Posted on June 20th, 2019

Dr. Daya Hewapathirane

The Muslim community in Sri Lanka is a small non-indigenous minority settler community amounting at present, to about 10% of the total population of the country. They are the descendants of small groups of Arab traders, exclusively males, who came to the island at different times in the past. In the late 13th century they established trading posts in Sri Lanka’s western coastal region and by the 15th century, increasing numbers of Arab traders from the South Indian coastal regions came and settled in Sri Lanka. By the early 16th when Portuguese vessels first arrived in Sri Lanka, these Arab Muslims were well settled in the coastal regions. 

From their attitude and actions, it is clearly noticeable the Muslim community has posed a serious threat to national unity and the cultural and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. They have resorted to actions that undermine the national cultural heritage and to the way of life of other communities, and in a covert manner to democratic principles and rule of law of the country, especially with the adoption by them of the Sharia law. These Sharia rules of Islam appear to govern politics, marriage and the day-to-day lives of its followers. Islam is associated with a political ideology where the church and state are not separate. Under the circumstances, one cannot expect Muslims to develop a sense of patriotism and national pride in a predominantly non-Muslim country such as Sri Lanka. In recent years, it is well evident that most Muslims do not appear to be interested in integrating with other communities, perhaps because assimilation is not permitted under the Islamic Shariah law. They rarely if at all participate in national events. They do not participate in the singing of the National Anthem in public events. They do not observe the traditional way of greeting by placing both hands together in the form of worship. Muslim children are taught not to worship their teachers which is a common practice among other non Muslim school children. 

There are schools that operate with government assistance, where not only the Principal and academic staff, but all students are Muslim. Some of these schools have been elevated as National Schools enjoying special privileges. Muslims have established many private International schools in several towns, where the student population and majority of staff are almost entirely Muslim. The most threatening of all is the establishment of their so-called Madrasas or Islamic schools, similar to those found in Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia, where the curriculum is focused on the teaching of the Koran and Shariah law. Saudi Arabian sources have funded the establishment of most of these Madrasas. Here, the younger generation of Muslims are being strongly exposed to the Saudi Arabian fundamentalist Wahhabi form of Islam. Scholarships are awarded to Muslim youth of these schools to continue their Wahhabi Islamic studies in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries, where Wahhabism predominates. This type of exclusive Islamic education and indoctrination is having a well-evident divisive effect in our nation and is beginning to disrupt national efforts to bring about overall unity and togetherness among communities that have made Sri Lanka their home. Their new male and female attire displays the desire of Muslims to look different and to be exclusive and separate from the nation’s mainstream. This polarization tendency and divisive spirit of the Islamic community is self-imposed. It is definitely not because they feel marginalized. The Koran forbids Muslims to closely associate non-Muslims.

The long term implications of these extremist trends are highly undesirable for the maintenance of peace and stability in the country. What is well evident from the several Muslim instigated, disruptive, illegal and extremely violent incidents that occurred in some places in the country in recent times, is how these extremist trends are impinging upon the religious freedom, traditional cultural base and integrity of this country, in particular on the wholesome Sinhala norms and principles upon which this nation is built, and also on the rule of law of this country. One should not overlook the fact and take for granted the long-standing opportunity for peaceful cohabitation of different communities, provided by the traditional cultural foundation established by the Sinhala people of this nation.

For the patriotic and caring Sinhala nationals of this island, irrespective of their religious affiliations, there is one moral law that stands above everything else, and that is to do everything possible to strengthen their Sinhala Nation and to curb the efforts of anti-national elements such as the extremist Muslims in particular, engaged  in violating and undermining Sinhala Buddhist national interests. It was such an attitude and approach that enabled our valiant Sinhala soldiers to wipe-out the anti-national separatist Tamil terrorist elements who were hell-bent on destroying the integrity of this nation in the past.  

Sinhala nationals should not tolerate any individual or community who, whilst living in the Sinhala Nation and considering it their home, deliberately misusing such a privilege by scheming and adopting extreme means or contributing to such actions, in violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of this only nation of the Sinhala people. This includes both direct and indirect efforts on the part of these extremist elements living among us, with ridiculously unfounded claims to carve out ethnic and religious enclaves within our country, merely because some of them had lived in specific places for extended periods of time. These individuals and communities with self-serving attitudes and objectives should be considered as traitors or enemies of our nation and should be dealt with accordingly. There is no place in our nation for such traitors, double crossers, renegades, turncoats, collaborators of enemies, criminals and terrorists, conspirators, connivers, schemers and emissaries, spies, secret agents, undercover agents and double agents of the enemies of this Sinhala Buddhist Nation. 

Action is required to contain the menace caused by uncaring and ruthless Muslim settlers of Sri Lanka where peaceful cohabitation and religious freedom have been a hallmark for a long period of time. Buddhists need to be vigilant and need to organize themselves against the abuse of privileges, aggression and misdemeanor by the Muslims living in Sri Lanka – the only motherland of the Sinhala Buddhist. No Muslim gives any other religion a status of equality with Islam.

The biggest problem with Muslims is their belief that Islam is one and only ‘chosen religion’ and  Muslims are the one and only ‘chosen people’. In an Islamic state people of other faiths are not tolerated. Non-Muslims cannot establish their shrines or  monasteries in any of the Middle Eastern Muslim countries. They cannot hold their religious functions or prayers in public in these countries. 

In this Sinhala nation of ours although they are a non-indigenous minority  settler community, the Muslims insist on living an alienated and un-integrated life and are  agitating for concessions specified by their Islamic religion and Muslim Shariah law.  Misguided by their extremist leaders, they continue to work for their own narrow self interests. The interest of the country as a whole is not their concern, primarily  because Sri Lanka is not an Islamic country. They are least interested in joining the national mainstream” and work towards national unity and well-being.

No meaningful dialogue on Islam or on the divisive attitudes and activities of Muslims is possible with most Muslims in Sri Lanka. They unnecessarily feel intimidated whenever  legitimate questions pertaining to Islam or the Quran are posed. Those who question are immediately considered as being anti-Islam. Most Muslims lack the courage to respond to even the most abject injustices evident in their Islamic beliefs and practices.  They fail to realize that true open-mindedness consists of contemplating all premises and weighing the evidence, not of refusing to draw conclusions no matter how strong the case. Reasoning involves deduction and induction. This is the basis of the scientific process. Why do Muslims cause disharmony and battle all societies they infiltrate?

Increased Propagation of Wahhabism

With increased funding by the Saudi Arabia with their petro dollars, and other forms of penetration, the Wahhabi followers have increased in Sri Lanka during recent decades. This was clearly evident in the Eastern province. Wahhabis claim that the Sufis or the moderate Sri Lankan Muslims are ignorant of the basic teachings and practices in Islam. They claim to be the real scholars of Islam. Scholarships are offered to Muslim youths to go to Wahhabi institutions in Saudi Arabia and Egypt with the condition that those who complete their Wahhabi studies should return to Sri Lanka and propagate Wahhabism. This is happening extensively.

Wahhabis are trying to take the traditional Islamic community in Sri Lanka down the path of extremism and violence. The Wahhabis have already created deep divisions in among Sri Lankan Muslims and have formed gangs that intimidate moderate Muslims who speak out against Wahhabi fanatics. Like the Christian fundamentalist groups using NGOs to convert innocent poor families to Christianity, Wahhabis help poor Muslim families by providing cash and other material benefits to convert them to their cult. Wahhabis appear to be using Sri Lankan Government agencies to propagate Wahhabi  activities.

The House of Saud pretending to be the leaders of the Islam promote their Wahhabi ideology world-wide. The result has been the birth of al-Qaida, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other Wahhabi terrorist groups which are killing Sunni and Shia Muslims alike in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.  All the ‘Islamist’ terror attacks in South Asia including in Mumbai, Afghanistan and Pakistan had the hallmarks of Wahhabism. Wahhabi Jihadists are blinded by faith to believe that they have the mandate of Allah to rid the world of ‘infidels’ and ‘heretics’. Until this Wahhabism is thoroughly discredited, combating Wahhabi terrorism is impossible. Since the Western countries subterfuge to destabilise Sri Lanka, by surreptitiously supporting the LTTE failed, now the Western countries will promote Wahhabi Jihadism to cause strife and trouble to destabilize Sri Lanka. Wahhabi followers – al-Qaida, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other Wahhabi terrorist groups – have caused untold misery in several countries including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Sri Lanka appears to be their next target. Wahhabis have already built several illegal Mosques in Sri Lanka using Saudi Arabia’s petro dollar.

There is clear evidence of increasing tension and extreme forms of violence between traditional and more fundamentalist Islamic groups in Muslim communities across Sri Lanka. During the latter period of the war with Tamil LTTE terrorists, Muslim Home Guards were recruited by the Sri Lankan government to fight the terrorists. In the East some of these Home Guards deserted with their weapons and joined the Wahhabis rebels to fulfill its demand for Jihad” against traditional Sufi Muslims.

As a nation with a historic cultural tradition that extends to over 2200 years, where freedom, compassion, tolerance and accommodation of people of all faiths and ethnicities have been the founding principles, it is necessary that we as a nation take necessary steps to protect and preserve these noble and wholesome cultural traditions. We cannot allow them to be undermined under any circumstances. It is necessary that all communities living in this country develop respect towards the social values and norms of other communities inhabiting this land and not pursue policies and activities that would jeopardize the quality of life and stability of our nation.

Dr. Daya Hewapathirane

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