MUSLIMS AND SPIRIT OF INTERRELIGOUS UNDERSTANDING
Posted on April 24th, 2019

Dr. Daya Hewapathirane

Historically, Muslims have gone to great lengths, even waging wars, to impose Islam, their version of what they deem to be the one and true way. The attitude and position of ‘exclusivism’ adopted by Muslims, that Islam is the only true religion and rejecting the legitimacy of other faith traditions, does not help in developing a spirit of religious pluralism in society. The principle of ‘one truth, one religion’ or Exclusivism” lies at the heart of Islam. For the Muslims, the teaching in Islam represent the ‘best path’ and their egocentric attachment to their religion obstructs them from seeing the value of other religious traditions. They will not accept the pluralistic perspective of ‘many truths, many religions’.

It is time that Muslims of Sri Lanka, especially their leaders realize that without developing a genuine spirit of inter-religious understanding or a spirit of religious pluralism, there is no hope for the development of harmony based on true interreligious understanding. From the Buddhist point of view, there is tremendous diversity among sentient beings and individuals and groups find different ways of approaching and seeking spiritual development. This standpoint allows one to develop a sense of appreciation of all faith traditions.

From the Buddhist point of view, the belief in Allah with its emphasis on the idea of a ‘first cause’ that in itself is uncaused, amounts to falling into extreme absolutism, a view that obstructs the attainment of enlightenment.  If one believes that the entire cosmos, including the sentient beings within it, is the creation of one all-powerful and compassionate Allah, then, the inescapable consequence is that other faith traditions are also Allah’s or God’s creation. If this is not the case, then Allah is not omnipotent or the implication being that although these other faiths are ‘false ways’, Allah was  incapable of stopping their emergence.  If one maintains that although Allah or God is perfectly capable of preventing the emergence of these ‘false ways’ but he chooses not to do so, then one rejects Allah’s or God’s all-embracing compassion. This is because,  if Allah is all-powerful and compassionate, why did he choose to exclude millions of His own children, from following the so-called ‘false ways’ that would lead to their damnation? So the logic of monotheism in Islam, the standard version that attributes omnipotence, omniscience, and all-embracing compassion to Allah, inevitably entails recognition that the world’s many religious traditions are in one way or another related to Allah’s or God’s divine intentions for the ultimate well-being of His children. This means that, as a devout follower of Allah, one must accord respect, and if possible, reverence to all religions.   

The highly tolerant nature of the large majority of Buddhists of Sri Lanka should not be taken for granted.They are becoming increasingly aware of the various forms of threats to which they are subject without good reason, and as proven repeatedly in their nation’s long history of foreign aggression and misdemeanors, they will rise to the occasion when necessary, to save their Buddhist norms and principles forming the foundation of the national culture of their nation, their only motherland.   

Dr. Daya Hewapathirane

One Response to “MUSLIMS AND SPIRIT OF INTERRELIGOUS UNDERSTANDING”

  1. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    This barbaric religion has been propagated by the sword and baby machines. Why? Because nobody with any
    common sense won’t accept it. Earth’s size is a grain of sand in the vast vast vast vast universe (just like Buddha
    explained) where no scientist know the edges are to date and where the distances are measured in light years.
    The Sun alone is 93 million miles or 0.00001581 light years from the grain of sand. It takes just over 8 minutes sun’s light to reach the grain of sand.

    These moon worshipers are a brainwashed bunch travelling in the samsaric journey blind. Fastest breeding aka
    religion of violence and all these god based religions thrived in the olden days in the absence of science. Today,
    in this scientific era there shouldn’t be a place for these fictitious gods. Yet with powerful organisations, money,
    and in the case of fastest breeding religion baby machine wives these religions are force fed to people.

    Today, all the people (honest and educated only) know how we came to be being thanks to Charles Darwin’s
    Theory of Evolution (just like Buddha explained). Then his book, The Tree of Life, explained how all this other
    living things, including flies, mosquitoes etc. etc came to be being. Today those are facts and no one honest
    dispute them.

    Moon is round because it has its own gravity (pulling toward the centre) and the earth pulls the moon towards it. This gravitation force makes the moon go round the earth. Nothing godly about this. After all Americans,
    Russians, now Chinese, Indians etc. etc. have landed/going to land their craft on it.

    World is a mess today due to its people not been taught what is right and what is wrong. Buddhism’s five
    precepts:
    1. to abstain from taking life (meat mongers take a look at your teeth, then take a look at your dog/cat’s and
    it shows what diet you are supposed to eat. If you still unsure, look at human gut. It’s long, suitable for fibrous
    diet which takes too long to digest).

    2. to abstain from taking what is not given (lesson to Sri Lanka manthree horun and amathi horun)

    3. to abstain from sensuous misconduct

    4. to abstain from false speech (traitor United National Ponnayas’ or UNPatriotic_rats favourite for elections)

    5. to abstain from intoxicants as tending to cloud the mind
    These are the major sins, and all the law courts under the Sun punish the culprits who break them. Buddha,
    the greatest human being ever born, explained these over 2,500 years ago. Which were true then and they are
    true today too.

    The five major sins have been completely ignored by these religions of conveniences. Later religions copied them, added few more and called different names. The emphasis is lost and world became a corrupt, selfish, lying
    place. Meanwhile, religions promote this corrupt practices thrives for the followers to pay for their sins in their
    next lives.

    Ban the religions of violence aka fastest breeding religion and let them follow the only true religion in the world,
    Buddhism, for them to better their lives in the next one. After all fastest breeding religion aka religion of violence
    countries not allow even Buddha statue in to those countries. Then why do we need murderers in our midst? Ban
    it, ban it ,ban it vairapala sorry sena and chief ponna ayya traitor chief Pol Pot [email protected]_leech. Do it to make up for all
    the treacheries, murders, robberies, lies you have done.

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