Muslim Extremism and Building Mosques in Sri Lanka
Posted on December 30th, 2012

Dr Rifai

Dear Aniz Moulana,

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ I noticed your remarks with regards to communal relationship in Sri Lanka. I do agree that recent times our people have built mosques in very nook and corner of Sri Lanka without properly thinking about the social, communal and environmental implications of such buildings. Of course building mosques is a rewarding act in Islam if there is a need for it, and yet, what has really happened is totally different: it has become a competition between some Islamic groups to compete in building mosques. With pitiful dogmatic differences in Islamic legal discourses some extremist groups broke away from the mainstream Muslim community in Sri Lanka and I do not need tell you about them. As you are one of our community you may have come to know them.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ With oil money pouring in from Saudi Arabia these people have built mosques in very corner of the Muslim areas, sometimes without any demanding need for such mosques. It is money that speaks not Islamic ethics or Islamic mode of conduct. Who is responsible for tarnishing the good name of Islam and Muslims in this island?ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ I know well that some of these mosques have rarely been used for prayers; some of them have not been used at all. For instance, some Takiyyaz never have been used for prayers five times a day.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ We live in a non-Muslim country. Why do not we have a sense of humour and respect for others? We behave with a mentality of being a majority even though we are the second minority in Sri Lanka without any geopolitical influence or without any influence at all. I agree that the president rightly said that we have more than two mosques in one street within a short distance. Who is responsible for a such competition in mosque building without any need for such mosques? Bring the culprit into book. Is it the Saudi government that is responsible for this mess or our so called self-proclaimed Islamic groups? Will the Saudi Arabian government come to our support in a time of danger for us in Sri Lanka? I honestly think that some of these radicals among us need to learn how to live in non-Muslim country. I think ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ that some of these anti-Muslim trends have increased in Sri Lanka because of our failure to live in accordance with Islamic teachings of co-existence and communal harmonyƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ I think that the ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ behaviour of some of these radical groups have given a bad name to Islam and Muslims in Sri Lanka. We did not have any problems in the past in building mosques when the need and demand arose but now because of the stupidity of some of our brothers, the entire Muslim community has to suffer. I assume that Sri Lanka might put limits in the foreseeable future on building mosques or curtail building mosques in some areas. I think we should blame ourselves for our failure to understand the sensitive religious matters ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ otherƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ communities;ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ some of us have been jolly riding with the freedom and respect that we have had in the past in Sri Lanka and consequently some elements among the majority people have waken up to realise this growing trend among Muslims.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ I do not deny the fact that there has been some anti-minority elements among Sinhalese people since the time of Anatharika Darmapala. Yet, in recent times we have helped these extreme people to build up their arguments. Our behaviours and communal interactions have been at a low ebb. We have failed to treat them well in all social occasions and we have failed to give them this beautiful message of Islam or make them understand it so that at least they would be sympathisers of the Muslim community; I could write volumes on this but this forum does not give the leverage to do that here.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Of course, we should not be prey to this extreme groups rather we should reevaluate our social contact with the Sinhalese community once again. We should once again rethink about behaviours towards humanity in Sri Lanka and educate our masses through Friday sermons and bayans on this issue. Our religious and political leaders have a moral and religious duty to act quickly in this situation. I hope and pray that we would inshallah find some viable means to address this problem at all levels.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Dr Rifai

18 Responses to “Muslim Extremism and Building Mosques in Sri Lanka”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Sensible writing by Mareena.

    But they will NOT listen to her because,

    1. She is a woman.
    2. Extremism NEVER takes advice from others.
    3. Competition between these 2 Wahabi sects is so intense any group slowing down will be the LOSER.

    Violence is the ONLY solution to extremism. It takes many forms including NON VIOLENT APPEARENCE.

    For further information, facts and figures please visit The Religion of Peace website.

  2. Raj Says:

    Oh, Mareena, WELCOME back. We missed you.

  3. nuanho Says:

    ^^I don’t think this article has been written by Mareena Reffai. The spelling is different and the content is far more moderate and sensible than her writings.

  4. Maghribi Says:

    People who do not fear the wrath of their Creator, Wash their Dirty Linen in Public. Was it Judas?

  5. nuanho Says:

    Washing dirty linen? Or speaking the truth?

  6. Leela Says:

    All ‘One God’ beliefs are intolerant religions by design. Muslims believe the Koran is the word of Allah. So, there can be nothing in between; a Muslim cannot accept some words of God and ignore the rest for it is obvious that only those who follow every word of the Koran goes to heaven and all others to hell forever.

    We read and observe there are good verses as well as cruel and vicious verses in the Koran. Those hypocrites who conceal the nasty verses and dishonestly highlight only some verses to suit situation are called moderates. Those who honestly follow every verse of the Koran are called extremists. That is my understanding.

  7. S de Silva Says:

    Despite all the comments here the one thing MISSING is planning permission to erect a place of religous worship – GOSL should tighten up the relavant laws immediately before the situation gets out of hand. In the UK for example the laws are very strict on this and a request of this nature has to be well suppoted by the number of adherents to the faith in question and what are the alternative places in resonable proximity to the the place of worship proposed, etc. I may remind my muslim friends before they point fingers at SL to just look at the religous freedoms in Saudi for non-muslims!! – S de Silva – LONDON

  8. rohanana Says:

    At last it is nice to see someone has the guts and the brains to accept the selfish way of building Mosques. I don’t think anyone can beat the Mosque that was built across the public road which has existed for many hundreds of years and still there are two Sinhala villages on the other side of the mosque. All the Sinhala people living in that area and also the buddhist monks have to walk under the feet of the Muslims in the mosque. Anyone who wants to see just have to go to BIBILE Road in Gampola. Muslims talk of intolerance of other religions by Sinhala Buddhists, what abour this?

  9. Nanda Says:

    Good to see Lorenzo back. But he is mistaken. This cannot be Marrena the Wahabi leader.

    S de Silva,
    At the Dambulla incident, when asked whether they have permission of the council, one of the Muslim fellows said they have the permission from Muslim Council and they do not need any other permision.
    Yes. I too agree do not give permisiion. Simple. Why they didn’t do it ? Because of Muslim political support to whatever the government.

  10. Maghribi Says:

    Why are people so obsessed in comparison with Arabia and Islam. It is a fact that there aren’t many Non-Muslim Nationals/Citizens in Arabia. It is politically, economically and socially incorrect to come out in the open and declare against building places of worship. Even in some parts of Arabia, permission is granted to meet the Non-Muslim expatriate population’s right to places of worship. It is Mindless to envisage a strategy based on curtailing the rights of Individuals to worship. Sri Lankan Buddhists should focus on their Philosophy and take every measure to practice it rather than comparing and denigrating other faiths. I am sure Buddhism prohibits this behaviour if the author is a true Buddhist.

  11. Bisthan Batcha Says:

    Although building Mosques may be construed to be a meritorious act in Islam, as a Minority Community, the Sri Lankan Muslims have to exert a great deal of caution when building Mosques in the Island so as not to upset the socio-cultural balances within our societies in the name of their religion. What I find most disturbing in this regard is the surreptitious manner in which some mosques are ‘inserted’ into the social fabric of a particular location.

    First, a Madrassa is started after obtaining permission from the Local Authority concerned.
    Next, after the lapse of a suitable period of time, Taraweeh Prayers are conducted during the Month of Ramazan accompanied by the distribution of Conjee & Food to all residents in the vicinity irrespective of religion.
    Thirdly, after a further lapse of time, Jumma Prayers are conducted every Friday
    Finally, with the regular Call for Prayers, what started as a Madrassa is informally converted to encompass the activities of a Mosque.
    Thereafter, formal approval is sought from the Ministry for Religious Affairs for the establishment of a Mosque.

    This 5-stage Method for the building of Mosques smacks of deceit, gives Islam a very bad name and depicts all Muslims as being sneaky, devious and guilty of all types of underhand activities in the cause of their religion. Is it then a matter of surprise, if the Non-Muslims in a specific area which has witness the birth of such a Mosque, become angry and agitated at being taken for a ride by their Muslim neighbours ? Has not this deliberate act by Muslims created space for Extremists from other communities to give vent to their racist attacks ?

    The Muslims of Sri Lanka will be perceived with greater respect if they adhere strictly to the prevailing Rules and Regulations governing the establishment of Religious Institutions in our Country. In our mad rush to earn ‘brownie points’, we should not be blind to the adverse impact such acts may have on our Religion, on our fellow-Muslims and most importantly on our primary task of Forging Unity and Re-building our Motherland.

  12. nuanho Says:

    Maghribi, I don’t think it is an exaggeration to state that religious freedom in Muslim countries is rather wanting. Even in overwhelmingly Muslim countries there is huge persecution of minority Muslim sects such as the Shias and Sufis. I can’t think of one Muslim country that grants its minority non-Muslims the same rights that Sri Lanka grants its Muslim minority. Some people have said that when Muslims are a minority they are big advocates of religious freedom, tolerance, human rights, equality, secularism etc but when they are in the majority they deny all of these to religious minorites, including Muslims that do not belong to their particular dominant sect. Look at our neighbours Pakistan and the Maldives. In the latter the Christians, Hindus and Shias are harassed and killed on a daily/weekly basis. Hundreds of Shias have been killed in bomb attacks. In the Maldives a non-Muslim cannot be a Maldivian according to the constitution. The Maldivians pour into Sri Lanka, make use of Sri Lankan schools, hospitals, businesses and yet even Vesak cards and chains with the Chrsitian cross on them are confiscated at the Maldivian airport. Ancient Buddha statues in the Maldives are smashed, a lion statue that Sri Lanka donated is vandalised because it is an ‘idol.’ Doesn’t there seem to be a problem here? These are not “Arab countries”

  13. Lorenzo Says:

    This problem is not limited to SL.

    Please google to see this problem is a GLOBAL CANCER.

    Some people have found PEACEFUL ways to stop this cancer.

    1. “Copenhagen 4 December 2006 — Last night some people protested against the construction of Mosques on European soil by defiling a proposed site with pigs blood.

    A bag filled with Pig’s blood was splattered at the ground of a planed mosque in Copenhagen.”

    2. “Grenchen – Muslims are outraged by the desecration brought to the site of a planned mosque in Switzerland, as four pigs’ heads and 120 litres of pigs blood was found at the site.
    An anonymous tip off resulted in police officers in the Swiss town of Grenchen discovering four pigs’ heads buried at the site of a planned mosque. A flier, written in German, said “This operation was done to protest against the growing expansion of Islam in Switzerland,” On Islam reported. One hundred and twenty litres of pigs’ blood was spread over the site to desecrate it.”

    3. “Anger as pig heads dumped outside French mosque”

    4. “The small, black pig lay dead on its side upon the wooden deck, a deep gash on the side of its belly.

    That’s what a congregant at the Islamic Outreach Center saw Tuesday evening when he and a handful of other worshippers arrived for nightly prayers. Worshippers also found blood stains near the door of the Harris County mosque.

    “It looked like someone was trying to take it inside, but it was locked,” said Ilyas Choudry, who helps run the center.”

    5. “Pigs to the Rescue

    From the desk of Paul Belien on Wed, 2006-12-06 13:48

    Two months ago when Muslims planned to build a mosque in Windsor, white hooligans decided they had had enough.

    On Sunday night, residents of a Copenhagen suburb protested against the construction of a mosque by drenching the building site with pigs’ blood.”

  14. Lorenzo Says:

    “To no one’s surprise, the Religion of Peace racked up 11,267 dead bodies in 2,459 barbaric terror attacks during 2012.”

    Please visit the religion of peace website.

  15. Maghribi Says:

    @nuanho – Now a days, Sunni’s, Shia’s, Sufi’s and all sects are divided along the lines of Nationalism, Politics, Self interpretations and control of resources. The message of Islam in its purity does not tolerate divisions. They are created to satisfy the ruling political masters. The Mindset is changing with awareness of the true message of Islam. Despots and Dictators are on the way out. All killings, and blood letting in the name of Islam should be attributed to the zionist influence, ignorant practices and beliefs. Example, writers ego to divide and destroy. Life is short, make the best of it.

  16. Lorenzo Says:

    Divisions and wars between Islamic sects MUST be maintained.

    When they are busy killing themselves, OTHERS (non-Muslims) are SAFE.

    More and more countries now need the services of Mossad and IDF including SL, India, Burma, Thailand, Russia, China, Singapore, etc. Islam will NEVER be allowed to become the religion of MOST humans. When oil runs dry in Arabia, Islam ends. The challenge is to hold out until then.

  17. Ceylonese Says:

    Swine Lover is living in Lala Land. These guys are growing 14% per year world wide and getting richer by the day 5 times every year. Wake up and smell the hangover.

  18. Samson Says:


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