By Izeth Hussain –
My shift of terminology from “submerged minority” to “invisible minority” represented a shift of focus from noting the objective fact of submergence to the process behind that submergence, the subjective process of failing to notice the plight of the submerged, a process of reducing them to invisibility. Orwell noted that all colonial empires are built on that strategy. It seems to me that that strategy applies also in the case of ethnic majorities and some ethnic minorities. It has certainly applied in the case of relations between the Sinhalese and the Muslims.
In a recent article I dealt with the anti-Muslim riots from 1976 to around 2002. The riots took place practically every year, and in every case the Muslims were the victims, but none of our Governments during that period of over a quarter century even acknowledge the ethnic dimension of the riots. The media consistently held that the riots were no more than fracas between thugs which had somehow ignited wider incidents, and were emphatic that there was no ethnic dimension to the riots, none whatever. The political Opposition was silent. So was the civil society, except that an isolated Muslim wrote articles about what was going on. Around 2001 MIRJE (Movement for inter-Racial Justice and Equality) produced an excellent report on the anti-Muslim riots, but I won’t be surprised if the inspiration for that came from abroad. The riots subsided, but there followed the Grease Yaka harassment of Muslim females and the abduction of Muslim businessmen for ransom. None of those developments troubled any of our Governments in the least bit. They were cocooned in the slumber of the just. The Muslims had been reduced to an invisible minority.
The change came after the anti-Muslim campaign of the BBS when the Muslims started acquiring visibility. Before dealing with that I will make some observations on what the Government had failed to do up to that time and the significance of that failure. After each of those riots Muslim political notables would visit the area and together with community leaders would try to patch things up, and the Government would undertake to provide compensation to the victims. But no action, none whatever, of a sort that would deter further riots was taken, or for that matter even envisaged. After the Hulftsdorp riots of December 1993 I wrote an article in which I pointed to what Lee Kuan Yew would have done if there had been comparable riots in Singapore. After the very first riot he would have got the people of the area to identify the thugs responsible for it, he would have brought them to brisk trial which would have been conducted without much scruple for the niceties of the law, and he would have hanged the whole lot of them. In consequence, there would have been no further ethnic riots in Singapore. In Sri Lanka, by contrast, action to deter further rioting was not even envisaged. One reason is that there had never been any attempt in Sri Lanka to build a multi-ethnic nation. Another is that Muslim politicians could be trusted not to be fussy over what was being done to their co-religionists. Therefore the Muslims could be safely treated as an invisible minority.
The change came with the BBS’ anti-Muslim campaign which catalyzed the Muslims into visibility. I believe that the reason, the only reason, behind that change was the threat of anti-Muslim violence on a mass scale. It was apparent that the racist Sinhalese state of the time was complicit with the BBS even to the horrifying extent of placing the BBS leaders above the law. There was every reason to suspect that another 1983 was in the offing – “Your turn next time” as the Tamils kept saying after 1983. It was evident that the strategy of boot-licking the Sinhalese power elite would not save the Muslims from mass massacre. In that situation something totally unexpected happened: Rauf Hakeem and some other Muslim politicians spoke up, and they spoke up courageously, for the Muslims against an anti-Muslim segment of the Sinhalese who evidently had state backing. They, in fact, went further in alerting the wider Islamic world to the danger facing the SL Muslims, showing a splendid contempt for possible contemptible charges of divided allegiances. We must also take into account the fact that the then political Opposition made no more than a few perfunctory noises against the BBS. However, the civil society showed a new dynamism in deploring the racism of the BBS, a sign of changing perceptions among the Sinhalese about Sinhalese racism.
I believe that it is the process of change set off by the threat of mass violence that has led to a new awakening about the plight of Muslim refugees from the North. Nothing is more convincing than their plight to show that the Muslims have been an invisible minority. For as long as a quarter century the plight of around a hundred thousand refugees scarcely figured in public discourse. What is horrifying is that during part of that time the plight of Tamil refugees got an immense amount of exposure both domestically and internationally. What is the explanation? Part of the explanation is that the dominant ethnic majorities don’t want their serene joy in power to be disturbed by the plight of ethnic minorities, who are therefore reduced to invisibility. They use the same strategy as the imperialists of yore towards the natives, as noted by Orwell. But, as I have noted earlier, invisibility has to have behind it the complicity of the representatives of the ethnic minorities. In Sri Lanka the Muslim politicians failed to speak up for the Muslim refugees for twenty five long years. That was consistent with their traditional role of representing the Sinhalese masters to the Muslims, not the Muslims to the Sinhalese masters.
The rise to visibility of the Muslims should be seen as part of a global revolutionary process. In the past we never heard of the indigenous Indios as a factor in the politics of Latin America. Today they produce revolutionary leaders such as Chavez and Evo Morales. All over the world the invisible will be rising to visibility. The basic factor behind the revolutionary process is that the aspirations to upward mobility will keep on growing while the possibility of upward mobility also keep on growing. Muslim relations with both the Sinhalese and the Tamils could worsen while economic rivalry keeps on increasing. What should be done? We need to do much rethinking about how to bring about some sense of unity in this deeply fragmented so-called Sri Lankan nation.
Backlash / November 14, 2015
The irresponsible anti-Tamil racist Izeth Hussain rides again.
“Your turn next time as the Tamils kept saying after 1983″ insists this bigot Hussain. Let him name which Tamil of any responsibility ever said that. Unless he explains himself responsibly the assumption will be he is, once again, in his usual mischievous habit of setting up the Muslims against the Tamils at a time when leaders of both communities have made much progress in healing unfortunate wounds.
Let this doomsday prophet also help the authorities in publicly letting know the basis of his dangerous belief “Muslim relations with both the Sinhalese and the Tamils could worsen” because, by all accounts inter-racial relationship between the two major races – as well the Muslim minority – is on a more optimistic curve. Needless to say, it is the responsibility of decent men and women in public life – Writers and Commentators included – to narrow wounds between communities in strife. Mr. Hussain travels, by all accounts, prefers to travel in the opposite direction – possibly only to remain in the public light.
Izeth Hussain / November 14, 2015
The IH caravan moves on. Bark on, Backie – IH
Boom Boom / November 14, 2015
The caravan should be moving for al-Dafin.
Is that near IH?
Fathima Fukushima / November 15, 2015
Thank you Izeth.
May the Merciful One be pleased with you.
Amarasiri / November 16, 2015
RE: Muslims and Islam
Most Muslims are confused about Islam. The Wahhabis Follow Iblis the Devil. Read the Hadith of Najad.
if you really want to help Muslims and Non-Muslims alike, you need to expose the Iblis, Satan Infected Wahhabis and their deception.
“Verily, shaytan inhaled into their hearts delusion… They (Wahhabis) help each other move away from the true religion. Some of them say they belong to a mazhab, but infact they do not belong to any” (6)”
Given Below is a write up from 1940’s well before the current Wahhabi menace exploded.
(CT Editors: Please Do not Edit Out. This is very Material to the Argument about Wahhabism, from the 1940s, before the Wahhabi Petro Dollaras started causing havoc.)
JADIDIES AND WAHHABIES – RELIGIOUS DISPUTES IN DAGESTAN IN EARLY 20TH CENTURY
Hafiz-Hajji from Ukhli (Dagestan) on wahhabites and jadids
By Sh. Sh. Shikhaliyev, Institute for History, Archeology and Etnography of the Scientific Center of Dagestan, Russian Academy of Sciences, Makhachkala
The main purpose of this article is to demonstrate on the example of a peculiar source the religious disputes taking place in Dagestan in the beginning of the 20th century.
The source is an essay written in Arabic around the 1940s by a Dagestani theologist Abd al-Hafiz-Hajji al-Ukhli Omarov (1914-2000) from the village of Ukhli (Okhli) in Dagestan. The work is written with blue in a thick notebook. The whole essay is written on 26 sheets. The work is titled “al-Jawab al-sahih li-l-akh al-muslih” (“The Reliable Answers for a Righteous Brother”).
Before we start discussing the work itself, let me tell about the author.
Hafiz-Hajji Omarov is a son of a renowned Dagestani alim Umar from the Ukhli village. He received his primary religious education from his father. In 1921-1917 Hafiz-Hajji was attending an Islamic school in his native village. After the Spiritual Board of Muslims of the North Caucasus (further SBMNC) was established in 1944 he held different offices within this organization, including that of the chairman of the audit commision. 1957 he performed hajj to Mekka. During the 3rd session of the SBMNC in 1975 he was unanoniously elected as mufti and held this office until the next session in 1978 (1).
Although the essay itself is not dated, some indirect evidence shows that it was written by the end of the 1940s (2). The manuscript contains besides the essay some reviews of it by Dagestani theologians holding offices in the Islamic Board. The manuscript is probably a copy because the essay itself and the reviews are written by the same hand.
The essay is dedicated to the criticism of the wahhabites and the jadids who “misguide Muslims” according to the author. The work is written in the form of an instruction given by the author to his “brother in Islam Sakhratulla al-Ansalti (3)”.
The author uses a polemical form to indicate his position. He critisizes wahhabites and jadids from the point of view of his own commitment to taqlid and the Asharite theological school (4), which he assumes to be the only right one.
The essay can be divided into several parts.
In the first one, the author explains the reasons that induced him to write this work. Here he writes that in the Muslim world there are many different streams but the most harmful ones are that of the wahhabites and the jadids. Further the author briefly writes about the origin of the wahhabism and the role of its founder Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab al-Najdi.
The second chapter is dedicated to the jadidism, which the author holds for more dangerous than the wahhabism. In the same chapter the author tells about the Muslim reformers of the end of XIX-beginning of XX centuries: Jamaluddin Afghani, Muhammad Abduh and Rashid Rida in a very negative light.
The third part is about those Dagestani Muslims who “sow the seed of delusion in our [the author’s] Dagestani land” and who were “more harmful and dangerous spreaders of infidelity and delusion” than the above mentioned Afghani, Abduh and Rida. Among the Dagestani jadids, the author names a renowned encyclopedist Ali Kayayev, his own nephew Muhammad al-Umari al-Ukhli, Muhammad Abdurashid from Arakani village and Abu Muhammad Mas’ud from Mogokh village.
In the next chapter Hafiz-Hajji makes a summary of the previous material and warns Sakhratulla from Ansalt and thus all Muslims about the threat of jadidism in Dagestan. Here he also shares his thoughts about the negative role of the wahhabites and jadids in Islam: “They are misguided and misguide the others, spreading impermissible innovations, discord and confusion among the true followers of Islam” (5). He cites the opinion of some Dagestani scolars who critisized the ideas of Ali Kayayev and his followers. Further he continues: “Surprisingly, these teachings have a considerable number of followers in many Muslim countries. Verily, shaytan inhaled into their hearts delusion… They help each other move away from the true religion. Some of them say they belong to a mazhab, but infact they do not belong to any” (6). In the end of this chapter the author addresses all Muslims and calls them to follow the way of Allah and His Prophet and beware of those who sow the seed of delusion and infidelity.
Finally the fifth part of the essay contains the reviews given by some Dagestani theologians. Some of them had been holding offices in the SBMNC for a long time. All reviews are positive. Some reviewers additionally wrote their own considerations regarding the activities of the Dagestani jadids. The reviews are indeed of a certain interest because their authors knew personally the Dagestani jadids mentioned in the work. They mentioned some new facts about the jadids presenting them in a negative light and praised the positive role of Hafiz-Hajji’s essay in preserving the true Islam. Among the reviewers are: Shamsuddin Abdulaev from Qadar village (Buynaksk district of Republic of Dagestan)(7), Tatam Karabudagov from Khalimbekaul village (Buynaksk District of Republic of Dagestan)(8), Abdurahman, son of Abdusalam from Chirkei village (Buynaksk district of Republic of Dagestan)(9), Surkhai from Ukhli village (Levashinski District of the Republic of Dagestan).
Below we cite a passage from our translation of Hafiz-Hajji’s work:
The reliable answers for a righteous brother
written by Abd al-Hafiz al-Ukhli for his brother Sakhratulla al-Ansalti
Praise to Allah who guided us on the right way to Islam. For without His guidence we would never have followed the right way. Allah made us followers of the Imams (10) of the right way. There is no power and strength except with Allah! Blessed and greeted be the Prophet of Allah (11), sent with the true religion to all people, blessed be his family and his companions who protected him from the low-minded foes.
I, a humble seeker [of knowledge] Abd al-Hafiz al-Ukhli, beg my Lord to save me from delusion. Our chaste brother Sakhratulla al-Ansalti, may Allah reward him in this life and the hereafter, asked me about the wicked people who appeared among us in these days. He asked: Are they from the misguided followers of wahhabism or of another wicked teaching? Or do they belong to the pious Islamic Umma?
I am no expert to judge on this. But I was inspired to write this work by my religious furvor when I saw how these people disparage the dignity of the great imams (12) of the highest rang. I felt myselft insulted by their disrespect [for the great imams].
When I saw how some of them diminish the great dignity of holy people I acted according to the words of the Prophet, peace be upon him, who said: “If an [impermissible-transl.] novelty [e.g. bid’a-transl.] appears and [the scholar] remains silent, may Allah curse him, the angels and all human beings”… I trust in Allah the Allmighty that he makes me the one who gives the right response to them and refutes the teaching of these wicked people… So I wrote this short essay as edification for my rightious country-man and all dear brothers in Islam. I called it: “Reliable answers for a righteous brother”.
My humble hope is that I will not be forgtotten in my brothers’ prayers. Oh Allah, make this work a stronghold for all believers and ruin to all sowers of discord. Amen.
Beware, my beloved brother, that there are many dangerous sects in Islam. However I want to inform you of two misleading teachings who disunite Umma and sow discord among the Muslims.
The first one is that of the wahhabites. Wahhabism was founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab al-Najdi, belonging to the mazhab of Taymiyya al-Hanbali al-Harati. This mazhab is none of the four main mazhabs.
A famous scholar Ahmad Zain Dakhlan says in his book “Khulasat al-Kalam” that Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab al-Najdi had critisized the mazhabs arguing that they are of no use and the four Imams are misguided and misguide others; sometimes he conceals his true opinion saying that the Imams are right and he followed the alims who adhered to one of the mazhabs. Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab al-Najdi was saying that there is only one Sharia – the Book of Allah and the Sunna of the Prophet, but they (alims and imams) divide it into four mazhabs. I personally follow only the Quran and the Sunna. Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab was talking about his adherence to the mazhab of Imam Ahmad [e.g. hanbali-transl.], may God be pleased with him, but it was a lie. Many of his contemporaries, the followers of the Hanbali mazhab, argued with him and refuted his teaching in their works. Even his brother Sulayman bin Abd al-Wahhab wrote an essay critisizing the views of Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab. Once Sulayman bin Abd al-Wahhab asked his brother: “How many pillars of Islam are there?” He answered: “Five”. Sulayman said: “But you made it six. The sixth pillar is to be your follower. He who does not follow you is not a Muslim.” If anyone wants to know the truth about him he should read books about Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab and find out the truth about this man.
The other teaching is the jadidism. It is also called al-hizb al-jadid. It has been founded by the most dangerous sower of discord Jalaluddin al-Afghani. This is the most harmful teaching for the followers of the true Islam and much more dangerous and confusing than the first one(13).
A renowned scientist sheikh Yusuf al-Nabhani(14) used to say when Jalaluddin al-Afghani tried to spread religious discord in Afghanistan he was banished by the ruler of Afghanistan… In 1286 AH Jalaluddin al-Afghani left for Egypt. He lived in al-Azhar University and studied there propagating his evil ideas.
Another big sower of discord is Muhammad Abduh. He dedicated his life to serving the shaytan and conducting matters contradicting with the true religion.
Yusuf al-Nabhani wrote about him:
He who used to misguide is misguiding.
He who used to tempt tempts.
Cursed are they and those who follow
And blessed is the one
Who fights against them.
The blessed Yusuf was telling that when the Egyptian government banished Muhammad Abduh he left for Syria and stayed there for several years spreading his wicked teaching among some ignorant and naive people in Islamic schools. He moved from town to town leaving everywhere his wicked legacy. Among the alims and the righteous of Egypt he defamed himself as a wicked man who has no fear of God. They protested against his embarassing acts which are not worthy of an alim and a Muslim.
Additionally Muhammad Abduh met other misguided Muslims, apostates, infidels, and Non-Muslims: Druses, Christians and heretics. Thus he also got followers in Egypt…
Neither he nor his followers recognized the dignity of the distinguished alims – on the contrary, they called the rightious stupid and senile and ignored their dignity. The people from his environment were flattering him and made him believe he was a pearl of his era. At the same time they observed how he was missing prayers, not observing fasting and other pillars of Islam; additionally, he was drinking wine, living with a non-Muslim concubine and committing other major sins. He managed to convince them with the devil’s help to favor sins and heresies and to reprehend the rightious. That is why you shall not find anyone among his followers who would hold for obligatory to observe the daily prayers, who would be diligent in his worship of Allah and who would resist his sinful nafs. His followers call people to ijtihad(15). According to him, those Muslims, who do not propagate ijtihad are foolish simpletons. His followers admire wicked people and those who go astray, who do not follow Sharia and publicly express their approval of sinfulness, immorality and infidelity. They are strongly convinced that they are the rightious ones and the rest of Umma who follow the four mazhabs have gone astray…
The third big sower of discord is sheikh Rashid Rida al-Kalmuni, who exceeded the both previous ones, al-Afghani and Abduh, in spreading this wicked teaching.
Yusuf al-Nabhani said about him:
“With regard to Rashid, the publisher of al-Manar, verily, he is the least reasonable among them and the most dangerous.
He was the editor of al-Manar publishing house founded by Muhammad Abduh. This typography has been founded in order to spread infidelity, delusion and heresies among the Muslims. There they published many heretical essays and especially in a journal called al-Manar.
Yusuf al-Nabhani used to tell: “When I met Rashid Rida al-Qalmuni I discussed with him the activities of his sheikh Muhammad Abduh. I told him: “You see him as a role model for our religion and you invite people to follow him, but this is ridiculous. He does not observe his religious obligations which is wrong. Muslims know that he used to miss prayers without reason. Once a Muslim brother called us to go to the mountains of Lebanon and I was accompanying him. We were on our way from the time of the midday prayer until the beginning of the evening prayer. During this time, he has neither performed the midday prayer nor the afternoon prayer although he had no reason to miss them. I performed two prayers and he – none. When I asked him why he missed the prayers he replied that his teaching allows him to combine both prayers together. I was surprised by such response since according to the imams, to combine the midday and the afternoon prayers as well as the evening and the night prayer is allowed if one is travelling or sick. None of the imams ever suggested that the midday and the afternoon prayers can be combined with the evening and the night prayers. Once I said to Rashid Rida: “ If you could say that Muhammad Abduh is a philosopher of Islam of Ibn Sina’s or al-Farabi’s scope we would have agreed with you, even if this were wrong, because then it would neither harm us nor our religion. But no Muslim will accept that you call him an iman whereas he is such a wicked man who ignors even the basic tenets of Islam(16)!
Sheikh Rashid Rida replied: “We do not say he the one like Ibn Sina. We say he is the one like Imam al-Ghazali”. May Allah forgive him his mistakes and arrogance…
Every follower of this wicked teaching assumes himself a greater alim than Imam al-Ghazali and calls to the absolute ijtihad. Imam al-Ghazali has never admitted permissibility of the absolute ijtihad, on the contrary he clearly denied that absolute ijtihad might be used in his era. Fakhruddin al-Razi(17) had a similar opinion on the issue, as well as many other renowned imams. But look at these clueless ignorants! Each of them assumes that he reached the rang of the four Imams! This delusion grows bigger and bigger in their wicked souls… They claim to foster piety in our religion.
This is what I know about the Egyptians discussed above who befoul the world and mislead all servants of Allah…
I hope you are sattisfied with this and we don’t need to continue talking any longer about them…
Now I will tell about those who sow the seeds of confusion and immorality in Dagestan. They are even worse sinners and spreaders of discord and delusion than those Egyptians.
The first one is Ali bin Abd al-Hamid al-Ghumuki. He used to travel in the Egypt land during his studies. He also met Rashid Rida and was excited by his teaching. Rashid Rida sent him to Dagestan to spread his heretical teaching. Ali al-Ghumuki said that Allah had advised to follow only one Sharia and he is surprised by those who divide it into four [mazhabs]. He called to the absolute ijtihad wondering: “What do the alims of today know? They have no idea about the Holy Book of Allah neither about the Sunna of his Prophet. The have not extradicted anything new [from Quran and Sunna]…”
A prominent scholar of his time Najmuddin al-Hotsi al-Dagistani al-Jabali (18) has derided al-Ghumuki in his poem:
Leave Ahadith for those who understand this science,
The jungles are not for donkeys but for lions
An alim named Abdulla bin Shuayb afandi al-Bagini said: “Once we were visiting a small mosque in Makhachkala. I have not seen a person more wicked and shameless than him. Although he ignored his basic religious obligations and was calling to ijtihad. Ali al-Ghumuki was shaving his beard and moustache and wearing garments of infidels (al-kuffar), so the others were making mock of him… In the times of the old Russian governoment in [Temir-khan] Shura he published the newspaper “Jaridat Dagistan” in the Arabic language where he propagated his disgusting innovations. He has written an essay called “Islamic Sharia” which in fact should be called “Heretical Sharia”.
The second wicked Dagestani who dared to spread his confusing ideas in our motherland was my dear brother and the joy of my heart Muhammad al-Umari al-Ukhli (19).
You will never find a person who knew better than me how low he was fallen.
I have seen his sins and his virtues and his sins had overcome his virtues. He had more knowledge of bare facts than reason. Muhammad al-Umari al-Ukhli began his studies under the patronage of our pious alims. In the heyday of youth, as a student, he was known for his sharp wit and the broad scope of his knowledge. But unfortunately he met Ali al-Ghumuki. He had been contiminated with the seed of delusion and this seed grew into a tree of immorality. For he came back with the mission to spread this heresy in our land, among his naive students and started advertising his skillfulness and knowledge of ijtihad. But in fact he hardly acquired even an avarage knowledge of the Shafii mazhab, let alone the other mazhabs. His true nature can be expressed by the words of Yusuf Nabhani about the imam of heretics Muhammad Abduh:
There are myriads of clueless fools,
But a monkey who believes to be a raving beauty is the worst one.
Once I told him: “You know that two great imams Fakhruddin al-Razi and al-Ghazali followed the Shafii mazhab and possessed solid knowledge in the legal and rational sciences (an-naqliyya wa-l-aqliyya). You haven’t even reached the rang of their students so how can you claim to have the high rang to be capable of ijtihad?!”
He had very bad relations with the scholars of the law and the great Sufis. He ordered us to burn their wise books saying that we didn’t need them anymore: ”It is enough for us to learn only the Arabic language, in order to understand the word of Allah and the Sunna of his Prophet. This is all we need,” – he was saying. Once in the days of our youth I happenned to meet him alone in an Islamic school. He took the book “Nuzhat al-Majalis” by sheikh Abdurrahman al-Sughuri al-Shafii and threw it into fire. I wanted to stop him with all my heart but I couldn’t due to my fear of him…
His knowledge in Sharia has not exceeded that of a pious old woman… Once when Muhammad al-Umari came to me I was looking through the chapter dedicated to praying while on travel of the Book “Tuhfat” by Ibn Hajar. Some passages of this book were not clear for me and I asked him to explain them for me. He took the book, read it for more than an hour and could not come with any reply because he had no idea about fiqh…
Sometimes he was saying: “I live only according to the Quran and Sunna”, and sometimes he issued fatwas (legal opinions) without using even these essential sources. He brought a man and a woman together without nikah and divorced them without talaq. His position regarding this issue was contradicting the opinion of the fuqaha (Muslim jurist) who wrote: “If you pronounce talaq [the formula of repudiation] three times at a spot the divorce is valid”. That is, he was taking his decisions considering even numeral talaqs pronounced at the same spot for only one talaq formula [which does not validate the divorce]…
According to Muhammad al-Umari’s opinion the ayas about the Great Flood in the Quran were not true. He argued that the ayah revealed about the Prophet Noah (peace be upon him) is wrong because the natural sciences deny the possibility of such a long life [as the one of Noah]. Look at what he said in his poem:
Verily, in firdaus those like us shall eternity spent,
Those not with us in the fire of hell shall repent.
Truly, the scarcity of his mind is showing the fact that he reprimanded me for my respect for the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, for he said: “A Prophet has no virtue of his own except that he has been sent a revelation by God”.
Once I told him: “I see that you miss prayers and other religious obligations. Are you sure that prayers can be ignored?” He replied: “Allah may keep you away from such ideas… Really, fasting, prayers, zakat and hajj are compulsory. This is also my opinion regarding all the other religious obligations. But I miss prayers due to my fear of prosecution by the government… I hope that Allah will forgive my sins, failures and negligence”. I said: “I’ve never heard that the Soviet Government forbids to perform one’s religious obligations. It does not punish anybody for following one’s religious norms without the excessive necessity. If it were otherwise we would not have a single pious Muslim in our society. All this is a delusion and your fantasy, which has nothing to do with reality…”
The third spreader of these evil heresies is this wicked man Muhammad Abdurrashid al-Harakani. He was neither of kind nature nor of great intelligence… But he was so full of all evil traits that there is not enough space here to describe his wickedness.
During his studies he met Muhammad al-Umari. al-Umari inspired him with his evil thoughts and iblis took over control over his mind… The two men became bound together through the sinews of their delusion. Despite his ignorance he was calling to ijtihad. Al-Harakani used to visit Muhammad al-Umari, when we were al-Umari’s students. We have seen al-Harakani’s arrognance. He was talking in a manner as if he were a mujtahid, in fact he did not even know Arabic grammar: Muhammad al-Umari said when he was correcting Harakani’s poems: “I am afraid that our Sufis or even students may happen to run across this [so they will make a mock out of him]”. Calling to ijtihad he nevertheless has never learned a single sura, nor read a single page with Ahadith, he had no idea about fiqh.
The fourth spreader of heresy in Dagestan is Abu Masud al-Muhuhi. I haven’t known him as well as the first three ones. I heard he studied poetry with a famous alim Nadjm ad-Din al-Hotsi al-Awari and achieved a certain success. Afterwards he studied Sharia and worked as qadi in some villages. Unfortunately he met these three wicked men who said: “Are you satisfied with your dwelling as a captive in the dungeon of taqlid whereas you could elevate yourself to a higher rang by performing ijtihad!” He agreed with this and began spreading this heresies in Dagestan. His naive followers and he himself believed that he reached the high rang of the great imams-mujtahids. He wrote an essay “Burning barriers on the way to ijtihad”…
Beware, dear brother, that all the above-mentioned imams are heretics of the jadidism teaching. Each of them had disciples who spread wickedness and delusion, hiding under the guise of [pious] Muslims.
Oh brother, beware of such ignorant heretics, do not trust them even if they appear in great numbers… They are ignorant in what they teach: they insist that to be fluent in Arabic is enough to understand the Quran and Sunna; they say that to issue legal recommendations according to Sharia it is enough to go by the Quran and Sunna; they do not give the due importance to studying grammar and rhetoric, not to mention fiqh. [their attribute is] – disrespect to the Book of Allah the Almighty, as they do not even perform the ritual ablution before reading it. Strangely, they say they follow only Quran and Sunna but they ignore the basic religious obligations prescribed there like the prayer and the fast. Additionaly in their schools they foster such terrible behavior which would horrify any pious Muslim. They slander the names of the holy people and pious sheikhs with filthy words. They deride zikr and the other religious practices of Sufi sheikhs. They do not show the due respect to the great experts of Sharia and fiqh. They claim to be equals of those great scholars. They boast with their scarce knowledge of the Arabic comparing it with the deep knowledge of the distinguished imams. They do not care that even such distinguished and wise alims like Fakhruddin ar-Razi and imam al-Ghazali who have greatly benefited the whole Muslim world have not assumed themeselves of the same rang of the imams-founders of the mazhabs and followed the mazhab of imam ash-Shafii… Look at these two great scholars and at our ignorant countrymen!
It surprising that they have followers in many Muslim countries. The devil has inhaled this delusion into their hearts! They are connected through a network and help their followers to lose the true religion. They claim to be followers of a mazhab whereas they are not. They are like a flock without a sheepherd. They miss prayers and other religous obligations and drown in the abyss of their wickedness and sins.
Oh brothers, hold on fast to Allah and stay together! Follow the people of Sunna and the way shown by the four Imams! That group of people [that I told about] is lead by shaytan to destroy the Umma. People like them can be found in every Muslim community. They are hiding behind the guise of Muslims, and many alims all around become attracted to their speeches… In the future you will see the wickedness of their teaching.
Praise to Allah for warning us about the danger of following these wicked people. Blessed and greeted be the Prophet of Allah, his family and his companions.
This is written by me, a humble seeker of knowledge, Abd al-Hafiz al-Ukhli.
Thus, the text gives us a clue about the polemic essays of the Dagestani alims, their response to the renewal movements of the beginning of the 20th century which spread in the Muslim Orient, as well as in the Volga region and Crimea and finally in the Northern Caucasus. It was during that period that in Dagestan appeared alims who brought with them the ideas of the renewal of the existing system of the Islamic education in Dagestan and Islam in general. The paper “Jaridat Dagistan” and the journal “Bayan al-haqaiq”, both in Arabic, which were officially published in Dagestan in the pre-Soviet as well as in the early Soviet periods often featured lots of articles of such polemic kind. It is quite natural, new ideas were sharply critisized by the local Sufi establishment.
When speaking about jadidism one should mention some peculiaritues of its development in Dagestan. The thing is that, many of the Islamic spiritual leaders of the new stream, particulary Abu Sufyan Akayev, Muhammad Mirza Mavraev, Jamaluddin Karabudakhkentskiy, Muhammad-qadi Dibirov, Hassan Alqadari, Saifulla-qadi Bashlarov etc., have raised the question of reforms in the Islamic education and to add to its curriculum secular subjects. Some of them even published textbooks and religious literature in the local languages. At the same time these same scholars were followers of taqlid, e.g. of the mazhabs.
Although one could read in the papers their (Abu Sufyan Akaev’s in particular) critical articles about some Sufi sheikhs, but this was not criticism of Sufism in general, it refered more to the activities of some fake sheikhs. A similar critic one could hear from the sheikhs. In particular, Saifulla-qadi Bashlarov, a sheikh of the Naqshbandi and of the Shazili tariqat, instructed his murid [disciple]: “Beware, oh brother, there are many murids in our time. Those who claim to be sheikhs are even more numerous. Do not interact with the majority of the sheikhs of our era and their murids… I have travelled in many countries and seen many slaves [of Allah] and have not seen anybody more wicked and more distant from Allah then those who claimed to be great Sufis.
They assume that the nature of their soul is perfect and show it. At the same time, they do not believe in Allah, in His Prophet and in the Last Day. They do not abide by Sharia. I have seen plenty of such in Dagestan. They claimed to be sheikhs not following a righious sheikh. Some of them claim that they got a permission [to teach murids] from a soul of a sheikh or even in their dream. This is nothing but their imagination… They have no other care than the worldly pleasure… Protect your sight from looking at [such] sheikhs, their murids and avoid being in their company. For I swear by Allah – it will be an obvious mistake [to do this]. To meet shaytan is less dangerous then to meet them…(20).
In particular among these sheikhs the author mentions the activities of the above-mentioned jadids: Ali Kayayev, Muhammad Ohlinskiy, Abdurashid Arakanskiy and Masud from Mogokh. Interestingly the position of the above-mentioned persons in the questions of educations is not described in the essay. Some of them – Ali Kayayev and Masud from Mogokh, have expressed their opinions regarding taqleed, ijtihad, reforms of the Islamic education, some issues of Sharia etc., which were different with the majority of alims in Dagestan.
To sum up the article, one should take a notice of some peculiarities: The essay of a polemic genre itself is nothing new in the religious literature of Dagestan. The author shows himself clearly as a follower of taqlid, Ashari kalam and Sufism; criticizes sharply the representatives of jadidism in Dagestan, although his critic does not concern the reform of the Islamic education. At the same time, his pro-Sufi position fundamentally contradicts the Soviet anti-Sufi politics. Taking to account that the author wrote his essay when he was working in SBMNC, which conducted anti-Sufi politics, he nevertheless expressed his pro-Sufi position. In either case it seems right to say, that the essay has not been dictated by the SBMNC officials whose activities were coordinated by the strict Soviet anti-Sufi politics.
Author : Sh. Sh. Shikhaliyev,
Institute for History, Archeology and Etnography of the Scientific Center of Dagestan, Russian Academy of Sciences, Makhachkala
1) Сулаев И.Х. «Общественно полезная деятельность Духовного управления мусульман Северного Кавказа хорошо известна уполномоченному совета…» [Sulayev I.Kh. “Community services of the Spiritual Board of Muslims of North Caucasus are well know to the commissioner of the council…”]. Documents of the State Archive of the Russian Federation and the Central State Archive on the relations of the state institutions and Islam in the 2nd half of the 20th century // Отечественные архивы [National archives] M.[Moscow], 2006, No 2., p. 86
2) Фонд уполномоченного по делам религиозных культов СМ ДАССР / ЦГА РД. [Fond of the commissioner for the religious affairs of the Council of the Ministers of the Dagestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic / Central State Archive of the Republic of Dagestan] [for reference in the archives:] Ф. р-1234, оп. 4, folder 7, sheet 127.
3) Мирзоев Сахратулла [Mirzoyev Sakhratulla] (1892-?) – qadi of the Botlikh Society from 1945, had primary secular and high religious education; in 1920-1930 worked as imam in a moscue of the Botlikhski district.
4) al-Ashariya – the name of one of the main schools of speculative theology (kalam). For more information see: Ибрагим Т.К., Сагадеев А.С. ал-Ашарийа // Ислам [Ibragim T.K., Sagadeyev A.S. al-Ashariya // Islam] Энциклопедический словарь [Encyclopedic dictionary] M. [Moscow], 1991 p. 32-33
5) Abd al-Hafiz al-Uhli. al-Jawab as-sahih li-l-akh al-muslih. Sheet 14.
7) During a long time period he was working in SBMNC, for a certain time as the deputy chariman of SBMNC (he died 1983 or 1984).
8) He was a member of SBMNC in 1947. According to his review in the end of the discussed essay, he was a qadi in SBMNC (died in 1970s).
9) He was a deputy mufti in SBMNC in the 1950s. Died in the end of 1950s-beginning of 1960s.
10) The author means the founders of the four main Islamic schools of Law – mazhabs: Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Shafii and Ahmad bin Hanbal, may Allah be pleased with them.
11) Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
12) e.g. the four imams – founders of the main Sunni mazhabs.
13) e.g. wahhabism
14) Yusuf al-Nabhani (1265-1350 AH / 1848-’49 – 1932 AC), a Lebanese scholar, one of the opponents of Ibn Taymiyya. He graduated from al-Azhar University in Cairo. For a long time worked in Mekka and Medina; he wrote more than 50 books.
15) Ijtihad – the right to make one’s own decision on important religious and social issues, based on the sources of the Islamic Law (Quran, Sunna, qiyas (analogy), ijma (common opinion of established Muslim scholars etc.)
16) Imam – here, probably, a founder of a religious teaching.
Fakhruddin al-Razi (544-606 AH / 1150-1210 AC) – a renowned scholar in Islam, author of many essays, including “Mafatih al-ghayb”.
18) Renowned Islamic scholar and statesman Najmuddin Gotsinskiy (died in 1925).
19) Muhammad Umari al-Ukhli was a nephew of Hafiz-Hajji, although he was older than the latter. Hafiz-Hajji was his student for some time.
20) Saifulla al-Nitsubkri “Maktubat Khalid Saifulla ila fuqara’ ahl Allah” Damascus, 1998. p. 20-21
Amarasiri / November 14, 2015
RE: Muslims – An Invisible Minority? – Part II
Good. Bring the Problem and issues to the surface.
From Invisible minority to visible minority. Why?
Wahhabism, the Gonoi Billa dress (Black Abaya) and the Arab Wahhabi Dress for men? Muslims need to look inward and ask do Sri Lankan Muslims, who are mostly Para from India just like Para-Sinhala and Para-Tamils need to blindly dress up like Arabs, when Pakistanis do not do that? In Sinhala, there is word for it, Anda-Anukaranaya, Blind-Copying or Blind-Following.
1. “In a recent article I dealt with the anti-Muslim riots from 1976 to around 2002. The riots took place practically every year, and in every case the Muslims were the victims, but none of our Governments during that period of over a quarter century even acknowledge the ethnic dimension of the riots. “
2. “The media consistently held that the riots were no more than fracas between thugs which had somehow ignited wider incidents, and were emphatic that there was no ethnic dimension to the riots, none whatever. The political Opposition was silent. So was the civil society, except that an isolated Muslim wrote articles about what was going on. Around 2001 MIRJE (Movement for inter-Racial Justice and Equality) produced an excellent report on the anti-Muslim riots, but I won’t be surprised if the inspiration for that came from abroad. The riots subsided, but there followed the Grease Yaka harassment of Muslim females and the abduction of Muslim businessmen for ransom. None of those developments troubled any of our Governments in the least bit. They were cocooned in the slumber of the just. The Muslims had been reduced to an invisible minority.”
Where is the Core Problem here? 95% of the solution is identifying the problem.
1. Para-Sinhala Buddhist Nationalism. If you analyze each and every incident, you will notice that behind each and every case you will find Sihala Buddhists behind it, just the same way the anti-Tamil riots.
2. the Core roots of the Problem is in the Mahawansa.
3. The Sinhalese Buddhists consider anybody who is not a Sinhala Buddhist is a Para in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, while conveniently forgetting that the Sinhala from Orissa and other parts of Southern India are Paras.
4. The Politicians do not consider it a problem, as long as Muslims and Tamils are victims.
5. The change came with the BBS’ anti-Muslim campaign which catalyzed the Muslims into visibility. I believe that the reason, the only reason, behind that change was the threat of anti-Muslim violence on a mass scale. It was apparent that the racist Sinhalese state of the time was complicit with the BBS even to the horrifying extent of placing the BBS leaders above the law.
Of course they were complicit. However, one need to understand that not All Sinhala Buddhists are racists or complicit in this manner.
David / November 15, 2015
The sort of rubbish you wrote, has been taught Muslim children in their religious fanatics run Madrasas.
Occasional Arab trader visited the island occasionally but they never settled down as some Muslims believe because it is not traders nature to settle down wherever they go and they are not into agriculture either, they are always on the move looking for business opportunities.
Don’t believe former minister Ashrof’s falsely made-up Muslim’s history in Sri Lanka.
Sinhalese are as much native as the Vaddas. The Sinhales are made of the major tribes that were once scattered all over the island. Sinhales’ maternal line is 100% from ancient tribes. King Vijaya never identified him self as Sinyalese and he ruled in Thambabanni now Mannar district and Puttalama district. The first Sinhales king was king Pandukabhaya(?).
Amarasiri / November 15, 2015
“Sinhalese are as much native as the Vaddas. The Sinhales are made of the major tribes that were once scattered all over the island. Sinhales’ maternal line is 100% from ancient tribes. “
This is incorrect. Read Below.
“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.”
Mitochondrial DNA history of Sri Lankan ethnic people: their relations within the island and with the Indian subcontinental populations.
Journal of Human Genetics (2014) 59, 28–36; doi:10.1038/jhg.2013.112; published online 7 November 2013
Any admixture of Sinhala in Native Veddah Aethho is probably due to the rape of Native Veddah People by the Para-Sinhala who arrived from Orissa and the surrounding region in India, and their Offspring.
All in Lanka, the Land of Native Veddal Aethoo are paras, except the Native Veddah Aethho.
David / November 16, 2015
Amarasir, you are completely wrong, and your hatred towards the Sinhalese is evident.
You talk about Sinhalese and others DNA… A proper (not the cheap) DNA testing cost lots of money ,nearly $2000 (LKR300000 roughly) per person. This DNA study might have been funded by NGOs or the study may have been funded by the University with their limited funds and the study may have been carried on few people (not enough to get the complete picture). To do a DNA test on an ethnic group and their ancestry dating back thousands of years needs lot of money, lot of work, and lot of experts on the field.
So the conclusion is that the DNA study you mentioned is NOT RELIABLE.
Amarasiri, you say that Sinhalese are from Orissa (or Odisha) then why don’t the Sinhalese speak Oriya instead of Sinhala? The Tamils are from Tamil Nadu, so they speak Tamil.
The word Sinhala may be not older than 2500 years, but the people exist today are the descends of the tribes that existed tens of thousand of years ago. Siwu-Hela, the four main tribes’ unification made the Sinhala ethnic group.
Amarasiri / November 16, 2015
“Amarasir, you are completely wrong, and your hatred towards the Sinhalese is evident. “
This has nothing towards the hatred towards, Sinhala, Tamils, Muslims or Other Paras.
It has everything to do with facts, scientifically supported facts, which the Para-Sinhala, Para-Tamils and Para-Muslims fail to acknowledge, in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.
Why? Because they are brainwashed by Mahawansa and Dipawansa.
This is the CORE Problem in Lanka, and prevented the building of a Nation, since Independence.
The same was happening for the Catholic Church and the Geocentric and Heliocentric models, Joshua and Copernicus and Galileo.
Until the Mahawansa Lies and imaginations are exposed and discredited, the Sinhala Buddhists will have a hard time transitioning into the reality and the scientific truths,
The Catholic Church seen to have moved on beyond Joshua stopping the sun for 24 hours, Copernicus and Galileo.
Remember, Mahawansa is an Insult to Buddha!
Sylvia Haik / November 17, 2015
David you are proof that a half educated idiot is more dangerous than one without any education. DNA profiling is not expensive as discovered by an unassuming Englishman called Eric Jeffries who gave his technique free to the world. Imagine it being discovered by an American. There would be a world patent and everybody paying mind boggling royalties. DNA is extremely accurate and a group of scientists travelled the world sampling the DNA of the respective natives and published a fascinating report of how the world was populated and from where. There were some surprises to learn that all of Southern Europe and most of Asia was populated by Indians and the rest of the world by Chinese and Africans. The differing identities we now see have been caused by evolution and natural selection spanning a few million years. You could conclude that we are all migrants and no race or religion has exclusive ownership of any land. So there.
David / November 18, 2015
Silly haiks, idiot, So you were surprised that Southern Europe and most of Asia populated by Indians….. you don’t need science(DNA testing) to say that. Historical evidence and common sense have already taught us human migration over the millennia or so. Sri Lankan’s paternal line genetics are mixture of Western European countries, East Asian, Chines, Arabs, Africans, Indian, and of cause ancient Sri Lankan tribes. There is a small community in Puttalama who still has African ancestry.
Parental DNA testing doesn’t cost that much, but Genetic genealogy testing (ancestry test) of an ethnic group costs a lot of money, because it needs lot of samples, lot of work, experts (scientists and historians) on the field, and it takes few months as well.
Do you really believe that no race or religion has exclusive ownership of any land? Tell that in Saudi Arabia to the Saudis, in Japan to the Japaneses,…. and experience the reaction. British PM David Camoran said Britain was a Christian country. American presidents say “God bless America”. Muslim countries always claim that their county is Muslim. You need passports and visas to travel to other county. You may not like it but that how the world works.
Amarasiri / November 16, 2015
RE: Muslims – An Invisible Minority? – Part II
Does Islam Need Reformation from Ibn Taymiah and Wahhabism? Are they Follwers of Iblis, Satan, Devil? Hadith of Najd?
Why calling for an ‘Islamic Reformation’ is lazy and historically illiterate
Martin Luther wasn’t trying to create a more liberal political order. It’s time to talk about what really happened
It’s been said for years now: Islam needs its reformation. Some centuries ago, Christianity ditched its theocratic impulse and affirmed modern political values — let Islam do likewise! Let its Luther, who is presumably sulking in the corner of some madrassa, come forward! Islam hath need of him!
This sounds briskly no-nonsense, in its willingness to say that Islam has a problem that needs fixing, and open-minded about religion, in its assumption that religions can change and be compatible with secularism. But it’s actually lazy and historically illiterate. It involves a misreading of how Christianity relates to modernity.
It implies that, once upon a time, Christianity was in conflict with healthy political values, but it learned to change its ways. Maybe it is supposed that Martin Luther was the pioneer of this, that he said something along the lines of: ‘Let’s question what the Pope tells us and adapt our faith so that it accords with humanist morality, equal rights, and the separation of church and state.’
Instead, Luther said something along the lines of: ‘Let’s purify our religion, be more faithful to its essential logic, contained in its founding documents.’ And this reforming movement gradually produced new political realities and ideas. Creating a more liberal political order was not on Luther’s agenda, nor on anyone’s at that time, but it did become a central concern of some Protestants in the next century. The Protestant Reformation was not a matter of Christianity accepting the truth of something else, something beyond itself. And that is what people really want when they say that Islam needs a reformation: they want it to accept the truth of western values, adapt to them.
So the ‘Islam needs its reformation’ line makes this mistake. It supposes that Christianity and Islam are two comparable forms of religion: if Religion A adapted to modernity, Religion B can too. But Religion A didn’t adapt to modernity: it inadvertently made modernity, by trying to be more purely itself.
The game-changing idea that emerged in the wake of the Protestant Reformation can be summed up thus: down with theo-cracy! (Maybe I’m a soppy liberal patriot, but it seems to me that this breakthrough was 90 per cent English.) Let the state no longer enforce religious uniformity, but rather protect people’s freedom to choose how to worship. This revolution in theo-politics was proposed not by atheists but by idealistic Protestants. God wills this new sort of liberty-protecting state, said people like John Milton and John Locke. (Nonbelievers like Spinoza and Voltaire followed in their wake and have received undue credit.)
Why did they think that political liberty was God’s will? They had learned from earlier Protestants like Luther to distrust bossy institutions and religious rules; they now applied this to politics as well as religion. And they pointed to the New Testament, which affirms no theocratic model of politics (unlike the Old Testament, with its holy kings). The whole tradition of coercion in religion is wrong, is at odds with scripture, they said. For example, John Locke, in his ‘Letter Concerning Toleration’, claimed that toleration is ‘the principal mark of the true church’.
Christianity was not suddenly converted to liberty from then on. The big guns, Roman Catholicism and Calvinism, preferred the old theocratic idea, and have taken three centuries to rethink. Though the issue has not been neatly resolved (Christianity inevitably reacts against secular liberal values in certain ways), nor is it dangerously unresolved: almost no Christians want to create some alternative theocratic order, by any means necessary.
Are there are any grounds for thinking that Islam can echo this story? That it can move to seeing its theocratic tendency as erroneous, to seeing coercion in religion as a hideous heresy? I’m sorry to sound gloomy but I’m not sure there are.
The problem is twofold. First, liberal values already exist, and are firmly seen as external, or alien, to Islam. To say that freedom of religion and freedom of speech are central principles of Islam just doesn’t ring true: we all know that they have been most fully formulated and institutionalised, over centuries, in the West.
Second, as Douglas Murray recently outlined in these pages, the founding texts of Islam are ambiguous about violence: the Prophet’s calls to compassion and mercy coexist with his affirmation of the use of force in the name of God. A liberal Muslim can argue, with some reason, that Mohammed put more emphasis on compassion than his contemporaries did, but cannot deny that he affirmed a basically theocratic ideal. By contrast, Christianity’s founding texts do authorise a radical break with theocratic violence. To say that Jesus advocated nonviolence rather than holy war is not just one interpretation. Christianity therefore has an anti-theocratic logic that Islam (and in fact Judaism) lacks.
So what should we do? Regretfully conclude that Islam is unreformable, and treat it as a stubbornly medieval ‘other’? That doesn’t feel like a healthy attitude; it might justify persecution, or at least marginalisation. Instead we should reserve judgment on the ultimate fate of Islam and trust that toleration — confident, hard-headed toleration — is the best medicine for reactionary ideologies. In the past, the British press was full of anguished debates about whether Roman Catholicism should be tolerated. It seemed unreformable in its belief that the Pope’s authority trumped that of the liberal state. Surely these fifth columnists should not be allowed to disseminate their creed, or to start their own schools, said many. But Catholicism was tolerated, and as a result of living under liberalism it gradually liberalised. In the case of Islam, the same thing must be hoped for.
I said that toleration should be confident and hard-headed. Also, odd though it may sound, it should be unashamedly inconsistent. Most of the punditry since the Paris attacks has been too black-and-white. It assumes that we must choose between fully tolerating Islam, meaning never offending Muslims, making them feel entirely comfortable here; and fully affirming secular liberal values, however much it offends them. Of course we must not make such a choice, not ever.
We should not be so tolerant of Muslims that we agree never to mock their religion — but generally we should avoid such offence. Nor should we necessarily tolerate the anti-western venom of many of their preachers — but generally we should, as much as we can bear to. True toleration is necessarily inconsistent. We can only hope that such toleration encourages liberal interpretations of Islam to flourish, but whether these can contribute to a decisive change within Islam, God knows.
Amarasiri / November 16, 2015
RE: Muslims – An Invisible Minority? – Part II
Good. Bring the Problem and issues to the surface. From Invisible minority to visible minority. Why? Some Answers below.
Wahhabism, Tauheed and The Followers of Iblis, Devil. Tamil Wahhabi.
Tamil Islamist Targets Sri Lanka and Fails
By PK BALACHANDRAN Published: 15th November 2015
COLOMBO: He is the Tamil face of extreme Islam. Moulvi P Jainul Abideen, better known as PJ, the founder and star speaker of the fundamentalist Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath (TNTJ), who was denied a visa to speak at an Islamic convention in Sri Lanka last week believes what he preaches is “true Islam”. The Muslim community in Sri Lanka, which has borne the brunt of many riots and attacks from both Buddhist hardliners and the now destroyed Tamil Tigers think otherwise. PJ has been invited by the Sri Lanka Thaweed Jamaat (SLTJ) for the release of the Sinhala translation of the Koran on November 8. The All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulema and other moderate Muslim organisations opposed his entry, and the the Lankan government obliged. The Muslim groups felt that PJ’s Wahabi views on Islam could create tension among the Sri Lankan Muslims.
Earlier, in 2005, PJ was deported on the same grounds. He has made Sri Lanka a target for proselytisation, by campaigning against popular Islamic practices which he considers un-Islamic.
No Moderation for PJ
The fiery fundamentalist is a moulvi from Tamil Nadu, who has taken upon himself the task to spread pure Islam based on the Koran and Sunnah ‘without additions or deletions’ as his website puts it. Jainul Abideenstarted his political career by founding the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TNMMK) in 1995. However, in 2004, there was a split in TNMMK and PJ formed the TNTJ, a religious cum political organisation. Apart from fighting for reservation for Muslims as per the recommendation of the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission, it portrays Islam as a peaceful religion which values communal harmony. This was a clever strategy, because while propagating inter-communal harmony, he openly opposed the existence of various non-fundamentalist Islamic sects, like the Shias, Bohras and Ahmadias or Kadiyanis.
The Muslims of Sri Lanka, who now constitute 9.5 percent of the island’s population of 21 million, have been a peace loving community since their advent in 7th century AD. However, their avocation and peaceful existence have faced grave challenges from time to time. In the 1980s, when the Tamils launched an armed struggle to secure an independent Tamil Eelam, the Muslims kept themselves out of it. As traders, they wanted peace and irked by this, the Tigers drove out 75,000 Muslims.
Later the Sinhalese population too launched attacks on Muslims from time to time. The Mahinda Rajapaksa government (2005-2014) encouraged a new outfit—Bodu Bala Sena (BBS)—to call for a ban on hijabs and halal certification and also to attack mosques.
In June 2014, BBS-inspired Sinhalese launched a riot. This effort to break the economic back of the Muslims led to the community voting against the Rajapaksa-led United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in the parliamentary elections, which saw his exit. Over the years, Wahabis, Sufis, Sunnis, Shias, Bohras, Malays, Muslims of Lankan and of Indian origin have come together to form a single ‘Muslim’ community at least for social and political purposes.
According to the Census of 2012, Sri Lanka has a Muslim population of 1,967,227, which is 9.5 per cent of the total population.
■ A large number of the Muslim population in the country are traders. They have been doing so ever since their advent in the country.
The Tamil Tigers killed Muslims during a prayer meeting at the Kattankuddy Jumma Masjid on August 3, 1990. In the next couple of months, the LTTE drove out nearly 75,000 Muslims from the Northern Province for allegedly ‘spying’ for the Lankan army.
DISTURBANCES IN 2009
The concord between the Sinhalese and the Muslims began to wilt after the decimation of the LTTE and the humiliation of the Tamils in the 2006-2009 Eelam War IV. Subsequently, the Sinhalese class began to subdue the Muslims. The Mahinda Rajapaksa government encouraged a new outfit, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), to call for a ban on hijabs and halal certification and also to attack mosques.
In June 2014, Sri Lanka witnessed religious and ethnic riots in the south-western parts of the country. The Muslims and their property were attacked by Sinhalese Buddhists in three towns in Kalutara District. They killed at least three people and 80 were injured. 8,000 Muslims and 2,000 Sinhalese were displaced by the riots, and hundreds were homeless following attacks on homes, shops, factories and mosques. The riots were considered after-effects of rallies by the hard line Buddhist group—Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), but the group denied responsibility.
In 2013, there were a few attacks on Muslims by Buddhist hardliners. Hundreds of them attacked shops and homes near Colombo. They burnt a clothing store owned by a Muslim trader
Ranil Wijeyesekera / November 14, 2015
The muslims contribute much to our econmomy. They hold influnce in trade. The middle east can help us through them. we however have to help them in exchange. The middle east workers are a muslim majority. Where is this money going. In the p[ast a substantail housing program. This boosts econmy and jobs. It may not be measured. But we should put a trace on it. Dubai is an advanced city. We must see a transfer of technology from there. The USA have transfered technology to the middle east. We must learn of High quality standards that prevail in goods there. WE are gaining such goods as the middle east returns bring these goods.
A close contact with the middle east is vital.
Jim softy / November 14, 2015
Mohommad was a businessman. He created Islam to make his tribal business flourish. Even when his far older wife died, he ran that business.
The most important thing is Islams was very very pro business because that is how Mohommad was.
Only thing is muslims are two billions in the world, and most of the countries in the world are islamic. Yet, they cry out loud for non-muslims countries saying they are minorities in those countries.
R K Raghavan / November 14, 2015
Invisible? How come?
You are one of the many visible Muslim. Many are running the Halal butcheries and Mosques and are all over Sri Lanka.
They try to cling on to the Tamil campaigns whatever forms and shapes and demand for their share even belatedly. They do not have their creative way forward.
They make a big issue on forced removal from Jaffna whilst was involved with the successive governments to butcher the Tamils in the Eastern Province.
The problem with you guys is you are double forked minds and tongues. Very dangerous lot, wanting everything in life with back door dealings.
Amarasiri / November 14, 2015
R K Raghavan
“They make a big issue on forced removal from Jaffna whilst was involved with the successive governments to butcher the Tamils in the Eastern Province.”
Ethinic Cleansing is a WAR CRIME.PERIOD.
Ethinic Cleansing within 24 hours, after stealing all the property except Rs.100 is a GREATER WAR CRIME. PERIOD.
Even the Nazis, allowed and gave years for the Jews to be ethnically cleansed.
LTTE Tamil apologists, can of course make claims that they did not use gas chambers or concentration camps unlike the Nazis, even though they occasionally went to Mosques, Villages and Temples to kill, their victims.
Jim softy / November 15, 2015
It is exactly what muslims are doing where they are the majority.
Goraka / November 14, 2015
“They try to cling on to the Tamil campaigns whatever forms and shapes and demand for their share even belatedly. They do not have their creative way forward.”
Raghaven, you wanted the Muslims in Sri Lanka to hide under the rock and never come out whereas the Tamils from far-away lands can scream their heads off for any injustice done.
What a hypocrite.
Fathima Fukushima / November 15, 2015
Tamil Nadu Diaspora is too visible in Sri Lanka.
K.A Sumanasekera / November 14, 2015
I kinda like the Muslims after reading that Faisal Mustafa’s assurance, that he won’t allow under any circumstances for the Vellalas to change Nagadeepa to Nainathive .
In fact I have great respect for Mustafa for standing up for our Sinhala Buddhist dalits for whom Nagadeepa is like Mecca to Muslims.
When our own avowed protectors of the Buddasaasna and Sinhala Buddhist everything Venerable Rathne and Abiththaya Champaka have been quite as mice. since becoming Yahapalana Club Members with the Elite, Anglicans , Vellalas and the British Tiger Forum.the BTF…
rajjeeva / November 14, 2015
I think it is time for Sinhalese to claim Nainatheevu as it has a Vihara.
they should offer places like Galle ( Dondra), and Kathirgamam back to Tamils( as there are ancient Hindu temples) and that would be a good deal to get a “Mecca” back(?).
there are also many ancient Viharas in TamilNadu which proves the extent of the expansion of Great Sinhalese in the ancient time. those areas should be claimed too.
Visibility / November 14, 2015
Oh don’t YOU START NOW!
Want MORE visibility? The visibility in Paris today not enough, is it?
Sylvia Haik / November 14, 2015
Mr. Izeth Hussein will benefit by studying how the Muslim minorities in other countries are treated. E.g. Muslims disenfranchised in Myanmar, and how the Muslim majorities treat other communities in countries such as Saudi Arabia etc. I am also saddened that Mr. Izeth Hussein did not find it in him to condemn the massacre of innocent Parisiennes yesterday in the name of Islam. The bigger enemy of Muslims in Sri Lanka are their leaders. Mr. Izeth Hussein is in awe of Rauff Hakeem, but he is the opportunist who backed the corrupt Mahinda Rajapakse for the crumbs he threw his way. Rauff Hakeem’s silence was conspicuous when innocent Rizana Nafeek was beheaded in Saudi Arabia. The reason – he probably did not want to upset them and the flow of funds to his coffers from Saudi Arabia which appears systematically misused in erecting mosques that had no demand and planting palm trees to emulate Arab States that was plain silly.
Rumad / November 15, 2015
No less a person than His Holiness the Pope (I am not a Christian)
said today the Islamic world is forcing a religious World War –
Muslims Vs Non-Muslims all over the world. Senator Mike Huckabee
asks, like many of us here do, why does not Saudi Arabia and the UAE – with extremely vast uninhabited territory – with vast oil deposits – take the large number of Muslim immigrants fleeing from their own
Muslim world. This is the time for brother to help brother???? As opposed to Europe, Australasia, North America in both Saudi Arabia/UAE in both lands there is harmony in culture, language and religion. And, they are filthy rich too. Is this hype of World Islamic Brotherhood all calculated to deceive. For God’s sake, don’t blame Monk Ashin Wirathu. He is only trying to protect the Burmese people from the fate that befell the Maldives from this danger of world conquest of the world for the Islamic Caliphate.
David / November 15, 2015
Iezth, funnily enough, you are right that Muslims are invincible. With their Burqas, Abayas and all sort of covers on, how do you expect to them to be seen???
Amden / November 15, 2015
David, hats off to you.
You win my award for the best, most relevant reader’s comment on CT for ever.
Fathima Fukushima / November 15, 2015
This is racism. Retract it good man.
Sylvia Haik / November 16, 2015
Fathima Fukushima, Why aren’t you wearing the Burqa. Then you too might become invisible. My only regret is that there is no Burqa equivalent for the men too. Then all Muslims will become invisible.
Rajash / November 15, 2015
How many parts of crap are you going to write
Ram / November 16, 2015
Izeth Hussein’s ‘Silent Minority’ make themselves very visible and loud with their involvement with terrorism, without realising that the ONLY beneficiary is the US/Israel nexus. The Muslims go to the West in order to escape the savagery in their own countries, but once comfortably ensconced they start demanding ‘Sharia Law’ in their new habitat. Let us hope that this is NOT what Hussein has in mind.
soma / November 17, 2015
Does anyone read this guy “Amarasiri” and his “Iblis” ?