19 September, 2020

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The Jekylls And Hydes Of Religions

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“Imagine a garden with a hundred kinds of trees, a thousand kinds of flowers, a hundred kinds of fruit and vegetables. Suppose, then, that the gardener….knew no other distinction than between edible and inedible, nine tenth of this garden would be useless to him. He would pull up the most enchanting flowers and hew down the noblest trees and even regard them with a loathing and envious eye”. – Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)

The discovery of the Higgs boson was a watershed event in the journey of science[i]. In the pantheon of scientists who paved the way for that momentous moment Abdus Salam occupies a pre-eminent position. Prof. Salam was Pakistan’s only Nobel Laureate.India rejoiced in his towering achievements (he was born in pre-Partition Punjab) but Pakistan did not. The local police inspector was the highest state official present at his funeral.

Prof. Salam was an Ahmadi-Muslim. In 1974,Pakistan introduced a constitutional amendment decreeing the Ahmadis to be non-Muslims. Prof. Salam was a theoretical physicist of global renown, but for Pakistanhe was nothing more than a pariah, a heretic.

The persecutory-marginalisation of Prof. Salam is symbolic of how religious fundamentalism warps the national mind and debilitates the national will.

Pakistan’s founder did not try to decree who is/is not a Muslim. Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s Foreign Minister was an Ahamadi-Muslim as were many of the new country’s top military and civilian officials. But as the influence of Wahabism began to permeate Pakistani society, the country became more intolerant not just towards Christians/Hindus but also towards Muslims deemed the ‘wrong sort’[ii]. Politicians started to pander to religious extremists to gain popularity and legitimacy. Prime Minister Bhutto introduced the first anti-Ahmadi law; Gen, Zia Ul Haq followed with more extreme measures (he also introduced the Sharia law in Pakistan, with the full backing of his American patrons).

Pakistan’s descent towards the cauldron of religious extremism is a lesson we would do well to ponder as the Rajapaksas step up their incendiary use of Sinhala-Buddhist fanatics.

Attacks on churches, mosques and kovils continue unabated; the latest outrage is the multiple attacks on the Mahiyangana mosque. The saffron-thugs seem to enjoy the same sort of impunity as the White-vanners. Efforts are underway to get the top monks to issue a ‘Buddhist fatwah’ against the 13th Amendment. The BBS is reportedly planning to re-launch the anti-Halal campaign.  .

All religions have ‘split personalities’. Every religion has its own share of Dr. Jekylls and its Mr. Hydes. The effect a religion has on a society depends on the relative power/influence of these antipodal elements. When the Mr. Hydes of a religion gain the upper hand over the Dr. Jekyells, that religion becomes a source of societal violence and brutal unfreedom.

The triumph of religious extremism over religious moderation is rarely a spontaneous phenomenon. More often than not, it is a top-down process, driven by megalomanic politicians who see in religious extremism an ideal tool to achieve/safeguard power by controlling the masses.

In Egypt, another country suffering from an excess of religion, Islamisation commenced under President Nassar, after the Six Day War, and reached new lows during the (pro-American) presidencies of Sadat and Mubarak.

In countries with strong constitutional traditions and functioning institutions, the damage religious extremists can do is minimised. Take, for instance, the American evangelical preacher Pastor John Hagee, who decries Rock and Roll as “Satanic Cyanide” and condemns Harry Potter books for “opening the gates of your mind to the Prince of Darkness”[iii]. Pastor Hagee can scream to his heart’s content, but he cannot impose his insane ideas on his fellow citizens. He can enjoy his rights but cannot infringe upon the rights of others.

There is no need to ban or imprison religious-Jekylls. They should be allowed to have their say but never to have their way. The multi-pronged and many-layered battle against religious extremism of every type is not a digression from the struggle for democracy, peace and humane development but an essential component of it.

The Real Civilisational Divide

In ‘The Evolution of God’, Robert Wright argues that the human perception of God changed for the better over time. While this is largely true of Christianity, a regression from tolerance to intolerance is clearly visible in Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam.

Heinrich Heine wrote his prophetic words, “A prelude only, that. When men burn books, they will burn people in the end” in ‘Almansor’. In Heine’s poetical drama, as in real history,Granada (the last outpost of Al Andalusia, the once vast Islamic empire in Europe) represent the values of learning, progress and tolerance. In this twilight-land of openness, floundering in an overwhelmingly theocratic Europe, Christians of every denomination, Jews and non-believers lived, worked and worshipped side by side with Muslims. Almansor depicts the horror and the tragedy which ensued when the ocratic Spain defeated Granada. Libraries were burnt, non-Catholics expelled and the Inquisition reigned supreme.Granada, the home of such marvels as Alhambra, regressed into obscurantism, bigotry and underdevelopment.

The ‘Clash of Civilisations’ is real but its battle-lines were never constant. The ideological descendents of theocratic Spain will find themselves at home not in the secular Spain of today but in Islamic theocracies such as Saudi Arabia and Iran – and amongst Evangelical Christians who fantasise about turning the US and Europe into Biblical states, Jewish Zealots who believe Old Testament should decide modern Israel’s borders, Hindu fanatics who dream of Ram Raj and Buddhist extremists who are intent on ethno-religious cleansing.

Malala Yousafzai and the man who shot her are both Sunni Muslims. As Ms. Yousafzai pointed out, her assailant thinks that “God is a tiny little conservative being who would point guns at people’s heads just for going to school”[iv]. The Buddha of the JHU/BBS/Sinhala Ravaya types is a Sinhala-fanatic who hates the 13th Amendment, despises Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Mahayana-Buddhists and loves the Rajapaksas.

The fundamentalists of different religions have far more in common with each other than with their moderate co-religionists. Wahabis regard their retrogressive and joyless creed as the only Islam, as do BBS/JHU/Sinhala Ravaya-types (plus other Islamophobes). Islamic fanatics are at one with Buddhist/Hindu/Christian fanatics in not acknowledging the seminal historical contributions made by Islamic civilisations or in ignoring the rich diversity in present-day Islamic world[v].

Sinhala-Buddhist extremists believe that if they have a fault, it is over-tolerance, an excessive love of justice and a surfeit of generosity. Not really. Egypt, in the last several months, imposed tough jail sentences on two extremely popular Islamic preachers for insulting a Coptic Christian actress and for burning the Bible[vi]. In Sri Lanka, Sinhala-Buddhist fanatics are allowed to insult/attack religious minorities at will. Even in the quintessentially intolerant Saudi Arabia, non-Wahabi Muslims do exist. In Sri Lanka, Mahayana Buddhism was/is accorded below-Zero tolerance[vii].

Under Rajapaksa rule,Sri Lanka seems to be following the well-worn and blood soaked path of religious-extremism. Impeding that lethal journey is the task not just of Rajapaksa-opponents or non-Buddhists but of all Lankans who do not to want a bunch of ignorant and warped clerics (of whatever religion) telling them how to run their country and to live their lives.


[i] Since then scientists at CERN have confirmed that the elementary particle was indeed the elusive Higgs. Incidentally, the World Wide Web was invented at CERN and was given free to the world.

[ii] In 1983, Sudan’s Khartoum University decided to bestow an honorary PHD on Prof. Salam, with the acquiescence of the country’s military ruler, General Nameri. “On 7th January the Saudi Ambassador met Nameri and asked him to cancel the university’s special convocation”. The Vice Chancellor and the university academics unanimously decided to resist Saudi-pressure and, to his credit, Gen. Nameri agreed. http://www.mujahidkamran.com/articles.php?id=44

[v] Those Sinhala-Buddhists who sincerely believe that the Arab-world of the BBS depiction is the real thing should watch the Arab Idol, especially the performances of the superlatively popular Muslim Emirati singer, Ahlam Al Shamsi (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWt_MciMX4U) and the equally beloved Lebanese Christian singer Nancy Ajram (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r53MZYhDkJw). Both women are superstars in theMiddle East and even the most extremist preachers avoid launching frontal assaults on them.

[vi] Popular Islamic preacher Abdallah Badr got a five year prison-sentence for insulting Egyptian actress Elham Shahin. http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/74850/Egypt/Politics-/Egyptian-TV-preacher-gets–years-for-insulting-act.aspx. Another popular preacher, Abu Islam, got a 11 year jail sentence for Bible-burning etc. http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/06/16/abu-islam-sentenced-to-11-years-hard-labour/

[vii] Lanka followed a policy of absolute intolerance towards other Buddhist sects, since the victory of Theravada Mahavihara over the Mahayana/Vajrayana Abhayagiriya. Abhaygiriya was an internationally renowned centre of Buddhist learning, on par with Thakxila and Nalanda. This great Buddhist university was destroyed not by Hindus, Muslims or Christians but by the Theravada monks of the Mahavihara. A purpose of the myth of Buddha’s final bequest was to ensure the elimination of non-Theravada traditions from Lanka.

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    Super Article, hope more people read this and appreciate the contents the decisions makers especially

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      Brilliant! Thanks Madam – keep up the great work!
      Gota the Goon has wrapped his criminal and paranoid self in the Buddhist flag to hide his crimes and is dancing with Balu Sena to DISTRACT the Sinhalaya modayas from the fact that he is building a DEEP STATE or ‘state within a state’ to secure the Rajapassa family military dictatorship. But the military and police is already running amok and Gota will be taken out by the Frankenstein military that he has cultivated – BLOW BACK is the name of the game.
      Meanwhile, Goon Gota is following the Pakistani model promoting religious (Sinhala Buddhist) fundamentalism to disguise the militarization of Lankan society and the destruction of our multicultural society and democratic governance by the Rajapassa bros… Hence Gota the goon’s love affair with the Paki military!

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      Dear Tisaranne Gunesekara,

      Thank you. It is always a pleasure to read your articles.

      This is the main reason why, there should be separation of Church, Temple and Mosque and State. USA, France and Turkey are more advanced and civilized.

      1. “The persecutory-marginalisation of Prof. Salam is symbolic of how religious fundamentalism warps the national mind and debilitates the national will.”

      2. “The discovery of the Higgs boson was a watershed event in the journey of science[i]. In the pantheon of scientists who paved the way for that momentous moment Abdus Salam occupies a pre-eminent position. Prof. Salam was Pakistan’s only Nobel Laureate.India rejoiced in his towering achievements (he was born in pre-Partition Punjab) but Pakistan did not.”

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2013/03/14/wrd-science-higgs-boson-particle-discovery.html

      3. Myths, especially the Religious Myths are the Curse of Mankind.
      It is the shedding of the Myths,the separation of Natural Philosophy from Religion, that allowed Europe to advance, starting from Nicklaus Copernicus and Andreas Versalius in 1543.

      Well,reason and investigation is closer to the truth than revelation. Does not matter if it was from the Bible or the Quran.

      Neil DeGrasse Tyson – The Islamic Golden Age: Naming Rights

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDAT98eEN5Q

      Science and the Koran: The Decline of Islamic Science

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

      4. The picture shows another Myth, the Lion being the Grandfather of Vijaya. Reason and investigation will show the Myth and lies of Monk Mahanama of Mahawansa, as there are no Lion Genes in the Sinhala Genome. Unfortunately, the a good part of the Sinhala people and the monks believe that along with the other Myths of Nirvana, Nibbana, Rebirth and Sansara.

      5. “Pakistan’s founder did not try to decree who is/is not a Muslim. Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s Foreign Minister was an Ahamadi-Muslim as were many of the new country’s top military and civilian officials. But as the influence of Wahabism began to permeate Pakistani society, the country became more intolerant…”

      Wahhabism is the Curse of Muslims and of Mankind.

      Wahhabis are the agents of the Devil, the Satan.

      6. “Attacks on churches, mosques and kovils continue unabated; the latest outrage is the multiple attacks on the Mahiyangana mosque. The saffron-thugs seem to enjoy the same sort of impunity as the White-vanners. Efforts are underway to get the top monks to issue a ‘Buddhist fatwah’ against the 13th Amendment. The BBS is reportedly planning to re-launch the anti-Halal campaign. “

      BBS is the curse of Lanka, and they are the Maras, the terrorists.

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      Tissaranee Gunesekara.

      1. “Lanka followed a policy of absolute intolerance towards other Buddhist sects, since the victory of Theravada Mahavihara over the Mahayana/Vajrayana Abhayagiriya. Abhaygiriya was an internationally renowned centre of Buddhist learning, on par with Thakxila and Nalanda. This great Buddhist university was destroyed not by Hindus, Muslims or Christians but by the Theravada monks of the Mahavihara. A purpose of the myth of Buddha’s final bequest was to ensure the elimination of non-Theravada traditions from Lanka.”

      2. Yes, Theravada Buddhism, was not peaceful. and it was the Monk Hegamony was the goal, “but by the Theravada monks of the Mahavihara” and Monk Mahanama was part of it as well when one digs into it.
      “A purpose of the myth of Buddha’s final bequest was to ensure the elimination of non-Theravada traditions from Lanka.”

      Buddhism is extinction = Nirvana.

      Buddhism The Great — Part 1

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

      Buddhism The Great — Part 2

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clcs2PSze0I

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    A very strong and persuasive piece. I wonder if those who should learn from articles such as this would see the light? Regrettably, I don’t think so.

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    Nature provides an example diversity existing side by side in harmony with each other. People too are diverse of different physiques, sizes, shapes and colour. What differs is what is ingrained in their minds by different schools of thought, religons, ideologies and philosphies.

    The cause of conflict arises when people begin to infringe on the rights and lives of others. To uphold the rights of all is the test of a civilised society. To demonise and attack others by word or deed is to descend to the level of barbarians and savages. To each his own and there is no compulsion in religon.

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    700 places of worship , which is half the total number of Mosques in England have been attacked since 9/11.

    The rate of attacks have now incresed to one, every three days.

    Here are the latest.

    Braintree, Gillinham,,Bolton, Bletchenly,Musewall Hill,Bromley,Gloucester,Waysall and Redditch.

    Just imgine if our British Muslim brothers had built one next to St Pauls Cathedral?.

    Ms T seems in her element , when tipping “buckets” on our great Sinhala Buddhist inhabitant majority who have been living in peace and harmony for over four years now.

    Wonder whether there is some sort of a Prize, not necessarily a Noble. for services to Christianity?.

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      Tsunamisekera:
      Back at it again. Idiocy parading as intellect. A good start might be to learn to spell the organizations and individuals you refer to such as NOBEL (not “Noble” as you insist)
      That said, your time could be far better spent looking for the rock from under which you emerged or have your bosses put another real estate crook under it in your absence?

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      Ane Sumane, where is the compassion and love Buddha preached in your writing? There are so many Buddhist temples now in Churches in the west. Do not display your ignorance. What is wrong in having a mosque next to a hindu or buddhist temple? Can you kindly explain.

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      Jackass, your comments are always racial. Are you taking the prescribed medications, Tsunamisekera?

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      Hey Mr Lee Potter Leela ( K A Sumanasekera)

      for your info one of the biggest mosque in london is in regents park ,the Police there have been very actively arresting and prosecuting all those involved in the mosque attacks as UK does not tolerate racial hatred nowadays,can you say the same about the Sri Lankan police?

      you say “our great Sinhala Buddhist inhabitant majority who have been living in peace and harmony for over four years now.”
      please elaborate that in view of the
      i)dambulla mosque attack
      ii)fashion bug attack by monks
      iii)Churches being torched and attacked
      iv)Tangalle murder cover up
      and the list goes on and on

      Please elaborate as it contradicts your statement of majority inhabitants living in harmony….my foot!

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      YOU ARE SERVING THE CHRISTIANS BY USING THEIR INTERNET, MEDCINE, TECHNOLOGY, ETC.

      Another jealous Biggot!!

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      Sunakasekara alias Gon Sumana, again trying desperately to say something in vain with his racial mind. What a loser!
      Rathr than spending time here Leela, why dont you stand in front of the Fort Railway Station where you can make some bucks than begging from Gota’s by praising his Balu Sena.
      Gota for your information is paranoid these days, ont last long. Same gos with the fake King Kekille family too.

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      Attacks on Mosques happen all over the DEVELOPED WORLD. Google and See.

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    @KAS,did they throw pork into the UK mosques too?
    Do Brit cops standby idle whilst all this goes on,do the attackers profess alegience to the Queen perhaps?
    Maybe the UK mosque attackers have a CEO,welcome at No 10?

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      British Bobbies must have been standing by alright, perhaps eating their Pork Rolls and Ham sandwiches.for the CBS to attack and destroy 700 Mosques.

      Then again,aren’t these the same Cops who weren’t competent enough to protect our President from the BTF and its militants?.

      Solheim should organise another training course for our BBS , this time in England to give them a bit more skills in demolition techniques..

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    Excellent reading.

    Gota is hosting a ‘break fast’ tomorrow at Ramada Hotel for the Muslims. He is airlifting 40 Muslim clerics from the East for the function.

    What a hypocrit ! He pinches the baby with one hand and rocks the cradle with the other.

    Let them enjoy all the offerings and use their heads at the time of voting :)

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    Religious fundamentalism is an incidental outcome. The real driving force is MONEY and the absolute greed for it. To the world bank and the IMF and their supporters this is the Suharto Saga all over again and they are licking their chops with delight at the prospect of turning Sri Lanka into another “economic model” white vans and all. Suharto massacred over a million and they embraced him, bloody hands and all. 40, 80, 100, even 400 thousand tamils dead will be ignored to develop the model.

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    K.A Sumanasekera

    “on our great Sinhala Buddhist inhabitant majority who have been living in peace and harmony for over four years now.”

    What is great about Sinhala/Buddhist inhabitant?

    You could only identify four years of living in peace and harmony out of your 2,500 years Mahawamsa history.

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      Native Veddah:
      You are dead right about the nonsense this jackass insists on inflicting on us!

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      Dear Native,

      I know you are proud of your Aboriginal heritage and you always try to protect,preserve and propagate it.

      My interest is only the 21 century.

      All I want is to see the great majority of the inhabitant population who happen to be Sinhala Buddhist poor rural folk,and the poor Tamils, Muslims and the poor Sinhala Catholics to be on par with our Brown Sahibs at least in Economic terms.

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        if thats the case why did you cheat them in the LEE POTTER SCAM? hahhahahahahah

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        Mr KAS, so your problem is the brown Sahibs being financially well off? (which is far from fact) You are the modern day Devadatta.. Epitome of jealousy.

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        K.A Sumana sekera

        The majority rural poor Sinhla/Buddhist inhabitants want you to help them fight state brutality and support their cause for clean water. Please read CT’s story under:

        Fight For Clean Water Turns Deadly: Army Fires On Weliweriya Demonstrators

        I can assure you these rural poor majority inhabitants are not inspired by NGOs, LTTE, Diaspora, UNP, White Masters, International Community, Moon, TNA, Sampanthan, SJV, VP, Justice Wigneswaran,……. Karunanithy, Jayalalitha, Seeman, Vaiko, ……

        As a clan Sinhala/Buddhist potential active member of BBS you should be in the forefront fighting the state goons for and on behalf of the great majority instead of fighting the minorities.

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      @ Native Vedda,even the 4 years were not peacefull as you can see from BBS antics!

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    Tisaranee:
    Heinrich Heine was wrong when he said “When men burn books, they will burn people in the end.” In Sri Lanka they burned people alive en masse long before they burned down the Jaffna library.
    See, we were the Miracle of Asia even then!

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    Absolutely brilliant.

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    Another great piece of critical analysis by Tisaranee.

    Tisaranee say…..”Under Rajapaksa rule,Sri Lanka seems to be following the well-worn and blood soaked path of religious-extremism.”

    What I say is, if anybody remember the famous Andarae Story, where how Andarae and his nephwe went to Kings Palace and ate his sugar pretending to be eating sand…….

    Both Rajapakses and the BBS are repeating the same old Andarae drama, looting Sri Lanka, it’s wealth and it’s resources pretending to be deshapremis while playing Sinhala buddhist and deshapremi Jathi Aala card. Now It’s the mini Baby 1983 Jathi Aala progrom which could grow into big time later whenever they need additional cash.

    Acquiring North, East and other private Lands, Banning Halal Logo thereby Bankruptcing Muslim Businesses, stopping Muslim run meet stalls are part of the game. Mind you this is just the beginning. More to follow.

    How can they save Buddhists and Buddhism when 80% of Buddhist Monks Leave their robes and find Jobs as laymen as soon as they Graduate from universities. This was told by S.B.Disanayake the Minister of Higher education.

    Therefore now Only more uneducated, less academics and a few qualified are left in the sasana to preach Buddhism. This is the state of Buddhism in Sri Lanka today, and BBS, Rawaya, Rawana have exploited this situation. Just check how many academics and scholars are there in these groups and in Sasana.

    Blaming other religions for their own failures won’t help them, when they themselves are the cause of the problem.

    Stop eating Meat or stop Halal logo won’t promote Buddhism or increase faith in Buddhist population in Sri Lanka. Their applying Jihadi theory or introducing a new Buddhist Sharia Law is not practicle but self distructive. It will backfire on Buddhists themselves.

    How could you recruit seven year old children as samaneras when those children don’t know even a damn of Buddhism or human Life itself. 90% of those children are economic benefictors. The qualified ones leave when they finish their schooling and some once grow.

    The very famous Buddhist Monk, a graduate (We called him Gamini Fonseka) who was attached to a Popular Buddhist Temple and who Taught us AL Logic as a subject, suddenly eloped with a Girl and disappeared just half way in our couse. Who is to blame.

    Remember Prince Siddhartha changed his life only after his wife gave birth to two children and after leaving his prince hood,his palace, his throne and the Harem. He was not a poor harper but a prince who later became Lord Buddha.

    Who are these little children to be future samaneras not knowing anything about religion and the world. These are similar to Muslim Madrasa recruits run by some Jihadi fanatics who brainwash the little ones later become extremists.

    BBS is not saving Buddhists or Buddhism. They simply destroy it.

    BBS is the beggining of the end of Sri Lanka Buddhism and soon they will be branded as another terrorist organization similar to Taliban, Al queda and Al Nusra front who do not preach Islam but do Jihadi suicide terrorism work in the world and BBS follow them.

    Rajapakses are taking Both BBS and Sri Lanka Buddhism on a Big ride and the Monster they create could be the Villain later.

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    Thisaranee,

    I insert below the content of an e-mail sent to me by a friend for your perusal and comment.

    Rgds.

    Thilina Kiringoda
    ====================================================================
    The Container and the Content.

    This is an excellent discussion that took place between Most Ven Ajahn Brahm and a journalist. The meaning of true Buddhist attitude shines through this invaluable passage. Ajahn Brahm is one of the foremost western monks who trained under the late great Thai monk, Ajahn Chah.

    “A local journalist called and asked me “What would you do, Ajahn Brahm, if someone took a Buddhist Holy Book and flushed it down the toilet?”

    Without hesitation I answered “Sir, if someone took a Buddhist Holy Book and flushed it down the toilet, the first thing I would do is call a plumber!”

    When the journalist finished laughing, he confided in me that that was the most sensible answer he had heard.

    Then I went further. I explained that someone may blow up many statues of the Buddha, burn down Buddhist temples or kill Buddhist monks and nuns; they may destroy all of this but I will never allow them to destroy Buddhism. You may flush a Holy Book down a toilet, but you will never flush forgiveness, peace and compassion down a toilet.

    The book is not the religion, nor the statue, the building or the priest. These are only “containers.”

    What does the book teach us? What does the statue represent? What qualities are the priests supposed to embody? This is the “content”.

    When we recognize the difference between the container and the contents, then we will preserve the contents even when the container is being destroyed.

    We can print more books, build more temples and statues and even train more monks and nuns, but when we lose our love and respect for others and ourselves and replace it with violence, then the whole religion has gone down the toilet.”

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    The author seems to inject periodic poison to the minds of the readers by ‘labeling’ Muslims as Wahabis / Ahmedis or whatever. Any group who steps out of Islam’s fundamental or core values cannot be called Muslims. In Ahmedi’s case; they attribute a Prophet/Messiah after Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). Sects are formed and divided along the lines of Nationalism and Political ideologies. The ignorant; just blame Wahabi without knowing the Islamic scholar Muhammed Abdul Wahhab’s contribution to Islamic principles. Those who follow the explanations of these Islamic scholar’s are ‘Just Muslims’. One of the beauties of Islam is the diverse groups who follow the methodology of their chosen Imams. Every Imam / Scholar takes on a specific fundamental or core value as a theme to strive for perfection. Example the Sufi Imams on Zikr (remembrance), Tawheedi on Shirk (associating partners) Tableeqi on Dawah (preaching), All these groups may have faults, built in ignorance or some even might take it to the extremes, however who are we to judge them other than the One who created us. All these confusions and irregularities will be sorted out at the ‘Day of Reckoning’ Islam is perfect however people are not.

    Muhammed Abdul Wahhab made every effort to purify Islam by returning Muslims to the original principles of Islam, as exemplified by the Salaf (Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) First and Second Generation in Arabia) and rejecting what was regarded as corruptions introduced by Bid’ah (Innovation of new practices) and Shirk (Attributing Partners). Although all Muslims pray to one God, Muhammed Abdul Wahhab was keen on emphasising that no intercession with God was possible without God’s permission, which God only grants to whom He wills and only to benefit those whom He wills, certainly not the ones who invoke anything or anyone except Him, as these would never be forgiven.

    We should focus on our unity, economy, productivity as one nation blessed with the diversity in culture and religion.

    And lo! this your religion is one religion and I am your Lord, so keep your duty unto Me. (The Noble Quran 22:52) But they (mankind) have broken their religion among them into sects, each sect rejoicing in its tenets. (The Noble Quran 22:53) So leave them in their error till a time. (The Noble Quran 22:54)

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    From the above comments, it appears that the most important issue seem to have been overlooked by all, which clearly is displayed by this article of Tisaranee. In Pakistan and in Egypt Religious fundamentalism has been roused with underhand American support, even to the extent of undermining pro American supporters as Nasser, Anwar Sadat, Bhutto, Zia Ul Haq the lot to be replaced by the rabid who displayed Anti- American stances for the Americans to have secret dealings with the new leaderships to deceive the masses by hyping Anti-Americanism. This was one sure way the Americans ruled these countries completely camouflaging their connections. Not only these pro American leaders have been usurped from power, but have been assassinated at the whims of the Americans.

    Today it is no secret that Organizations as BBS, Ravana Balaya are funded as well as nurtured by the Americans to rouse Religious tension of the Olcott Buddhists in this country, to take to task the Muslims and the Christians is very apparent. If as many believe the Americans will uphold Human Rights in this country, or will protect the Muslims and the Christians, they are sadly mistaken as their agenda is completely different. This fact, that the Americans, nor the UK are interested in Human Rights violations here, but their business interest overrides everything, is fast dawning on the Tamil Diaspora, being made to realize the reality at present. If America had an ounce of concern, by now a word of caution would have been made and even given an ultimatum to MR. There appears none whatsoever, other than trying to prop MR, their brief carrier to consolidate his position with the coming CHOGM in November, allowing MR to exploit the BBS, Ravana Balaya et al, giving MR a free hand in the days to come. I believe every citizen of this country should develop their IQ to understand Foreign Intrigue that will be used to suppress the country using our own Pseudo Patriots, on rousing Religious and Racial issues for the whole Nation to succumb.

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      Merely to correct a misperception. Gamel Abdel Nasser of Egypt and Zulficker Ali Bhutto of Pakistan were not supporters of America, nor were they favoured by the Americans. In fact they were anti american.

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        Wickremasiri, Thanks! Abdul Nasser or Zulfickar Ali Bhutto may not have openly sided with the Americans, like how MR is attacking the Americans and the Americans not probing the excesses committed by MR either, followed by a lukewarm attitude towards MR by bringing watered down Resolutions. However their assassinations have been at the behest of the Americans without a doubt.

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    A very persuasive exposition of religious fundamentalism. Bensen

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    Methinks its not the religions which have the Jekyll and Hydes within them but rather society itself. It then becomes an indicator of the health and wellbeing of the society. Looking at the events since independence, I think any sane person would agree that our society is sick, verging on the border of turning evil. Germany and Japan had such sick periods in their history, but healed themselves by recognising their sickness. Unfortunately, our country has no perspective on itself. It produces sick politicians and then expects them to be leaders. Leaders with courage enough to go against the prejudices of the majority are the need of the hour. I have no doubt that there wont be any in the foreseeable future. And our society will continue to be sick.

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    Ms TG, has talked about Muslim persecution of Minor muslim sects.

    Sinhala buddhists are trying to exist from the religious Crusades of Christians and muslim conquests in Sri Lanka.

    Only thing she has talked about Christianity is that christian god became better, AND NOTHING ELSE ABOUT OTHER THINGS OR WHY Why Catholics/christians in the developed world have abandoned the church and are abandoning the church. Why there is an increase in ATHEISTIC views in the developed world. Why Islam, Buddhism and Hindu Practices are wide spread in the DEVELOPED WORLD.

    She did not mention anything about the ancient crusade wars or modern crusades against Gays and LEsbians while Gays are allowed even inside the Vatican. she did not mention about the Money-laundering by the Vatican Bank. She did not mention about the sexual abuses of Children by Church priests all over the world. with respect to Sri Lanka, she does not mention about Catholic/christian priests carrying Suicide Jackets, Racist Criminals and terrorists like Rayappu, why christian/catholic church in Sri Lanka is in the forefront for getting Tamils a homeland (as she does the same).

    She is criticizing the Sinhala – buddhists fighting for their life. FURTHER SHE DOES NOT WANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT BUDDHISM DOES NOT HAVE ANY RELIGIOUS COMPONENT.

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    Ms. TG

    Both the Christianity and Islam are very much the similar religions in every way.

    YOu talk about Hinduism – a name given by DUMB Scholars of the Europe who did not know anything about Sri Lanka.

    Google and see why (Those who believe in the CREATOR) hates buddhism. BUDDHISM IS THE ONLY RELIGION Which says every human being is responsible for their life and there is not creatore to decide one humans.

    CREATOR tried to control the human life that is how the church lost control over humans in EUROPE and mostly in the christianity dominated world. That is how the Modern -natural science became popular in the western world.

    Finally, theoretical Physicist StephEn Hawking, IN HIS BOOK GRAND DESIGN, said that THERE IS NO NEED FOR A CREATOR

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    Ms. TG knows why the Nietzsche, one who grew up in a hard core catholic home, whose father and grand father were priests, Einstein, A jew and said to be the greatest Scientist in the 20th century and many more have praised buddhism.

    Why they did not know about the Christian – CREATOR ?

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    All these Christians are trying to subjugate and stop Sinhala buddhists fighting for their lives among the christian – crusaders and Islamic – conquistadors.

    They hate Mahinda Rajapakse, even though he is a closet – christian, because of his seemingly support for buddhists.

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