20 October, 2017

The Rise Of Mahinda Rajapaksa, Democracy, Terrorism And The Muslim Factor In Sri Lanka

By Nishthar Idroos

Nishthar Idroos

Nishthar Idroos

Winds heralding another round of elections loom high. Astrologers, fortune-tellers,  and every political soothsayer are busying themselves to make the kill. It’s that kind of season once again in Sri Lanka. The time to lubricate the palms big time if you’re someone or anyone endowed with the incomprehensible science of planetary movement. All of this can happen only in the resplendent island of Sri Lanka. Television channels compete with each other showcasing supposedly eligible and competent souls-of-clairvoyance confidently deciphering the science to the laity. Supposed god-men  escorted to the palace in utmost secrecy for on-the-spot consultations. Those opting for greater accuracy venture the quick flight over the Palk-straits to consult professionals whose names have reached the “stars”.

Government and opposition politicians alike engage in this kind of activities whenever elections come and even during non-election times. Whether you’re a product of Oxford, Harvard or a simple coward these rituals are considered sine-quo-none and are religiously observed. To add to the saga The Jathika Hela Urumaya an ultra-nationalist party in Sri Lanka recently told the Government and President Mahinda Rajapaksa to look at the holes on the ground before looking at the stars in the sky. It seems there is spell-binding pyrotechnics already embellishing the evening skies; this can only get pretty intense no sooner the election date is officially announced. This is not a Sri Lankan thing. Authentic and confirmed records have it that even President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy were firm believers in the esoteric science.  So much for America’s faith in God and its near imperium on science.

Aluthgama ViolencePrime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa as the presidential nominee for the UPFA party at the 2005 Presidential election was not perceived as the frontrunner. Ranil Wicremesinghe was not considered the underdog either. It was this grey draping on the horizon that stumbled most political observers. The populist/ pragmatist dichotomy was in every voter’s mind.  The slender thin majority Mahinda Rajapaksa won by bears true testimony. Mahinda Rajapaksa was also seen as an outsider, not comparable to the established tradition of seasoned campaigners who aspired for high office in mother Lanka. As the incumbent Prime Minister some prominence remained focussed on him but the position was purely ceremonial. His presidential credentials yet to be tested, demeanour evolving and a style of leadership left to the imagination. On the contrary his opponent Ranil Wicremesinghe had Executive experience, exposure and international standing. Ranil  a member, an important one of the powerful Jayewardene government that achieved many a milestone in the socio-economic development in Sri Lanka. Not to mention Ranil’s short premiership immediately after the assassination of President Premadasa. Also his infamous stewardship as the Prime Minister during the presidency of Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaranatunga. These factors redounded to the credit of Ranil Wicremesinghe. Polls indicated a close fight. Experts still reminisce the neck and neck fight. They adduce many reasons for the eventual result, chief among them being the forced boycott of the LTTE which tilted the balance in favor of Mahinda Rajapakse.

One has to take cognisance of many written and unwritten rules to become President in a country like Sri Lanka. Prospective candidates put their heart and soul and work assiduously for the job, sprucing themselves and crisscrossing the country in the challenging campaign trail. Electioneering in Sri Lanka is tumultuous and turbulent.  Your life is at stake. All this just to ensure your success. A little bit of research into the history of getting into politics and election preparation in Sri Lanka may unearth strange facts. Individuals had converted to other faiths wholly compatible with the constituency just to posture their eligibility. This bears testament to what extent hopefuls would go. This also bespeaks quite loudly the existential democracy with its many contortions. It’s irreparably skewed favouring Buddhists for the top spot. The minorities are constitutionally ostracised of ever becoming the leader of the nation. Sri Lanka is still to reach the desired level of sophistication to accommodate all. This elusive inclusiveness is still a huge and visible lacuna. Sri Lanka a nation endowed with many blessings and intimately called home by millions of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians will never see a President or at least a Prime Minister emerge from the minority. This looks very unlikely, almost utopian. A Barack Hussein Obama may not emerge from Sri Lanka. His middle name for more reasons than one despised even in Sri Lanka. The prospect of a BBS invasion in a sea of vermillion red on the streets of Colombo cannot be ruled out if it was to become a reality by some stroke of a miracle.

As for Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa these weren’t issues at all in 2005. He had unique characteristics  amenable to the audience. He had waited for this day and prepared well. His persona resonated well with the masses. It was his immaculate and inimitable nationalist aura that positioned him well, passionately championing the cause of Citizen Perera.  Of late his brilliant rendition if not his unflinching jihad championing Buddhist causes had spectacularly outweighed any of his previous chivalrous efforts. It had catapulted him in rank and stature in some strategic quarters. It’s the Marketing genius in him that’s supremely admirable. Getting his SWOT analysis right and addressing them to the minutest detail. He doesn’t seem much concerned at the criticism that his actions may undermine democracy. He has absolutely no qualms in reaffirming his Buddhists credentials. He is  no neo-liberal flaunting free enterprise and democracy, but a left leaning nationalist with fire brand rhetoric targeting concise, subtle and cogent messages to his target market. Very recently he said “the Diaspora wants a puppet at the helm” think for a moment the strategic implications of this statement vis a vis his target audience, an opposition in disarray and  an impending presidential election. It will be quite insurmountable for the collective opposition to out-smart him. He’s always three steps ahead of the competition and marshalling his resources well. These strengths aided him well in 2010. Undoubtedly the catalyst was the defeat of the LTTE which earned him virtual regalia. Ordinary Buddhists  bestowed a fitting sobriquet, they called him “King Mahinda. This truly emphasizes how deep his image had gravitated in the minds of the ordinary people.

His chosen style and flamboyance utilizing a repertoire of genres available in the nationalist showroom is another achievement. He works very hard to augment his product.  Any entrepreneur knows only too well what it means to get his product stand out, stay different, be identified and remain above the competition. Whoever coached Mahinda Rajapaksa had done an excellent job. It never let him down. He had perfected the process and put to  good use. The maroon shawl can only be associated with the Rajapaksa’s and was suddenly ubiquitous by courtesy of the electronic and on-line media alike. It defies contemporary fashion for a rugged and handsome guy like Namal Rajapaksa, the President’s elder son to studiously emulate his father in dress code. He could easily walk into any one of the many Hameedia’s showrooms in town and come out with trendy, glitzy attire. But wait a minute; he knows as much as I do psychological intrusion and branding synergies cannot be sacrificed for the sake of the mundane. He’s in for the long haul. He’s indeed the chip of the old block, meticulous in both style and substance.

The unfavorable caricatures of history are replete with nebulous and nefarious innuendos as to the exact antecedents preceding his enthronement. Who cares!  He’s now the president of Sri Lanka and the de facto ruler- the jockey on the horse. His election to high office was unprecedented from many fronts. He was neither a Senanayake, nor a Bandaranaike nor was he a Premadasa. Usually a prestigious family name is seen as an asset and can be  useful in starting or ascending  an ambitious political career. This has been the norm in South Asia but not for Mahinda Rajapaksa. It was gut Determination, Strategic Positioning and an unshakable will to win.  If his candidacy was to be compared to a product it certainly had glowing attributes at every strategic level. He was not a consensus candidate, his opponents were many. How he managed to get the numbers is history now.  Winning the war in 2009 consolidated and cemented President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s position. This epic enterprise earned him near immortality and celluloid stardom. He achieved the unachievable. At a time when the nation had become insecure and despondent with little or no hope, he provided the required leadership to change things around. None of these constitute an exaggeration in any way or form. His leadership  was instrumental in extricating the nation from the abyss of war and carnage that Sri Lanka had  fallen into.

Expectations rose astronomically in post-war Sri Lanka. Naturally the citizenry were extremely hopeful of a new start.  A new era filled with peace, happiness and prosperity for all citizens, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians. A near thirty year of destruction and devastation had come to an end. There was a natural desire in the hearts of every citizen to recoup, individually and collectively. Those who were teenagers in the eighties and nineties had become fathers and mothers and were nostalgic of what they had lost, not to mention those gory days when human body parts would dangle from trees tops. Shattered rail compartments littering the ocean shore. Burnt automobiles filling the urban landscape. These were scary times and even scarier to be a teenager. The consolation their children would not go through the same dark period was a great reassurance.  People especially the minorities thought a healthy atmosphere had been restored, a new and celebratory dawn would rise with hope, peace and prosperity for all Sri Lankans. This feeling was mutual, this feeling was palpable.

With all these pregnant expectations came the stinging and malevolent undercurrent. The thud that paralysed the minorities. Without any prior warning came the minority bashing. Christians and Muslims were targeted, their places of worship attacked and vandalised. Muslims in addition to being mercilessly  attacked by the LTTE were in for their second innings. “The curtain came down in the northern theatre and had just begun to unfold in the southern”. This is how an elderly Muslim put it, trying valiantly to conceal his anxiety. He further said “A great way to pay tribute to a people who were doggedly unwilling to be treacherous”.  A people committed to plurality and peaceful co-existence. The militant and monstrous outfit called the Buddhist Bodu Bala Sena or BBS with considerable state patronage  had started a campaign of systematically demonizing the muslims. They were relentless  and inflicted fear in the hearts of the Muslims. They campaigned hard against fundamental rights enjoyed by the Muslims for centuries. It started with the Halal issue then came the near indiscriminate attacks on  Mosques and Muslims and in some cases killing them. Revisiting Aluthgama is a  painful experience. Innocent people lost lives, valuables and their houses. A retired English teacher recounted how the mob systematically destroyed her house. She was able to identify a few of her own students in the gang. The arrival of Burma’s radical hard-line Ashin Wirathu who was instrumental in fuelling the killing rampage of Rohinga Muslims in Burma. Getting the monk down was an archaic strategy to intimidate Muslims and initiate a campaign of mind control.

Politicians may employ unorthodox methods to carve, weed-out and secure their political geography, demography and psychography for their own parochial ends. These adventures though democracy enabled  not consistent with prevailing laws. Democracy a colonial left-over continues to get diluted. Its practise always fraught with violence. Public administration depended on the person and not the process. Most institutions malleable. The law enforcing apparatus reduced to mere by-standers, emasculated and made appendages of the administration.  The need for independent institutions further heightened. A life or two is a small price to pay. This is not healthy for the nation. The tacit collaboration of the government with the BBS is very frightening indeed. This kind of democracy is deceptive, distortive and destructive. It can drown us all. Lives are turned to mere numbers calculated, deleted, re-added and stored in data-drives for the future. The electorate is intelligent and informed and certainly not immature. Values are crumbling like old paint peeling off walls.

We all know of the  “San Francisco Peace Treaty’’ signed between Japan and part of the Allied Powers, officially signed by 48 nations on September 8, 1951, in San Francisco, United States.  This was a monumental day for Sri Lanka then Ceylon. A major player in providing support for a post-war free Japan was the delegation from Ceylon.  While many were reluctant to allow a free Japan capable of aggressive action and insisted that the terms of surrender should be rigidly enforced in an attempt to break the spirit of the Japanese nation, the Ceylonese Finance Minister J.R. Jayewardene spoke in defence for a free Japan. He further said “We do not intend to do so for we believe in the words of the Great Teacher [Buddha] whose message has ennobled the lives of countless millions in Asia, that ‘hatred ceases not by hatred but by love’.” He ended the same speech by saying “This treaty is as magnanimous as it is just to a defeated foe”. How can this version of Buddhism be juxtaposed with the kind of barbarism unleashed by BBS and the enactment of plain murder in Burma? This is a pernicious Buddhist ideology that has evolved to a monster in Sri Lanka, this does not auger well for the country. In the Muslim world too its leaders are grappling with issues pertaining to terrorism.  They have no regard for human life and hell bent on being faithful to their warped ideology. Islam is not ideology but revelation that was brought down to the final Messenger. The authentic scriptures are intact even today 1436 years.  Muslims well versed in the scriptures  never condone terrorism, it is to be condemned unequivocally. The Buddhist clergy are people naturally prone to peace. They are the custodians of a great philosophy whose fundamental teachings revolve round peace, love, equanimity and detachment. They should not allow extremists to hijack their religion.

Islam is also a religion of love and peace. Islam does not teach people to kill all those who disagree with them. If certain bigoted Muslims did so that is not the fault of Islam. How unjust would it be to say that Christianity is a religion that teaches violence and bloodshed by looking at  historical performance of some so-called Christians: After all, Hitler who committed genocide against the Jews, the white supremacists in  America who practiced barbarities against the blacks, the Serbs who committed genocide against the Muslims in Bosnia, those who systematically practiced mass slaughter of Muslims and Jews in Spain, and burned heretics, etc. all claimed to be Christians. What about the Christian killings in Ireland? So why use double standards in judging Islam? Stereotyping is wrong regardless of against whom we use it. What’s outwardly visible of Islam is its obedient adherence by both male and female Muslims. The female Muslim observes the divine dress code and should be allowed to go about her business without any hindrance.

What Muslims can and cannot do is not decided by them but Allah.  And I (Allah) created not the jinn’s and humans except they should worship Me (Alone)” Al Quran 51:56. Sticking to Halal dietary habits, observing the correct Islamic dress code, not partaking in usury (interest) and many more  are supreme acts of worship in Islam. So will  you find fault and get physical and even  kill a people just because they worship their Creator and strictly observe a way of life fashioned by Him? Where is your democracy for the Muslims? Aren’t they free to adhere to their religion practised by 1.8 billion people in the world? Doesn’t democracy encompass and protect Muslims in the Democratic, Socialist, and Republic of Sri Lanka? Finally on this issue I wish to draw the readers attention to a very pertinent verse in the Quran which will shatter all smoke screens Allah the Almighty says It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path” Al Quran 33:36.

Apportioning blame on Islam and Muslims for the apparent rise in terrorism and terrorist threats in the world especially in the west is at the heart of a strategy developed by vested individuals and groups whose systemic and well choreographed attacks, borne out of either ignorance, hatred or just the thrill to demonize constitute an excruciatingly painful reality of Islamophobia. A sensible, enlightened and well endowed Muslim  will assert  patience and restraint as its the thing right to do. Muslims have countless hotspots in the world. Western sponsored massacres of Muslims persist unabated. Palestine has become a veritable scoreboard which ticks every three years or so with a horrendous score reflecting deaths of children, women, and men alike. The perpetrators of these heinous crimes are the civilized democracies with an arsenal of   diabolical weapons. These perpetrators are not labelled as terrorists but as  patriots of a cultured civilization simply exercising their rights to live on stolen land. To whom can we complain these dastardly deeds? We haven’t mentioned the unarrestable haemorrhage in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and counting. Also let the Muslims be mindful just because the Muslims are at the receiving end it does not warrant unsolicited heroes to respond and compound the already volatile situation. For sure this can only exacerbate the situation and trigger further bloodletting. We wish to advise Muslims prone to radicalism to exercise restraint. They should understand their actions can  prove counter-productive. We could ill-afford to be unwise and emotional.  The Qur’an says about the prohibition of murder, “Take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus does He command you, that ye may learn wisdom” Al-An`am: 151.

Even the discerning Buddhist today witnesses many social aberrations not necessarily compatible with Buddhist values.  He knows very well these values are alien. These aren’t values the Buddha came with. This is a worrisome situation. This pristine philosophy industriously preserved by devoted disciples over a period spanning 2000 years has been subjected to many distortions by a bunch of extremists for cheap political gain. Even the administrations have shown scant disregard on occasions. There seems to be a carte blanche exercised by the administration. This is unhealthy for the nation in the long run. The hijacking of a religion by extremists should be a wakeup call for all. Pseudo-scholars and students have gradually abandoned the true teachings in favor of unauthorized sources for social and political gain. They have been shaping a creed for the masses based on inauthentic sources. The true and trustworthy scholars of Islam did not keep quiet in the face of deviation. Remaining mum is not an option for the scholars because Allah in His majestic Quran commands the Prophet thus Say are those who know and those who don’t equal?” (39:9 )   “

The council of Muslim scholars have relentlessly refuted and warned the Muslim nation against these terrorists. Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, the much revered and respected scholar Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh Hafdahullah, has called fighting ISIL “a duty”. This is the kind of response that should be meted out to deal with terrorism or extremism. Sri Lanka should certainly know better because she knows all about terrorism. You cannot fight and mollycoddle terrorism at the same time. Terrorism is certainly not the exclusive prerogative or preserve of the Muslims. Even the so called civilised world has unleashed atrocious acts of terrorism. They have done it in the past, they are doing it now and they surely can do it in the   future. The success of Islam and Muslims will never, ever be dependent on   terrorism. It need not be, it never was and it never will. If any group thinks violence is a sanctioned methodology they’re sadly mistaken. Islam did not come for ethnic Muslims alone but to all mankind. How can something that came to all mankind be relegated and condemned? Islam is the Final message from the creator. Its persistent demonization is a worry and heartache for the true believer. Extremism is not just an issue for the west to deal; it’s an issue that must be addressed by all.  Dragging these individuals to Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghuraib and Bagram are nonsensically unworkable strategies. We want to solve the problem not aggravate it. A deviant ideology cannot be eradicated by meting out physical punishment. The arrogant west has lost the war on terror due to its singular focus.

Coming back to the campaign trail, maintaining the peace and working towards the common prosperity of the people was indeed the difficult part.  Just as when we thought that Mahinda Rajapaksa would effortlessly stretch his monumental victories to his advantage his popularity had  begun to  plummet thus putting into question his electoral invincibility. The results of the Uva Provincial Council  quite revealing. It portends a big fight for the ruling party. In the same light it must be forcefully reiterated that  President Mahinda Rajapaksa is a fighter. He can move things even single handedly.  He is three times the politician people think he is. Highly adept, unimaginably shrewd with a profound understanding of his people. He knows what to do at situations like these. The Muslims also want to talk to  him and extend their support to him. Let’s not forget he is the President for all Sri Lankans, Muslims have pressing and crucial issues concerning their freedoms and privations. The Muslims want an audience with the President. Many are the grievances of the Muslims and this may be an opportune moment for frank discussions.

Suddenly it’s all about 2015. This time it’s going to be different than 2005 or 2010. The realities are stark. There is growing disenchantment and discontent in every stratum. Prices of essentials had sky-rocketed, rampant corruption and political manoeuvring the order of the day, no system of check and balance, national wealth wantonly usurped. Corruption no doubt was a contagion with a malignant strain. If  figures shown by the opposition is anything to go by Ebola would certainly pale into insignificance. Salaries  remained unrevised, Inflation is high, public spending very high and without any trace of accountability, Debt has hit the grand trillions. Minorities marginalised, mocked and maligned and prone to violence and death. Hard-line Buddhist extremism had increased leaps and bounds. Last but not least youth rebellion in universities continues unabated. Sociologically suicides had increased; mothers had committed suicide with their children.

Its undeniable the ugly head of social contamination is insidiously creeping .Not the workings of the pre-dominant Buddhist populace who’re peaceful but a motley few who have an entrenched political agenda. Trust the enlightened Buddhist scholarship  will rise to the occasion   just the way  Islamic scholars had done. The true apostle of Buddha is not in favor of the growing distortions. The extreme version of Buddhism is tarnishing its image. Usama bin Laden and ISIL are no mainstream representatives of Islam just as Hitler and Mussolini were no mainstream representatives of Christianity. These very names of terrorists have been indiscriminately used manipulated by the media to the advantage of a few to perpetuate an agenda. Today Muslims of Sri Lanka cannot conceal their anxiety anymore. Aren’t those who kill the innocent terrorists themselves?

If marginalizing Muslims is a calculated electoral strategy, I am afraid it can only boomerang. The friendship that exists between the Sinhalese and Muslims at the grassroots is very strong;   this friendship has survived from times spanning centuries. The Muslims co-existed in peace and never proved treacherous and never will. Once again our testimony is redundant here. Politicians may want to overlook this strong bond of unity but simple, ordinary   people at the village level wouldn’t. Muslims have successfully integrated and proved over and over again that they’re not traitors.  Our friendship and loyalty even with the ancient kings were in good stead.  Any fool can goad a mob and occasion wanton destruction and pandemonium; this cannot be a substantive reason to undermine strong bonds. All mobs do the same in most democracies and this is unfortunate. Marginalizing any community constitutes a gross travesty of democracy. Democracy is supposed to fortify social cohesion and not encourage division, suppression, isolation and victimization.  This kind of irresponsible behaviour and near lawlessness can precipitate irreparable social damage and an   erosion of confidence. This will not auger well for a nation that’s targeting a whopping 2.5 million tourists to visit this beautiful land by 2016.  Let’s get real for a moment and leave realpolitik behind. Surely Sri Lanka does not have a supremacist form of governance.

The socio-political and economic contributions of the Muslims are deeply rooted. Turn any book on the subject and history will relate  benign and romantic anecdotes. Muslims were made welcome in every area of this country. They were welcome in the Kandyan Kingdom. They were integrated into Kandyan society primarily by giving them duties which related to the King’s administration. They were made a part of the Madige Badda or Transport Department. They were allowed to trade in arecanut, which was a royal monopoly. The Muslims from Uva, which was near the saltrens, had to bring salt as part of their obligatory service. Muslims also functioned as weavers, tailors, barbers, and lapidarists .Muslims also functioned as physicians, and presumably they practised Unani medicine. Muslim physicians were the Gopala Moors of Gataberiya in the Kegalle District. The family traces its pedigree to a physician from Islamic Spain, whose descendants migrated to the Sind in Northern India, Another important function of the Muslims in the Kandyan Court, was that they acted as envoys to the King. One Muslim envoy had been sent to the Nawab of Carnatic. Another had been sent to Pondicherry soliciting French assistance against the Dutch. It’s doubly clear the close relations Muslims had with the establishment and the people.

The Muslims of Sri Lanka are a creative people. They are proud of their country. The Muslims are adept at business. The Prophet of Islam (may Allah exalt his mention) was a merchant and an excellent one at it. Business comes to most Muslims quite naturally. There is a perception that majority of Muslims in Sri Lanka are pro UNP (United National Party). First and foremost it’s no one’s business to question the political affiliations of Muslims.  It’s their inalienable right to vote or not to vote to a person or party. For what’s it worth let’s explore this perception in some detail. Muslims don’t have an unbridled loyalty for the UNP, such an idea is frivolous, dismissive if not utterly nonsensical. Certainly it’s the UNP  that first  liberalized the economy. This happened in the year 1977. We as Sri Lankans   agree unless someone is amnesic that this  was an unprecedented milestone in the history of the country. This shaped the commercial prowess of our great nation. This near economic revolution restored confidence in the markets and facilitated a major fillip for trade, the rest is history. When the UNP eventually lost power in 1994 it had ruled the country for almost 17 years. How do you expect a people not to like an economic system that benefited all and sundry? A market economy has greater chances of resilience and stability than a command economy practised prior to 1977 – this should be a no brainer to most.  The Muslims of Sri Lanka supported pragmatic policies not didactic heresies. History has proven we did the right thing. We the Muslims will uphold and support anything that offers succour to all citizens. We have no blinded loyalty to any party but to pragmatics.

Buddhist values as elucidated by the Buddha are not inimical to the minorities but not the toxic version of the BBS . The foe here is not Buddhism but democracy. A painful fact has to be admitted. Sri Lankans are either not allowed to harness the full potential of a vibrant democracy or deliberately stifled and the progress ably impeded.  Democracy is used as a tool for self-aggrandisement and play. If a political system is dividing, alienating, corrupting and killing its people let’s look at ways of changing it or look elsewhere. As a member of the minority I’ll be more secure in this country under a benevolent King like in the olden days than a self-professed democrat.  A wise guy once said “The concept of the will of the people is dangerously arbitrary. Certainly not worthy of being the foundation of a rational and practical political system”

Democracy can be perverted by Machiavellian politics and politicians. Democracy certainly takes count of heads but not weights. Every politician who embraces democracy is not a Lincoln or Kennedy. Today in majority government’s due process is disregarded with impunity; minority governments have a malaise of gridlock and impasse. This is the new order. This is bad for the people. It’s the current narrative in America, Sri Lanka and most countries in the world. In the United States of America the government comes to a screeching halt every year due to acrimonious gridlock on the debt ceiling. The eventual losers are the people. This is a monumental irony. Democracy was supposed to empower all people not disempower or impoverish them.  Democracy needs sincere leaders but sincere leaders don’t need democracy.

The ancient kings of Sri Lanka knew nothing about what our politicians know today of democracy or the lack of it. They never imposed undue restrictions on fundamental rights on minorities. They did not stifle the natural flow hence they were resoundingly more successful than there modern compatriots. This is the very essence of sincerity of purpose I wish to emphasize here. Simplicity radiates profundity, Complexity fraught with misery. People to people contact should be kept simple and the natural flow encouraged. In this case the minorities should be treated with respect, dignity and equality just the way it was during the days of monarchy. If treachery becomes manifest and covenant breached punishment should ensue. Even in breach the state should not shirk from justice, no excesses, no collective punishment, nothing extra- judicial.  I wish to reiterate I would love to give my vote for a benevolent dictator than a self-professed democrat.

It’s kind of a disgrace for the present Sri Lankan government to countenance situations where its own citizens have to constantly clamour and agitate for their fundamental rights so eloquently and lusciously enshrined in the constitution. It’s like the child crying for milk. The child is aware that the milk is there yet the mother deprives and denies the child milk. Isn’t this kind of mother an evil mother? Some of the rights currently under threat vis a vis Muslims of Sri Lanka are shown below encrypted in the acronym REAL.

  1. Religious Freedom
  2. Economic Opportunity
  3. Assurance of the right to procreate sans being ridiculed or demonised.
  4. Life held in sanctity.

Let’s analyse each one of these in some amount of detail. To most Muslims in Sri Lanka and the world the right to worship their Lord is sacred and not-negotiable. A Muslim may endure extreme poverty for prolonged periods of time but won’t be able to pass a single day without worshipping his Lord. This is essentially the five daily prayers, men in the mosques and women in their homes.  The right to practise ones religion is universal and rigorously protected by various international bodies. None-Muslims living in Muslim countries have the same right but wrongfully  deprived in some countries by extremists. I don’t speak for extremists. Additionally religious infrastructure must keep pace with changes in the demography. This shouldn’t be a difficult thing to understand. Muslims never asked for a separate state in Sri Lanka but for their very basic rights. The other issue at hand is the female dress code. The female dress code was not designed by Calvin Klein but by the Lord of the Worlds, who is The Best of Designers. If the buxom Chinese tourist from Shanghai can walk with her bikini in the salubrious climes of Hikkaduwa why not the Sri Lankan citizen walk with her  own dress in her own country? Isn’t this outrageously duplicitous?

Secondly shouldn’t economic freedom be equal to all?  This too is a very fundamental right presently under threat for the Muslims. Any citizen should be able to start a business anywhere in the country without the fear of damage or destruction from vandals or extremist organizations. Muslim businessman and industrialists alike suffered heavy damage at the hands of the BBS. This is very unfortunate. Most of the employees in these organizations were young, enterprising Sinhalese lads just keen in doing a job and earning a  salary.  We sincerely wish there will be no more attacks and all properties will be treated as sacred.

Thirdly the issue of Procreation or having children has become another major issue. I simply cannot understand why this was allowed to go so long. His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa is the proud father of three wonderful and handsome sons. How many Buddhists had even thought of following our President on this noble deed? Yes it is a very noble deed. We as Muslims firmly believe that children are a gift from Allah. Muslims do not look at financial sufficiency or security prior to having children.  Their faith is integral and holistic; they’re fully aware  that everything happens as per the will of Allah- The Creator of The Heavens and Earths. Since of late Muslims of Sri Lanka had to endure a lot of humiliation on account of this.  A notable demagogue in the cabinet recently said that the Buddhists will not be the majority in Sri Lanka in another fifty years.  For a start Muslims have no intention whatsoever to become the majority. However its quite puzzling how  a responsible minister makes such statements and continues to repeat them at every strategic event?

I consider it very important that rulers and ruling administrations make attempts to have some rudimentary understanding of  minorities and their religious beliefs. This can bridge the knowledge gap. There is so much misunderstanding and misinformation about Islam people exploit , especially extremists like the BBS who concoct blatant lies just to have a swipe at Islam. They must understand and make note that Islam has forbidden celibacy (state of not being married), monasticism (life of monks & nuns) and castration (removal of the male glands)  The final Messenger sent to all mankind just before the hour (may Allah exalt his mention ) made this very clear when he told those companions who were considering acetic forms of life: He emphatically said  “I pray and I sleep; I fast and I break my fast; and I marry women. Whoever turns away from my way of life is not from me.”  Allah  said in His final message The Quran: “Kill not your children because of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them” (al-Anaam : 151) Hence mankind should never abort or kill their children out of fear of poverty. It is Allah who provides for them all.

Finally the sanctity of life must be preserved at all times. The majority group has a legal, moral and ethical duty to protect the minorities throughout the country. This is an all-embracing duty of the government. In a multi-ethnic country like Sri Lanka elections are opportune moments to address issues and grievances. It’s the sincere wish of every Sri Lankan Muslim that these pressing issues are addressed once and for all and a firm resolution elicited. Many are the goals our motherland has set. Together we can do it. YES WE CAN.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 8
    9

    Muslim terrorists are not limited to SL. Muslim terrorists are in almost every country.

    It is a global problem.

    • 8
      3

      Rise of MR = Fall of Nation

      Today we have Problems that never thought would be arrising. THanks go to MR and his oligarchs. We never had this Kind Problems related to Islamists but today MR and his reglious Forces make them. We the buddhists are being betrayed by MR and thugs for their political surivival

    • 4
      2

      You mustn’t believe everything that the newspapers say without doing your own research. It’s your prerogative to be lazy, but stop advertizing it. The so called Muslim terrorists mainly harm other Muslims. Even so, it depends on who’s talking. E.g. The abomination of the IS terrorists beheading the 2 journalists made headline news all around the world. But, the Saudis routinely behead 20-30 people a month but hardly a murmur because the Saudi serve the Western interests. The Burmese Buddhists have murdered hundreds of Muslim Rohingyas through their ethnic cleansing program but on that even the Human Rights stalwart, Aung San Su Kyi is strangely quiet.

    • 4
      1

      Pray, tell us who are these Muslim terrorists of SL that you refer to? Has anyone been caught in the act? The only terrorism we know in SL, was carried out under the name of LTTE, but still to see a Muslim terrorist. Thalaiver, you seem to simply follow the swarm without thinking. So go ahead and have your say.

  • 6
    1

    Why is ISIS killing Islamic sects other than Sunni Wahhabis?

    Do they want everybody including the Christians to follow their faith or be killed? If that is so, it is intolerance of the highest degree.

    Does Islam teach followers to kill non-believers?

    • 2
      2

      Nishthar Idroos –

      RE: Thiru’s Questions.

      Q1. “Why is ISIS killing Islamic sects other than Sunni Wahhabis? “

      Q2. “Do they want everybody including the Christians to follow their faith or be killed? If that is so, it is intolerance of the highest degree. “

      Q3. “Does Islam teach followers to kill non-believers? “

      Excellent Questions. The Problem the Muslims have is that they are reluctant to Call the Wahhabis and their Clones, Satan, The Iblis, Iblees. One Saudi said that the ISIL and ISIL are doing what they could not do in a Million years to Expose the Satanic Wahhabis.

      1. A Simple answer is that the Wahhabis Follow the Devil, Iblis, Iblees, Shaitan, Lucifer. The Satan has appointed the Wahhabi to take over Islam ( They took over Mecca and Medina, and destroying Islamic Heritage there).

      Since the Wahhabis follow the Satan, they want harass and kill all Muslims who follow God, Allah to be harassed and killed. Wahhabis did that 200 years ago. Wahhabi clones ISIS, ISIL, Tsaliban, Boko Haram, Deobandi etc. do that to various degrees. In the Quran, there are over 25 Citations to Satan, Devil, Iblis, including a Hadith, Hadith of Najd.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith_of_Najd

      2. Wahhabis and their clones ISIL, ISILs, Taliban,are not Muslims. They Follow the devil Satan. Iblis Lucifer. They do not like anybody worshiping God or Allah, period. That is Satan’s Desire.

      Q3. Islan does not teach Followers to kill non-Muslims, or even Muslims. These are all Wahhabi Satan interpretations.

      Muslim Scholars Release Open Letter To Islamic State Meticulously Blasting Its Ideology.

      They should be using Iblees, instead of Islamic to refer to ISIS or ISIL, the Wahhabi Spin off.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/24/muslim-scholars-islamic-state_n_5878038.html

      Enumerating its atrocities — the mass rape of women, the gunning down of children, the starvation of religious minorities — Obama concluded: “No God condones this terror.”

      Read the full letter here.

      http://lettertobaghdadi.com/index.php

      Here is the executive summary of their letter:

      1. It is forbidden in Islam to issue fatwas without all the necessary learning requirements. Even then fatwas must follow Islamic legal theory as defined in the Classical texts. It is also forbidden to cite a portion of a verse from the Qur’an—or part of a verse—to derive a ruling without looking at everything that the Qur’an and Hadith teach related to that matter. In other words, there are strict subjective and objective prerequisites for fatwas, and one cannot ‘cherry-pick’ Qur’anic verses for legal arguments without considering the entire Qur’an and Hadith.

      2. It is forbidden in Islam to issue legal rulings about anything without mastery of the Arabic language.

      3. It is forbidden in Islam to oversimplify Shari’ah matters and ignore established Islamic sciences.

      4. It is permissible in Islam [for scholars] to differ on any matter, except those fundamentals of religion that all Muslims must know.

      5. It is forbidden in Islam to ignore the reality of contemporary times when deriving legal rulings.

      6. It is forbidden in Islam to kill the innocent.

      7. It is forbidden in Islam to kill emissaries, ambassadors, and diplomats; hence it is forbidden to kill journalists and aid workers.

      8. Jihad in Islam is defensive war. It is not permissible without the right cause, the right purpose and without the right rules of conduct.

      9. It is forbidden in Islam to declare people non-Muslim unless he (or she) openly declares disbelief.

      10. It is forbidden in Islam to harm or mistreat—in any way—Christians or any ‘People of the Scripture’.

      11. It is obligatory to consider Yazidis as People of the Scripture.

      12. The re-introduction of slavery is forbidden in Islam. It was abolished by universal consensus.

      13. It is forbidden in Islam to force people to convert.

      14. It is forbidden in Islam to deny women their rights.

      15. It is forbidden in Islam to deny children their rights.

      16. It is forbidden in Islam to enact legal punishments (hudud) without following the correct procedures that ensure justice and mercy.

      17. It is forbidden in Islam to torture people.

      18. It is forbidden in Islam to disfigure the dead.

      19. It is forbidden in Islam to attribute evil acts to God.

      20. It is forbidden in Islam to destroy the graves and shrines of Prophets and Companions.

      21. Armed insurrection is forbidden in Islam for any reason other than clear disbelief by the ruler and not allowing people to pray.

      22. It is forbidden in Islam to declare a caliphate without consensus from all Muslims.

      23. Loyalty to one’s nation is permissible in Islam.

      24. After the death of the Prophet, Islam does not require anyone to emigrate anywhere.

      • 3
        2

        Thanks Amarasiri, you write so much in defense of Islam, and it needs to be appreciated. It is even better than we Muslims do to defend our own religion Islam. That said, we also respect and understand your views and feelings on the concept of God. If you say ‘There is no God’, we Muslims add the words ‘except Allah’ to complete it.

        Also there is absolutely no way to expect a Muslim to call another Muslim by names such as Iblis, Shaitan or whatever derogatory term, be they Wahabis, Salafis, Shi’ite, Sunni or whatever. This can cause a major issue and create discord. So we just smile, greet each other with our formal salutation and go our separate ways. We can only pray to Allah for sanity to prevail. We sincerely believe HE has total control over us.

        But as you rightly indicate, Islam means Peace and submission to the will of Allah. There is no killing permitted in Islam, except in self defense, and to carry out a judgement decreed by law.

        • 2
          0

          Marwan

          “Thanks Amarasiri, you write so much in defense of Islam, and it needs to be appreciated. “

          It is not in defense of or against Islam, Buddhism, Christianity or any other belief or science. It is related to historical records, facts and issues that impacted different religions and their core beliefs. Religions played and play such an important role in today’s society and the human ethics have been severally impacted by religious beliefs. One cannot understand human civilization, without learning and understanding the core-beliefs. The believers refuse to look at their beliefs critically, and white-wash the deficiencies, based on brain washing exposed from an from an early age.

          Even today, 25% of the Americans and Europeans ( Average IQ 100) still believe the Sun goes around the Earth. For south Asian and Middle Easterners ( Average I.Q. around 82), probably 50% believe so. Now guess how much these people know about their OWN religion, and OTHERS Religion?

          http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/14/277058739/1-in-4-americans-think-the-sun-goes-around-the-earth-survey-says

          So, are the Wahhabis and their clones Iblees, Iblis, Devil, Satan, Lucifer Followers?

          Are the BBS, Sinhala Ravya and others Mara, who Opposed Buddha, Followers of Mara?

          Their actions speak for themselves, and give circumstantial evidence for my hypothesis.

        • 1
          0

          Marwan

          “Also there is absolutely no way to expect a Muslim to call another Muslim by names such as Iblis, Shaitan or whatever derogatory term, be they Wahabis, Salafis, Shi’ite, Sunni or whatever. This can cause a major issue and create discord. So we just smile, greet each other with our formal salutation and go our separate ways. We can only pray to Allah for sanity to prevail. We sincerely believe HE has total control over us.”

          There are two types of Muslims. Those who call a spade, a spade, and those who do not want to call a spade, a spade, called Cowards.

          Here are the Muslims, who call a spade, a Spade, and those who call Wahhabi and their clones, Iblis, Satan etc.

          Al-Qaeda, ISIS have no regard for human life, that’s why I left – ex British jihadist

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrVFflAAM8c

          The Public Speech Of Iblis || Saytan || Devil || by Abu Abdullah Al Britani

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3gpqECwOGA

          Published on Aug 6, 2013
          Global Tawheed: Working to establish the right of Allah on earth.

        • 1
          0

          Marwan

          “Also there is absolutely no way to expect a Muslim to call another Muslim by names such as Iblis, Shaitan or whatever derogatory term, be they Wahabis, Salafis, Shi’ite, Sunni or whatever. “

          We are not talking about another Muslim. We are talking about People who call themselves Muslim, who have hijacked Islam, misled true Muslims, when in fact they, the pretenders, are Shaitan, Satan, Iblis followers like the Wahhabisand their clones. If the true Muslims DOI NOT denounce the Wahhabi Iblis, they are Iblis too, just like Kuffar, unbelievers.

          Do you want to know what Islam is all about? See what 120 Muslin scholars have to say, and compare that to Iblis Wahhabism and their clones such as ISIS actions.

          Muslim Scholars Release Open Letter To Islamic State Meticulously Blasting Its Ideology. They should be using Iblees, instead of Islamic to refer to ISIS or ISIL, the Wahhabi Spin off.

          Read the full letter here. http://lettertobaghdadi.com/index.php

    • 3
      2

      Thanks Nisthar. A good missive. It covers many angles of Muslims and their points of view.

      What ISIS is doing does not fall within the Islamic context. Theirs is a power struggle along political lines, to retake the reins of power that once was theirs under the leadership of Saddam Hussein a Sunni Muslim, over the Shi’ite majority. Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, a Shi’ite leader propped up by George Bush and the US was not at a polished Statesman, but a weak leader scared of losing his grip on power, and therefore never trusted Sunni influence to have any say in his government. A big mistake. He was totally dependent on US protectionism and on George Bush to give him succor. When GB left office, NAM missed him a lot, and felt isolated and extremely vulnerable. Eventually things took a turn when ISIS was born and this completely backfired on NAM. They ISIS started to take their revenge against NAM through all that pent-up frustration, and although they were fighting a political battle, managed to give it a religious twist by calling it a Holy War or Jihad. In essence, hijacked the religion of Islam to serve their own interests by calling for volunteers to fight their battle, and some young people around the world have mistakenly obliged and fallen for it. Now they realize their mistake, but there is little they can do but continue the fight to the bitter end.

      So, please don’t ask us Muslims why ISIS is cutting people’s throats and whether that is part of Islamic faith, as it has nothing to do with Islam. But in way war situation, people do kill their enemies. Be it by guns and bullets, bombs and shells, bows and arrows or by beheading or hanging until they, i.e. one or the other meets with death. Whichever way, the ultimate goal is to kill or get killed in the process. Now for god’s sake, please don’t think I am trying to defend ISIS, as I too dislike them for inviting so much hatred towards Islam and Muslims through their heinous acts, as do many other Muslims that I know.

      • 1
        0

        Marwan and Nishtar,

        “What ISIS is doing does not fall within the Islamic context. Theirs is a power struggle along political lines, to retake the reins of power”

        Here are the Muslims, who call a spade, a Spade, and those who call Wahhabi and their clones, Iblis, Satan etc. Al-Qaeda, ISIS have no regard for human life, that’s why I left – ex British jihadist

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrVFflAAM8c

        92% of Saudi, Wahhabi support ISIS. Why?
        Because they BOTH follow IBLIS.

        When they killed 200 ISIs Terrorists, ejho follow the IbLIS inIraq, they found 10% or 20 were Saudis.

        Saudis follow the Iblis, and are thre to destroy Islam from within.

        If you want to save Islam, get rid of the Saudi Wahhbi virus and their clones such as ISIS, ISIL etc.

        http://lettertobaghdadi.com/index.php

  • 4
    1

    Mr Idroos is quoting selective lines from the Koran. There is a lot more than this which shows a violent, unforgiving, cruel, medieval religion much like Christianity in the Old Testament.

    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/index.htm

    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/index.htm

    • 2
      1

      Taraki,
      The Old Testament predates Christianity, hence broadly called ‘Judaic’ and it was not monotheistic either, though attempts are made to brush aside the other deities from the ‘modern’ texts. It undoubtably celebrates the violence brought upon the various Canaanite groups, city-states, at the time.

      The Christians too had their dismal past, better known and documented because it was more recent. The Judaics arogantly refer to a Judeo-Christian heritage when they want the Christians to do their bidding, but bristle at the mention of Judeo-Islam, even though Islam too has a Judaic heritage. Today the two two groups are at each others throats, not mainly because of theological differeces but because of the zeal to control the natural resources.

    • 0
      3

      The website name says it all. Either it is misquoted or taken out of context. No religion will promote indiscriminate violence, insults and killing against opposing views. There has to be a background in every instance. Sometimes it could be in the form of a strong verbal rebuttal, or at times warrant a fitting response from a position of strength, in order to get a handle on the situation. This is what Allah Almighty is advising through His Quranic revelations. Giving moral courage to Muslims fighting in a war situation, fighting in the face of adversity either in numbers, weapons or strategy. Never to lose hope of winning, and to take the fight to the enemy. Always remain steadfast in faith. Never give up and surrender, nor become resigned to fate. Never to decamp and flee (turn traitor or apostate) when confronted by the enemy. Even if it means giving up your life for the sake of Islam – martyred (Shaheed in Arabic). Probably these verses are cherry picked and taken in isolation in order to create the kind of hysteria and phobia against the true teachings of Islam. We are now aware how these Quranic verses have been compiled into ‘mud cakes’ to sling at Muslims at the said websites.

      If you are so keen to understand – Why Islam, or, Who are true Muslims, or even Does the Quran truly promote violence, then it is upto you to watch the available material on Youtube like ‘Is Islam a religion of peace’ – Mehdi Hassen, his rebuttal at the Oxford Union debate. There is so much out there to gain an understanding why various people like Joshua Evans decided to accept Islam as his religion of choice. Join Nouhman Ali Khan’s study circle, or simply listen to his lectures on selected verses of the Holy Quran. Or even watch and learn from our very own rising star, up and coming Sri Lankan Sheikh Muiz Bukhari, to learn and understand a few things all Islamic. Then there is another international star in Ismael Menk from Zimbabwe. I can assure you, you will get hooked and you will never regret it. Get all your info on Islam from the right sources, not from some benign source which has only a meagre following of bigots who leech info from such sights to lash out and quench their lust towards ‘Islam bashing’ or better still ‘Muslim bashing’ or both.

  • 1
    3

    Tharaki.
    you arr selective as well.
    look at muslim history . for many centuries non muslims have been living in muslim countries and still they do like jews and Christians in Morocco, Turkey and many countries.
    how is it possible if islam asks to kill non- muslims. it is some fanatics do that. blame them not islam.
    do not you read verses of justice, mercy; and kindness in Quran. how come 114 chapters of Quran start with the name of most merciful and kind. you are really wrong. open your heart with clean mind and do some research. do not be like those fanatics.

    • 1
      0

      Well that’s it isn’t it? People who believe in Holy books have to accept the whole book including its contradictions. Crazy guys.

  • 6
    2

    When allowed Islam has evolved into peaceful religious sects.

    But, modern muslim sects are just primitive barbarians. They are trying to take over the world.

    That is why I blame Quran. Quran allows mullahs and Clerics to interpret the Quran the way they want. That is why Islam is becoming is becoming extremist.

    I believe that only the Animals submit and surrender to humans as the humans are intelligent. When another human saying that he is the prophet, if he says that every one submit to him or what he said, a human, in this case Mohammad, has fooled his followers.

    So, the followers should understand that they are not thinking when they don’t question the quran.

    In brief, muslims are dumb when they don’t question what is written in Quran.

  • 2
    3

    As muslims we should not be apologist.

  • 1
    3

    @Jim Hardy,

    What they say about Islaam, the Qur’an and Muhammad

    “Islam is the fastest-growing religion in America, a guide and pillar of stability for many of our people…” HILLARY RODMAN CLINTON, Los Angeles Times.

    Already more than a billion-people strong, Islam is the world’s fastest-growing religion. ABCNEWS, Abcnews.com

    “Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the country.” NEWSDAY.

    “Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the United States…” NEW YORK TIMES.

    Moslems are the world’s fastest-growing group…” USA TODAY, The population referance bureau

    “Muhammed is the most successful of all Prophets and religious personalities. ” Encyclopedia Britannica

    “There are more Muslims in North America then Jews Now.” Dan Rathers, ABCNEWS

    “Islam is the fastest growing religion in North America.” TIMES MAGAZINE

    “Islam continues to grow in America, and no one can doubt that!” CNN,

    “The religion of Islam is growing faster than any other religion in the world.” MIKE WALLACE, 60 MINUTES

    “Five to 6 million strong, Muslims in America already outnumber Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Mormons, and they are more numerous than Quakers, Unitarians, Seventh-day Adventists, Mennonites, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Christian Scientists, combined. Many demographers say Islam has overtaken Judaism as the country’s second-most commonly practiced religion; others say it is in the passing lane.” JOHAN BLANK, USNEWS

    “In fact, religion experts say Islam is the second-largest religion in the United States… Islam has 8 million to 10 million members, followed by Judaism, with approximately 6 million….. And Islam is believed to be fastest-growing religion in the country, with half its expansion coming from new immigrants and the other half from conversions.” By ELSA C. ARNETT Knight-Ridder News Service

    Professor Keith Moore, one of the world’s prominent scientists of anatomy and embryology. University of Toronto, Canada It has been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Qur’aan about human development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God, or ‘Allah’, because almost all of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of Allah.

    “But Islam has a still further service to render to the cause of humanity. It stands after all nearer to the real East than Europe does, and it possesses a magnificent tradition of inter-racial understanding and cooperation. No other society has such a record of success uniting in an equality of status, of opportunity, and of endeavours so many and so various races of mankind . . . Islam has still the power to reconcile apparently irreconcilable elements of race and tradition. If ever the opposition of the great societies of East and West is to be replaced by cooperation, the mediation of Islam is an indispensable condition. In its hands lies very largely the solution of the problem with which Europe is faced in its relation with East. If they unite, the hope of a peaceful issue is immeasurably enhanced. But if Europe, by rejecting the cooperation of Islam, throws it into the arms of its rivals, the issue can only be disastrous for both.” –H.A.R. Gibb, WHITHER ISLAM, London, 1932, p. 379.

    “It (Islam) replaced monkishness by manliness. It gives hope to the slave, brotherhood to mankind, and recognition of the fundamental facts of human nature.” –Canon Taylor, Paper read before the Church Congress at Walverhamton, Oct. 7, 1887; Quoted by Arnoud in THE PREACHING OF ISLAM, pp. 71-72.

    The founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammed. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he? ” Lamartine, Historie de la Turquie, Paris 1854, Vol. 11 pp. 276-2727

    “If a man like Muhammed were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness.” George Bernard Shaw

    “How, for instance, can any other appeal stand against that of the Moslem who, in approaching the pagan, says to him, however obscure or degraded he may be ‘Embrace the faith, and you are at once equal and a brother.’ Islam knows no color line.” (S. S. Leeder, VEILED MYSTERIES OF EGYPT)

    Professor William W. Hay is one of the best known marine scientists in the United States. satellite photography and emote-sensing techniques. Professor Hay replied: I find it very interesting that this sort of information is in the ancient scripture of the Holy Qur’aan, and I have no way of knowing where they would come from, but I think it is extremely interesting that they are there and that this work is going on to discover it, the meaning of some of the passages. Professor Hay: Well, I would think it must be the divine being!

    Professor Yushudi Kusan: Director of the Tokyo Observatory,
    I can say, I am very mush impressed by finding true astronomical facts in the Qur’aan.

    Professor Alfred Kroner who is one of the world’s most famous geologists
    “Thinking about many of these questions and thinking where Muhammad came from, he was after all a bedouin. I think it is almost impossible that he could have known about things like the common origin of the universe, because scientists have only found out within the last few years with very complicated and advanced technological methods that this is the case.

    Dr. T.V.N. Persaud is a Professor of Anatomy and Head of the Department of Anatomy, and a professor of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He is the author or editor of 25 books, and has published over 181 scientific papers. In 1991, he received the most distinguished award presented in the field of anatomy in Canada. “It seems to me that Muhammad was a very ordinary man. He could not read or write. In fact, he was illiterate. We are talking about 1400 years ago. You have someone who was illiterate making profound pronouncement and statements and are amazingly accurate about scientific nature. I personally cannot see how this could be mere chance. There are too many accuracy’s and, like Dr. Moore, I have no difficulty in my mind in concerning that this is a divine inspiration or revelation which led him to these statements.”

    Joe Leigh Simpson, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the North Western University in Chicago in the United States of America. Professor Simpson said: It follows, I think, that not only is there no conflict between genetics and religion, but in fact religion can guide science by adding revelation to some traditional scientific approaches. That there exists statements in the Qur’aan shown by science to be valid, which supports knowledge in the Qur’aan having been derived from Allah.

    Professor Palmer a scientist from the U.S.
    We need research into the history of early Middle Eastern oral traditions to know whether in fact such historical events have been reported. If there is no such record, it strengthens the belief that Allah transmitted through Muhammad bits of his knowledge that we have only discovered for ourselves in recent times. We look forward to a continuing dialogue on the topic of science in the Qur’aan in the context of geology. Thank you very much.

    Professor Tagata Tagasone, formerly Head of the Department of Anatomy and Embryology at the University of Shiang Mai in Thailand. He is now the Dean of the College of the Medicine at the University. From my studies and from what I have learned throughout this conference, I believe that everything that has been recorded in the Qur’aan 1400 years ago must be the truth, that can be proved by the scientific means. Since the Prophet Muhammad could neither read nor write, Muhammad must be a messenger who relayed this truth which was revealed to him as an enlightenment by the One Who is an eligible Creator. This Creator must be Allah, or Allah. Therefore, I think this is the time to say ‘Laa ilaaha illallah’, that there is no Allah to worship except Allah, ‘Muhammad Rasool Allah’, Muhammad is messenger of Allah…

    Professor Armstrong, Scientist works at NASA, I am impressed that how remarkably some of the ancient writings seem to correspond to modern and recent Astronomy. There may well have to be something beyond what we understand as ordinary human experience to account for the writings that we have seen.

    Professor Dorja Rao, It is difficult to imagine that this type of knowledge was existing at that time, around 1400 years back. May be some of the things they have simple idea about, but do describe those things in great detail is very difficult. So, this is definitely not a simple human knowledge.

    “My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular level.” –Michael H. Hart, THE 100: A RANKING OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS IN HISTORY, New York: Hart Publishing Company, Inc., 1978, p. 33.

    “No other society has such a record of success in uniting in an equality of status, of opportunity and endeavour so many and so varied races of mankind. The great Muslim communities of Africa, India and Indonesia, perhaps also the small community in Japan, show that Islam has still the power to reconcile apparently irreconcilable elements of race and tradition. If ever the opposition of the great societies of the East and west is to be replaced by cooperation, the mediation of Islam is an indispensable condition.” (H.A.R. Gibb, WHITHER ISLAM, p. 379)

    The nation’s claim to be a Christian country is about to meet its first challenge: the number of practising Muslims is set to overtake Anglican Christians…. There has also been a number of high-profile conversions to Islam from Christianity. These include Mike Tyson, the former world champion boxer; Chris Eubank, the British middleweight boxing champion, who has changed his name to Hamdan; and Cat Stevens, the pop musician, who calls himself Yousef Islam…. Prince Charles courted controversy earlier this year when he reaffirmed his claim that when he succeeds the throne, he does not wish to be the defender of only the Christian faith. Rajeev Syal and Christopher Morgan Sunday Times (London, U.K.)

    “I have studied him – the wonderful man – and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ he must be called the saviour of humanity. ” George Bernard Shaw in “The Genuine Islam”

    “Muhammad, the inspired man who founded Islam, was born about A.D. 570 into an Arabian tribe that worshipped idols. Orphaned at birth, he was always particularly solicitous of the poor and needy, the widow and the orphan, the slave and the downtrodden. At twenty, he was already a successful businessman, and soon became director of camel caravans for a wealthy widow. When he reached twenty-five, his employer, recognizing his merit, proposed marriage. Even though she was fifteen years older, he married her, and as long as she lived, remained a devoted husband. “Like almost every major prophet before him, Muhammad fought shy of serving as the transmitter of God’s word, sensing his own inadequacy. But the angel commanded ‘Read.’ So far as we know, Muhammad was unable to read or write, but he began to dictate those inspired words which would soon revolutionize a large segment of the earth: ‘There is one God.’ “In all things Muhammad was profoundly practical. When his beloved son Ibrahim died, an eclipse occurred, and rumours of God’s personal condolence quickly arose. Whereupon Muhammad is said to have announced, ‘An eclipse is a phenomenon of nature. It is foolish to attribute such things to the death or birth of a human being. “At Muhammad’s own death an attempt was made to deify him, but the man who was to become his administrative successor killed the hysteria with one of the noblest speeches in religious history: ‘If there are any among you who worshipped Muhammad, he is dead. But if it is God you worshipped, He lives forever.” –James A. Michener, “Islam: The Misunderstood Religion,” in READER’S DIGEST (American edition), May 1955, pp. 68-70.

    “In little more than a year he was actually the spiritual, nominal and temporal rule of Medina, with his hands on the lever that was to shake the world.” John Austin, “Muhammad the Prophet of Allah,” in T.P. ‘s and Cassel’s Weekly for 24th September 1927.

    “Everything made so much sense. This is the beauty of the Qur’an; it asks you to reflect and reason….When I read the Qur’an further, it talked about prayer, kindness and charity. I was not a Muslim yet, but I felt the only answer for me was the Qur’an and God had sent it to me.” Cat Stevens (YusufIslam), former British pop star.

    “Four years after the death of Justinian, A.D. 569, was born at Mecca, in Arabia the man who, of all men exercised the greatest influence upon the human race . . . Mohammed . . . ” John William Draper, M.D., L.L.D., A History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, London 1875, Vol.1, pp.329-330

    “Muhammad was the soul of kindness, and his influence was felt and never forgotten by those around him.” Diwan Chand Sharma, The Prophets of the East, Calcutta 1935, p. l 22.

    “People like Pasteur and Salk are leaders in the first sense. People like Gandhi and Confucius, on one hand, and Alexander, Caesar and Hitler on the other, are leaders in the second and perhaps the third sense. Jesus and Buddha belong in the third category alone. Perhaps the greatest leader of all times was Mohammed, who combined all three functions. To a lesser degree, Moses did the same.” Professor Jules Masserman

    Ahmed Versi, editor of the weekly Muslim News, said the growth of Islam has been constant: “The younger generation of Muslims that I have encountered is becoming more aware of its Muslim identity and is therefore practising its faith with vigour.”

    “The extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the outstanding achievements of Islam and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue…” (A.J. Toynbee, CIVILIZATION ON TRIAL, New York, p. 205)

    “Sense of justice is one of the most wonderful ideals of Islam, because as I read in the Qur’an I find those dynamic principles of life, not mystic but practical ethics for the daily conduct of life suited to the whole world.” –Lectures on “The Ideals of Islam;” see SPEECHES AND WRITINGS OF SAROJINI NAIDU, Madras, 1918, p. 167.

    “History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated.” –De Lacy O’Leary, ISLAM AT THE CROSSROADS, London, 1923, p. 8.

    “The Muslim community is much more aware of its religion and the use that religion plays within its community.” Dr Peter Brierley, executive director of the Christian Research Association, a London-based charity

    “I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him – the wonderful man and in my opinion for from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Saviour of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.” –G.B. Shaw, THE GENUINE ISLAM, Vol. 1, No. 81936.

    “A growing number of Muslims in America, more than 40 percent are African-American,” Charles Bierbauer, from the Senior Washington Correspondent

    “The extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the outstanding achievements of Islam, and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue.” –A.J. Toynbee, CIVILIZATION ON TRIAL, New York, 1948, p. 205.

    “The rise of Islam is perhaps the most amazing event in human history. Springing from a land and a people like previously negligible, Islam spread within a century over half the earth, shattering great empires, overthrowing long established religions, remoulding the souls of races, and building up a whole new world – world of Islam.

    “The closer we examine this development the more extraordinary does it appear. The other great religions won their way slowly, by painful struggle and finally triumphed with the aid of powerful monarchs converted to the new faith. Christianity had its Constantine, Buddhism its Asoka, and Zoroastrianism its Cyrus, each lending to his chosen cult the mighty force of secular authority. Not so Islam. Arising in a desert land sparsely inhabited by a nomad race previously undistinguished in human annals, Islam sallied forth on its great adventure with the slenderest human backing and against the heaviest material odds. Yet Islam triumphed with seemingly miraculous ease, and a couple of generations saw the Fiery Crescent borne victorious from the Pyrenees to the Himalayas and from the desert of Central Asia to the deserts of Central Africa.” –A.M.L. Stoddard, quoted in ISLAM – THE RELIGION OF ALL PROPHETS, Begum Bawani Waqf, Karachi, Pakistan, p. 56.

    “I am not a Muslim in the usual sense, though I hope I am a “Muslim” as “one surrendered to God,” but I believe that embedded in the Quran and other expressions of the Islamic vision are vast stores of divine truth from which I and other occidentals have still much to learn, and ‘Islam is certainly a strong contender for the supplying of the basic framework of the one religion of the future.'” –W. Montgomery Watt, ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY TODAY, London, 1983, p. ix.

    ‘I believe in One God and Mohammed the Apostle of God,’ is the simple and invariable profession of Islam. The intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the honours of the prophet have never transgressed the measure of human virtue, and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion.” –Edward Gibbon and Simon Ocklay, HISTORY OF THE SARACEN EMPIRE, London, 1870, p. 54.

    “He was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without Pope’s pretensions, Caesar without the legions of Caesar: without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue; if ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by the right divine, it was Mohammed, for he had all the power without its instruments and without its supports.” –Bosworth Smith, MOHAMMAD AND MOHAMMADANISM, London, 1874, p. 92.

    “His readiness to undergo persecutions for his beliefs, the high moral character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement – all argue his fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad an impostor raises more problems than it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history is so poorly appreciated in the West as Muhammad.” –W. Montgomery Watt, MOHAMMAD AT MECCA, Oxford, 1953, p. 52.

    “The doctrine of brotherhood of Islam extends to all human beings, no matter what color, race or creed. Islam is the only religion which has been able to realize this doctrine in practice. Muslims wherever on the world they are will recognize each other as brothers.” Mr. R. L. Mellema, Holland, Anthropologist, Writer and Scholar.

    “It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great Prophet of Arabia, who knows how he taught and how he lived, to feel anything but reverence for that mighty Prophet, one of the great messengers of the Supreme. And although in what I put to you I shall say many things which may be familiar to many, yet I myself feel whenever I re-read them, a new way of admiration, a new sense of reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher.” –Annie Besant, THE LIFE AND TEACHINGS OF MUHAMMAD, Madras, 1932, p. 4.

    “The essential and definite element of my conversion to Islam was the Qur’an. I began to study it before my conversion with the critical spirit of a Western intellectual …. There are certain verses of this book, the Qur’an, revealed more than thirteen centuries ago, which teach exactly the same notions as the most modern scientific researches do. This definitely converted me.”
    Ali Selman Benoist, France, Doctor of Medicine.

    “I have read the Sacred Scriptures of every religion; nowhere have I found what I encountered in Islam: perfection. The Holy Qur’an, compared to any other scripture I have read, is like the Sun compared to that of a match. I firmly believe that anybody who reads the Word of Allah with a mind that is not completely closed to Truth, will become a Muslim.” Saifuddin Dirk Walter Mosig, U. S.A.

    “The universal brotherhood of Islam, regardless of race, politics, color or country, has been brought home to me most keenly many times in my life — and this is another feature which drew me towards the Faith.” Col. Donald S. Rockwell, U.S.A. Poet, Critic and Author.

    “Medieval Islam was technologically advanced and open to innovation. It achieved far higher literacy rates than in contemporary Europe;it assimilated the legacy of classical Greek civilization to such a degree that many classical books are now known to us only through Arabic copies. It invented windmills ,trigonometry, lateen sails and made major advances in metallurgy, mechanical and chemical engineering and irrigation methods. In the middle-ages the flow of technology was overwhelmingly from Islam to Europe rather from Europe to Islam. Only after the 1500’s did the net direction of flow begin to reverse.” (pg 253) Jared Diamond a world renowned UCLA sociologist, and physiologist won the Pulitzer Prize for his book: “Guns, Germs, and Steel.”
    http://www. calltoislaam. free-online. co.uk
    “No calamity befalls on the

    • 1
      2

      ‘Islam is the fastest-growing religion …..’

      because of a)the sword b)immigration

      Christianity used to grow by the sword but nowadays it grows by education, aid, compassion and charity.

  • 4
    0

    Such a well-written article with the call for greater understanding for the Lankan Muslim population.

    However, wishful thinking of past Lankan contentment of won’t do, in this modern global and mad scramble to adhere to democratic cum capitalistic principles, so all can live within the modern amenity.

    Sri Lanka has to endure with the modern trend. Anything else and we’d have to have the oil-recourses of the Saudi before we can go into the idyllic past.

    Islam, however, is a good blueprint to adhere to in the midst of “the buxom Chinese tourist from Shanghai walking with her bikini in the salubrious climes of Hikkaduwa” –fight fire with fire (allegorically), I say; Buddhism being passive, and more involved with the already evolved mind away from things too sensual.

    “The Muslims of Sri Lanka supported pragmatic policies not didactic heresies,” says Nishthar Idroos.

    Excellent! Now continue being pragmatic and remove Wahabism from Sri Lanka, because it sounds too heretical to many another religion.

    In the light of all things modern (liberté, égalité, fraternité aka Democracy), we would ask for religions to blend in with the other, and especially with the majority religion Buddhism, so all hostility can be eradicated. If however, the pure religion of the Prophet (PBUH) is longed for, Saudi Arabia is the best place to fulfill such wishes.

    • 2
      0

      ramona therese fernando and Nishthar Idroos.

      “Excellent! Now continue being pragmatic and remove Wahabism from Sri Lanka, because it sounds too heretical to many another religion. “

      Yes, the Muslims name the Wahhabis and their clones for what they are, Wolf in Sheep clothing, Devil in Allah Clothing, the Wahhabi Devils will disrupt them. According to Islamic theology, iyt is the Job of the Devil, Satan, Shaiyan, Iblis, and he is doing his job.

      So, WHO is not doing their Job? The Muslims,

      Why? Because the refuse to call the Wahhabism, the Satanism and Iblis, Satan Followers.

      See what did the Ottoman Turks do? They Correctly called the Wahhabi, Devils and tried to destroy them. Unfortunately the Ottoman Turks could not destroy the Wahhabi devils. It must be really hard to destroy the devil, the Satan.

      Here are the Muslims, who call a spade, a Spade, and those who call Wahhabi and their clones, Iblis, Satan etc. Al-Qaeda, ISIS have no regard for human life, that’s why I left – ex British jihadist

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrVFflAAM8c

      92% of Saudi, Wahhabi support ISIS. Why? Because they BOTH follow IBLIS.

  • 1
    0

    What Muslims can and cannot do is not decided by them but Allah. “And I (Allah) created not the jinn’s and humans except they should worship Me (Alone)” Al Quran 51:56. Sticking to Halal dietary habits, observing the correct Islamic dress code, not partaking in usury (interest) and many more are supreme acts of worship in Islam. So will you find fault and get physical and even kill a people just because they worship their Creator and strictly observe a way of life fashioned by Him? Where is your democracy for the Muslims? Aren’t they free to adhere to their religion practised by 1.8 billion people in the world? Doesn’t democracy encompass and protect Muslims in the Democratic, Socialist, and Republic of Sri Lanka? Finally on this issue I wish to draw the readers attention to a very pertinent verse in the Quran which will shatter all smoke screens Allah the Almighty says “It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path” Al Quran 33:36.

    Muslims need to grow up and need to think as humans. Humans means they are intelligent animals. IF you leave everything to what is read in a book, you are fooling yourself and making yourself a dumb.

    Read and understand what is called KALAMA Suthta in buddhist books.

    Every thing you here, you read or youwere taught should be investigated and should be accepted only if you think it is worthy of accepting.

    Other wise, it becomes a cult and you will be fooled.

    • 0
      0

      Jim softy

      “Aren’t they free to adhere to their religion practised by 1.8 billion people in the world? “

      Average I.Q. well below 80.

      35% of the Arabs and many Muslims marry their first cousins. This drops their I.Q, by 10 to 15 points. As time goes goes on their I.Q. drops still further. They the follow more and more Wahhabi Iblis Devils and it becomes a vicious cycle.

      What happened to reason? Did Blind Belief in Revelation kill it?

      What happened to the Islamic Science and Islamic Golden Age?

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.