– by Shenali Waduge –
Everybody looked forward to the Rally for Unity – a vigil held in Colombo on 28 April 2013 to oppose hate speech. The event was marred and exposed by the reporting of BBC’s Charles Haviland who showed the hypocrisy of the entire exercise “About 500 people have marched through the centre of the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, protesting against a recent wave of ethnic hatred which has seen hardline Buddhists targeting the Muslim minority”. So if the theme in arranging a unity rally was to target one group (without the possible knowledge of the participants) what can we really say about who are inciting “hate speech”? Finger pointing at the majority Sinhala Buddhists – is nothing uncommon in Colombo. It happens all the time.
Buddhism bashing is the favourite pass time of the English language press and their favored columnists, international news agencies e.g. BBC, and minority led lobby groups – who cant wait to put a spin to every article against the majority Buddhists. The columns of the daily and week – end newspapers bear witness to it. These new rallies and vigils which are heavily funded from overseas show the efforts being taken to reduce the space and territory of the people belonging to the older culture in the Buddhist hinterland and exert enough public opinion for the Government to turn the other cheek and bring in legislation against the majority Buddhists.
These covert schemes have thankfully raised awareness amongst the Sinhala Buddhists who are now no longer prepared to idle and wait on the sidelines.
However, Buddhist protests are construed as hate speech, while the same groups ignore the hate speech well integrated in the religious texts of Abrahamic religions that spur their followers to view Sri Lanka as another trophy to be won like the Maldives, Indonesia and South Korea, all of which countries were once a upon a time Buddhist.
The world has had enough of hate. It is hate that is destroying man and his habitat all over the world. There are endless entities all assuming to end hate but their efforts have proven futile. From the time we are born our upbringing through the values taught in the home, the learning given in schools and the religious texts to which we are subject to develop people into thinking and acting as they do. Given the importance of learning in the early years of our lives the place of religious texts that create divide and dissent plays a major role in determining the root causes to most of the hate that prevails today.
While the Buddhist texts does not have a single line to hate another or to fight against another neither does the Bhagawad Gita. However, both the Bible and the Koran are guilty in this respect and whatever excuses made the fact that between these 2 religions the hate for others have clearly shown by the wars and conflicts that have taken place through history. It is these two religions that not only are responsible for wars and conflicts but the hate they have against each other are affecting the entire world.
http://www.defendproclaimthefaith.org/blog_koran_hate_speech.htm /The Koran Directly Attacks Christianity
- The Crusades (Holy Land, Europe – from 1095 to 1291 between Islam and Christians killing 3million)
- Thirty Years War (Holy Roman Empire from 1618 to 1648 between Protestants and Catholics killing an estimated 11million)
- French Wars of Religion (France – from 1562 to 1598 between Protestants and Catholics killing an estimated 4million)
- Nigerian Civil War (Nigeria – from 1967 to 1970 between Islam and Christians killing 3million)
- Second Sudanese Civil War (Sudan – from 1983 to 2005 between Islam and Christians killing 2million)
- Lebanese Civil War (Lebanon – from 1975 to 1990 between Sunni, Shiite and Christians killing 250,000 people)
Like or not these are simple facts that need to be accepted and it is possibly the best time to omit these lines altogether from the texts so that future generations of children will not be exposed to such references where they are taught to hate non-believers and people who do not belong to their faiths. Though it must be reiterated and stressed that there are many who are Christian or Muslim who are able to intellectually take what is relevant and not from these texts but what about those who are brainwashed into following these lines of hatred and who end up being used to wage wars and conflicts?
Both the Bible and the Koran tells followers to destroy, kill and harm others. “Others” are those who do not agree, is not a believer, is gay – in other words it is any who are not following their religion. The speech by Geert Wilders on the Koran is given below:
“Madam Speaker, I acknowledge that there are people who call themselves Muslims and who respect our laws. My party, the Freedom Party, has nothing against such people, of course. However, the Koran does have something against them. For it is stated in the Koran in Sura 2, verse 85, that those believers who do not believe in everything the Koran states will be humiliated and receive the severest punishment; which means that they will roast in Hell. In other words, people who call themselves Muslims but who do not believe, for example, in Sura 9, verse 30 [actually 9:29], which states that Jews and Christians must be fought, or, for example, in Sura 5, verse 38, which states that the hand of a thief must be cut off, such people will be humiliated and roast in Hell. Note that it is not me who is making this up. All this can be found in the Koran. The Koran also states that Muslims who believe in only part of the Koran are in fact apostates, and we know what has to happen to apostates. They have to be killed.
Then he goes on to call for consistency in the application of Dutch laws that restrict speech that incites to violence, but which have never been applied to the Qur’an or to the hate-filled imams who preach jihad and Islamic supremacism in obedience to Qur’anic dictates:
Madam Speaker, the Koran is a book that incites to violence. I remind the House that the distribution of such texts is unlawful according to Article 132 of our Penal Code. In addition, the Koran incites to hatred and calls for murder and mayhem. The distribution of such texts is made punishable by Article 137(e). The Koran is therefore a highly dangerous book; a book which is completely against our legal order and our democratic institutions. In this light, it is an absolute necessity that the Koran be banned for the defence and reinforcement of our civilisation and our constitutional state. I shall propose a second-reading motion to that effect.”
The issue of hate speech stemming from religious texts is that whenever such examples are highlighted it seeks cover under “freedom of religion” – which sweeps the issue out of focus.
What must be reiterated is that most of todays’ conflicts are associated with followers of Christianity and Islam and their religious texts have lines that build up hatred amongst innocents learning the faith.
The genuine peace seekers must take a new initiative to ensure that such lines are omitted or sidelined in the greater interest of PEACE and STABILITY in the world and for the future generations.
We do not need or want any clash of civilizations – we have had enough wars and hate.