great integrity, had told him not to come home if he did not – the Muslim Congress would have had more influence in the years that followed

But all that is water under the bridge. Today we are at a crossroads when, under the leadership of His Excellency, we can return to the path of moderation that the two major parties strayed from in the seventies. As the President put it in his inaugural address, we must recall the example of the two great leaders he mentioned, Mr DS Senanayake and Mr SWRD Bandaranaike, with their commitment to both social equity and nationwide development. Unfortunately, from the seventies onward, the party of the first moved towards simple capitalism and the belief that the trickle down effect of economic growth would be enough to satisfy the social aspirations of our people. Contrariwise, the SLFP sank into an extreme form of state socialism, just when the rest of the world realized this did not work.

Though subsequent leaders of the two parties did try to move towards a median position, they were not able to conceptualize this, and it is not well understood by many of those they have chosen to exercise Executive powers in Cabinet. But given our joint commitment to affirming the primacy of the private sector in economic activity, while the state promotes a level playing field through enhancing opportunities and in particular for the worst off, I trust that we can assist the President to develop a coherent politics of moderation, an ethical approach to governance, and effective systems that are not subject to personal prejudices or predilections.

Let me thank you then again for the honour of inviting me here today and wish the party all the best for the future. The close friendship between our founder Chanaka Amaratunga and your founder Mr Ashraff was deeply moving, and I am sad that other individuals destroyed that. I much appreciated my interactions with your General Secretary over the last few years, because we both felt the need to stand firm against the increasing excesses of the last government. Perhaps we could have done more, but at least we made it clear that there were some values that transcended political alliances.

I believe then that rebuilding between our parties the connections of 27 years ago will not be difficult. I hope then that we can work together, to promote the values that Muslims should celebrate, in terms of the universal brotherhood of not just man, but all people.

*Text of a talk at the celebration of the 27th Anniversary of the recognition as a political party of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress – February 11th 2015

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    Hello Prof,

    You have cancelled the leadership program that was conducted for university students. A short intro to the program here.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMTm4P4KlLQ

    I kindly urge you to re-consider it because it trains young people presentation skills, etiquette, leadership skills etc that are not taught in a normal academic environment.

    I believe it will also solve the problems with ragging prevalent in universities.

    cheers

  • 2
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    Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP,

    RE: Liberal Values And Sri Lankan Muslims

    “however, we had to face tragedy for it was on that very day that Vijaya Kumaranatunga was assassinated. In the year before his death, he had stood out as a symbol of hope and enlightenment for all those who wanted Sri Lanka to reaffirm its status as a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country where there was not just mutual tolerance but also mutual understanding and affection.’

    Loss of Vijaya was indeed a tragedy for Sri Lanka.

    “But all that is water under the bridge. Today we are at a crossroads when, under the leadership of His Excellency, we can return to the path of moderation that the two major parties strayed from in the seventies. As the President put it in his inaugural address, we must recall the example of the two great leaders he mentioned, Mr DS Senanayake and Mr SWRD Bandaranaike, with their commitment to both social equity and nationwide development”

    Yes. Sri Lanka needs an Abraham Lincoln and George Washington and build a Real Egalitarian Nation.

    “I believe strongly that Islam too is based on such concepts, which are essentially liberal. This may seem paradoxical at a time when the world is deeply worried about what is termed Islamic fundamentalism”

    That is very true especially when you look at Early Islam, Shia Islam, Sufis, and the Spanish Muslims. Sri Lankan Muslims were basically liberal Muslims who just wanted to follow the basic tenets of islam and live a normal life. Remember islam was introduced to Lanka and and South East asia by the sufi traders, whom the Wahhabis and ISLIs Devils want to kill.

    Unfortunately Islam got infected with the Ibn Taymiah Devil Virus, called Iblis or Iblees Vitus, that was picked up by Abdul Wahab about 2 centuries ago, Spread to Wahhabi Saudi Arabia and ultimately to ISIS and ISIL, Iblis or Iblees State of Iraq and Syria.

    The Wahhabi Idiots are mislead and believe they will get 72 Virgins. They are not virgins, they are Raisins, the old Aramaic or Syriac word. Read abour the ISIS and Wahhabi agenda.

    ISIS and their Wahabi Agenda

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaxgD2HxV2M

    Published on Jun 20, 2014
    Militant group the Islamic State of Iraq & Syria (ISIS) has seized large parts of northern Iraq, including the city of Mosul and Tikrit, unleashing wave instability in the region. Currently, nearly 40 Indian workers are believed to be held hostage in Mosul.

    In part-one of a two-part interview, Manjeet Kripalani, Executive Director of Gateway House, interviews Professor M.D. Nalapat, Director of Geopolitics at Manipal University, about the rise of ISIS and their Wahabi agenda.

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      Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

      RE: Liberal Values And Sri Lankan Muslims

      Once the information about 72 Raisins is widely published among the Wahhabis, Islamic Fundamentalists who follow Iblis, Iblees, the Devil, the satan, they will turn moderate and become Sufis or Shia, whom they hated and tried to kill.

      72 Virgins or 72 Raisins???

      http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread211640/pg1

      Its seems some scholars now think the fate of Martyrs as told in the Koran is not 72 virgins but rather 72 white grapes or white raisins thanks to a mistranslation from Aramaic.

      Christoph Luxenberg’s book, Die Syro-Aramaische Lesart des Koran, available only in German, came out just over a year ago, but has already had an enthusiastic reception, particularly among those scholars with a knowledge of several Semitic languages at Princeton, Yale, Berlin, Potsdam, Erlangen, Aix-en-Provence, and the Oriental Institute in Beirut.

      Luxenberg tries to show that many obscurities of the Koran disappear if we read certain words as being Syriac and not Arabic. We cannot go into the technical details of his methodology but it allows Luxenberg, to the probable horror of all Muslim males dreaming of sexual bliss in the Muslim hereafter, to conjure away the wide-eyed houris promised to the faithful in suras XLIV.54; LII.20, LV.72, and LVI.22. Luxenberg ‘s new analysis, leaning on the Hymns of Ephrem the Syrian, yields “white raisins” of “crystal clarity” rather than doe-eyed, and ever willing virgins – the houris. Luxenberg claims that the context makes it clear that it is food and drink that is being offerred, and not unsullied maidens or houris.

      Man if that turns out to be true thats one heck of a ironic bummer waiting for some “Martyrs”. I know there are likely many mistranslations in the Bible as well as the Koran but I havent been able to find a English copy of Christoph Luxenberg’s book yet to look more into his case for this particular mistranslation.

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        so these muslims boys are joint with ISIS just for 72 grapes???? poor souls…

    • 1
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      Yes,

      72 Raisins, nor Virgins. That is what Wahhabi and Iblis, Iblees Idiots, ISIS and ISIL Get.

      Questioning Islam : 3/30 : ’72 Virgins or 72 Raisins’ ?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R47VBMzqpHM

    • 1
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      RE: Liberal Values And Sri Lankan Muslims Vs. Wahhabi Fundamentalist Idiots ((மூடல்ஸ்)

      Sri Lankan Muslims do not believe in the nonsense of the Wahhabis and ISIL and ISIL Idiots. They are far mote intelligent than thse idiots.

      Honey, I’m Dead!

      How God rewards a female suicide bomber. Not 72 Virgins. 72 Raisins.

      http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/recycled/2010/03/honey_im_dead.html

      Female suicide bombers set off explosives during rush hour in a Moscow subway, killing themselves and more than three dozen people on Monday morning. Russian officials suspect Islamic extremists. In 2007, Michelle Tsai examined what rewards might await female martyrs in heaven. The original article is reprinted below.

      A female suicide bomber detonated a vest filled with explosives at a university in Baghdad Sunday, killing more than 40 people. If male martyrs can expect to find 72 virgin maidens in paradise when they die, what rewards can female suicide bombers expect?

      Their husbands. The Quran itself describes little about the specifics of the afterlife, but it does note that believers will find huris, or maidens “of modest gaze, whom neither man nor jinni will have touched before them.” (Every believer can end up in heaven; martyrs just get there faster.) Respected commentator Al-Tirmidhi said in a hadith that every man will have six dozen huris in heaven, but very few commentators enumerated the rewards for women. Ninth-century scholar Al-Tabarani did argue that women will be reunited with their husbands in the next world, and those who had multiple husbands can pick the best one to be their eternal spouse. (Other commentators added that a woman who never married can marry any man she wants in paradise.)

      From the 9th through the 12th centuries, Muslim scholars described paradise as a place of sensual delights—for men. They debated whether men remained married to their wives in heaven, whether they could have sex with the virgins, and whether the heavenly virgins had anuses. (Some said there was no need for elimination in the afterlife.) There was even disagreement on the number of virgins assigned to each man. While Al-Tirmidhi said it was 72, Mulla Ali Qari, an 11th-century imam, counted 70 virgins and two human wives. Imam Al-Bayhaqi was more generous, granting men 500 wives, 4,000 virgins, and 8,000 previously married women. The meaning of the word hur is also open to interpretation, since it reads as “white raisins” when translated as a Syriac rather than Arabic word.

      Women may not get these particular perks, but religious commentaries argue that paradise will make them beautiful, happy, and without jealousy. The fact that they fasted and worshipped Allah during their earthly lives will also make them superior to the virgins, who only exist in heaven. Some modern clerics argue that in heaven, husbands never grow bored of their wives, even with so many huris around. That may explain why some would-be female suicide bombers have spoken of becoming “chief of the 72 virgins, the fairest of the fair.”

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        Mr. Amarasiri, I bow to your superior knowledge of the largely misunderstood Islam. It is unfortunate that some of the Muslims in Sri Lanka appear under obligation to the Wahhabi fundamentalists atronghold in Saudi Arabia, because of the massive fundings from them. There is no doubt the Wahhabis are an intolerant and wicked lot as borne out by the consistent beheadings, amputations and other draconian punishments meted out on the poor Asian workers there. Also, the Sri Lankan Muslims’ relentless building of mosques, with no demand for them, instead of helping the needy. A case in point, when young Rizana Nafeek, a Sri Lankan housemaid in Saudi Arabia, 17 years old at the time of the alleged offence, was being tried unfairly, her family was in dire need of help, as well as Rizana for her defence. She was most certainly innocent according to international experts. There was nothing from the Muslim lot in Sri Lanka. Rizana was beheaded in January 2013. That travesty had been etched in my mind, will never leave.

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          Sylvia Haik

          “A case in point, when young Rizana Nafeek, a Sri Lankan housemaid in Saudi Arabia, 17 years old at the time of the alleged offence, was being tried unfairly, her family was in dire need of help, as well as Rizana for her defence. “

          The Wahhabi “Judges” did not follow the Quran or Sharia. They followed Iblis, The Devil.

          Wahhabis and their clones are not Muslims. They are Iblis, Iblees, Satan, Shaitan, Devil followers, who want’s to destroy islam from within.

          Iblees , Iblis, Satan does not like the followers of Allah, God worshipping God. The Satan, like Mara of Buddhism, wants the people to do bad things. Not follow Allah or not follow Buddha.

          Ibn Taymiah, Abdul Wahhaab and their Clones got misled by Satan, Ibles.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith_of_Najd

          All Terrorism Comes from Salafis/Wahabis not from Islam

          Conversation Between Satan and a Wahabi

          https://www.facebook.com/SalafiTerrorism/posts/301496499988483

          Conversation Between Satan and a Wahabi
          Shaitan (Satan, Iblees) met an apparent Muslim who in fact was a follower of Wahabi sect. Here is their conversation…….
          Satan: Do you believe in Allah?
          Wahabi: Yes, Alhamdulillah. I strongly believe in Allah.
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you make shirk with Allah? (Associating anyone in the worshiping of Allah)
          Wahabi: NEVER.
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you show respect towards Prophet? (i.e. Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him)
          Wahabi: I only respect Allah.
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you believe in the Messenger of Allah?
          Wahabi: Yes, but He is now dead. Allah is alive.
          Satan: Thanks. I am glad you said that he is dead.
          Satan: So, you do not believe Muhammad is alive in his grave? (peace be upon him)
          Wahabi: No.
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you praise the Prophet and his Ahlebait.
          Wahabi: I only praise Allah.
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you visit their Rawdha (i.e. the holy grave)?
          Wahabi: What Rawdha? I visit mosque only.
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you celebrate your Prophet’s birthday?
          Wahabi: NEVER. I hate it.
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you visit the Mazarat (holy shrines) of Ahlebait?
          Wahabi: NEVER
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you celebrate “urs”.
          Wahabi: NEVER
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you offer Fateha for the deceased Muslims?
          Wahabi: No.
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you cry for Imam Hussain?
          Wahabi: No.
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you stand up during salutations on Muhammad? (peace upon him).
          Wahabi: NEVER
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you show respect towards Ahlebait?
          Wahabi: No. I respect Allah only.
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you read Naat, majalis, Nauhe or marsiya?
          Wahabi: No.
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you worship on the night of Lailatul Bra’at? (Shab-e-Barat)
          Wahabi: No
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you worship on the night of Al Asra wal Me’raj?
          Wahabi: No
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you believe in Shafa’at (intercession)?
          Wahabi: No.
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you believe in Tawassul (Waseelah)?
          Wahabi: No
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you seek blessings from the relics (Tabarrukat) of Messengers of Allah and Aulia Allah?
          Wahabi: No
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you believe in Istighasa from Prophets of Allah and the Ahlebait?
          Wahabi: NEVER EVER.
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: If you get an opportunity to kiss the Rawdha (golden grill) of Muhammad. Will you do that? (peace be upon him).
          Wahabi: No.
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you kiss Qur’an just to show your respect?
          Wahabi: No.
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: Do you start Ramadan and Eid based upon the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad? (peace upon him)
          Wahabi: No. I follow Saudi announcement.
          Satan: Me too.
          Satan: I am shocked. We have the same beliefs. Why I am a Satan and you are still a Muslim?
          Wahabi: I don’t know

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        Why is this unfair treatment of women in heaven too. Women don’t get Huries or Hurans. Women would also like to have the same priveleges a
        Mr. Amarasiri “Women may not get these particular perks” Oh why is this discrimination

        -“Husbands may not get bored of their wives” but wives will get bored of their husbands. We women are taken for granted. It is not as it our right, but the attitude is we will be “given” something. Why do we relate women to jealousy. I work in an office with lots of men. Men are also jealous of other men for their ability to attract other women. They are jealous of the promotions. They are jealous of their girlfriends. Girls friends are looked with suspicion even if she gets some help at work. Jealousy like other qualities are common to men and women.
        If the rewards are less, why should women be Muslims. This is the first time I am learning this aspect of Islam. There is a lot of white washing of Islam and women’s rights etc but this…………shocking revelations!!!

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          Dearest priyangika,

          “Why is this unfair treatment of women in heaven too. Women don’t get Huries or Hurans. Women would also like to have the same priveleges”

          Don’t worry dear. Women and men will get the same, 72 White Grapes.

          Specifically, the Koran says martyrs going to heaven will get “hur,” and the word was taken by early commentators to mean “virgins,” hence those 72 concubines. But in Aramaic, hur actually meant “white” and was commonly used to specifically mean “white grapes.”

          http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/01/the-great-koran.html

          The Great Koran Controversy: Will Muslim Martyrs Get 72 Raisins Instead of Virgins, & Other Speculations

          According to an Islam tradition, Muslim martyrs will go to paradise and marry 72 black-eyed virgins. But some Koran scholars point to a less sexy paradise. While beautifully written, Islamic texts are often obscure. The Arabic language was born as a written language with the Koran, and growing evidence suggests that many of the words were Syriac or Aramaic.

          Specifically, the Koran says martyrs going to heaven will get “hur,” and the word was taken by early commentators to mean “virgins,” hence those 72 concubines. But in Aramaic, hur actually meant “white” and was commonly used to specifically mean “white grapes.”

          The exact number of virgins (or raisins) is not specified in Koran, but the number 72 comes from a quotation of Muhammad recorded in one of the lesser-known Hadith. (“Hadith” is an Arabic word meaning traditions.) After Muhammad’s death, several collections of his deeds and sayings were collected to form the Hadith, which is the second most authoritative document is Islam, after the Koran.

          The philologist “Christoph Luxenburg”, (who always uses a pseudonym for security reasons) notes that grapes would actually make more sense, because the text compares them to crystal and pearls, and because contemporary accounts have paradise abounding with fruit, especially white grapes.

          Okay, so for the sake of argument, lets say that Luxenburg is right and martyrs will get some grapes rather than young maidens, but what’s the big fuss? The real controversy is the notion that translations of Islamic holy text, including the Koran, have ever existed in the first place.

          While the Bible has been rigorously, often even brutally, picked apart by scholars of every kind, the West has carefully avoided doing the same with the Koran. In the United States, where Arab and Islamic Studies rely on funding from the Gulf States, an interest in Koranic criticism is the foolproof way to commit career suicide. So for all intents and purposes, every word of the Koran came straight from heaven when Mohammed directly transcribed what the angel Gabriel told him to.

          But now a small group at the University of the Saarland and a handful of others, are daring to raise their voice that the Koran’s origins actually have quite an interesting history. If you told a Christian scholar that Jesus didn’t actually write the bible, but that it is a collection of eclectic texts from a wide variety of ancient writings spanning centuries that were somewhat randomly compiled into the Bible as we know it today, after much debate and bickering at the Council of Nicene, and they’ll probably nod their head in agreement. Most Christian scholars have finally come to grips with the fact that their Holy Book was written by a lot of different authors with differing religious opinions and interpretations, however inspired those men may have been. However, tell a devout Muslim that Mohammed may not have actually written every word of the Koran straight from the mouth of the angel Gabriel…and well, you’re asking for trouble.

          Indeed, the recent news that a secret archive of ancient Islamic texts had surfaced after 60 years of suppression raised a storm of controversy. Andrew Higgins’ Wall Street Journal report that the photographic record of Koranic manuscripts, supposedly destroyed during World War II but occulted by a scholar of alleged Nazi sympathies, is like a real life mixture of the Da Vinci Code with a dash of Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail. The story of the photographic archive of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, now ensconced in a Berlin vault, appears to be case of life imitating truly art. Somehow even the Nazis have found their way into this convoluted history. “I hate those guys!” as Indiana Jones so famously said.

          The Encyclopedia of Islam (1982) observes, “The closest analogue in Christian belief to the role of the Koran in Muslim belief is not the Bible, but Christ.” The Koran alone is the revelation of Islam. Understandably, for a devout follower of Islam, there is no room for holes to be poked as to the origins of the Koran,

          But what if scholars can prove beyond reasonable doubt that the Koran was not dictated by the Archangel Gabriel to the Prophet Mohammad during the 7th century? What if there was proof that the holy book was actually redacted by later writers drawing on a variety of extant Christian and Jewish sources?

          Scholars already knew that variant copies of the Koran exist, including some found in 1972 in a paper grave at Sa’na in Yemen, the subject of a cover story in the January 1999 Atlantic Monthly. Before the Yemeni authorities shut the door to Western scholars, two German academics, Gerhard R Puin and H C Graf von Bothmer, were able to make 35,000 microfilm copies, which remain at the University of the Saarland. The German archive includes photocopies of manuscripts as old as 700 AD is poised to provide more evidence of variation in the Koran.

          The history of the archive is perhaps the most fascinating part of the story, however. It is not clear why its existence was hidden for sixty years, or why it has come to light now, or when scholars will have free access to it. According to Higgins’ account on the night of April 24, 1944, British air force bombers hammered a former Jesuit college housing the Bavarian Academy of Science. The 16th-century building crumpled in the inferno. Among the treasures lost, later lamented Anton Spitaler, an Arabic scholar at the academy, was a unique photo archive of ancient manuscripts of the Koran.

          The 450 rolls of film had been assembled before the war for a bold venture: a study of the evolution of the Koran, the text Muslims view as the verbatim transcript of God’s word. However, the wartime destruction made the project “outright impossible”, Spitaler wrote in the 1970s.

          There was just one little problem; Spitaler was lying. The cache of photos survived, and he had it all along. The Koran research project buried for more than 60 years has risen from the grave. Why Spitaler concealed the archive is unknown, but Koranic critics who challenge the received Muslim account suspect his motives.

          “The whole period after 1945 was poisoned by the Nazis,” says Gunter Luling, a scholar who was drummed out of his university in the 1970s after he put forward heterodox theories about the Koran’s origins. His doctoral thesis argued that the Koran was lifted in part from Christian hymns. Blackballed by Spitaler, Luling lost his teaching job and launched a fruitless six-year court battle to be reinstated. Feuding over the Koran, he says, “ruined my life”.

          He wrote books and articles at home, funded by his wife, who took a job in a pharmacy. Asked by a French journal to write a paper on German Arabists, Luling went to Berlin to examine wartime records. Germany’s prominent postwar Arabic scholars, he says, “were all connected to the Nazis”.

          But why on Earth would the Nazis care to suppress Koranic criticism? Some scholars believe the answer lies in their alliance with Islamist leaders, who shared their hatred of the Jews and also sought leverage against the British in the Middle East. Jeffrey Goldberg reviewed the most recent of many books on this subject, Matthias Kuntzel’s Jihad and Jew-Hatred, January 13 in the New York Times.

          Kuntzel makes a bold and consequential argument: the dissemination of European models of anti-Semitism among Muslims was not haphazard, but an actual project of the Nazi Party, meant to turn Muslims against Jews and Zionism. He says that in the years before World War II, two Muslim leaders in particular willingly and knowingly carried Nazi ideology directly to the Muslim masses. They were Haj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem, and the Egyptian proto-Islamist Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.

          It may be a very long time before the contents of the Bavarian archive are known. Some Koranic critics, notably the pseudonymous scholar “Ibn Warraq”, claim that Professor Angelika Neuwirth, the archive’s custodian, has denied access to scholars who stray from the traditional interpretation. Neuwirth admits that she has had the archive since 1990. She has 18 years of funding to study the Bavarian archive, and it is not clear who else will be allowed access to it.

          In 2005, Puin published a collection of articles under the title, Die dunklen Anfange. Neue Forschungen zur Entstehung und fruhen Geschichte des Islam (“The dark beginnings: new research on the origin and early history of Islam,” Hans Schiller Verlag, 2005). This drew on the work of Luxenburg, who believes the incomprehensible passages in the Koran were written in Syriac-Aramaic rather than Arabic. The Koran, according to the research of Puin and his associates, copied a great deal of extant Christian material.

          Neuwirth has led the attack on “Christoph Luxenburg” and other Koranic critics who dispute the traditional Muslim account. According to Higgins, “Ms Neuwirth, the Berlin Koran expert, and Mr Marx, her research director, have tried to explain the project to the Muslim world in trips to Iran, Turkey, Syria and Morocco. When a German newspaper trumpeted their work last fall on its front page and predicted that it would ‘overthrow rulers and topple kingdoms’, Mr Marx called Arab television network al-Jazeera and other media to deny any assault on the tenets of Islam.”

          Despite her best efforts to reassure Islamic opinion, Higgins reports, even she has stepped on Islam’s toes. “Ms Neuwirth, though widely regarded as respectful of Islamic tradition, got sideswiped by Arab suspicion of Western scholars. She was fired from a teaching post in Jordan, she says, for mentioning a radical revisionist scholar during a lecture in Germany.”

          Some critics argue that by refusing to discuss the origin of the Koran, the Islamic world is forced to adopt an openly irrational stance, employing its power to intimidate scholars and thwart the search for truth. Christian leaders say they would like to have more dialogue with Muslims, but that there isn’t a basis for it.

          Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran, who directs the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, told the French daily La Croix, “Muslims do not accept discussion about the Koran, because they say it was written under the dictates of God. With such an absolutist interpretation, it’s difficult to discuss the contents of the faith.”

          Posted by Rebecca Sato

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      Amarasiri’s knowledge about Islam and it’s history is very limited.

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        You’re being too kind. Call a spade a spade, he has absolutely no knowledge of the subject and worse, refuses to learn about it after reading such a well written piece.

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        Aowfer Mustafa,

        “Amarasiri’s knowledge about Islam and it’s history is very limited.”

        It is the current set of Wahhabis and their Clones knowledge of Islam that is very limited and convoluted. They are the true fools, Modayas or Mootals மூடல்ஸ்.

        These Fools. Modayas or Mootals மூடல்ஸ். never heard of Islamic Philosophy and Islamic Science that looked into reason in addition to revelation.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Averroes

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_in_the_medieval_Islamic_world

        Read Ibn Taymiyyah, Abdul Wahab and their writings including the Head Wahhabi of Saudi Arabia,Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz. who said the Sun goes around the Earth.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn_Taymiyyah

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_ibn_Abd_al-Wahhab

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith_of_Najd

        Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abd_al-Aziz_ibn_Baz

        Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz (Arabic: عبد العزيز بن عبد الله بن باز‎) (November 21, 1910 – May 13, 1999), was a Saudi Arabian Islamic scholar and a leading proponent of the Salafi (also known as Wahhabism) form of Islam. He was the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia from 1993 until his death in 1999. His “immense religious erudition and his reputation for intransigence” gave him such “prestige” among the pious population of Saudi Arabia, that his fatwas endorsing government policy greatly strengthened the Saudi Arabian government, and his death left the government without a comparable figure to “fill” his “shoes”.[3]

        Ibn Baz’s views and rulings were sometimes controversial (at least outside Saudi Arabia), particularly those relating to cosmology, women’s rights, the acceptability of stationing foreign troops in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War and in relation to Osama bin Laden.

        In 1966, when Ibn Baz was vice-president of the Islamic University of Medina, he wrote an article denouncing Riyadh University for teaching the “falsehood” that the earth rotates and orbits the sun.[24]

        Author Robert Lacey quotes a fatwa by bin Baz urging caution towards claims that the Americans had landed on the moon. “We must make careful checks whenever the kuffar [infidels] or faseqoon [immoral folk] tell us something: we cannot believe or disbelieve them until we get sufficient proof on which the Muslims can depend.”[25] Lacey states that “after extensive research” of bin Baz’s fatawa, he (Lacey) had only been able to find this one fatwa on the subject, and no statement in it that the earth was flat.[25] Lacey does however say that according to his source, Bin Baz gave an interview after publishing the article

        “in which he mused on how we operate day to day on the basis that the ground beneath us is flat … and it led him to the belief that he was not afraid to voice and for which he became notorious.”[25]

        Though satirized for his belief,

        “the sheikh was unrepentant. If Muslims chose to believe the world was round, that was their business, he said, and he would not quarrel with them religiously. But he was inclined to trust what he felt beneath his feet rather than the statements of scientists he did not know.”[25]

        According to Lacey, bin Baz changed his mind about the earth’s flatness after talking to Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud who had spent time in a space shuttle flight in 1985. [25]

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        Aowfer Mustafa, pray tell what are the points that Amarasiri had raised that you don’t agree with. I think it is the Islamic history that is radicalising their young and the emergence of cruel Islamic Caliphates as in Syria. Most religions adjust with the times, but Islam appear stuck in medieval times, with medieval attitudes and medieval justice.

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          There is nothing wrong with the religion Islam which means peace and submission to the will of Allah. Even the word Muslim and the word Salaam are derived from this single word. What Amerasiri refers to are not Islamic beliefs based on any scholarly interpretations of Quran and hadiths, but on hearsay and his own interpretations or what he has picked up from internet sources, which we Muslims do not buy into.

          We know what our religion is all about, and agree that we too have our own black sheep within the community. But that does not mean the religion itself is stuck in some medeival time, which needs reform. But rather it is the other way around. We need to get back to religion to prevent us going off the rails, in this day and age when modernization has brought so much moral and social decay which has come to be accepted as the norm.

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            Marwan

            “What Amerasiri refers to are not Islamic beliefs based on any scholarly interpretations of Quran and hadiths, but on hearsay and his own interpretations or what he has picked up from internet sources, which we Muslims do not buy into. “

            Let’s see what the Wahhabi Scholars , Quran and the Hadith Say.

            Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abd_al-Aziz_ibn_Baz

            “In 1966, when Ibn Baz was vice-president of the Islamic University of Medina, he wrote an article denouncing Riyadh University for teaching the “falsehood” that the earth rotates and orbits the sun.[24]”

            http://www.usc.edu/org/cmje/religious-texts/hadith/bukhari/054-sbt.php

            Lagrangian Point and Discover Spacecraft…Further Confusing the Wahhabis..

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pl3x71-kJGM

            Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Book 54:
            Beginning of Creation

            Volume 4, Book 54, Number 421:
            Narrated Abu Dhar:

            The Prophet asked me at sunset, “Do you know where the sun goes (at the time of sunset)?” I replied, “Allah and His Apostle know better.” He said, “It goes (i.e. travels) till it prostrates Itself underneath the Throne and takes the permission to rise again, and it is permitted and then (a time will come when) it will be about to prostrate itself but its prostration will not be accepted, and it will ask permission to go on its course but it will not be permitted, but it will be ordered to return whence it has come and so it will rise in the west. And that is the interpretation of the Statement of Allah: “And the sun Runs its fixed course For a term (decreed). that is The Decree of (Allah) The Exalted in Might, The All-Knowing.” (36.38)

            Volume 4, Book 54, Number 422:
            Narrated Abu Huraira:

            The Prophet said, “The sun and the moon will be folded up (deprived of their light) on the Day of Resurrection.”

            Volume 4, Book 54, Number 425:
            Narrated ‘Aisha:

            On the day of a solar eclipse, Allah’s Apostle stood up (to offer the eclipse prayer). He recited Takbir, recited a long recitation (of Holy Verses), bowed a long bowing, and then he raised h is head saying. “Allah hears him who sends his praises to Him.” Then he stayed standing, recited a long recitation again, but shorter than the former, bowed a long bowing, but shorter than the first, performed a long prostration and then performed the second Rak’a in the same way as he had done the first. By the time he had finished his prayer with Taslim, the solar eclipse had been over. Then he addressed the people referring to the solar and lunar eclipses saying, “These are two signs amongst the Signs of Allah, and they do not eclipse because of anyone’s death or life. So, if you see them, hasten for the Prayer.”

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          Sylvia Haik

          “Aowfer Mustafa, pray tell what are the points that Amarasiri had raised that you don’t agree with.”

          Their defence is that no one other than Wahhabis are qualified to talk about Islam ( As per instructions from Iblis, the Satan.). Satan says Kill, the Wahhabis and their clones ISIS kills. The former head Wahhabi of Wahhabi Saudi Arabia. Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz. said that the sun goes around the Earth. Hello Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler, dis you hear that?

          Remember Copernicus, Galileo and the Church? The church could not make the Sun go around the Earth. Similarly, Aowfer Mustafa and the other Wahhabi Iblis, Iblees followers cannot make muslims to follow the Iblis, Iblees, Satan.

          1. The Howlers by Bukhari

          i. “Sahih” Bukhari Volume No. 4 Hadith Number 421
          Narrated Abu Dhar:
          The Prophet asked me at sunset, “Do you know where the sun goes (at the time of sunset)?” I replied, “Allah and His Apostle know better.” He said, “It goes (i.e. travels) till it prostrates Itself underneath the Throne and takes the permission to rise again, and it is permitted and then (a time will come when) it will be about to prostrate itself but its prostration will not be accepted, and it will ask permission to go on its course but it will not be permitted, but it will be ordered to return whence it has come and so it will rise in the west. And that is the interpretation of the Statement of Allah: “And the sun Runs its fixed course For a term (decreed). that is The Decree of (Allah) The Exalted in Might, The All-Knowing.”
          (Q. 36: 38)

          Bukhari Hadith (Arabic) Serial No. 3199-

          iv. “Sahih” Muslim -Book 1, Number 0300:

          Abu Dharr reported: I asked the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) the (implication of the) words of Allah, the Exalted: The sun glides to its appointed resting place. He replied: Its appointed resting place is under the Throne.

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        Aowfer Mustafa

        ISIS and their Wahabi Agenda

        Wahhabi Cancer and the Wahhabi -Shia Conflict.

        Wahhabis are bot Sunnis. They are Agents of Iblis, Satan.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaxgD2HxV2M

        Published on Jun 20, 2014
        Militant group the Islamic State of Iraq & Syria (ISIS) has seized large parts of northern Iraq, including the city of Mosul and Tikrit, unleashing wave instability in the region. Currently, nearly 40 Indian workers are believed to be held hostage in Mosul.

        In part-one of a two-part interview, Manjeet Kripalani, Executive Director of Gateway House, interviews Professor M.D. Nalapat, Director of Geopolitics at Manipal University, about the rise of ISIS and their Wahabi agenda.

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    Hope that Dude with a funny Sinhala accent who alleged on U Tube that Lord Buddha ate human flesh hasn’t seen the photo here….

    Wonder where that Dude is nowadays..k

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      Hey Sumane don’t start something you can’t finish.

      What about the dude that said that in Muslim owned restaurant they spit three times on the food before serving it to their customers, wonder where that joker is nowadays. Must have worn a black Abhaya and infiltrated into some ladies prayer room as he caddishly threatened if he wanted to. A real Boy George he was in the making.

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    I have mentioned this before… We wasted five precious yeas after 2009. A battle was won but not the war. The war can only be won by promoting a Xollective identity. This is what MR missed. Instead of celebrating the victory he and his Governmnet should have healed wounds. What he did instead was that he played the Ethnic card for political gain.
    He divided the country further. Just imagine a SRILANKAN identity while keeping our Singhalese,Tamil, Muslim and Burgher roots not forgetting that we have other smaller communities as well. This makes our country so interesting and beautiful. We can awaken from this deep slumber. We can achieve a renaissance. I hope that our new leaders do not forget this. Please never ever play the ethnic card for political gain,

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    Prof. Rajiva,

    When you were the chair of the Academic Council of the NIE and directing the then new syllabus, it seemed clear that you were striving to minimize inter-group tensions through school education. It was also clear that some of the members of the NIE were opposed to your view, sometimes vehemently. Now that you are Minister, you MUST teach peace building to all children and graduates, if not for religious reasons, at least for the sake of human decency and national development. Institutions like “Generations for Peace,” in Jordan can help in this endeavor- for peace building is an active process that has to be learned. At the US Catholic University I once taught, every course- Science or Arts- had to have 15% social component. In addition to creating awareness for life, it made teaching and learning more focused, effective and fun.

    It is scary to see people rejoicing over war, irrespective of religion.

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    Professor,
    Your university recruitment systems are flawed. Repeal Circular 721 which gives does not care of the experience in the real world. Those who passed out from university without any real world experience are given lecturer post in the guise of Class. For example, how can a student with BEd degree in 1st class teach in education (how to teach) without any teaching experience. You must thing of maturity, experience and thinks like that to be considered in appointing lecturers. Your circular does not give prominance to PhD holders ….think of it

    Jameel

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    this stupid guy is becoming laughing stock trying to whitewash barbaric [Edited out]

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      pot calling the kettle …. look in the mirror. You have been making us laugh for ages now. Again you’re back here embarrassing. your self again.

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        sri lankan ,you must be one of the fruit salad sri lankans who are good for nothing

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          Here you go again making a fool of your self writing absolute incoherent nonsense again. ONE of which? FRUIT, SALAD or SRI LANKAN? I’ve clearly said SRI LANKAN so I must be that. All the above are GOOD, especially FRUITS and SALAD. Even a toddler can tell you that. It’s even HALAL. That must hurt. Why are you making a mockery of your self once again? Grow up man, eat some FRUIT SALAD which is in abundantly available to SRI LANKANS. All GOOD and healthy THINGS. Maybe you will grow a few neurons.

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        What do you expect from a product of [Edited out] – a balu kela kolla.

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    You have cancelled the leadership program that was conducted for university students. A short intro to the program here.

    So this prof guy cancelled that leadership program.

    This shows how intelligent and forward looking this guy.

    what idiots. Co,e from national list and screw up sri lanka.

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    Rajiva

    Don’t you know that the building where “wonderful museum at Kataragama” is placed belonged to Ramakrishna Mission. Thousands of devotees stayed at this building during festival periods and monks belonging to the Ramakrishna Mission were looking after their needs. Suddenly Premadasa’s regime took over this building forcefully while destroying several other Madams around that area. The destruction caused during 1977 racial riots in this sacred area is another important fact you have easily forgotten.

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    1

    What is the “fantastic parable of the mango tree” – anyone?

    King Theva Nampiya Theesan a.k.a “devanampiyatissa”, son of Mootha Sivan a.k.a “muttasiva”,and all his subjects converted to Buddhism overnight after listening to the sermon of Arahat Mahinda, according to popular belief !!
    This was the only instance of mass religious conversion of an entire nation and its ruler, in history !!

    The “museum” at Kataragama (Kathirgamam) was the previous Ramakrishna Mission madam which was a place of refuge, rest and meditation for all pilgrims who were provided with tasty vegetarian meals – until taken over forcibly by the Sirimavo government and converted into a Bhikku hostel.

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    Rajiva, you state ” This is not what God wanted”. Pray tell us if you have a direct connection to ‘God’, if not, how do you know this? And whose ‘God’ told you?? As you know (hopefully!), the numerous religions have their own concepts of who or what ‘God’ is, so what (or which one) are you talking about? Or is this your usual BS?

    By the way, your ‘liberalism’ must have been shelved for all that time you had your head stuck firmly up MR’s ‘donkey’ (aka Ass), which probably blinded you to the actions of Goata’s BBS gang against the Muslims you were addressing so lovingly. Did you speak out against their actions at any time?

    Your hypocrisy id really something to behold!

  • 0
    1

    In the west, Leadership Study is a Degree program. Sri lankan students got it free.

    this Dumb Professor got a political decision and cancelled it.

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