18 May, 2024

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Sri Lanka’s Journey To A Foreboding Future

By Tariq A. Al-Maeena

Tariq A. Al-Maeena

At a time when the Sri Lankan government should have seized the bull by the horns and ensured ethnic harmony, the opposite is seen as unfolding with very little interference from the government.

Today, there are verified charges against that form of complacency by a government not willing to act against a rising terrorist force in the form of an extremist Sinhalese Buddhist group that calls itself the Bodu Bala Sena, or the Buddhist strength force. It has in recent times focused its target of racial hatred against the peaceful Muslim minority of the island.

A Sri Lankan Muslim had this to say: “We have been inhabitants of the land for centuries. We have assimilated with the culture and consider ourselves Sri Lankans. Unfortunately, we do not get cooperation in return. Many of us are denied job opportunities in the government because of our religion. There are many educated Muslim Sri Lankans, yet they are not preferred for good posts. There is discrimination in all walks of life against us, but we manage, hoping for the day things will change.”

She continued, “When the war against the Tamils was over, we thought that now the country would mend itself and become strong.  Instead, it seems that the victory has given some of these extremist Buddhist groups more courage to carry out further carnage against all minorities including the Muslims and Christians of the island.

“The government seems to be going along with these militant groups as they have not carried out their steps for reconciliation. We are not supported for quality state education, nor does it seem lately that our safety is something which concerns the government. Our places of worship have been attacked, our people assaulted, and the terrorism continues unabated.

“There are a number of militant groups operating openly in Sri Lanka and spreading their message of rabid racism and intolerance. The government can put a stop to all of this if they want. Not only the government but also the country’s security forces have got into the act and are cooperating with these thugs.”

She goes on, “As you know, Muslim camps remain open and around 130,000 Muslim refugees from the north of the island continue to languish in refugee camps in appalling conditions three and a half years after the war. The irony is that this is happening three years after the 30-year ethnic war ended. What lessons have we learnt from the past carnage? Absolutely nothing!”

Events took a more sinister turn recently when thousands of supporters of the militant group Bodu Bala Sena joined in a rally calling for the boycott of halal foods. The rally that took place in Colombo drew thousands who heard the calls of ethnic divisiveness and nationalist speeches by the group’s monks. These exhortations come at a time of mounting religious tension in the country. In recent times, there have been many recorded attacks on both mosques and churches, and Muslim-owned businesses and the clergy have not been spared either.

A three-member BBC team who were covering the rally was “seriously threatened with violence by some members of a mob of more than 20 young men who told us not to drive off.”   According to the team leader Charles Haviland of BBC News, “Some police arrived and looked on as my Sri Lankan colleagues were verbally abused in filthy language, described as ‘traitors’ and accused of having ‘foreign parents’ and working for a ‘foreign conspirator who was ‘against Sri Lanka’”.

“Some of them warned us that if we returned to the location – the mainly Buddhist suburb of Maharagama – it would ‘be the end’ of us.  The police held back the more aggressive youths but appeared to comply with the mob by barricading our vehicle, calling us ‘suspicious’ and ordering us not to leave until they got the go-ahead from their superior. That was worrying.”

A news agency reported that the leaders explicitly called for a boycott of halal meat and demanded shops clear their stocks by April or else. This message was loudly cheered by the attendees at the rally sporting T-shirts denouncing the Muslim halal method of slaughtering animals prior to eating.

Mujeebur Rahuman of the opposition United National Party worries that at “any moment, the ethnic riot will start between Sinhalese and Muslims. They are now working freely. Nobody is talking about this organization and the government is not trying to stop their activities.”

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse is again giving tacit support to communal provocations against Sri Lanka’s minorities to deflect attention from the country’s deepening economic and social crisis. But that is a dangerous strategy, one guaranteed to backfire.

Meanwhile, GCC countries with their economic muscle and the OIC should begin to sit up and take notice of the events happening on the island. A message should be sent to the Sri Lankan government that the widening of racial and ethnic hatred against the Muslim minority or any other will not be tolerated. Failure to heed that message should bring economic and political sanctions into consideration.

We wish the island well, but not under the present circumstances.

The author can be reached at talmaeena@aol.com. Courtesy Saudi Gazette

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    With this the support of the muslim countries for the Rajapaksa regime at UNHRC,UN and the non aligned movements is gone.

    Rajapaksa is creating a paraya nation in Sri Lanka. For what crimes he committed against the tamils Rajapaksa deserves the wrath of world opinion.

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      Sri Lanka (Sinhala Buddhist) amidst threats and invasions much harder than the situations currently faced, stands for over 2500 of known years and no other country now jelously opposed Sri Lanka has that endurance. So don’t be affraid they’ll for anothe 2500 years for sure and they have that courage given by their unbeaten culture which is nothing but the Sinhala Buddhist way of life.

      Sinhala Buddhist also have the right to gather to protect them from this Halal type suspicious acts. Sri Lankan muslims (only 9% or 2 million) were practicing Halal and living pecefully with all the rights for centuries and now there is no reason for a small group of opportunist forcing the entire population commercially to pay for it giving highly unfair advantage to one religion. No matter the support what so ever the Muslim countries give Sri Lanka in international arena, they should not interfere in internal matters like allowing one party to boycot halal or any thing they do not prefer.

      Those so called Muslim country leaders are governed under the west (London, Paris, Newyork) and cheat their own people stealing public money for their own luxery behind the western armed security and they seems nearing their end. They turn blind eye to the sufferings of poor Iraqis, Afgans etc. Muslims caused by the west. But Bodu bala sena or any Buddhist has never attack any muslim in in Sri Lanka where law and oreder and social equity prevails better than in any other country in the world, every religion and ethnic groups have been given fully freedom, public holidays and government sponsorship to practice their culture. No Muslim or Christian country has this type of cultural freedom which is the secret of long lasting of the Sinhala Biddhists as someday every body else too become Sinhala Buddhists or Budhists or supportive as Bill Clinton being a high level example.

      Dear Sri Lankans please don’t be trapped in this western made cofin and show the true Sri Lankan spirit to the world and be an examplar.

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        This sounds like the vicious words of K.M and Kusuma Rajaratne ,W. Dahanayake and Wimala Wijewardene before the 1958 riots, and those of Cyril Mathew and company before the 1983 riots. It will be also unfair not to mention the words of Mr & Mrs. Amirthalingam in their heydays.

        Is history about to repeat?
        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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        With views such as yours paraya nation status is fast approaching Sri Lanka.

        Your comments indicate that you are more than happy with the latest developments in Sri Lanka. If so it is time you pulled your head out of the sand and have a good look around at what is happening in the world today. The world has changed dramatically since the war ended in 2009, my friend. Rajapaksa has gone from the saviour of Sri Lanka to a curse on Sri Lanka.

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        “But Bodu bala sena or any Buddhist has never attack any muslim in in Sri Lanka “

        Are you really in sri lanka my dear.

        There are 35 major incident was happen with in 6 month time. if you want all the details I can give you bro.

        Dont be a racist think wisely.

        ACJU never asked you to buy only halaal certified food or never asked any company to get certify by them. Please think genuinely bro

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        WK Costa

        “Sri Lanka (Sinhala Buddhist) amidst threats and invasions much harder than the situations currently faced, stands for over 2500 “

        The Sinhala/Buddhists jealously guarded island property that they stole from my ancestors.

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          Stealing of lands from native people was taken place in North America (now USA and Canada), Australia, Southe Africa, Simbabve, New zealand etc. few centuries back and there are clear evidences to prove those white acrocities. But Veddas were just a one samlll tribe when Sri Lanka’s 4 big tribes Yaksha, Naga, Raksha and Deva were joind to make the great Sinhala nation some 2600 years back at the time of King Pandukabaya whose father was a native and his maternal grand mother, queen Badda katchayana was a first cousin sister to Lord Buddha (her father King Amithodana was the younger Brother to King Suddodana who is the father of Lord Buddha) Your vedda ancesstors refused to join in to the Sinhala nation and started live in Jungles. But now they have realized the big mistake and started to join in to it. Please do not try to steal Sinhala right of being the only native group who built and saved this country so long with the help of Buddhist culture.

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            WK Costa

            Which version of the history book were you referring to, IGP’s or Champika’s? I assume you are referring to your own imagined version of the island’s history. Origin myth is not a good one to claim the ownership of the island.

            Like the white race, your ancestors too were Kallathonies from North South India who stole my ancestral land.

            Please go back to your motherland India. When you go please take your Tamil brethren with you.

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      The regime of Mahinda Rajapakse is the responsible for the extremist majoritarian and militarized public religion and hate speech and crimes against minorities in Lanka today – Muslims, Christians and Hindus and their sacred spaces are being violated by the Sri Lanka military in the name of majoritarian religion. If you go to the north east you will see how many statues have been built by the military and in Jaffna the Kandarodia ancient burial site and archaeological monument has been take over by the archeology Dept which is being taken over by those who have little understanding of the discipline of archeology or Buddhism working with the military headed by the President’s brother Gotabaya the white van goon, who is accused of war crimes and crime against humanity..
      This is not Buddhism at all so we should not all it Buddhism. What is happening in the name of Buddhism in Sri Lanka today is an embarassment to practicing Buddhists in Sri Lanka and the world over.

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        To be fair, many Hindu temples have been rebuilt with state assistance and many new Hindu temples have also been built ( Eg. Radha- Krishna temple in Trincomalee and the Murugan temple in Kakkapalli near Chilaw.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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          and Mervin Silva’s famous temple in kelaniya. :D

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      The Name of the game of the current regime is DIVIDE and RULE. Distract the people from the real crises – the economic crisis and the land and power grab by the Rajapakse brothers and sons and the destruction of the institutions and social fabric of democracy and diversity in Lanka…
      These are dangerous days.
      Civil society must make a long list of all the sacred spaces of Muslims, Hindus and Christians that have been violated by the Balu Sena and their patrons, the Rajapassa military dictatorship and take it to the International Criminal Court..

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    Very soon the entire middle east is going to kick all Sri Lankan workers out of middle east and then the fun will begin as it will have a very negative impact on foreign currency earnings of Sri Lanka.

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    Looks like “Balu Sena” is about to achieve things VP never managed fully. Total loss of badly needed international support. From the GCC and the OIC. And eventual disintergration of Sri Lanka along ethnic, religious lines.

    Arrogant Neo-Cons of UPFA and “Balu Sena” are the real traitors of a united Sri Lanka. We must realize it.

    This Saudi writer should perhaps better spend his time preaching more to his own government in KSA. One would imagine. Saudis are hardly in a place to preach to Sri Lankans about religious tolerance. However, things are going so bad in Sri Lanka right now. Everybody is patronising us now. From the East, to the West.

    We can only thank ourselves for this.

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      Ben Hurling

      You are coming around to accept my findings that Sri Lankies are stupid and self destructive.

      Thanks for acknowledging the obvious. In your case it has taken lot more than an average person.

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      BEN,
      SAUDI IS A 100% MUSLIM COUNTRY. THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF NON-MUSLIMS
      WORKING THERE FOR YEARS. WELL IF YOU DO NOT LIKE TO GO THERE,THATS
      YOUR BUSINESS. YOU ARE FREE PRACTICE YOUR RELIGION.ONLY PROHIBITION IS STATUES.CHRISTIANS WORSHIP STATUES BUT IT IS NOT ALLOWED IN THE BIBLE.

      n fact, one of the Ten Commandments says “You shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything…you shall not bow down to them or serve them.” (Exodus 20:4-5). Only Allah Almighty or GOD Almighty should be worshiped. The Bible made it clear in several verses that partnering idols with GOD Almighty in His Worship is forbidden: Psalm 115:4-8, Isaiah 44:14-20 and Isaiah 46:6-7.

      It is important to know that Jesus who worshiped Allah Almighty in Luke 5:16 and Matthew 26:39 and never used images in worship. The Bible considers GOD Almighty as a “spirit” and He must be worshiped with spirit and truth: “God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth.” (John 4:24). Use of idols (humans or objects) is the wrong way to worship the Almighty GOD: “Guard yourselves from idols.” (1 John 5:21). Also in (Deuteronomy 7:25) the Jews were ordered by God to burn idols and never use them in worship.

      BUDDHISM AND STATUES

      When Buddha was still alive he never asked his followers to make statues or worship him in images. Instead he taught us to not have any attachment to anything – not even himself. Buddha said that the best way to worship him was to follow his teachings. And that after he passed away, after his “Nippana” or “Nirvana”, his teachings would take his place.

      100 years later some of his followers wondered how Buddha looked. They prayed to an angel who used to meet Buddha. Then the angel appeared in Buddha’s image, and so the first Buddha statues were created. Since then Buddha statues have become a key element for most Buddhists around the world are reminded of his compassion, kindness and his teachings and feel the highest regard for him.

      IN SHORT NO RELIGION ALLOWS STATUES OF THOSE WHO FOUNDED THEM!!!!!!!!!!!

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        Without going into the commonly sought debate about the various sects in the Christian Faith, which is a fundamentally based on different interpretations of the same Bible. To clarify your comment, Christian’s do not worship statues. It is a Catholic tradition that includes statues (though it is said that they are for the mind to focus rather than a holy element to be worshipped) still exists and lingers successfully because of the culture of our land (& region) and the subsequent understanding of our people who need to see something to connect with a higher being. The irony is that Buddhism is a ‘way of life’ (militant or otherwise) and the aim is an ultimate state of nothing, following the way of the Buddha – so what is the worship all about? MR too was found looking almost collapsed as he kissed a ‘holy’ tree in Anuradhapura recently. Praying perhaps that despite his deeds in this life, the next will be mercyful. Mind boggling.

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          Dav,

          The statues in Hinduism also represent the conceptualisation of characteristics attibutable to ‘ The God’ . It is to permit everyone to concentrate on a form of God they can relate to. The belief, faith or religion becomes attractive to all levels of society and all levels of intellect. Hinduism is as monotheistic as all other major religions, but permits us to envisage a God in a form that represents any aspect of the characteristics we attribute to Him/ Her/ It. In fact to a Hindu nature, its laws and logic in essence are the God.

          Further, as Swami Vivekananda explained all faiths are like rivers and streams that lead to the great oceans – The God.

          To fight over the religions we profess because our parents did so before us , is senseless. We are what we are largely because of being born to particular parents, family, village, town and country. We had no choice over the matter in any conscious way. Of course some, including me believe there may be a karmic factor at work.

          I am also averse to the eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth concept, that underline some religions. However, it is for those who believe in it to decide and not for us to dictate. If aspects of Islam, such as the Halal concept with regard to food, which I consider scientific, are good for us too, why not accept it wholeheartedly. Of course the Buddhists and Hindus should argue a case for vegetarianism or a case for eating less animal protein.

          Further, if there is a demand for non-Halal food, aim sure the market will respond by producing them. Why make Halal a slogan to start a crusade against the Muslims? Simply, boycott Halal foods and demand Non-Halal foods. Further, this would necessitate that Buddhists, Hindus and Christians become butchers by trade.
          If we think the Islamic way of slaughter is inhuman, we can then demand a more humane way of slaughter. Killing per se is inhuman, and the pretence to make it humane, is an attempt to salve our conscience and not an act of kindness towards the animal.

          Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

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            You should know Vet as you have been justifying killing people even?
            why the subtle antimuslim slant coming after all the stuff about vivekananda?

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              Your chosen name says enough!

              Dr. RN

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    The govt is now venturing into unknown territory. It is best to reign in the BBS and other extremist before more damage is done. This regime has no sense or idea of governance. All sorts of criminals, racists, rogues are being given a free hand to carry out their agendas without any control.

    MR regime is an assortment of thieves, racist and criminals. Free for all and one for all. The mathematical theory of chaos would best describe this govt with multiple systems of governance and unpredictable outcomes. MR pontificates at the top of the pyramid. His actions are more of damage control after acting like a bull in the china shop.

    Chaos Theory
    A mathematical concept that explains that it is possible to get random results from normal equations. The main precept behind this theory is the underlying notion of small occurrences significantly affecting the outcomes of seemingly unrelated events.

    Also referred to as “non-linear dynamics”.

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    Unbridled power not only corrupts, but makes the power wielders irrational first and then mad. It is to prevent this that civilised men evolved systems of governance with proper checks and balances. We have been dismantling these checks and balances starting from independence and in a more accelerating manner in the past few years. Simultaneously we have vested power increasingly in the hands of the undeserving and unfit. What more can we expect than the results we see around us.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    Following the world war, two of the most devastated countries Germany and Japan achieved miracles. Their economies rose to 3rd and 2nd place respectively. Their ethnic composition was over 91% in Germany and over 98% in Japan. Single minded pursuit of the economic miracle together with admirable distribution of the product followed. Reparations for all Jews affected by Nazi persecution stands out, proclaiming the culture and the greatness of the German people. The payment did not weaken the economy. Sectarianism did not detract them.

    Setting aside ethnic and religious detractions is a compulsion for Sri Lanka. The minorities compose 25%. Consolidation of the polity after 2009, had to be the beginning point of recovery. It appears that it is not to be. A malevolent destiny is sucking the country into the maelstrom of racial and religious discord. Only the citizenry in their mass can salvage the country. A leadership capable of bracing up to the challenge is yet to be thrown up.

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    People who don’t eat ..

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

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    This is just the beginning. Already Al-Jazeera, Asia Tribune and Financial Times have labelled BBS as a terrorist Organization, based on their own opinion. This definitely will reflect bad on the rest of the moderate Sinhala majority of oppose this type of extremism, but chose to remain silent, lest they be persecuted. It is time for the International community that provide aid in various forms to send a strong message to the government that being silent means giving tacit approval, and the foreboding signs are detrimental to international relations. Already Saudi Arabia has withdrawn its Ambassador ‘for consultaiion’ (whatever that means) from SL, and all the rhetoric against that country blurted out on platforms and TV, including government inaction, will surely send a strong message on country’s leadership and its alliances.

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    The practicing Muslims eat, breathe and their every action relates to the concept of Halaal. BBS wants to outlaw Halaal in Sri Lanka which would only mean to us that the freedom to practice our faith is denied. To us Halaal; in simple terms mean; Ethical and Divine injunction. Now we do not expect the non Muslims to practice it but to tolerate us as one of our rights. It is small minded to compare Sri Lanka with Saudi or any other country. Our position in the rest of the world is unique. The Arabian Gulf Co-operation Council / The Islamic Republic of Iran and others Islamic countries will continue to assist Sri Lanka as the relationship is based on the majority of the peoples choice to peace and economic prosperity. The point one percent of the population of Sri Lanka is misled by these groups. What is unacceptable is the elected authorities covert support to these groups. This act should worry all peace loving Sri Lankans. The majority should rise up and speak against those who denigration all faiths.

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    KING RAJAPAKSE USED THE JEMIYAUL ULEMA AND ORGANIZED MUSLIM SUPPORT BY
    DEMONSTRATIONS HERE TO GET SUPPORT OF ARAB AND MUSLIM COUNTRIES AT THE
    LAST UNHRC SESSIONS. WELL THIS TIME HE WILL HAVE TO TAKE HIS BALU SENA.
    THERE IS GOING TO BE SEVERE REPERCUSSIONS IN THE MIDDLE EAST WITH THIS APPEARING IN SAUDI GAZETTE, AND THE ARAB MEDIA.IT WILL AFFECT EMPLOYMENT, REMITTANCES AND TOURISM.

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      The Arabs here look at the bigger picture. Greater good to the community and diplomatic avenues. The Sri Lankan Muslims have to unite and make every effort to co-exist with the rest: at the same time identify the enemy.

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    But Saudi-funded Wahabi terrorist Sipah-e-Sahaba killed more than 10 Shia Muslims last week alone. Following are only two to name a few.

    1) Anwar Abbas succumbed to fatal wounds and embraced martyrdom at a shop near City Bakery, Gulistan-e- Jauhar area of Karachi.
    2) Peshawar: Saudi-backed terrorists open fire killing Shiite Dr. Shah Nawaz Ali in Peshawar, Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa province of Pakistan.

    In fact, According to statistics available from Ahlul Bayt News Agency, more than 260 Shia Muslims were killed and near 500 injured in systematic attacks by ASWJ-LeJ, Taliban and et al in various areas of Pakistan during the first 48 days of 2013.

    Reading the above verse from the Koran that demands Muslims to be harsh on unbelievers imagine what Muslims would do to others if given the slightest opportunity.

    Although we are worried about such verses, neither BBS nor any other Buddhist organisation had even injured a single Muslim to date leave out killing one on this halal issue or any other issue related to religion for the last so many years.

    So, instead of calling peaceful BBS protesters extremist, should not Tariq A. Al-Maeena of Saudi Gazette explore what their own real terrorists are doing to fellow Muslims the world over and urge Saudi government to stop funding them.
    Leela

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    Leela,

    What others do wrongly, should not justify our wrongs. Both Buddhism and Hinduism are inherently more tolerant than many other faiths. Both religions never propagated their faiths with the sword. The credo of the Saivaites is , “Emm Mathamum , Sammatham ” ( All faiths are acceptable). Let us not sacrifice our heritage to at the altar of expediency.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      Please note I have missed to copy and paste following Koran verse in my comment above at the very beginning of it. Koran 48:29 says; Mohammed is God’s apostle. Those who follow him are harsh to the unbelievers but merciful to one another.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran,
      Buddha and all his disciples have been spreading Buddha dhamma through sermons. It was done with compassion and kindness. Never once, have they rammed Dhamma on anyone or have they known to be bigots. They had never resorted to harangue and rage on other faith. Entire Buddhist history of more than 2500 years will reveal that truth. Cultural wise, I accept that Buddhism and Hinduism goes hand in hand in Sri lanka.

      Talking about early Islam, until Muhammad was 54 and Muhammad had defeated Meccans at Battle of Badr in 624 AD, most of the population of Mecca were polytheists. After that Muslims propagated intolerance of polytheism and all idols were wiped out of Mecca. Thereafter spread of Islam was by the sword. Muhammad called Abraham’s ‘One God’ Allah and started to read intolerant verses against non Muslims as Allah’s word. Koran 8:7 says, “Wipe the Infidels out to the last,” and 8:39 says, “So fight them till all opposition ends and the only religion is Islam,”

      Historically, all ‘One God’ believers had rifts themselves and other religions. This is more so with Muslims. During the last century however, Jews and Christians have mellowed their tones may be because Bibles have less spiteful verses than that of the Koran.

      Anyway, today we can see that rear window of many three wheelers that ply our roads in Colombo display “there is no God but Allah”. Buddhists and Hindus believe there are many Gods. If so, is not an open challenge to other God believers to display openly that there are no Gods but Allah. Isn’t it like telling them that there is no Gods like Shiva, Vishnu, Katharagama etc.

      I say Muslims should not bring back a situation as Muhammad did in 624 AD. In spite of such incitings
      I do not know any monk or a Sinhala person that want Muslims thrown out of this country. Indeed we all agree that everyone must have equal rights.

      However for some this issue of Halal badge, Dambulla mosque affair, law collage results and etc does not come in to that equal rights for affected party happens to be the majority community.

      Ada Derana reported as All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) says that it has done no promotion or compulsion on Halal certificate and it was only meant to provide Muslims easy access to various products. If that is the case, it doesn’t sound bad or unreasonable.

      But the problem is that is only one part of the truth. ACJU also accepted elsewhere that 85% of their subscribers companies to halal badge are Sinhala. They do not say the range of products that halal badge cover. I have noticed even Hienz tomato ketchup has the halal badge in it. Indeed we cannot buy a Hienz tomato ketchup without a halal badge.

      For a Muslims, halal means good and haram means bad. Now let’s say for argument sake what is halal for Muslims is haram for me. Should I have a choice to buy Hienz tomato ketchup without the halal badge? The truth is there is no Hienz tomato ketchup in Sri Lanka without halal badge. No.

      Muslims or ACJU has brought up halal to a situation where 90% have to give up their right to refuse halal just to pave way for less than 10% of the population for them to have easy religious access Hienz tomato ketchup and various other products.

      This is the crux of the matter. We say Muslims must find a way to have their halal as they did all these years without forcing it on others -90%.
      Leela

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        Leela,

        The solution is for the government to appoint a committee or commision to inquire into what is perceived as a problem and propose solutions. The committee/ Commission should be rep tentative of all communities in Sri Lanka. However, unlike the reports of many such committees/commissions that are shelved, this report should be published and recommendations implemented. In the meantime, the government should crack down on those who are trying to incite a new wave of communal violence, in the name of this issue.

        Auto rickshaws are mobile temples,churches and mosques now. They carry the picture of Lord Buddha or Hindu Gods or Jesus Christ or messages from Christianity or Islam. Many auto drivers are Muslims and hence more of the Ismamic message is seen. I do not see anything mischievous in this.

        Having been in Saudi Arabia for decades I utter the words ‘ Allahuakbar’ ( God is great). frequently,whenever good or bad transpires around me. This surprises or shocks many of my friends. In my thirty odd years of life in Saudi Arabia, as a Professor and later a senior administrator in the private sector, I was never a victim of religious bigotry . Incidentally, I also practiced my beliefs in private. The increasing exposure to the world in recent decades have made the Saudis a much more understanding people. However, they yet fear/hate idols, because they have been conditioned to do so over thousands of years. I have seen Hindus, Buddhista and Christians having their religious symbols in their homes in Saudi Arabia and even participating in prayer meetings held in private residences. I would boldly say that I have been more comfortable living with my own identity in Saudi Arabia than in my own country, Sri Lanka. I say this because of my experiences with the riots and the LTTE phenomenon in Sri Lanka. Whether we accept the system of Sharia or not, I would say the law and order situation is far superior to that of Sri Lanka, in Saudi Arabia.

        Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

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        In reply to the slurs that was cast on the Holy Prophet Muhammed and the religion of Islam, in the film .titled I” innocence of Muslims” the Hollywood filmmaker and author KAMRAN PASHA wrote a letter which appeared in todays issue of the HUFF POST. I reproduce part of that letter below in reply to Leela. I will get back on the on mistaken inferences of the Quran shortly. Till then I suggest he educate himself :

        Islam is a powerful religion with more than 1.5 billion followers, a faith that continues to grow despite the best efforts of its opponents to crush it (and despite the stupidity of Muslim extremists who dishonor Islam with their brutality). Islam will not be harmed by any film, book or work of art. Indeed, the foolishness of those who seek to denigrate Prophet Muhammad in this fashion is that their work simply inspires more people to learn about the man who founded humanity’s second largest religion. A man whose life was so remarkable that, 1,380 years after his death, it continues to attract enthusiastic converts to his teaching of the oneness of God and the oneness of mankind.

        Attacks on the character of Prophet Muhammad are nothing new. The Prophet himself endured insults, persecution and assassination attempts during his lifetime by his opponents. And yet the Prophet showed remarkable restraint against his enemies. At the end of his life, when Islam had grown from a persecuted minority movement to the dominant social and political force in Arabia, the Prophet had the power to avenge himself a thousand times over. But he showed remarkable clemency to his enemies at exactly the moment it matters the most — when he was powerful enough to act with impunity against his opponents, yet offered them forgiveness.

        As a Hollywood storyteller, I can say with confidence that the life of Prophet Muhammad is a remarkable tale, more gripping and filled with better surprise twists than “The Lord of the Rings.” I wrote my novel “Mother of the Believers” to tell his story for a new generation and I refer those interested in learning more details of his life to read my book, or biographies by respected authors such as Montgomery Watt, Karen Armstrong and Barnaby Rogers, among others. What I will share here are two stories that reflect how Muslims remember the Prophet, who is referred to in the Quran as “a Mercy to the Worlds.”

        The first story is set in the immediate aftermath of the surrender of Mecca to Muslim forces in 630 C.E. The Prophet had been born in Mecca in 570 C.E. and had received his first revelations from the Angel Gabriel at the age of 40, calling the Arabs to reject polytheism and embrace the One God of Abraham. His critique of the profitable religious cult in Mecca won him many followers from the poor and oppressed classes, and especially among women, who saw him as a champion of their rights in a word where pre-Islamic Arabs often buried infant girls alive. But his teachings earned him the enmity of the ruling class of Mecca, who showered insults and abuse on his followers for over a decade. Finally, in 622 C.E., the Prophet escaped an assassination attempt and was forced to flee to the oasis of Medina, where his followers survived years of military attacks from Mecca meant to annihilate their community.

        And yet Islam continued to grow and spread, as it offered a better, more egalitarian way of life than the Meccan cult that served only the wealthy. Eight years after the Prophet fled his home, the beleaguered Meccans surrendered the city to the Muslims who were now the most powerful group in Arabia. The Prophet returned home as absolute ruler, with no fear of reprisal from any of his enemies. The Meccans feared that he would take vengeance on them for 20 years of vicious attacks. The Prophet certainly could have taken revenge; in the cruel world of desert warfare recorded in the books of Old Testament, no one would have been surprised if he killed all of his opponents. And yet he did something that left his enemies flabbergasted.

        He forgave them.

        The Prophet declared a general amnesty and offered the leaders of Mecca who had fought him positions of honor in the new Muslim community. And most remarkable of all was how he treated Hind, the cruel queen of Mecca who had desecrated the corpse of the Prophet’s beloved uncle Hamza (she had cannibalized Hamza’s liver, an act considered barbaric even by her own people). The Prophet forgave Hind and let her go.

        A second story takes place around the same time period, after the Prophet’s victorious unification of Arabia. The Prophet had complex relations with the Jewish tribes of Arabia. When he founded the Muslim community in Medina, he had drawn up a treaty with the Jews of the city, which guaranteed their freedom of religion and sought their alliance against the military attacks from Mecca. But as the Prophet’s power had risen in Arabia, some of the Jewish tribes switched allegiance to the Meccan attackers, leading to warfare between Muslims and Jews. But with the defeat of Mecca, the Prophet sought to repair the breach of trust between the two monotheistic religions and worked for reconciliation. The Jewish chieftain of Khaybar invited the Prophet to a feast to cement better ties moving forward. But not everyone was happy with hosting a banquet in the victorious Prophet’s honor, and one woman of Khaybar poisoned the meal. Several of the Prophet’s companions died, but the Prophet spit out the poisoned food before it could take effect. The assassin was captured and the Prophet asked the woman why she had done this deadly act. She shrugged and responded that Muhammad had defeated her tribe and she was simply avenging them.

        The Prophet forgave her and let her go.

        Modern critics have attacked Prophet Muhammad for many things. They have attacked the Prophet for having multiple wives, one of whom some have claimed was so young as to be a “child bride.” They have also attacked the Prophet for his military actions at the height of Mecca’s efforts to destroy his community. But as renowned Christian scholar Montgomery Watt has pointed out, the issues that modern opponents use to vilify Prophet Muhammad were never raised as moral problems by his enemies in his lifetime. For example, modern critics of Prophet Muhammad have questioned his sexual propriety in vile terms, calling him a pedophile for his marriage to Aisha, the subject of my novel “Mother of the Believers.” One account claimed that Aisha was only 9 years old at the time of her wedding, but other, more probable, accounts suggest she was between 14 and 19 years of age. Whatever Aisha’s age was, the Prophet’s contemporary enemies never once noted his marriage to her in their vitriolic attacks against him. Neither Arab nor Jewish opponents ever found anything improper about his marriage to a teenage girl who had begun her cycles and could bear children. Indeed such marriages were a matter of survival in a desert world with low life expectancy.

        Nor did his enemies have issue with the fact that Prophet Muhammad was polygamous, as polygamy was the norm for that society and many others. Even the Prophet’s opponents understood that his marriages were primarily meant to secure tribal alliances and to take care of widows of his followers who had been slain in battle. The Prophet’s household consisted of about a dozen mostly older women and was embarrassingly modest compared to the harems maintained not only by powerful Arab men of the time, but also by biblical kings. David had at least eight wives and 10 concubines (and probably many more), and his son Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Under such conditions, even the Prophet’s enemies considered his sparse “harem” to be rather monkish and not the trappings of licentiousness.

        The Prophet’s military activities have also been subjected to visceral critique in modern day — and yet again were not the basis of criticism in his lifetime. Being forced to fight for his community’s very survival in Medina, the Prophet did indeed engage in warfare, but he showed far more restraint toward his enemies than they showed him (as witnessed by Hind’s cannibalization episode). In one incident, used by bigots to prove the Prophet’s supposed barbarity, the Muslims defeated the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza, which had broken its alliance and offered support to their Meccan enemies during a deadly siege that threatened to destroy the entire Islamic community. When the Meccans were finally defeated, the Qurayza were punished for treason according to their own understanding of the Torah. Based on Deuteronomy 20:10-14, the warriors of the tribe were executed, but the women and children spared. While this punishment may seem harsh for some people today, by the moral standards not only of desert Arabia but also of the Bible, such actions were normal in the bitter struggle for survival in a hostile wilderness. Indeed, as Christian scholar Philip Jenkins has written in “Laying Down the Sword,” Prophet Muhammad’s military activities were remarkably restrained compared to the genocidal bloodbaths gleefully endorsed in the Bible, where God’s holy warriors did not spare even women, children or infants.

        One can debate forever whether the desperate struggle for survival exonerates these events in the eyes of history. But what cannot be denied is that they happened in a state of extreme danger that the Muslim community was subjected to by its enemies. And the true proof of the moral essence of Islam can be found in this simple fact. When the danger was over, when Prophet Muhammad had won and had absolute power to do with his defeated opponents as he pleased, the Prophet did what no one expected him to do — he forgave his enemies and let them go. The true test of a man’s character is revealed when he has power, and the Prophet’s actions at the height of his power remain a shining example to Muslims and all human beings of taking the higher road when revenge would be easier and perhaps more satisfying.

        Fourteen centuries have passed, and the Prophet’s victory continues. Islam has grown from a handful of refugees starving in the wilderness to a faith embraced by billions. The civilization that the Prophet established has transformed the planet and indeed saved it from the Dark Ages that engulfed Europe. Because of Prophet Muhammad’s call for Muslims to “seek knowledge even unto China,” Muslim scientists advanced knowledge of astronomy, medicine and many other fields while Europe was trapped in a culture of superstition and illiteracy. The works of Plato and Aristotle were preserved in Islamic Spain, even as the Church burned their books in Europe as heresy. Countless Jews survived and thrived in Muslim countries even as they were expelled and murdered by Christian pogroms over the centuries. Indeed, as Neil Asher Silberman recounts in his book “Heavenly Powers,” many Jews viewed the initial Muslim conquest of the Middle East as a blessing from God, who had used their Arab cousins to topple the fanatical Byzantine Christians that persecuted Jews and banned them from Jerusalem.

        The world is a better place because Prophet Muhammad survived against his opponents and won. And even as the Prophet showed grace and clemency to his enemies, so must his heirs do so today. With the grace of God, Islam is an unstoppable force that will keep growing. That triumph is assured by history, demographics and its inherent attractiveness as a way of life for humanity. No filmmaker, artist, author, musician — or invading army — can destroy Islam. Secure in that knowledge, it is time for Muslims to relax and ignore the daily offenses and insults thrown at them by denizens of the cheap seats. It is time for Muslims to show the powerful confidence that Prophet Muhammad demonstrated when he had won and his enemies trembled at his feet. The power that comes from three simple words.

        I forgive you.

        Kamran Pasha is a Hollywood filmmaker and the author of Shadow of the Swords, a novel on the Crusades (Simon & Schuster; June 2010). For more information please visit: kamranpasha.com

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    When Muslims are being persecuted in any part of the world for their religious beliefs and practices, Muslims in the rest of the world will sit up and raise their level of concern and empathy. It is natural. The same with Buddhists, Hindus and Christians. When Leela uses the criterion ‘no Muslims were killed by Bodu Bala action’, this has only been averted by the quick thinking of ACJU intervening and calming the Muslim population not to react, since this is only a fringe group of despots trying to inflame cordial relationships between Sinhalese and Muslim populatino. But the damage has already been done in hurting the sentiments of Muslims by that notorious placard of the pig with the name Allah written on it which was displayed in Kurunegala. Even their rhetoric was highly abusive and tainted with phsical harm, death threats to Muslim shop owners in Narammala. It is only a matter of time (God forbid) for these BBS miscreants to loose their balance and go beserk, due to pent up jealousy and hatred towards Muslims economic stability (at least visible in Colombo), due mainly by their lack of knowledge and limited exposure to the world outside. They talk as an authority on everything banned for them, meat eaiting, parenting of children, financing (monetary transactions), looking at women with lust (wearing the Hijab and Niqab) while sending their own women to Middle Eastern countries to earn Halal money. What a scam

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    “We wish the island well. But not under the present circumstances”

    Sri Lanka wishes the Kingdom well too, but not under the present circumstances !!

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      SARCASM, EH!!!!

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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
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

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    WK Costa is and imbecile! An another ass-hole who talks about occupational bullshit. Remember Kuweini and the devils brigade??? Do you know where you descent from??? Majority Sinhalese will classify you as a “Maalu Karaya” Fishmonger fro Angulana, Moratuwa Koralawella? Just like Rajapakse from Bintanne? Dont ‘you get it? The Sinhalese don’t give a damn about what a “Adu Kule” would have to say..

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      My dear when you are shown the moon do not look at the finger. Reply the message with facts if you have any contrary to what is given. Do not try to shoot the messenger. It is sad that the CT allows your type of indecent comments. You predict only dissasters and look exreamly negative. Somebody else has the right to look positively and expect good to happen. Live your day happily, open your mind and leave aside the hatred speech.

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        WK Costa

        “My dear when you are shown the moon do not look at the finger.”

        What do you suggest we do when you point your two fingers at us?

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    Leela,

    It is good our Muslim friends are turning the search-light inwards.
    They are ready to yield on the dawn loud-speakers, the Halal controversy etc., I am told by a friend a few months ago the Muslims of Toronto (Canada) invited those of other religions for lunch and a tour of a large Mosque (Elsmere Road/Markham ON) The event was explained as a considered effort to explain nothing sinister against others takes place within. Saudi Arabia is gradually allowing women to drive automobiles. Last week they nominated several women to their legislative councils. In Pakistan, where there is a large, English-educated middle class, there is stiff and popular resistance to what goes as Sharia Law. The brutal gun attack on that charming little girl Malala Yousfzai – whose life was saved by British doctors/Hospital – has brought the Pakistanis to the street against taking the country back to stone-age practises.

    Senguttuvan

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      Senguttuvan, you keep playing your pernicious comments unabatingly like an old gramophone record. If I for one, am willing to concede that the call to prayer need not be broad cast through a public address system and that some of the items listed for Halal Certification really do not need certification it is due , in my opinion (and there are numerous others who would agree) not to any fault of the edicts of the religion but in its interpretation. Religious interaction between Muslims, Christians and Jews occur not only in Markham, but in LA, California and other cities. I believe in the month of Ramadan it is an annual feature so don’t be surprised. It is really not a bolt from the Blue! Not allowing Women to drive, etc are regional customs and has nothing to do with Sharia. If it were so then women would not be able to ride a camel as well. As I mentioned a myriad times before, the Taliban have hijacked Islam and their acts of terrorism is not condoned by the orthodox scholars, the likes of Sheik Albani, Sheik Bin Baz etc ( of whom none of your ilk may have heard). As to other Islamic practices which are Stone Age or Neanderthal, as you sometimes prefer to describe, then I can describe practices in your Hindu religion which may even pre-date that period. I desist from doing this, so as not to hurt the sentiments of my numerous Hindu friends and more importantly in obedience to the Quranic verse,

      And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides Allah, lest they insult Allah wrongfully without knowledge. Thus We have made fair-seeming to each people its own doings; then to their Lord is their return and He shall then inform them of all that they used to do. Surah 6. Al-Anaam, Verse 108:

      Finally I end quoting the following verse “To you be your religion, and to me mine” Surah 109 al Kaafirun verse 6

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      Senguttuvan,
      I wonder whether ‘our Muslim friends are turning the search-light inwards’ and honestly seek friends with non believers. Why?

      There is no place in the Koran where Muhammad commands Muslims to love people of other religions.
      Surely, verses 6:108 and 109:6 that Jamal mentioned do not reflect any love for non believers. They are indeed indirect threats.

      Even if we accept those two as a gesture of goodwill by contrast there are at least three dozen verses that tell Muslims to fight against non-Muslims and about 500 that speak of their place in Hell.

      To put this in perspective, nearly one out of twelve verses in the Koran says that Allah hates non-Muslims to the extent that he will torment them for eternity in horrible ways. The Suras that make reference to this comprise about 95% of the Koran’s total volume. If Allah creates infidels merely to fuel the fires of Hell, then there is little reason for Muslims to believe that such lives are of any worth in this world either.
      Leela

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    halo ……….

    dear editor.

    you are doing a good service to our sri lankan society….. please publish this video here as a fresh news to stop allthese HALAAL problems in our mother land..Decision has been made HALAAL systerm yesterday , 21 feb,2013. GO TO THIS LINK AND WATCH ,THEN PUBLISH….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI9jv1OEGog&feature=player_embedded

    Here it is! – CT
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/video-halal-issue-all-ceylon-jamiyyathul-ulama-speaks-out/

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    though i remain totaly against BBS fellows and hate the gov’s lethargic attitude to them, i have to say this article has many HALF truths.

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    Jamal and others of his “ilk” – to use a word he seems to be obsessed with – cringe in anger when their wrongs are pointed out. It is clear a more liberal and civilised world’s reaction is forcing changes in the “pernicious” habits of many millennia gone by.

    “Taliban have hijacked Islam” which you now concede has been our point. As I have noted before, it is what is understood as Fundamentalism, sometimes identified with Salafism, that showed up in recent decades that seems to have brought your lot most of the problems you face now almost all over the rest of the world. It is some of this the BBS has ridden to public focus on. Islam, what we saw, in our school days was a religion of peace, tolerance and spirituality – and. therefore, respected. Merely quoting a book or two you happened to read does not give you the intellectual superiority you seem to suggest. The liberal scholars of Egypt will bring that necessary transformation and religion based on rationality and humanism soon and save the world of another unnecessary disaster.

    As to the many short-comings in the Hindu tradition you threaten to educate us with, please do not waste your time. It is not a language of the Sword and Blood based on the “good” of revenge. It is not one that calls for the slaughter of others, including Shiite Muslims, crazily screaming “they are infidels” Hinduism, like Christianity, is open to change – as in the case of Sati. In today’s civilised world it does not call for “death by sword” or the “savage cutting of necks” like that happened to your own little Nafeeka. To understand matters like the worship of Lingam and others is well beyond the horizons of the mentally disturbed, as Wilders would have it.

    “I believe in the month of Ramadan it is an annual feature. So don’t be surprised” you try to mock. How come we have not seen this happening in Sri Lanka where things have been on the boil for some years lately. I am sure events around now will bring this to the fore – sooner than later.

    Senguttuvan

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    The use of word “ilk” was almost your prerogative, and your umbrage is understandable when you are exposed with your pants down! If you take the trouble to understand what fundamental Islam is from its pristine sources you will stop writing this poppy cock on Islam. You harp on the fact that Hinduism and Christianity has evolved and changed is at the very least absolutely laughable. That in itself is suggestive of its imperfection. We hold that Islam is of divine origin and will NOT change till the end of time! As for the manner of effecting capital punishment if chopping of the head is barbaric, so is killing by gun shot or by lethal injection. It is all in the mind. Actually the first method has a better deterrent effect to crime. These were the stone age or neaderthal acts of the Muslims! as if worse things have never happened in Hindu India ? My foot! As for the participation of non Muslims in Ramadan in Sri Lanka it has been happening for years and these have been broadcast live! But like the proverbial Ostrich you would conveniently bury your thick head in the sand.

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    “As to the many short-comings in the Hindu tradition you threaten to educate us with, please do not waste your time. It is not a language of the Sword and Blood based on the “good” of revenge. It is not one that calls for the slaughter of others,…, Sengu whom are you trying to deceive ? Your whole History from Rama ‘s time has been of wars and deceit and Murders and plot s and. …. Unless you wish to change it and give it some sugar coating so that the mentally disturbed can understand easily that Lingam refers to the male organ the Penis!

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    I see very little point in wasting time with the obstinate indulging in vulgar language – signs of poor breeding. Current times appear to be their best teachers – here and everywhere. Delving a little into Sufism might help.

    Those who have violence and hatred of everybody and everything in their blood and genes are being brought down to earth by a more humane, tolerant and educated society that has lifted itself from the Stone Age over the millenia. Sadly the changes are being quickened by equally animistic forces. Personal abuse, such creatures must learn, is futile. But, they are learning, as one can see around.

    It is not opening locked doors only during a day in the year that is in question. In most of the Arab world even having in your person a 25-page book of another religion can bring you gaol or death. But they will deny this too – day in and out. True and peaceful religions pray with all doors open. They do not hide from anything nor, arguably, conspire.

    Senguttuvan

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      Poor breeding my foot! Go through the abuses you have hurled at Muslims and those who tried to reply you. Your innuendos and invective against the religion of Islam and its founder does not merit an accolade for good manners. Your stubborn refusal to accept pristine Islam has no truck with the violence perpetrated by Terrorists seems to suggest that you have a sadistic love for them to give you enough ammo to discredit Islam. All the talk of so called Muslim friends is pure hogwash to mask your real intentions. I too find it utterly time wasting to engage with you, even if it is to expose your false erudition.

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    To understand the context of Lingam one has to reach a level of religious consciousness. For those who come from backgrounds that seem to fill the jails in Sri Lanka, totally disproportionate to their numbers, this will be difficult, even impossible, to comprehend. Such blockheads cannot take in the essence of Ramayana, Mahabaratha and Bagvadgita or Buddhism – acclaimed universally as religious philosohpies. This was confessed, in different words, by a learned Muslim – Salman Rushdie. How many necks of Caliphs were cut within Mosques, while praying, since the bloody succession of Prophet Mohamed began splitting the “religion” then to two – and now to many pieces. It was for that habitual sport, among others, the Turkish leader Kemal Ataturk, ashamed of the bloody killings, did away with the Caliphate.

    Senguttuvan

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      Senguttuvan please stop this balderdash! I am not interested in your Lingam and it was you who started referring to it. I wonder what percentage of Hindus have reached that spurious state of consciousness? Everyone can claim that to understand their dogmas you have to reach a special level of consciousness and get away with murder. Your heros Salman Rushdie and Kemal Ata Turk (he was a jew according to some reports) maybe Moslem to you but not for the rest of the nearly 2 Billion Muslims. Your reference to the background of those who are critical to your writing e.g those who fill jails, poor breeding etc etc seems to fit you and your spewing this garbage is like spitting looking upwards.

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    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran,
    Different people have different opinion about life in Saudi and rule of law in Saudi. Though I respect your opinion, I cannot confirm or deny on any of your judgements on Saudi life for I have never been there. However, we hear and read many court cases and judgements and see images of medieval type executions taking place there similar to what is described in anecdotes by Hadith and Sunnah writers of Muhammad’s time. Still, if such a rule and punishments are what Saudis citizens want who are we to complain or pass judgements on their rule on hear say stories. If Saudi expatriate population want to complain, I suppose, it’s a different story.

    I had to mention a few verses of the Koran and use it to show the real extremists because Saudi author of this write-up had portrayed BBS as extremists. Catchphrases of the BBS are a mare child’s play compared to what Muslims read five times a day.

    Jamal
    I agree that I have not read “Mother of the Believers” that your man Pasha had mentioned in the writing you have copied for our benifit, but I have been watching enough lectures, sermons and etc by Dr. Naik of Peace TV for sometime. I must also say, that I have read all 114 Koran verses, many Hadiths and Sunnah writings. Therefore in conclusion, I can categorically say that Dr Naik have been repeating less than half of the verses in the Koran that he could infer as good for humanity and humankind like a parrot. However, Naik deliberately omits the rest or most of the Koran verses that are obviously wicked, horrible and vicious to unbelievers. If you challenge me I am wrong, I am prepared to prove my point with extracts from Koran, Hadith and Sunnah.

    Although you, Pasha, Naik and many many others try to portray Islam is a peaceful religion and assign Islamic terrorism to few extremists everyone knows that is not the truth. Let’s have a few questions for you from Muhammad’s death:

    If Islam is a peaceful religion as you say, why did his close associates who knew his religion best fell into war with each other immediately after Muhammad’s death?

    Why did Muhammad’s favourite daughter Fatima’s husband Ali, who was the second convert to Islam and was raised like a son to Muhammad, fought a civil war against an army raised by Aisha, Muhammad’s favourite wife?

    Had not three of the first four Muslim rulers (caliphs) who were among Muhammad’s closest companions were murdered? Why?

    Did not Kaaba, that stood for centuries even under pagan religions lay in ruins from internal Muslim wars Within 50 short years of Muhammad’s death?
    I have been waiting for you to get back to me as you say “on the mistaken inferences of the Quran shortly”.

    I am eagerly waiting for your response. Thank you.
    Leela

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      Leela, all the questions you ask have been asked a myriad times and answered. If what you say means anything then intellectual GIANTS like Mahatma Ghandi, Sarojini Naidu, Bernard Shaw, Goethe, Davenport, Thomas Carlyle (just to name a few) all must be turning in their graves!. Pit them against islamaphobes Leela or Senguttuvan and anyone must necessarily ignore these mites. Any way I reproduce another article that may God willing remove some of the bitterness in your heart.

      Does the Quran or Muhammad promote violence?

      By: Mohammad Omar Farooq
      associate professor of economics and finance at Upper Iowa University

      Toward Understanding Muhammad:
      Some issues in peace and violence

      In the aftermath of September 11 when President Bush visited the Islamic Center of Washington DC, both to reassure the Muslims in America and to create public awareness against prejudice, he remarked: “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace.” Of course, Bush is, first and foremost, a politician and therefore his remarks should be taken with a grain of salt – actually, a lot of salt.

      The American President was quickly rebuffed even by a number of his compatriots, who vehemently disagreed with the President’s diplomatic stance. “… a large number of foreign policy hawks — some of them with advisory roles in the Bush administration — have joined religious conservatives in taking issue with Bush’s characterizations. … they say the claim is dishonest and destined to fail.” [Conservatives Dispute Bush Portrayal of Islam as Peaceful] A pro-Israel, conservative or neocon, Daniel Pipes, sermonized that since calls for “Death to America” in 1979 in Iran, “… some 600 Americans have been murdered by militant Muslims. And still the U.S. government fails to ‘proclaim militant Islam our strategic enemy’ but instead goes along with blandishments about ‘good Muslims’ and ‘true Islam’ being a religion of peace.” [Militant Islam Is Still Enemy No.1]

      In contrast to the above two categories of non-Muslim stance, there are two parallel camps within Muslims. One camp on the fringe has no qualms in taking a public position that Islam enjoins fighting and subduing the non-Muslims, and this is a sublime religious duty. They urge the Muslims to take up a combative struggle – armed if necessary – to resist the evil of the “infidels” (kuffar) and to facilitate Islam’s victory over others. They cite the example of the Prophet as to how under his leadership the world of the unbelievers was subdued.

      Repudiating this group of extremist Muslims, there is the broader Muslim community that finds an echo of their own position in what President Bush said and they would like the world to know that Islam means peace and Islam is peaceful. Period. This group is very much troubled by the hate-mongering and violent posturing of the fringe extremists among Muslims. Thus, they would like to underscore and highlight the essential dimension of Islam, which in their view is peace.

      So, is Islam essentially intolerant and violent or is it essentially tolerant or peaceful? The fact of the matter is that in presenting Islam as essentially peaceful or violent, there is a false and an unacceptable reductionism, and trying to cast Islam in such reductionist framework inevitably leads to either misunderstanding or misrepresentation.

      A few premises

      At the center of this whole debate are three aspects: the Qur’an, the life of the Prophet, and the historical experience of Muslims. But first let me identify a few pertinent premises.

      (1) Muslims hold the Qur’an as the ultimate source of divine guidance. Even the Prophet could not have contradicted the Qur’an, let alone anyone else. (2) The Qur’anic verses should not be taken in isolation from other verses or from the Prophetic experience. (3) The Qur’anic verses, commands or otherwise, have different levels of priority; some are general in scope and are to be treated or upheld as norms, while other verses might be contextual, delimited or transitional. (4) Life is an integrated whole, and Islam is a guidance for the whole life in a comprehensive or holistic manner, where a sense or goal of balance is of supreme importance. And (5) life needs to be treated as life, which from the Islamic viewpoint should be understood as based on Fitrah, the innate human nature.

      Some historical observations

      The history of Muslims, similar to that of many other communities, is not devoid of violence and warfare. There have been almost perpetual wars, conflicts, and the attending violence in the Muslim world. During the Prophetic era in the Madinah period, the Prophet was at war with all those who fought the nascent Muslim community and the Islamic polity. In the post-prophetic era, the conflicts continued on two fronts. The Islamic polity, which from the beginning was on a pluralistic foundation, continued to be drawn to war with other great civilizations and lesser powers of the time. The Islamic polity subsequently also found another front open: internal schism and conflict. Contending powers or blocks had internecine conflicts, in most cases completely de-linked with the spirit, vision, and precepts of Islam.

      The transformation from a constitutional, participatory, and accountable form of governance during the period of Rightly-guided Caliphs to its despotic anti-thesis represented a counter-revolution to the revolution ushered in by the Prophet Muhammad. Since this counter-revolution, the establishment persistently purported to preserve the status quo, and oppositions–legitimate or illegitimate, right or wrong, just or unjust–were at the receiving end of persecution and retribution. It is important to note that the political institutions and culture in the Muslim world that evolved subsequently are more rooted in that counter-revolution than in the revolution and legacy of the Prophet.

      The division of the world between Dar al-Harb (home of war and conflict) and Dar al-Islam (home of peace and security) was a concoction of the classical Muslim jurists to contend with the problems of their time, but the reality was that on one hand in Dar al-Islam there was no less internal conflicts than external conflicts. Our contemporary generation of self-critical and conscientious Islamic scholars, who are in tune with the challenges of our time, are already reformulating their thoughts and positions, discarding the practically untenable and Islamically unwarranted framework of Dar al-Harb and Dar al-Islam.

      Both to pursue the external and internal conflicts, the scriptures (the Qur’an and the Hadith) have been used (more like abused) to support a particular position or agenda. Gradually, the edifice of Islam and Muslims was weakened from within, and when the decadent Muslim society faced confrontation with the rising West, not only the Islamic polity collapsed and got dismembered by the victor West, but also the philosophical, juristic, theological and institutional edifice bared itself in terms of its internal incoherence and confusion.

      During the colonial expansion of the West, the Muslim world, like any other colony, was ravaged, humiliated, dismembered and subjugated beyond any recognition, even though the Muslim world has not de-linked itself from the nostalgic memory that once the Islamic polity led the world, politically, militarily as well as knowledge-wise and technologically. Muslims are no less freedom loving than any other segment of humanity. But they are finding themselves subjugated under despotic and brutal regimes that are subservient to, defender of, or dependent on the West. The plight of the people of Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya and Iraq greatly illustrates the pain and agony of the Muslim world. The overall response to such conditions of course covers the entire spectrum: from rational and non-violent resistance to violent resistance to irrational, fanatical terrorism.

      Therefore, if from a cursory reading of the history of Muslims makes people think that this religion is quite violent, the impression can’t be dismissed quite so easily, even though drawing conclusions about Islam on the basis of such impressions is simplistic and incorrect at best.

      Peace and violence in the Qur’an and the life of the Prophet

      All killing, fighting, war and even administration of law and order involve some type of violence. However, the “Wild Wild West” did not earn the United States a reputation for violence; the two World Wars – the most violent and the worst killings in human history – did not earn the West in general and Europe in particular a reputation for violence either. The virtual decimation of the Indian people in the United States did not make the country barbaric or uncivilized. The European colonization that ravaged, exploited and dehumanized various parts of Asia and Africa, including the Muslim world, did not make Europe any less civilized. The Spanish Inquisition and the Crusade did not make Christianity violent and barbaric. Even the organized torching of Muslims in India by a Hindu mob does not make Hinduism a burning example of violence and barbarism. Yet, these days there are people who would like to identify Islam and the Prophet Muhammad as violent or symbol of violence.

      We have already mentioned above that during the post-Prophetic era, there was plenty of conflict and violence that occurred in the name of Islam, yet Islam did not sanction it. Notably, for 13 years of Makkan period, Muslims were strictly forbidden to reciprocate any violence to the persecutors of the Quraish. Many people misunderstand Muhammad because when they compare him with many other religious figureheads, such as Jesus and Buddha, they find a stark and intriguing contrast. Jesus as portrayed in Bible, appears to be an embodiment of unblemished peace and compassion. Buddha appears to be an enlightened soul far removed from the hustle and bustle of life. In both cases, it seems that many find a message of non-violence. On the contrary, Muhammad appears to be quite different. In the limelight of society, he is helping the feuding Arabs make peace during his youth. He is also involved in a social treaty (Hilf al-Fudhul) to form an alliance against any unjust war and killing. He is an accomplished merchant, a family man, forgiving all the adversaries during the conquest of Makkah, except four murderers, mending his own shoes, foot-racing his beloved wife, leading and motivating the believers to stand for justice and give life in fighting, if necessary.

      Such a comparison between Muhammad on one hand and Jesus or Buddha on the other is both incorrect and unfair. It is even worse when, to justify their conclusion about Islam and the Prophet, some people try to find verses in the Qur’an or references in Hadith, where the fighting and violence were so prominently, unequivocally, and sternly mentioned.

      To better understand this issue, one needs to recognize that Islam does not teach that if anyone’s one cheek is slapped, he or she should turn the other cheek. As mentioned in one of the premises above, Islam is based on Fitrah, the innate human nature. As a society, if we all turn our other cheek in the face of violence or open the door to the intruding burglars, or point to our heart to give a killer’s gun a more accurate target, it would be simply against human nature and also against any viable, functional, or healthy society. Anyone familiar with the Shaolin temples know that even the Buddhists contributed toward the development of the Martial Arts, as life’s need for self protection so dictated.

      The Qur’an affirms the universal right of self-defense.

      To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged;- and verily, Allah is most powerful for their aid;

      (They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right,- (for no cause) except that they say, “our Lord is Allah”. Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his (cause);- for verily Allah is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will). [Quran 22:39-40]

      There are times when fighting and violence are indispensable even to seek or maintain peace. People – individuals, groups, and nations – may need to fight for self-defense. Even the so-called modern and civilized nations, who now are hell-bent on branding Islam as barbaric and violent can’t shun, discard, and avoid fighting and violence. They can’t, because there are times, when war, fighting, and violence are essential means to seek and maintain peace. However, Islam clearly forbids any aggression or committing excesses.

      Fight in the Way of God against those who fight you, but do not go beyond the limits. God does not love those who go beyond the limits. {Quran 2:190]

      Of course, not all the wars and fighting are for just reasons or to seek/maintain peace. Sometimes, pursuit of a narrow, parochial or unjust interest can be touted as a pursuit of peace, but humanity knows better.

      Add to the quest for peace the quest of justice, and one can easily understand the logic and reality of life on one hand and the Islamic guidance/norms and the life of the Prophet on the other. Without justice, peace is an illusion. That is a human reality. Islam urges and emboldens people to never succumb to injustice. Rather, it instills courage and spirit to offer resistance to any social injustice and work collectively, creatively, and capably toward a just society.

      “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.” [Quran 4:135]

      This pursuit of justice is not parochial or limited to only Muslims. Rather, Muslims are to uphold and defend justice – by themselves if necessary, but in collaboration with the rest of the humanity if possible – whether the victims and perpetrators are Muslims or non-Muslims. Notably, there are Muslims who are not quite in tune with such universal dimension of justice from the Islamic perspective. Thus, as the decent and fair-minded people would condemn the recent bigoted comment of the Pope Benedict XVI, the attacks by some fringe elements against churches (in Gaza and West Bank) in response must also be unreservedly condemned. CAIR’s (Council on American and Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil liberties organization) call on Muslims to help rebuild those churches is exemplary.

      As far as violence, yes, there have been wars and killing during the life of the Prophet. He himself led many expeditions, and in many battles he himself fought as well. But that is because LIFE sometime makes such war and fighting necessary and indispensable, as Islam does not teach, encourage or advocate pacifism in the face of injustice. Any war or fighting during the time of the Prophet must be understood within this essential reality of life. That is not so true in the post-Prophetic era, where sometimes non-Muslims as well as Muslims faced violence in the hands of the ruling establishment in the Muslim world. Muslims must acknowledge many such wrongdoings by Muslim rulers throughout history, even though in a comparative sense it was not necessarily any worse than under other religions or ideologies. Indeed, even though it should not be compared to the contemporary standard of human experience, during certain periods of Islamic civilization, non-Muslims, including Jews, found the best protection under Islamic rules and fled persecutions in the Christendom to the Islamic polities.

      Now, let us take a look at some verses of the Qur’an. First, consider the following verses:

      “Let not the unbelievers think that they can get the better (of the godly): they will never frustrate (them). 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 you may not know, but whom Allah doth know.” [Quran 8:59-60]

      Or, the favorite verse of Islam-bashers:

      “Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush.” [Quran 9:5]

      Based on these verses, if anyone draws or “wants” to draw the conclusion that Islam is violent and it preaches violence, they would be violating almost all the premises listed earlier in this essay. Islamic guidance is to help people find a balance between life’s conflicting priorities. It is not static or predefined, but a dynamic search for an equilibrium. Whether in self-defense, to resist the evil of injustice and oppression, or to struggle toward a more just society, Islam requires its adherents to uphold certain norms and parameters. In the verse quoted above in which Muslims are urged to make ready their “strength to the utmost” of their power, one needs to take into account (a) the context of the entire Chapter, where it deals with treachery, hypocrisy and unilateral abrogation of a treaty that was imposed upon Muslims by their adversaries, and (b) the verse that comes after it.

      “But if the enemy inclines towards peace, you (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah” [Quran 9:61].

      The importance of this later verse is that peace is the ultimate goal. It ought to be the ideal and norm that a society should seek. Islam insists that its adherents work and incline toward peace.

      Those who want to harm Muslims or cause general harm or injustice, Muslims (like any other people) would deal with them to resolve the problems and, if necessary, fight them, as the last resort. However, if the very same people desist and show inclination to peace, Muslims are duty bound to reciprocate for peace. The life and legacy of the Prophet Muhammad were guided by pursuit of justice and peace. Whenever people, Muslims or non-Muslims, take a verse in a fragmented manner, advertently or inadvertently, they commit serious error, or worse. By dubbing Islam violent while it guides us toward a balance in our life, we merely yield to and validate those fanatical and extremist fringes that use or abuse Islam for their extremist angles and agendas.

      Peace and justice are amongst the two most important pursuits for humanity and so are those for Islam and Muslims. Islam is meant to guide its adherents toward peace and justice.

      Here are some of the verses and the Prophetic narrations (hadith) that should be treated by Muslims as norms, and the humanity should hold them to these norms in accordance with the faith of Muslims in the Qur’an and the Prophet.

      “Let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression.” [Quran 2:193]

      Muslims do not and cannot have any problem with adherents of any other faith (be it Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism or even animism) or ideology (communism, capitalism, etc.), unless there is oppression committed by any. Of course, this assumes that Muslims themselves do not engage in practicing any oppression or injustice.

      “…if any one slew a person unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land, it would be as if he slew the whole people; and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.” [Quran 5:35]

      Life – of ALL people — is sanctified and to be a Muslim is to show utmost respect for it. The sanctity of life – of Muslims and of others – was so important in Islam that the Prophet pursued an ingenious strategy of reclaiming Makkah: the entire conquest was virtually bloodless, a kind of feat unheard of in the blood-thirsty tribal Arab society. Furthermore, even for war and conflict, strict guidelines were set not to harm the life and property of any civilian, who are not active party to any hostility or conflict, and women, children, old men, monks, were to be particularly spared.

      A person asked, O Prophet of God , whose Islam is excellent or the best (afdal)? He replied: “From whose tongue and hands the people (an-nas: irrespective of Muslims or non-Muslims) are safe.” [Musnad-i-Ahmad, #6762; narrated by Abdullah ibn Amr]

      The entire life of the Prophet was dedicated to help a conflict-ridden and blood-feuding society of Arabia come to civilization and serve as an illustration of human potential, where people do not give up hope for positive change and are willing to make adequate sacrifice toward establishing a just society for all people. The struggle of the Prophet was not an end point, but rather a reference point for the entire humanity as a source of guidance and inspiration.

      Islam motivates people to seek a balance, tempering the extremities in their lives. It instills courage and valor in the weak and oppressed; at the same time, it humbles those who hold power and authority. It emboldens the downtrodden, while holds the oppressors and exploiters accountable. It urges the other-worldly people to take this world seriously and dearly, while it admonishes those who have forgotten about the life hereafter.

      Thus, to say that Islam is peaceful does not explain why it also seeks to awaken people to a struggling spirit. And, to say that Islam is violent does not explain why it also emphasizes peace so ardently and embraces peace as the normative-imperative. Even Rabindranath Tagore, a Nobel Laureate in literature from India, recognized this aspect so beautifully in his novel, Gora. Through the words of Gora, the central character of the novel, in a conversation with a meek and abused Muslim, Tagore states: “One who tolerates wrong is also blameworthy, because he endorses wrongdoing in this world. You won’t understand me, but remember that religion is not merely being good-natured, pleasant, humble, meek gentleman (bhalo-manushi). It simply emboldens the bad ones. Your Muhammad had understanding of this and that’s why he did not propagate the faith merely as pleasant and meek gentleman (bhalomanush)”. [pp. 111-112]

      The Rebel Poet of Bengal, Kazi Nazrul Islam (nazrul.org) articulated this aspect aptly in his famous rhapsody “Rebel”.

      In one hand of mine is the tender flute
      While in the other I hold the war bugle!

      In explaining this juxtaposition of sword and flute, he explained:

      . . To bloom flowers is my religion. Sword may be a burden in my hand, but I have not discarded it. I play flute with the young cattle-herders at dusk; I give Azan at dawn (prayer call of Fajr time) adding my voice to the Muazzin (the prayer caller); I also jump into the battlefield with my unsheathed sword at bright noon. My flute becomes the trumpet of battle.

      My music is for the beauty, and the sword is for those monsters that endanger the beauty. [Nazrul Rachonaboli, Vol. 4, 1996, pp. 101-106]

      Conclusion

      Those who would like to pursue Jesus or Buddha as a model would soon find that puritanical and absolutist peace and acquiescence can’t always help us deal with and resolve the harsh reality and nature of life. Those who are absolutist in regard to use of force and violence for collective selfishness or arrogance, be they Muslims or non-Muslims, would find that they would be buried and overcome in history by the collective decency of humanity and human civilization. Muhammad is one such very special personality in human history that successfully balanced the quest of peace and justice. Muslims in history often have badly failed in upholding that quest for balance in the footstep of Muhammad. Yet, during various time in history Muslims also have played exemplary roles in a comparative sense.

      Conscientious people have never hesitated to acknowledge this historical reality. As in the context of the Palestinian conflict, Einstein reminded his fellow Jewish people in a speech in 1939:

      There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people. … Let us recall that in former times no people lived in greater friendship with us than the ancestors of these Arabs.” [see Einstein, Zionism and Israel: Setting the Record Straight]

      The contemporary global context of vicious and malicious campaign against Islam and Muslims must not distract Muslims from being composed and dignified in their response on one hand and from being conscientiously self-critical on the other. It is only by valuing and upholding that Prophetic quest for that balance in the pursuit of justice and peace can Muslims overcome their own failures and miseries, and also serve the humanity in the path of God. This is a humanity-oriented quest, where Muslims must uphold the Islamic norm and spirit in pursuit of peace and justice, while building bridges with the rest of the world as part of a common goal.

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      Leela,

      I have heard many Sr Lankans living and working in Saudi Arabia for a long time wish we had similar strict laws here in Sri Lanka. In fact,since Saudi Arabia reduced the number of punishmental amputations ( chopping off hands) and public beheading, under western pressures, many Saudi!s lament that crime rate has increased. These are the realities I saw while living in Saudi Arabia. The deterrence value of punishment under the Sharia law is appreciated by many who live there. There are also many in Sri Lanka who advocate the death penalty here. The US carries out the death penalty yet, in what it calls the humane way. India yet carries out the death penalty by hanging . There are many who call these barbaric.

      I strongly feel that we have to act in accordance to our culture and beliefs and not condemn others for the systems they have evolved. The Muslims have not demanded that the Sharia be implemented here, although Muslim customary laws are part of our legal system. We have to have strong laws and enforcement mechanisms here in Sri Lanka to counter the increasing levels of corruption, rape, murders, robbery and other crimes. This means we have to put our house in order before we find fault with others.

      Further, having lived in Saudi Arabia for long, I feel Islam and the related culture evolved in a particular human and climatic environment. Although Islam has in many ways a universal applicability, it has also a specificity applicable to where it originated. However, Islam has also adapted itself rather well, when spread to other countries. Exteremists, whether Muslim or any other, are not the face of these faiths. They are an abberation. I think this applies to all religions. We can compare and contrast religions as an intellectual or propaganda exercise, but I do not think it is right to condemn any.

      Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

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        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        I think you need to read the following:

        SAUDI ARABIAN STUDY: 23% OF ARAB CHILDREN HAVE BEEN RAPED; 46% OF ARAB STUDENTS ARE HOMOSEXUAL

        http://themuslimissue.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/saudi-study-23-of-arab-children-raped-46-of-arab-students-homosexual-3/

        Sharia laws do not prevent those perverts from doing what they do.

        The culture of each country may be unique however there were things we took it for granted are now seem uncivilised and unethical.

        Capital punishment and amputating the guilty never worked as deterrent and will never be deterrent.

        Am I right in thinking that you are happy to see appointment of religious police to oversee and reorder our private lives?

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          This is obviously one of those hate Islam web sites that are controlled by Zionists. See the link sites on the bottom right, all anti Islam. Some of these Sites have even their own versions of Quran Translations to blacken Islam.

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          Native Vedda,

          One cannot change human nature in its many facets, whether it be here or in Saudi Arabia. However, whether the laws and systems of law enforcement in Saudi Arabia or anywhere else are effective in controlling these manifesting in public and disturbing social order, is the point in question. Sharia works in Saudi Arabia to that extent quite effectively and is acceptable to most Saudis.

          Dr.RN

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        Dr.R.N. Thank you for your voice of reason, understanding unbiased and forth right comments. I think reading your contribution alone makes one’s day and re-affirms the relationship I had and have with many Hindu friends at school and at the University. I feel a bit hurt and embarrassed that misguided elements are kindling the flames of suspicion and mistrust, discrediting religions and their revered founders, when the need of the hour is to cement ties and rebuild what has been damaged. Jamal

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    Because Salman Rushdie and Kemal Ataturk saw through the deception
    they suddenly become Jews and what not. Have you wondered why only
    your lot is under attack and criticism in almost every part of the
    globe and not adherents of the other major religions. Why are they treated with suspicion in every airport or point of entry/departure.

    Senguttuvan

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      Salman Rushdie and Kemal ata Turk are non issues now and will face a greater judgement. As to why our lot is under attack is what was foretold 1400 years ago. My lot is under attack due to the fanatical elements who have grossly misunderstood the tenets of the religion and are mis-applying same, aided by Zionists and their lackeys, period! As for being treated with suspicion although Muslims are the larger number subjected to this, it is not exclusive to us alone. On my last trip to the US my wife and I had absolutely no problems and were treated in the usual normal manner. Sengu try to keep to the topic without diversion.

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    TO ALL THOSE WHO TAKE A VERSE FROM QURAN AND USE IT OUT OF CONTEXT WITHOUT THE VERSES BEFORE OR AFTER. THE FEAR OF ISLAM AND MUSLIMS IS BECAUSE IT IS GROWING.

    READ ON……..

    Does it say in the quran that you have to kill/behead the non muslims?
    Muslim

    No. If we start killing non-Muslims then who do we preach the message of Islam and Quran to, dead people? Today Islam has 1.6 Billion followers, that’s like 1 in 5 people on earth is a Muslim. Where did all these people come from? Only way a religion grows is by converts and you don’t get converts if you start killing non-believers.

    As long as a group is not fighting against the faith or killing because someone is Muslim or has not waged a war or broken a peace pact, there is nothing in the Quran saying to harm them.

    There are certain anti-Islamic people out there who often claim that the Quran is a book of terror, that it orders the death and destruction of all non-believers, one of the most common verses they use to try and prove their argument is verse 4 of Surah Muhammad which is the 47th Surah in the Noble Quran. The verse reads:

    Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah’s Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost. [047.004]

    Obviously the part that Anti-Muslims use the most with this verse is when it says:

    Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks;

    The verse is referring to battle and war, that in a battle, when we meet the unbelieving army that we should aim for the neck. It is just like any other army giving combat instructions and strategies to its soldiers. Other similar verses are also talking about the battlefield or enemies of Islam who are planning and plotting to do harm.

    So not only do the verses in the Quran talk about killing non-Muslims during the battlefield but there are also verses in the Quran forbidding war on those who do not wage war against you.

    Allah forbiddeth you not those who warred not against you on account of religion and drove you not out from your homes, that ye should show them kindness and deal justly with them. Lo! Allah loveth the just dealers. [60.008]

    Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors. [2.190]

    As you can see from the above verses. Muslims are commanded to show kindness and to fight not others unless they fight you or plot to drive you out of your homes. It also says to not go waging wars and hostilities against others who are not bothering you. Compare all that to the western powers who are doing just the opposite by spreading mischief and lies of WMD and invading Muslim countries and driving Muslims out of their homes, killing them (over 1 millions Iraqis killed by US actions alone so far) and what not.

    @AYMAN – Can you remove the comment policy link when you comment – CT

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    So then the reason for the global snide is now discovered – through the wisdom of one of our own from the talented Lankan soil. It is time the US Homeland Security and other connected folk come to learn of this gem – “they are under attack due to the fanatical elements who have misunderstood the tenets of the religion.. aided by Zionists and their lackeys…” It is the Israelis/Zionists/Jews who are, once again, behind all the hullabaloo. The truth is even those much-maligned Marines, at whom such senseless drivel is directed, are now smarter.

    ..”Salman Rushdie will face a greater judgement..” is the message of peace from our local man of peace. Fortunately, for Rushdie, he escaped the first one and the world was to become conscious of an evil that was to multiply. We now learn the same Iranian near-God also personally asked the Turkish assassin Mehmet Ali Agca to assassinate the then Pope. This is what Agha told the media recently after the initial lie he was asked by the Bulgarians – at the best of the Iranians – to kill the ageing Pope of that time. All, of course, in the interest of religious tolerance and world peace.

    “…. On my last trip to the US my wife and I had absolutely no problems..” If this is to be taken at its word, the man is luckier than millions. Even that Bollywood super-star SRK, with his high profile “My name is Khan” is thoroughly screened every time he passes through The USA and Europe. So Pakistan’s Imran Khan. Even that harmful innocent once-time Indian President Shri Abdul Kalam had to go through this indignity – that appears to be standard out there.

    All this gives room to the question if mendacity is a clinical thing
    among some of the human race.

    I shall say no more. As Nehru concluded in his charming “Letters to Indira” in Persian (Farsi) Tamam Shud (It is ended)

    Senguttuvan

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    Leela,

    I note, in response to the questions you raise, you seem to be at the receiving end of a fairly regular and large dosage of what is generally known as from the pens of “Dr. Cut and Paste” The men sending these virtual Tomes to you probably have not read the stuff they try to push down your reluctant throat.

    Senguttuvan

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    To our good and liberal friends in CT,

    Obviously we are not the only ones subject to distasteful abuse
    and vitriolic garbage from guttersnipes. Now we have an idea of
    who finances you – going by the following :-

    “This is obviously one of those hate Islam web sites that are controlled by Zionists…”

    When are you next flying to Haifa? Don’t forget to stop in at one of
    the PLO-Hamas controlled Palestinian towns too – just to strike the right balance. That is what the clueless R Bros do.

    Senguttuvan

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