The propagandists enjoy flashing across mainstream media to project the notion that Muslims are targeted only in Sri Lanka and only by Buddhists. We know that is not so. Every country around the globe including the 57 Muslim countries of the world are having issues with Muslims. If it is not about Muslims and non-Muslims the conflicts surround Muslims against Muslims. The problem is not a small one especially when 23% of the world is Muslim (1.62billion). If Islam is a religion of peace exactly how has Muslims ended up in arms fighting either themselves or non-Muslims? Is the violence the fault of non-Muslims or is it found in the religious texts of Islam? What needs to be accepted by all Muslims is that leaving aside hyped propaganda, a problem does exist. If it is not to do with Muslims-Muslims it is Muslims vs Non-Muslims. Given that there are always the mischief makers looking to make personal gains from these conflicts, the most important question is what are we going to do about the problem or in particular what does the Muslim world propose to do about the problem. They can either deny or decide to resolve the issue at 2 levels: the Muslim-Muslim differences and the Muslim-Non-Muslim integration. In both issues the inability to co-exist takes centre stage. How can Muslims co-exist because if they cannot co-exist amongst themselves how can they co-exist with non-Muslims and who or what is stopping them from co-existing is what Muslims need to now identify?
The general allegation is that non-Muslims do not understand Muslims or Islam. We can next ask whether do Muslims understand themselves or Islam because the factions and differences are so strong that violence has become the only chosen way of silencing the other. The Muslim world cannot deny Muslim attacks on Muslims.
The primary issue is that Islam the religion of peace, the foundation of a world civilization does not add up with ground realties and these realities pervade worse in countries where
Muslims are in charge of their own. Almost all majority Muslim nations are backward, people are illiterate and women are abused. There are only 500 universities in the 57 Muslim countries in the world whereas in US alone there are 5758 universities and 8407 in India. Literacy in the Muslim world is just 40%.
How global is the problem
Incidentally the issues that citizens around the world are complaining about are the same as in Sri Lanka.
- Mushrooming mosques/madrassas
- Demand for halal labels
- New Muslim dress and behavior in both men and women
- Loudspeakers from mosques disturbing with intent to drive away non-Muslims and create ghetto areas
- Challenging the existing value system of the indigenous natives and demanding upperhand for Arabic values
- Minority Muslims dictating how the indigenous natives of countries should live
- Creating cities within cities where a new Islamic system pervades
- Demanding parallel law with Sharia / Islamic banking /
- Cattle slaughter/Animal sacrifice/ritual killing
If Sinhalese Buddhist say that the new trend challenges the Buddhist ethos and Buddhist sensitivities it is no different to what the British, Dutch, French and natives elsewhere around Europe are saying. When ghetto areas have already been created, with Muslim cities ruled by Koran running parallel to the existing country law, naturally Sinhalese Buddhists have every right to be concerned. Political correctness created the mess in Europe and political selfishness and greed is creating the mess in Sri Lanka. Politicians and lethargic public officials are largely to blame for the situation going out of control.
If the UK Education department is now introducing a new set of rules to govern schools in the light of the new dictates taking place, should Sri Lanka not do the same instead of caving in to unjustified demands?
Minorities cannot dictate how a country’s majority population should live especially when it was that majority population that built the Sinhale nation and gave safe haven to the minorities when targeted for slaughter by colonial invaders. This has become only a terms of reference.
If in the UK there are Islamic no-go zones, it is a blueprint taking place elsewhere too. Non-Muslims are being driven out of these areas by subtle ways starting with the excessive loudspeaker usage to which authorities have turned a blind eye inspite of judicial instructions. France has a list of a 1000 lost territories to Islam inside France. Brussels the capital of the EU is ¼ occupied by Muslims where Islamic districts prevail. Police are even scared to enter these areas. Non-Muslim teachers had been even forced out of Birmingham and many schools in the UK had to follow practices of fasting and segregation of sexes. The Muslim Council of Britain has declared that UK needs Muslim values. None of these examples are signs of peaceful co-existence that the secular Muslims are chanting.
If these incursions are not part of Islam why is it being promoted on the banner of Islam and there are Muslims to ready to follow these dictates? Is it not because there is a steady following of people aligned to the new Islamic dictates that the troubles are increasing and not likely to be solved? If none of the incursions highlighted are part of Islam or in the Koran why have Muslims agreed to follow this new pattern that people are seeing an increase in. It is not just in Sri Lanka that people are noticing the list of incursions. The West has begun to notice these same incursions as well. If the mullahs are brainwashing and demonizing the Muslims, should the Muslims not stand up against this? To solve the problem should it not be the Muslims themselves not to align to the incursions that are directly meant to challenge peaceful co-existence and thus create tensions?
There is statistical proof to show that Muslims have chosen the path towards tension. Pew study reveals that
- The majority (52 percent) of Egyptians support the Sept 11th killings.
- The majority of Lebanese support suicide bombing.
- 40 percent of Indonesian Muslims would use violence against those blaspheming Islam.
- 76 percent of Moroccans want strict sharia in every Islamic country.
- 86 percent of Jordanians support death for anyone who leaves Islam.
- 84 percent of Egyptians support death for anyone who leaves Islam.
The rest of the statistics is alarming too. In Denmark 5% of Muslim immigrants consume 40% of welfare. This 5% make up the majority of those convicted of rape on non-Muslims.
Another aspect that even Sri Lanka is now awakening to is the self-imposed isolation by Muslims. Who is dictating that Muslims move only amongst their own?
Factors not yet prevalent in Sri Lanka but very much a concern in Europe are forced marriages, threats to kill Muslims who convert from Islam, honor killings etc.
The biggest concern Sri Lanka has that can be matched with what Europe is experiencing is the demands for Islamic law. With Sri Lanka having given the all important portfolio of Justice to a Muslim political leader, a man who has a history of political kangarooing from one party to the other for personal gain, it is no exaggeration to say that a lot of manipulations and pro-Muslim bias is taking place within the judicial system at all levels (from education to administration) and the country’s leaders are silent with inaction.
If Europe is now saying that cultural relativism must end and proudly proclaim western culture, Sri Lanka with a civilization of over 2500 years has every right to declare the Buddhist ethos must prevail in Sri Lanka and that the sensitivities of the Buddhists must be respected by all citizens. If the British want Britain back to the British, the Sinhale nation belongs to the Buddhists that built it.
While we can confidently say that minorities are the safest in the hands of the Buddhists can we say the same treatment for Buddhists by minorities? In Muslim majority nations can one find the freedom for non-Muslims as non-Muslims find in Sri Lanka?
In Muslim majority cities even within Sri Lanka, are Buddhists treated with respect using the same slogans of what Islam supposedly claims to preach? Have Buddhists in these Muslim majority cities being covertly driven out so that Muslim ghetto areas could be created and have been created? Do we need to give examples of how predominately Buddhist cities are today occupied by only Muslims? In areas where Muslims dominate is there anything that is secular or multicultural taking place of late? Where are the examples that can be given to show the same compassionate and freedom given by Buddhists to non-Buddhists is given by Muslims to non-Muslims in the same proportion? The answers to these clearly indicate why the Buddhists have awoken to the ground realities which politicians have conveniently swept under the carpet because for them their only concern is to lead a plush life and remain in power. The minority political leaders are however dictated by their ideology and because funds are sent to ensure that their gameplan takes shape while pretending to function as representing the people. There are no minority leaders like Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan today we have only political opportunists.
If Europeans and the British are now calling to rally around in a united front against the tide of incursions it is what the Buddhists of Sri Lanka have every right to do. The mushrooming mosques, churches, madrassas, prayer centres, faith healers abound throughout the country and along the main roads indicting to any tourist that a visible change is taking place to a predominately Buddhist nation. Archaic colonial laws have not changed to reverse the parallel systems created aware that with time these seeds would reap trouble. Post-independent governments have failed to return the independence of Sinhale that was handed over to the British. Until the Sinhale Nation is restored to the rightful owners we cannot say we are an independent nation.
What non-Buddhists cannot deny is that the safest religion in the world is Buddhism. It is all encompassing and the most harmless philosophy to follow. If not follow, it poses no threat, no challenge and no danger to non-Buddhists. There are no rules, no laws and brainwashing. Faith cannot be blind and people should have every right to question and Buddhism allows questions and gives answers.
Do Muslims find peace amongst their own?
The violence across the Muslim world has raised an important question – Is the belief in Islam sufficient to bind Muslims in peace with each other. It next raises another question, if it can’t then can we expect Muslims to be in peace with Non-Muslims? These are all questions for Muslims themselves to answer. Muslims cannot remain in denial or look for scapegoats.
At the centre of all conflicts is ‘hate’ – hate has fuelled gulfs dividing Muslims as well as non-Muslims and these are all sourced to the sacred texts of Islam and the different interpretations. Muslim leaders have found it convenient to only concentrate on areas where Muslims have been victim but totally ignored where violence and incursions have been instigated by Muslims.
If Muslims are as peaceful as they say what or who is making them violent and why are they quoting texts of the Koran in defending their violence and who exactly is equipped or able to stop the violence and incursions for not only is there a steady following of Muslims ready to be violent there are Muslims ready to take part in the incursions as well.
So on the one hand we have Muslims in arms against each other and against non-Muslims and then at another level we have a rising number of Muslims ready to make non-existent Islamic demands in non-Muslim nations that they had previously been living in harmony. This is the crux of the issues that the world is today plagued with.
Much of the fault line leads to the trilogy (Koran, Sira & Hadith) itself. Koran however comprises just 14% of that trilogy though 64% of the Koran is about non-believers or kafirs while 37% of Hadith refers to kafirs. Islam is 14% Allah and 86% Mohammed the prototype for a true Muslim. Koran tells 91 times that Mohammed is the perfect Muslim acceptable to Allah. The actions and words of Mohammed are Sunna (Sira is the biography of Mohammed while Hadith are a collection of stories about Mohammed). What many are not aware of is that the Koran of 632AD is not the Koran of today because the original Koran of Mohammed was destroyed by a caliph (Uthman). The historical Koran was written in Mecca while the later Koran was written in Medina. The early Koran is religious and poetic while the later is violent. Koran and Sunna have verses that contradict each other. Koran 2:219 says that Muslims should be tolerant and forgiving to People of the Book.
Koran 9:29 says to attack the People of the Book until they pay the jizyah, the dhimmi tax, submit to Sharia law and be humbled.
Many believe that Political Islam has taken over religious Islam because of the reference to kafirs and how to subjugate them. When Mohammed preached Islam for 13 years in Mecca he had only 150 followers. When he was forced to move to Media he became a politician and warrior every Arab was turned into a Muslim. Political Islam reaped results not religion. Core of Islam’s power has been violent and thus the reason to refer to it as a political ideology. Whenever non-Muslims bring quotes from the Koran or Sunna citing hate texts against non-Muslims the immediate response is to bring another quote. What needs to be said is that at no point in time is the earlier quote declared as wrong. Whatsmore, with so much reference to kafirs and the fact that there are 2 sets of rules for Muslims and non-Muslims it clearly depicts that Islam is not a religion of equality. The only good about kafirs in the Koran is just 2.6% (245 verses/4018 words). Even that good is contradicted.
In Sri Lanka, no one wants to live without peace. We have 30 years to know what it is like to not live in peace. What we do not want is to see minorities dictating how Buddhists should live in a nation that they built and a nation that they have defended from invaders over centuries. No non-Buddhist can deny that Sri Lanka has not welcomed them. Buddhists have not had the same treatment in return. Those that point fingers at Buddhists know this fact very well.
Muslims have been referred to as Tamil Muslims and the meaning extended drives home the reality that while Sri Lankan Muslims are now caving in to Arab imperialism the Sri Lankan Muslims will never be regarded or accepted on equal terms not even for marriage. It is this that requires Muslims to return to living as they did without falling prey to Arab imperialism shrouded by wahhabi influence.
Where should we go from here? For starters given the nature of this global problem, it is for Muslims of Sri Lanka to realize that the incursions pointed out are those that had not been an issue previously because Muslims did not demand such earlier. It is the removal of these that can only return to the past that was devoid of troubles with mutual respect. No Muslim can say they were denied right of their religion but Buddhists cannot say the same in majority-Muslim countries and majority-Muslim cities in Sri Lanka. There lies the difference and there lies the opportunity to make the change for peaceful co-existence
– by Shenali D Waduge