In the aftermath of SLMC aligning with the government.Rethinking of Muslim community is imperative
Posted on October 7th, 2012

By Latheef Farook

 It was deliberate deception and calculated betrayal by the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress.

This is how most Muslims describe the SLMC decision to join the very United Peoples Front Alliance, UPFA, government which it severely criticised to win votes and deceive people during the recent eastern provincial council elections.

Muslims were suspicious of SLMC when it criticised the government, while being part of the it, in view of its past record of letting down the community. As a result most Muslims were indifferent to recent provincial council elections. They only voted in response to appeals by mosques in the hope that this time the SLMC will honour its promises.

However Muslims were once again deceived when the SLMC joined the government without seeking any assurance to solve some of the community’s burning issues. This is nothing but shamming by the SLMC to harvest votes.

Muslims are not against joining the government. As a minority community Muslims need to work hand in hand with the government in power. However, they wanted to do so ensuring their rights and dignity. Side-lined by the government, the Muslim community has been facing numerous serious issues.

To cite few examples more than 120,000 or so Muslims were driven out mercilessly within hours by the LTTE in October 1990. Most of them continue to languish in refugee camps in appalling conditions in and around Puttalam even to this day. They expected to return to their lands after the defeat of the LTTE. However, as even pointed out by Minister Rishard Badurdeen, the government remains indifferent to the pathetic plight of these victims. Declared as old IDP and ignored by all they were allowed to rot.

In the east Muslims claim that their lands were acquired under various pretexts and the latest being the acquisition of Karumalai village in Mutur after evicting 105 families without any notice as claimed by Muslims there. There is uncertainty in Colombo too following the forceful ejection of Muslims from Slave Island and the acquisition of commercial property in Fort.

Instead of relief there has been a steady rise of chauvinism and Sinhalisation since the defeat of LTTE in May 2009. This includes organised campaign, perhaps sponsored by external forces, demonising Muslims as plotting to turn this island into a Muslim country. The aim of this ridiculous and vicious campaign is to poison the minds of mainstream Sinhalese perhaps to create an anti-Muslim pogrom. As part of this campaign, in an extremely dangerous move, a handful of Buddhist monks who are supposed to preach Lord Buddha’s message of peace and harmony, have been used to attack Mosques inciting Sinhalese against Muslims. These activities intensified since the arrival of Israelis who remain sworn enemies of Islam and Muslims worldwide.

The question asked by Muslims in general is why didn’t the SLMC raise these issues before joining the government? Instead simply sold out the community in such demeaning manner that Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader R. Sampanthan accused the SLMC of betraying the Muslims for positions and selfish considerations by going against the mandate given.

“The SLMC was able to win so many seats because of its strong criticism of the government during the election campaign and the Muslims voted for it in the hope that the SLMC would maintain its independence. The SLMC neglected Muslim aspirations before and after the elections and talked a lot about its bargaining power during the election campaign. Now with its surrender to the government, what bargaining can the SLMC do? asked Sampanthan”.

Since the formation of the UPFA more than seven years ago SLMC parliamentarians struck deals and joined the government individually and collectively. The consensus is that in doing so they abandoned the interest of the community which will never forgive the SLMC for its support to the 18th amendment to the constitution.

The Muslim community was fed up for long with the SLMC in view of the repeated allegations of corruption, opportunism, greed for positions and power and factional fighting  turning the community into laughing stock.

It was under such circumstances came the eastern provincial council elections. From the time the election was announced all what the SLMC spoke was about positions and not a word about Muslim issues.

Dealing with the circumstance which brought the SLMC into being it is worthy to note that in the mid-1980s Muslim community was side-lined and remained frustrated .It was around this time President J.R.Jayawardene arrogantly dismissed the Muslims stating that they could leave the government if they wished to when they opposed his move to bring in the Israelis here.

Thus the Political conditions were extremely conducive then to establish a separate party for Muslims.

However all five Muslim parliamentarians from the east, A.R.M.Mansoor,Fareed Uduma Lebbe, M.E.H Mahroof, M.A.Abdul Majeed and Dr Fareed Meera Lebbe- opposed tooth and nail the formation of SLMC stating that the interest of Muslims in the North and East differ from those of the Muslims in the rest of the country.  They, together with almost every Muslim politician from the south, warned that such a party could divide communities and isolate the Muslims. These five parliamentarians refused to participate in the Indian imposed provincial council elections.

However, the then Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka D.N.Dixit, self-declared Indian viceroy in Colombo, wanted Muslim participation to hoodwink the world.  Dixon who openly told A. R.M .Mansoor that “India is here to serve the Tamils and not the Muslims” brought pressure on the government and got the SLMC registered as a political party, although the Elections Commissioner initially refused to do so on the grounds that it was a religious based party. Dixit, according to many, also financed the SLMC which used the Indian Peace Keeping force, IKPF, office as its office during the first provincial council elections.

The SLMC, outcome of communal politics of the two major communities and opportunistic Muslim politics, came with the slogan of Islam, Sharia and unity. Islam and Sharia disappeared at birth. Today the party is split into more than half dozen factions. The enmity within those who came to bring unity is such that they attack even opponent’ Iftar functions.  This is the type of   unity which they claimed to achieve.

Within few years after its establishment, disillusioned people started distancing themselves from the party which they help establish as they were quick to realise that the party was a one man show to promote personal agendas far away from Islam and serving Muslims.

Today the SLMC has become a shameful liability on the community.  The reality is that racist politics of mainstream parties and religion based politics of the so called SLMC has brought the country and the Muslim community where we are today.

Despite three decades of killings and destruction the inevitable reality is that the Muslims in the north and east had the Hobson ‘choice of living with Tamils while the Muslims in the rest of the country had to live with others. Of course, racists, be they politicians or laymen, will remain active till the end of the world .However it is time that the Muslim community turn to mainstream parties to ensure a better future.

11 Responses to “In the aftermath of SLMC aligning with the government.Rethinking of Muslim community is imperative”

  1. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    First of all why won’t you answer the question on Quran I have raised in one of the blogs? Why avoid unpalatable questions? Muslims are always ‘Vaasee paththata Hoyiyaa’ – they should go by their conscience and should have shown some courage to challenge the government, a hive of corruption – Muslims are the most priviledged lot in Sri Lanka and exploiting the weakness of Sinhala corrupt politicians – they are not being marginalised at all in Sri Lanka – they appreciate Pakistan more than Sri Lanka – no love for the mother country just like most Tamils look for South India with no love for our country – probably Sri Lankan Sinha+hela Buddhists love Sri Lanka – not even most Catholics and Christians who engage in lip service to Vatcan and England. Do you say islam is a tolerable faith while they impose bans in most country over other religions? Wahaabism need to be eradicated in Sri Lanka before things get out of hand as happened with Tiger terrorists. President of Sri Lanka, if ever you read this please take note and request your able brother Gotabaya to do something about this threat! This is very serious! Muslims I request you guys to begin speak in Sinhala replacing Tamil as Sinhala is the main Language of Sri Lanka, like Hindi in India.

  2. Vijendra Says:

    Hello all, it is now time to think as Sri Lankans and not as Muslims , Sinhalese or Tamils if Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans are to progress as a nation. Teach your communities to take the high road. Help unite our mother country and not divide it if you have any patriotism in you!

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    This is hilarious.

    AS IF SLMC HAD ANY CHOICE!!!

    Don’t think SLMC has any power anywhere in SL. They either dance to SL’s tune or follow LTTE. We make choices, not you.

    Racist parties with race, ethnicity or religious names must be banned.

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    Sunil,

    Absolutely.

    I think it is better the govt take some action against this Muslim extremism because if it doesn’t India, USA, Israel will infiltrate SL and DO THE NEEDFUL. That will be ugly.

    We in SL TOLERATE these too much but others don’t.

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    During the protest at the Bangladesh embassy some FOOL threw bottles and bricks at the embassy.

    It was totally unnecessary and NOT SL.

    So who did that DISPICABLE act?

    Abdul Cader Mohamed

    He was arrested and admitted to the crime. He has also admitted to be part of a plan to PUT THE BLAME ON PEACEFUL Buddhists!!

    Well done police.

  6. HussainFahmy Says:

    SV- Remember your Alma Mater’s Tradition/co-existence. Blue Black and Blue Forever.

    Isn’t ‘Vaasee paththata Hoyiyaa’ the corner stone of Demon-cracy. Poly-Ticks = Many Parasites vying to enrich at the cost of the deprived and the rich and powerful taking control of the resources by unfair means. Lack of respect among communities; are some of the signs of an impending disaster. People fail to study the Message of Islam rather than harping about individual/community behaviours; be it Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists or any other faith. Give Respect thus earn Respect. The mechanical marvels of a Car cannot be judged by its Driver.

    What ever happened to ‘Live and Let Live’. attitude. Sri Lankans have become consumed with claims to my Language only, my faith only, my views only. As long as we sow the seeds of Hatred of Separation, we have no hope towards progress and productivity. Perhaps, we should revisit the education system for the sake of the next generation.

    Perhaps one should read the selfish comments of some Sri Lankans below.

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2012/09/29/is-violent-approach-a-solution-for-the-anti-islamic-film/

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2012/10/05/muslim-behaviour-explained-statistically/comment-page-1/#comment-26660

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2012/10/06/a-wake-up-call-for-the-muslims/comment-page-1/#comment-26662

  7. Charles Says:

    SLMC has its own Agenda, which is to ride on any political party to fulfil their communal wants. They are not sincere and cannot be counted upon. You do not know which way SLMC will turn if Sri Lanka wants the communal unity for its defence.

    They even agreed to a MoU with Prbhakaran. even in recent elections in the East, SLMC was hesitating whether to go with the TNA or stay on with ther UPFA. If SLMC is genuine and sincere there was no reason for it to have hesitated.

  8. Voice123 Says:

    Yes, pay attention all you Sinhalese chauvinists. Everything is the fault of the Israelis. Expel the Israelis, there will be universal peace and brotherhood, sisters will serve, and the bad weather will also end!

  9. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    Friend HussanFahmy,

    Can you comment on what I have quoted below from comments of another article appeared on Lankaweb, whether the content is true or not;

    ‘1. “Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.” Koran 2:191
    “Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood.” Koran 9:123
    “When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them.” Koran 9:5
    “Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable.” Koran 3:85
    “The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them.”… Koran 9:30
    “Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam” Koran 5:33
    “Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies.” Koran 22:19
    “The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them.” Koran 8:65
    “Muslims must not take the infidels as friends.” Koran 3:28
    “Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an.” Koran 8:12
    “Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels.” Koran 8:60)
    2. Qur’an 2:193 says; “Fight them until there is no more Al Fitnah (‘Al Fitnah’ meant Jews and Christians at the time, but in today’s context the word means all religious followers including Buddhists) and religion is only for Allah. And Qur’an 9:5 says; “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”
    Referring to Hadith, Ishaq:324 says; “Fight them so that there is no more rebellion, and religion, all of it, is for Allah only. Allah must not have rivals.” And Ishaq:587 says; “Our onslaught will not be a weak faltering affair. We shall fight as long as we live. We will fight until you turn to Islam, humbly seeking refuge. We will fight not caring whom we meet. We will fight whether we destroy ancient holdings or newly gotten gains. We have mutilated every opponent. We have driven them violently before us at the command of Allah and Islam. We will fight until our religion is established. And we will plunder them, for they must suffer disgrace.” ‘

    Thank you.

  10. Muhandiram Says:

    To : Sunil,

    Those allegations are blatant lies about Islam.it’s better to verify yourself through Quran and the sources quote on your comment.if some-one want to criticise any one by any blatant lie,it’s his or her ignorant and stupidity.If i answer to those allegations too,you will not be enlightened,if you don’t see it through clear vision(without leaning to any side).

    The holly Quran is in arabic.

    فَإِذَا ٱنسَلَخَ ٱلۡأَشۡہُرُ ٱلۡحُرُمُ فَٱقۡتُلُواْ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكِينَ حَيۡثُ وَجَدتُّمُوهُمۡ وَخُذُوهُمۡ وَٱحۡصُرُوهُمۡ وَٱقۡعُدُواْ لَهُمۡ ڪُلَّ مَرۡصَدٍ۬‌ۚ فَإِن تَابُواْ وَأَقَامُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتَوُاْ ٱلزَّڪَوٰةَ فَخَلُّواْ سَبِيلَهُمۡ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬

    Critics of Islam actually quote this verse out of context. In order to understand the context, we need to read from verse 1 of this surah. It says that there was a peace treaty between the Muslims and the Mushriks (pagans) of Makkah. This treaty was violated by the Mushriks of Makkah. A period of four months was given to the Mushriks of Makkah to make amends. Otherwise war would be declared against them. This verse is quoted during a battle, and hence the Qur’an says, “Kill the Mushriks wherever you find them”, during a battle to boost the morale of the Muslim soldiers. What the Qur’an is telling Muslim soldiers is, don’t be afraid during battle; wherever you find the enemies kill them.

    The Qur’an not only says that a Mushrik seeking asylum during the battle should be granted refuge, but also that he should be escorted to a secure place. In the present international scenario, even a kind, peace-loving army General, during a battle, may let the enemy soldiers go free, if they want peace. But which army General will ever tell his soldiers, that if the enemy soldiers want peace during a battle, don’t just let them go free, but also escort them to a place of security?

  11. HussainFahmy Says:

    Sunil – Looks like the Thomians of the past generation defer from the 80s. Please refer to the links below as there is no point in repeating once again. The point of a debate is not to win, however to learn from each other in order that we may learn to respect what we hold sacred. The good news is our generation of school mates refuse to accept the current squabbles/pettiness. Adios.

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2012/09/29/is-violent-approach-a-solution-for-the-anti-islamic-film/

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2012/10/05/muslim-behaviour-explained-statistically/comment-page-1/#comment-26660

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2012/10/06/a-wake-up-call-for-the-muslims/comment-page-1/#comment-26662

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