Patriotism, Allegiance And Loyalty Of Sri Lankan Muslims To Mother Lanka

Filed under: Colombo Telegraph,MORE OPINION,Opinion |
 

By Rifai Naleemi -

Rifai Naleemi

Dr. Rifai Naleemi

It is imperative to examine and gauge the true nature of Muslim peoples’ patriotism to mother Lanka. Particularly, this is a timely needed subject in the context of prevailing current debates about Muslim people in Sri Lanka.  Muslim population in Sri Lanka according to the recent census constitutes 9. 2% and do they really have loyalty and allegiance to this land?  Do they love this land as the majority people of the land do? Or do they have loyalty to another land in the world map? Do they belong to Saudi or Pakistan or do they belong to somewhere else.  A strange mystery   has been created in the mind of some people that minority people do not belong to this Island and it has been debated by some section of people at least in utter arrogant to say that this country belongs only to the majority people alone and others are just visitors or unwanted guests. Does such political rhetoric help any one in Sri Lanka?    What a wrong perception is this? What evil perception is this? Who is going to benefit from this type of propaganda?  I shall examine some of these questions in this article.

Sri Lankan Muslim people are not new arrivals to the Island rather they have been living more than 1000 years and it is historically documented that Arab traders settled in this Island in pre-colonial periods.  During the Silk route trade between Middle East and South Asian countries Arab people used Sri Lanka as one of their trading hubs. Since these periods of history Muslim people have been living in this Island generation by generations. The bulk of Sri Lankan Muslim population is a mixture of different ethno-linguistic and cultural groups. The entire Muslim population of Sri Lanka Muslim people constitutes of Arab, Indian, Afghanistani, North/south Indian, Malay and Indigenous Srilankan People. There is no doubt that many inter-marriages took place with other communities and still some Muslim families have families of names/house names of Singhalese people.

Thus, historical origin, antiquity and history of Sri Lankan Muslims people could be traced from early period of Sri Lankan history. It is not my objective here to trace historical origin of Sri Lankan Muslim people rather it is my objective here to examine the true nature of Muslim loyalty to Sri Lanka and to gauge if any Muslim people have done any treason to Mother Lanka since ancient time up to now.

The meaning of loyalty in Islam

Before we examine this issue we would like to shed some light on the meaning of loyalty and allegiance in Islam: What is the doctrine of loyalty in Islam? Does Islam accept any sense of nationalism or loyalty to any piece of land/country/tribe or ethnic groups or clans?  In fact, Islam demands from Muslim people to have full faith, allegiance and loyalty only to God alone not for nay temporal / earthly matters of these types. Muslim people believe that very thing in this universe belong to God and we people too belong to him alone and our full loyalty should be to Him alone. Theologically speaking this is the true loyalty and it is the eternal and real loyalty. In this sense, languages, castes, tribes, colour and country all are temporary and materialistic realities ant these are confined to this world alone.

In a recent survey in England among Muslim people a question was asked: Are you a Muslim or British first? More than 90% of Muslim people said that we are Muslims first and foremost then we are British born people. This is a theological question for any Muslim and unfortunately the interviewer did not have deeper understanding of Islamic theology and put this question to Muslim people simply from western political and social perspectives to gauge the level of Muslim peoples’ loyalty to Great Britain.  It would not be theologically and religiously fitting to say that our loyalty belongs to any land on earth rather our true loyalty should be only to God alone:  people in Saudi do not say that our loyalty belong to Saudi land. People Pakistan do not say that our eternal loyalty belongs to their land or tribe or language rather Muslim people believe that we belong to Allah and we return to Him:

Islamic communities are not formed or originated on the basis of language, colour, race, ethnicity, tribe, lands or nationalism of any particular geographical or ethnical enclaves.  You do not choose your colour, you do not choose your language or you do not choose your place of birth or you do not choose your race: These are bestowed upon you by God beyond your control and you have no choice on these sociological issues. In Islam nationalism, patriotism to any particular piece of land or ethnicity or language does not become bedrock of Islamic ideology or Islamic doctrines.  On this Islam goes beyond all worldly and physical considerations and drives its ideology from God alone. The Holy Quran depicts the true believers of international Muslim communities are one Ummah: This description is beyond all languages, ethnicity, nationality, and geographical enclaves and limitations. In this sense any one embraces faith of Islam from any part of world or nay class of people or any linguistic groups becomes an integral part of wider Muslim ummah:  It is faith that makes bond and brotherly relationship between Muslim people: In this any Muslim living in Non-Muslim government also becomes part and parcel of International Muslim community.

Then people might ask us.  Do not you have any affection/ love to your own country? Do not you love for the country of your birth?  Do not you have any sense of patriotism to your mother land?  Does Islam teach to show love and affection to the lands where Muslim people are born and brought up?  It is a natural instinct of people to be attached to places of their birth, families, villages and countries of origin.  I have been living in the UK for more two decades now and yet, my nostalgia always goes back to my country and my village where I was born and brought up. It is a common human feeling for all people. Islam goes along with this natural sentiment and its respects this human instinct and indeed, it does encourage having  patriotic national feeling of your own village/ town/district and country:  There is no harm in having such feeling as long as such patriotism does not lead into prejudice, injustice and discrimination.

Does this notion of Islamic ummah deem to be detrimental to our love and affection to our mother land or to abide law and order in the countries we live in.  No, not at all. Islam instructs us to love our mother lands: It demands us to abide with laws and orders of our native places. Today, a large percentage of Muslim people migrate from Muslim countries into Non-Muslim countries in the Western European nations and when they get citizenship in these countries very often they will be asked to take oath sometime giving affirmation that they would abide with laws of the country: Such undertaking does not contrast Islamic teaching of loyalty and allegiance to Islamic faiths: This oath is between you and that government that guarantee you protection and return you laws and order in this land: This an agreement and Islam instructs to honour any agreement.

Islam indeed, recognises and acknowledges patriotism of each persons: Indeed Allah created mankind into different groups and nations: so that we human beings know each other, understand each other,  and appreciate one another, It is the beauty of divine design. There is no harm in having affection towards one’s language and tribes and yet we should not have mania and craziness about our language to extent to look down all other tribes and language: We should not have superiority complex because of our language or tribe. That is wrong and Islam condemns such feeling.  Yet, having nationalistic feeling is not wrong with these conditions.

Prophetic examples on patriotism towards native people:

Do we have any prophetic model or examples to justify patriotism in Islam?  Yes, of course the prophet himself had some sentimental patriotic feeling towards his place of birth: It is well known saying of the prophet that prophet said on the eve of his migration from Makka to Madina: looking at the soil of Makka prophet said that “ you are the beloved place for me. If the people of Makka had not chase me out I would not have left you”. This is natural feeling of every one towards his own place of birth. Even the companions when they migrated to Mania they had nostalgia feeling about their life in Makka and they wished that they come back to their native place one day:

Moreover, when different people come to see the prophet he used asked them the names of their tribe in reorganization of their tribes:  We know well that prophet once praised Salman al-Farisi tracing his Persian origin. All our Muslim scholars are nick named with their tribal or village names: al-Bukhari hails from a place called al-bukhara, al- Qurtubi from Qurtuba, and Imam al-Shatibi from Shatiba. Thousands of Imams like these imams related the village affiliations to their names to show their patriotism and identity?  This is an Islamic tradition to attribute our Islamic scholars into their places of birth: This has been for many centuries that this shows that they had some sentimental patriotism towards their places of birth and nothing wrong in that.  This helps us to trace their historical origin and identity.

Muslim patriotism during the colonial periods:

Muslim lands were occupied for more than five hundreds years by different colonial powers such as French, Italian, Dutch/Portuguese and English. During these periods Islamic scholars engaged in freedom struggle and patriotic speeches and poems were made in this freedom struggle: from Jamal-al-Din Afghanis to Imam Hassan Al-Banna all Muslim intellectuals and scholars motivated people to enhance nationalistic feeling and there is nothing wrong in that as along as such feeling does not undermine universal brotherhood, justice and equality of humanity: In India sub-continent many Muslim sacrificed their lives for the freedom of Indian lands and like that in many Muslim land people  laid down their lives to free their lands from occupation;

Our pioneers in Sri Lanka fully participated in the freedom struggle of Sri Lanka. Though we in Sri Lanka did not make any political or military struggle to free the Island from British and yet, during the colonial periods many Muslims people did fight along side Sri Lankan kings to safeguard it form invasions of the Dutch and Portuguese.

Even during the independence time Muslim people unanimously voted with Singhalese members to secure independence of Sri Lanka from British Empire.  ¾ majorities was required by Soulbury commission to secure Sri Lankan Independence and Tamil congress led by Ponnampalam did his best to get support of Muslim members to get his own Tamil Elem then, but People members unanimously supported Senanayake and he managed to secure 51 votes. This was a historical turning point in Sri Lanka history and had Muslim members gone with Mr Ponnampalam the history of Sri Lanka would have been different today: British would have created Tamil Elem long time ago or they would have created another Kashmir in Sri Lanka long time ago yet, it is regrettable that some Singhalese people are becoming seemingly ungrateful to all service and sacrifices Muslims made for the integrity of this Island.

Even throughout the pre-independence history our leaders made many contributions and they had shown their patriotism to the nation: they never made any conspiracy to divine this country and they never collaborated with any one to divine this Island and they never made any treason in Sri Lanka: It has been Muslim leadership’s dream to develop and enhance this Island not merely on communal line rather in a national line: from DR TB Jaya to modern time Muslim political leaders we have had a dream in this Island of Sri Lanka: that dream to contribute  to  the progress and development of this Island as Sri Lankan with due recognition to diversity of culture and language and religions.

What happened in Sri Lankan history since independence was that we have failed to create any Sri Lankan Identity as Sri Lankan people collectively: Each community begun to think in its on communal line: Tamils feel that Singhalese are trying to dominate them and Singhalese feel that their mere existence is threaten by the separatism and diversities of cultures and religions. All other minorities begun feel that their mere existence is threatened by the rapid development of Buddhist extremism.  It is not myth to say that in recent years a growing trend of anti-Christian and Muslim drift has been orchestrated by some extreme elements without any proper geopolitical knowledge and without foreseeing any dire consequence of such extreme trends:

Countries like India,Malaysia, and Singapore with its all diverse cultures, ethnicities and religious managed to maintain their own national identity:  Malaysian whether is Buddhist, or Hindi or Muslim feel proud to say that he or she is a Malaysian.  We do not need to tell you about Indian nationalistic feeling: We have not seen any nations so proud about their nationality like Indians: They are so proud about their nationalism or nationality: It may be Indians from North or South or from West or East: it may be Muslim or Hindu or people of other religions in India. All are proud to be Indians: yet, we in this small Island do not have that sort of national identity or nationalistic feeling between us: Do not we see that When Indians play Cricket with Pakistan Indian Muslims whole heartedly support Indian team rather than Pakistan team and do not we see that a large proportion of Indian Muslim army officials work in the Indian army to protect the sovereignty and integrity of India?  Otherwise, how could this huge country with hundred of ethnic groups hold its grip on the power.

India was ruled by Muslims for more than 700 years and Muslim people have had all their cultural and religious monuments in India. Thaj Mahal was build in the name of Mumthaj by then Muslim ruler. Do you see that any Indian government tries to destroy this historical monument simply because it comes from Muslim history?  Why do not have such broader and wider concept of national identity in Sri Lanka? Why do we still think in confined communal line in Sri Lanka? We have failed to celebrate the beauty of our diverse culture, languages and religions: It is generally believed that Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity are world major religions. People in Sri Lanka are practicing these four religions and this gives more beauty to our nation and yet, we have greatly failed to appreciate such diversity.

To be continued

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38 Responses to Patriotism, Allegiance And Loyalty Of Sri Lankan Muslims To Mother Lanka

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    There is a truth in your saying. When you respect,you get respect. To add more examples let us take few muslims from TN, The great Dr, Abdul kalam who worked relentlessly in DRDO for many missiles projects for India and went to become scientific adviser and later president of India. When a group of Muslim community requested him to preside over a function in Hyderabad, he simply rejected owing to religious nature of it. And another one like A.R. Rehman who went on to win twin oscars in music, said ” I am Indian, then Tamil, of course my faith is islam” In central government and in IT sectors you see, young Indian dont see and polarize based on region and religion. If only Srilanka had followed such nuetral principles, all blood bath had been avoided in the island. Unity in diversity!

    msk
    April 2, 2013 at 7:25 am
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      The curse is muslim block vote even in europe – it hits society bothways. baaha, baaha.Anyone out there watching the signals?

      Wuliangguobinjiu
      April 3, 2013 at 12:59 am
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    One more to add – the Sikhs 1% of the total population of India yet Manmohan Sigh – a Sikh – is in his third term as the Prime Minister of India. Muslims are 10% of the Indian population yet Dr. Abdul Kalam and Dr Zakeer Hussain were the Presidents of India. Same token there were many Shiks became Presidents of India. Many other minorities of India produced several of their Prime Ministers and Presidents. If Sri Lanka to survive as a nation to the next century and ever, we have to change, we have to think as Sri Lankan rather than Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. The government and the leaders should create the right environment for this change and feeling to grow among the people – call them as Sri Lankan first and then the other. We fail to do this, very soon there would not be a country called Sri Lanka.

    gune
    April 2, 2013 at 8:26 am
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    There is always beauty in diversity. Cultural differences, different type of foods, different types of dress codes, different climatic conditions, different languages all will make a country more beautiful. Instead, if there is one culture, one ethnicity, same type of food, same climatic condition, one language will make life boring. Let us enjoy the cultural differences by exchanging meals on our special occasions as always and share the hardships of the fellow citizens to make our country more beautiful to live in and to be proud of being Sri-Lankan.

    Rahmathullah
    April 2, 2013 at 8:41 am
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      The future is bleak, i’m afraid will we be able to relish even a PolSambol+Rice union in or plates.

      Chuda Manika
      April 2, 2013 at 9:02 am
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      Rahmathullah Beautiful thought, beautifully expressed. I just want to add, this appreciation and promotion of diversity should be not only outward looking (inter-communal) but should be also inward looking (intra- communal). Because often it is the lack of tolerance for diversity and pluralism within one’s community due to the control exercised by “guardians” of tradition and cultural purists that leads to intolerance towards other communities. Oppression of the self and the other are two sides of the same coin.

      Rambler
      April 3, 2013 at 1:11 am
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    Moral and Ethical values have to be in place before Rule of Law can be Applied. Example, Knowledge will be ineffective if the Heart is Corrupt, Money is of no Value at the Cost of Health. Good civil laws are the greatest good that men can give and receive. They are the source of morals, the palladium of property, and the guarantee of all public and private peace. If they are not the foundation of government, they are its supports; they moderate power and help ensure respect for it, as though power were justice itself. They affect every individual; they mingle with the primary activities of his life; they follow him everywhere. They are often the sole moral code of a people, and they are always part of its freedom. Finally, good civil laws are the consolation of every citizen for the sacrifices that political law demands of him for the city, protecting, when necessary, his person and his property as though he alone were the whole city. Treat the people equally in your court and give them equal attention, so that the noble shall not aspire to your partiality, nor the humble despair of your justice. JUDICIAL GUIDELINES FROM ‘UMAR BIN AL-KHATTAB, THE SECOND KHALIFA OF ISLAM

    Hussain Fahmy
    April 2, 2013 at 8:43 am
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    The writer does not mention the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya by Hindu zealots led by BJP/VHP/RSS combine. To say the least this has been the bane of communal politics even in India. BJP which came to power on concepts such as “Hindutva” and “Ram Jan ma Bhoomi” cared less for the minority muslim community of India and it followed up with a series of repugnant laws such as “POTO” specifically targeting the muslim community of India though the incumbent government repealed the law the effects of it are felt in muslim majority areas in Jammu and Kashmir. Hope the writer will also delve on these aspects as well.

    Rifkhan
    April 2, 2013 at 9:27 am
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      Christanity Islam Judaism are middle east and are foreign to the subcontinent “crusaders of emotions-religion” religion is our privacy so we survive. dont talk of the hindu and mughal(islamic) architecture of India- the very stones of the mosque are off the ancient temples.- has to be because there never was islam when there was indus vally civilization jainism and hinduism.Its the Gujuratis who took Islam to Indonesia not Arabs who came for cinnamon to Ceylon. Ceylon is the royal seepage of Akhaṇḍa Bhārata, not rajaporkistan. Bolo Hindustan Ki Jai

      Wuliangguobinjiu
      April 3, 2013 at 1:08 am
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    There is no doubt that we have to be patriotic Sri Lankans. As said in the Quran InnaAllaha, Yamuru bil adel, wal ihsaan, wa eetaa-i zil qurba; wa yanha anil fuhshaa-i, wal munkari walbaghi; ya-idzukhum lallakum tathak-karoon. “Surely Allah commands justice, good deeds and generosity to others and to relatives; and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, so that you may be reminded.” (Sura 16:90) This surah is commonly recited in the sermon every friday. It commands Justice (rule of law), good deeds (good governance) and Generosity (Social justice). It forbids Shameful Deeds (Crime), Injustice and Rebellion. So a muslim must follow the laws of the land, not commit crimes, be generous to others and not rebel against the govt of the land. The caveat is that laws must not contradict the commandments or principles of Islam as stated in the quran. O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result. (Surah 4:59) For instance Islam is very strong against injustice and oppression. “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you distort justice or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 135] “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” [Sûrah al-Mâ’idah: 8]

    Safa
    April 2, 2013 at 11:05 am
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    Safa,What do you think about these quotation from Quran, The Quran Says that People of Other Religions are to be Violently Punished in This World Allah himself fights against the unbelievers (9:30), so why should Muslims not fight in his cause rather than in the cause of evil (4:76)? About 19% of the Quran is devoted to the violent conquest and subjugation of non-Muslims: Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies of Allah and your enemies and others besides, whom ye may not know (8:60) Strive hard (Jihad) against the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell,- an evil refuge indeed. (66:9, See also 9:73) Muslims are to expect a reward in this life as well as the next (4:134), so it makes sense that unbelievers should be punished in this life as well: …He whom Allah sendeth astray, for him there is no guide. For them is a penalty in the life of this world, but harder, truly, is the penalty of the Hereafter… (13:33:34) All beings on heaven and earth will be forced to bow down to Allah, either willingly or by force: And unto Allah falleth prostrate whosoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly (13:15) Those who resist Islam will be humiliated: Those who resist Allah and His Messenger will be among those most humiliated. (58:20 – The context for this verse is the eviction of the Jewish tribes of Medina and the confiscation of their wealth, land, and children by Muhammad). Non-Muslims are to be fought until religion is only for Allah: And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah… (8:39 – “Persecution” in this context means resistance to Islam – defined in the prior verse as an unwillingness to believe (see verse 38). This passage was “revealed” following a battle that Muhammad deliberately provoked. Verse 2:193 essentially says the same thing and was also “revealed” at a time when the Muslims were not under physical attack). Those with “diseased hearts” – which include Christians and Jews according to 5:52 – are to be “seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter” (33:60-62) along with “hypocrites” (Muslims who are judged not to be true believers by their associations with unbelievers or their unwillingness to engage in Jihad). Non-Muslims are to be encroached on and pressured by the Muslims: See they not that We gradually reduce the land (in their control) from its outlying borders? (13:41 – See also 21:44) And He made you heirs to their land and their dwellings and their property, and (to) a land which you have not yet trodden, and Allah has power over all things. (33:27, See also Bukhari 53:392) Allah will grant Muslims authority and power over all other peopl Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion… (24:55) (Muhammad’s companions continued to self-fulfill this prophecy with an aggressive and senseless military expansion that left a trail of bodies from Spain to India). Allah provides instructions to Muslims for dealing with unbelievers who are unwilling to accept Islamic rule: Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): “I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.” This because they contended against Allah and His Messenger: If any contend against Allah and His Messenger, Allah is strict in punishment. (8:12-13) Defeating non-Muslims should be easy for true believers because they are superior in intelligence and understanding: O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there be of you twenty steadfast they shall overcome two hundred, and if there be of you a hundred (steadfast) they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they (the disbelievers) are a folk without intelligence (8:65) Other verses of violence may be found here: Remember that the Quran says that not all men are equal in Islam. This also applies to Muslims themselves with regard to their aggressiveness toward unbelievers. Those who kill or are killed on behalf of Islam are more pleasing to Allah: Not equal are those of the believers who sit at home… and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and lives” (4:95)

    Lion
    April 2, 2013 at 12:17 pm
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      You seem to have picked these up from islamophobic sites on the internet. All a real mess, erroneous and misquoted. Not worth wasting time on these. If you are really interested you should read a translation and commentary accepted by muslims like Yusuf Ali. We dont read or follow such garbage.

      Safa
      April 2, 2013 at 1:58 pm
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        Safa my query is whether the Quran do not say what is given in my posting.How ever much you tried to hide it is very clear according to Quran that those who fallow other faiths must be shun.

        Lion
        April 2, 2013 at 10:54 pm
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          All a real mess, erroneous and misquoted. Not worth wasting time on these. Hope you understand english? You seem to have waasted lot of your time copying some garbage.

          Safa
          April 3, 2013 at 12:24 am
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          Lion, how is what the Koran contains relevant? Are Muslims in SL doing any of those things to Buddhists? In contrast, we have Buddhists actually attacking Muslims. What do you have to say about that?

          David Blacker
          April 3, 2013 at 5:19 am
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          Lion – Take a hard look at your faith before trying to understand the texts of the Noble Quran. Leave the Muslims to practice their faith as they see it fit. However, If you have a strong desire to learn please consult the Islamic scholars. Islamic scripture is very complexed and the interpretations have to be understood by the conditions prevailed at the time of revelation and explanations the Prophet (PBUH). Islamic way of life is increasing researched by the non Muslim intellectuals and critical thinkers and the conclusions they have drawn are quite amazing.

          Maghribi
          April 3, 2013 at 7:03 am
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            When you see a long, long, rant, of islamaphobia, know that the lion here is just a goat in lion’s clothing! No genuine commenter who seriously wants to contribute in discussion, will write take supposedly negative verses from a Holy book, denigrate their religion, and try to convince us that the Quran is bad, while other Holy books have violent verses too: Wikipedia explains this well: “Bruce Feiler writes that “Jews and Christians who smugly console themselves that Islam is the only violent religion are willfully ignoring their past. Nowhere is the struggle between faith and violence described more vividly, and with more stomach-turning details of ruthlessness, than in the Hebrew Bible”.[8] Similarly, Burggraeve and Vervenne describe the Old Testament as full of violence and evidence of both a violent society and a violent god. They write that, “(i)n numerous Old Testament texts the power and glory of Israel’s God is described in the language of violence.” They assert that more than one thousand passages refer to YHWH as acting violently or supporting the violence of humans and that more than one hundred passages involve divine commands to kill humans.[9]“

            Dhaksha
            April 4, 2013 at 5:17 pm
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      Well done my boy its true of these crusaders. A man in the UAE has married to 100 wives and he has only one leg. insanity is the rule. :)

      Wuliangguobinjiu
      April 3, 2013 at 1:16 am
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        So what? A man in Sri Lanka has set fire to his own little child and wife to RAN AWAY WITH HIS ILLGAL LOVE! Chief BUDDHIST Priest of London Thames VIHARA was sent to prison for 7 years by London court for abusing a 9 year old little Girl!. Your ruling party member of southern town was remanded for Raping a 12 year girl! A drug supplier in Rathnapura district was charged for Rape and Murder of a mother and Daughter! A father was caught raping and living with his own daughter in Sri Lanka. A grand father was caught for raping his little grant daughter was also in your mother Land! So what? You wants some more?

        DODU
        April 7, 2013 at 3:24 am
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      Lion, you seem to be very disturbed. you have got some wrong interpretations of some of the verses of the Holy Quran. Like Safa mentioned you should seek a proper transalation. Islam is peace and the way of life. All what you have in the negative is what would happen and told to follow is in case of provocation of the islam and the teachings of the holy prophet, which is the WORD of GOD. You can live your neighbour in peace, only if you follow peace.

      mohamed fazly ilyas
      April 3, 2013 at 4:26 pm
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    Please don’t post gossip web news – CT This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    D.Banda
    April 2, 2013 at 1:02 pm
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    To Dr Rifai, I too from your village(your birth place)we were living with the Sinhalese neibours with respect,harmony etc since the known history as all over Sri Lankan Muslims do.the real problem is not any racial issue,but some business people are orchastrating/funding the hate compaign to get benefit via thug Monks.both Sinhalese and Muslims are still living as they were before.as peace loving community we’ve to work with the Sinhalese friends to eradicate the hate mongering compaign of BBS,Sihala Ravaya etc.

    Naushad
    April 2, 2013 at 1:16 pm
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    I blame the mythical Mahavansaya(or some would call it Mahindavansaya) for all of SL’s ills. It gives you the perception that this land is exclusively owned by the Sinhalse Buddhists.

    Vernon Phillander
    April 2, 2013 at 4:25 pm
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    To begin with you sound more like a politician. Your comparisons to the unity, diversity and loyalty to mother lanka will always be with true peace loving sinhala,tamil,muslim and burgher citizens of this serene Island. But, unfortunately due to some unruly rabid humans, the time and tide which is now effecting us in the name of communalism is now testing the Muslims. Why? The primary reasons are Muslim politicians and Academics who since the Independence of this Country were never able to create a strong entity amongst the Muslims of the Country in the fields of Religion, education,administration and political sphere.almost every muslim politician was hanging on to the end of the rope extended by the ruling regime and were dictated to carry out the whims and fancy of the Government of the day.In the name of power and greed coalitions were formed and the principles ignored. In addition,those of your kind who have domiciled for many decades in foreign lands can only talk and emote feelings in the name of motherland and shed a few tears when an occasion arises. ( the holy prophet( pbuh)never left his Country but only migrated to another town, in the name of almighty allah) The fact that your kind of breed have established a dynasty in those lands which nothing will make you return to the homeland but a illness or an impending death of a relative left behind or a vacation to brush the feathers at a wedding or a feast.I have no grudge or enmity against those but i resent your sympathy’ in the name of our motherland ‘. Is there any prominent muslim politician today who has spoken out, taken any action or made a meaningful contribution towards the gradually declining law and order situation which has now set the next ethnic disaster in motion. As the saying goes… loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves..(Mark Twain). To compare this land to that of Singapore,Malaysia or Bangkok is futile. We have led ourselves down a precipice due to our own folly.Sheer hard work and unity have seen the rise of these Countries. Had we made a twenty percent effort like that our asian neighbours, we could have had some solace. What lankans are facing today is akin to a japanese proverb…Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. However, we must accept finite dissapointment,but never lose infinite hope..(Martin Luther King JR.) May Gold bless Mankind, the one he created to be recalled to, only by him.

    mohamed fazly ilyas
    April 2, 2013 at 5:26 pm
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      Well,said

      Concerned
      April 3, 2013 at 6:16 am
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    This was a terrific article and I enjoyed it very much. I miss my Sri Lankan friends very much after they left the university here in Connecticut are returned to Sri Lanka. They were such intelligent and fine people and I pray for peace and stability there. I don’t think there are a more deserving people for peace and harmony than Sri Lanka. Please know there are people in the US who love your country and its people. I hope the rule of law prevails and that people respect one another and also respect the different faiths. Maybe religion is too entangled with public affairs there or the rule of law is weak. No matter what, the Sri Lankans I met are very intelligent and I hope they use that intellect to promote peace. I am not so sure the present government there will, but I know little of Sri Lankan internal politics. I do know that I have been impressed with the speeches of M.A. Sumanthiran and hope he comes here to visit Connecticut sometime. It would be amazing to meet him…

    Wyatt K
    April 2, 2013 at 10:16 pm
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    Aren’t Rauf Hakeem and the other govt Ministers and MPs ashamed to be silent on this issue and let a Tamil MP take their case to Parliament? And all after letting down the TNA and the Muslim people of the East at the last elections? Muslim citizens of Sri Lanka, recognize your true leaders – not those who make opportunistic decisions to keep their own jobs in government !You’d be better off nominating MP Sumanthiran as your representative, than those sorry specimens you have in the ruling party (and even in the main opposition ). Sinhala citizen from the sidelines.

    ArunaRW
    April 3, 2013 at 1:52 am
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    I would like to know whether Muslims have successfully integrated into any society as a minority, be it Eastern or Western. Despite looking all over the globe, I could not find a single instance where some kind of conflict has not arose. In London, it is sex-trafficking. In Sydney, it is gangs. In Switzerland, it is minarets. In Canada and France, it is hijab. In the US, it is terrorist attacks. In India and Singapore, it has meant division of the original landmass into seperate entities (Pakistan and Malaysia). Similarly, East Timor was created because of the horrific brutality of the primarily Muslim Indonesian Army. So when we talk about what is happening to Muslims in SL right now, we should understand that SL is not unique. This is part of a much larger problem, one that goes to the very roots of Islam.

    Lester
    April 3, 2013 at 2:04 am
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      By the same token can we say the violent activities of the BBS is a result of Buddhist Philosophy. You may but we wont.

      Jamal
      April 5, 2013 at 9:25 am
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      Lester, Do you know what the Chief Sanganayake thero of Great Briton, chief incumbent of Thames Vihara, Parivinathipati of vidyaravinda Pirivena, Pahalagama Gampaha and Chief Lekadikari Sri Kalyani Samagi Dharma Maha Sangha Saba Pahalagama Somarathne Thera did to a Nine Year old girl in England? Do you know what happened to him? Do you know he was running two orphanages – one in Sri Lanka and one in England? Please everyone read the same Colombo Telegraph (CT) of 31st August 2012. You can see the photos of this dirty Thera with our…… So, please do not through stones on others when you are in the glass room. Please remember when one of your finger points at others, rest of your fingers are pointing at you. We have so any real stories like this from the beginning of you religion.

      DODU
      April 5, 2013 at 5:08 pm
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      LESTER, THIS IS WHAT INTEGRATION MEANS; “The important thing about integration is that the individual cultures, and members of cultural communities, are welcomed and accepted for what they are. There is respect for the practices, beliefs and values of that culture.” WELL MUSLIMS INTEGRATE AND INTERACT WHILE RETAINING THEIR VALUES TO MUSLIMS RELIGION COMES FIRST WHETHER ANYONE LIKES IT OR NOT.

      AYMAN
      April 5, 2013 at 5:45 pm
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    While i totally condemn the attacks against the minorities and especially the Muslim population and totally am disgusted by BBS and want them banned and jailed for un patriotic behavior and trying to destroy Sri Lanka, i don’t agree with the writer, muslims do in great numbers cheer against Sri Lanka whenever another muslim country ie Bangladesh, Pakistan play Cricket against Sri Lanka. Whats up with that. .?

    Concerned
    April 3, 2013 at 5:06 am
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    I have seen many Sinhalese and Tamil politicians/parliamentarians speak on behalf of these innocent Muslims and the prevailing problem. Let me ask, where are all the Muslim Ministers and MPs gone? Why are they not protesting? Why are they keeping quite? They should have resigned or left the government by now but why are they still silently clinging on? Are the Muslims going to vote for these people again? When the moderate Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, and Burghers are worried about this problem why the Muslim MPs are not?

    Ravi
    April 3, 2013 at 5:48 am
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    Wuliangguobinjiu
    April 4, 2013 at 9:25 pm
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    Where ever muslims go [Edited out] This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    Dharmasiri seneviratne
    April 5, 2013 at 3:44 pm
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    Thank you very much Dr.Rifai Naleemi. keep on writing such articles which will ultimately bring peace to our mother Sri Lanka.Try your best to educate our non-islamic brethren the true side of Islam.Devil is not dark as it is painted-Islam is not harsh as it is misinterpreted.

    zaid mohammed
    April 5, 2013 at 4:13 pm
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    David blacker SInhala kings gave refugee to muslims traders when they were chased away by other invaders like portugese & dutch. Bur they betrayed sinhalese in 1818 1848 freedom struggles and helped british. British encouraged them to fight with sinhalese in 1915 sinhalese know what they did in other buddhist countries. [Edited out]

    Dharmasiri seneviratne
    April 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm
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    However you preach them it will not get to their heads that is why we tell them modayas.They keep on digginng the past to justify future.Basically they want to make Sri Lanka as Sinhalese Buddist Country.They think that they have eliminated Tamils and they can do the same for muslims and critians.Fare enough if they can achieve this by impressing their Buddist teaching and non violence.Islam is the fast growing religion now because it is the true religion.The non believers fear of it because of it fast growth.Try all your tricks ,politics,mass killing,ect.It is pointless writing these articles.You can see how educated idiots commenting among themselves.

    George
    April 5, 2013 at 10:00 pm
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