By Izeth Hussain –
There is now widespread concern, even a touch of alarm, among many Muslims over what they regard as a very successful Islamophobic hate campaign. The hate campaign of the BBS that was obviously foreign funded and foreign backed, and had the blatant blessings of powerful personages in the last Government, subsided with the change of Government. But, according to a well-informed contact, the campaign has been going on steadily in the social media. Recently we had the revelation, provided by one of the chief campaigners against this writer, that the BBS was backed by Israel. There are good reasons to suppose that Israel would have wanted a continuation of the hate campaign: one reason is that the apartheid system in Israel can survive only if the rest of the world comes to share the view that the Muslims are a lesser breed who deserve to be treated as such.
The Government can of course be expected to ignore all that. The reason is that this Government, like all our previous Governments, prioritizes having a good time while the going is good, putting aside all serious problems until they become too urgent to ignore. It would be foolish of the Government to view a recent development in that perspective. Muslims participated with Tamils in a hartal against the Government. That, for several reasons, is too fateful a development to be put aside until the good time of the baila session is over. Since the anti-Muslim riots of 1915, the Muslims have been acutely conscious of their vulnerability and therefore sided with the Sinhalese against the Tamils – not a strategy of which this writer has approved. They have scorned the blandishment of a linguistic commonality between the Tamil-speaking peoples. Their getting together with the Tamils in a hartal seems therefore thoroughly uncharacteristic. What is the explanation? An explanation is that the Islamophobic hate campaign has been very successful, the Muslims are coming to feel abandoned – for instance over the grotesque injustice of refugee Muslims being denied their lands – and could come to think that they have no alternative to turning to the Tamils. It is time to stop the baila session, send the Navy Band home, and address the problem of the Islamophobic hate campaign. We must not panic over a single development. But it could be a portent of things to come.
The hate campaign against this writer, steadily sustained over weeks, months, and years, can be understood in more ways than one, but it can be wholly understood only in terms of an international Islamophobic campaign that has been under way in pursuit of Theodore Herzl’s neo-Nazi Zionist vision of a racist new world order in which the Muslims are regarded as not much better than pariah dogs. In that international perspective this writer is an insignificant creature – as the Tamil Islamophobes will shortly yell. Quite true, but it takes no more than a few Hasbara shekels to make a few Tamil Islamophobes carry out their bucket attacks in which fact and reason don’t count at all and only the flung filth does.
Consider the following inescapable facts. When this writer started contributing a weekly column to the Island he had a solid reputation – based solidly on his writings – as being outspokenly and daringly sympathetic to the Tamils. Suddenly he came under concerted attacks in which it was made out that he had been for decades a notorious anti-Tamil racist and also that he had always been notoriously anti-Indian. He refuted the charges with solid evidence from his articles, but to no avail because the charges continued to be made. And they still continue to be made by the two chief propagandists against this writer, Backlash and Kettikaran. Whose interests are being served by such attacks? Certainly not Tamil interests. It could be the interests of an Islamophobic hate campaign that holds that every Muslim should be treated as dirt.
A new Islamophobic campaigner has appeared in the Colombo Telegraph, Lester, possibly in response to the fact that this writer’s recent articles inspired many anti-Israeli comments. Lester seemed sober and well-informed but he soon declared his dog-like devotion to Israel. He holds that the Prophet Mohammed was a “madman” and that there is something “primitive” in the Arabs which makes them incapable of civilization. He does not recognize that the Omayyad and Abbasid Arabs achieved high civilizations. He concedes that there was a Persian civilisation, but those Persians were not Arabs. It is unbelievable mad drivel. But there is a method in his madness: he is using the tactic of the bucket attack, the favorite tactic of the Islamophobic campaigners, in which fact and reason don’t count and only the flung filth does. He keeps flinging filth at Islam in the expectation that more and more people will come to believe that Islam is filth.
Another campaigner requiring analysis is Real Sama who has been going on relentlessly, month after month after month, blackguarding the Muslims for denying their Tamil identity. He holds that except for an infinitesimal minority of the Sri Lankan Muslims who can claim some degree of Arab ancestry, the rest are nothing but Tamils. Next, he insists that they are low caste Tamils, sometimes declaring that they are really the products of intermarriage with the Sakkilis, the lavatory cleaners. There is a contradiction in Real Sama’s position. On the one hand he wants the Muslims to share in the glorious heritage of the Tamils while on the other he wants them to degrade themselves into low caste status by acknowledging their Tamil identity. According to a contact who has studied the devious ways of propagandists, the contradiction is only an apparent one. Sama’s underlying purpose is to affirm an identity of blood, which is much more powerful than an identity of language, to prepare the ground for a coming together of Tamils and Muslims in a common struggle for Eelam. The Eelam project is not dead.
One reader, Muhandiram, came out with information of sensational importance based on a report in Ceylon Today of August 17, 2013. Sri Lankan workers going to Israel for just six months were given military training at Maduru Oya and Minneriya training camps. The reason given was that “Life in Israel is harsh, especially with the weather”. But Israel is a Mediterranean country with weather conditions that are comparatively mild and equable. Muhandiram cited statistics to show that weather conditions in Sri Lanka are harsher, and besides workers going for long periods to the Gulf countries where the weather conditions are much harsher are never given military training. He points out that the attacks on Muslims in Aluthgama and Beruwela took place in June 2014, and those deploying the thug stuff were brought in from outside. Were they Israel-returned Sri Lankans? Muhandiram adds that it could be significant that the Ceylon Today news report can no longer be tracked down through the internet. This writer must add the following. The links between the BBS and the Wirathu gang were well established, pointing to a common force or forces behind them. It is known that the Wirathu gang inspired the massacre of the Rohingya Muslims, which has brought for Myanmar international contempt and hatred. Are there sinister foreign forces trying to foment another civil war in Sri Lanka, in which some of the Israeli-returned Sri Lankans could play a special role?
Backlash’s revelation about Israel’s backing for the BBS probably had behind it the behest of his foreign masters who may have had in mind a warning to the Muslims. According to Backlash the support for the BBS was justified because it was in retaliation for anti-Israeli demos by the Muslims. He claims that those demos stopped abruptly after the BBS campaign got going. So the warning could be that if material inimical to Israel continues to be published, Israel could retaliate. The following facts should be considered. There has been no significant anti-Israel campaign in Sri Lanka over a long period, understandably because Israel helped Sri Lanka during the war. But the Islamophobic hate campaign has continued causing widespread anxieties among the Muslims, and even some amount of alarm. That campaign therefore follows the dynamic, not of SL Muslim attacks on Israel, but of a world-wide Islamophobic hate campaign. The Muslims are not asking for the closure of the Israeli Embassy or anything like that. All that they are asking for is that their legitimate interests be safeguarded. Those legitimate interests include their being safeguarded against a foreign-backed Islamophobic hate campaign that is proving to be dangerously successful. Is that too much to ask of the Government?