Attacks ON Islamic places OF worship and properties go unabated despite assurances

By Dr. M. Haris Z Deen

The patience of the Sri Lankan Muslims is at a breaking point and can certainly boil over if the government does not take any immediate positive steps to bring the rabble mongers to book we are likely to see more bloodshed than the butchery that happened during the thirty years of civil strife between the Sinhala and Tamil communities. Vested interests, probably foreign wants to see our beautifully country in turmoil once again. The latest of the attacks on a Muslim business in Wennapuwa is said to have taken place literally within ‘a stone’s throw’ (pardon the pun) from where President Maithripala Sirisena was inaugurating an event. From May 2015 starting with an attack on the Borella Jami ul Alfar Jumma Masjid – ironically immediately after the present government came to power promising the Muslims of weeding out communalism, there were attacks on businesses, mosques and other properties of Muslims taking place at regular intervals and at various places in the Island. This cannot be attributed to the work of any single individual or the generally tolerant Sinhala people who have themselves, condemned the hate speeches designed to provoke hate by some priests. There is certainly more to it than meets the eye as it is evidently clear that foreign vested interests are as yet raking the ‘muck’ to keep this country forever in turmoil.

There is not a single country in the world apart from Malaysia and Sri Lanka enjoying the relative calm and security after a civil war. All the Western powers joined together to get rid of the Soviet forces from Afghanistan. To be frank, the Soviet forces were not occupying forces, they were genuinely there at the request of the Afghan Communist leader – Hikmatyar. But unfortunately, communism having become a "dirty" word in the West’s vocabulary brain washed the Muslim faithful as being harmful to their religion and involved Usama Bin-Laden, and the Thaliban with heavy arms and artillery and trained them and eventually after the defeat of the Soviet forces installed their stooge – Karzai creating the worst dissention and division in that country which after nearly 25 years is still in turmoil. The same Western powers that caused the defeat of Hikmatyar and the Soviets are as yet indulging in divided politics keeping the country dependent on them for security that has not been achieved. It is the same story with Iraq, Libya, Syria and Egypt. They got rid of what they termed ‘one’ evil to bring about many such evils and the killing continues.

As for Sri Lanka the thirty years civil war ended with the annihilation of the root cause of the problem thereby bringing about security and relative calm and peace of mind on her people. The Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim people irrespective of linguistic or religious leanings welcomed the ending of the war despite protests from vested interests losing their ‘avenue’ of ‘revenue’ through illegal arms sales and other activities including dealing in drugs. These evil forces that commenced in 1958 have been engaging in provoking the usually ‘Ahimsa" preaching Buddhist clergy to resort to inflammatory speeches against the Muslim community to the point of retaliation. Gauthama Buddha’s teaching of ‘Ahimsa’ - respect for all living things and avoidance of violence towards others has become a thing of the past. The result of 1958 is the appearance of the Late S.J.V. Chelvanayagam’s proverbial "worm" out of its hole beneath the ground to surface as the Tamil Tiger, what pursued for the next forty years or so is in everyone’s memory and will not go away so easily. Muslims sought solace in patience and prayer then, even when they were mercilessly massacred by the Tamils in Eravur and Kattankudi. They have hitherto bore with patience all the threats and verbal abuse thrown at them from some people claiming to be Buddhists and refrained from any retaliation which they expected. Failing to get the Muslims to retaliate, they are now resorting to damaging property and places of worship of the Muslims. The pattern is evident that what these thugs expect is an excuse to commit murder and bloodshed.

An Appeal to the Muslims

Muslims bore the brunt of murder and carnage by the Tamil Tigers along with the majority Buddhists of this beautiful country of ours. As explained eloquently by Hon. MP Ali Zahir Moulana in Parliament, Muslims refused to take up arms although such were offered to them by the government of the day. Muslims did not believe that ‘two wrongs will make a right’ and sought refuge in Allah with patience and prayer. My appeal to my Muslim brothers and sisters at this time is do not give these thugs terrorizing us, the opportunity to kill, murder and create carnage by retaliation. Your resilience will certainly be rewarded and as advised by ACJU seek solace in patience and prayer and your Du’a Qunooth will bring results without doubt. After all we live in a country of majority Buddhists who believe in the Ahimsa as taught by their Lord Buddha. Let us not be dismayed by the terrorist acts of a few and get into the terrorist mould ourselves as have already been portrayed by the world media.

An Appeal to the Government

President Maithripala Sirisena and the present government admitted that they were voted into power by at least 95% Muslim votes. Then why is it that you are silent on the matter of terrorist attacks committed on Muslim property and places of worship. It is shameful that this happened in Wennappuwa right under the ‘nose’ the of President when he was attending a function as chief guest there. Why was action not taken on those who committed those acts? It is believed that the recent attacks in Panadura were clearly captured on CCTV camera and the culprits are identifiable, but the police are powerless to take any action. Why may I ask? First it was verbal abuse, which the Muslims complained of but did not retaliate. Now it is damage being inflicted on places of worship and property of the Muslims without anything being done by the government to bring the terrorist culprits to book. This is indeed shameful. Please do not wait till worse comes to worst and end up in killing of innocent people and carnage. We have had that for over thirty years and let us enjoy the relative benefits of the defeat of terrorism without letting the next ‘worm from its hole under the ground’ to surface. The pattern is very clear and it has the hallmarks of foreign vested interested who do not want our country to benefit from the calm and security it achieved. It is therefore time for the government to nip it at the bud, the right thinking Buddhist population of this country do not want it, Hindus do not want it, Christians do not want it and certainly Muslims despise it. It is time the government showed some willingness to thwart this.

An appeal to Muslim Ministers and Parliamentarians

Every Muslim in this country I have spoken to has unequivocally condemned your silence on this matter. Muslims do not expect any explosive orations from yourselves to provoke them to retaliation. Far from it, most of you are with the government party. I certainly know of one Muslim Minister who refused to support Mahinda Rajapaksea (having been with him before) for the simple reason that he had failed to condemn and contain the BBS. It is a shame that when it is worse than before now, this same person thinks it fit to continue in his privileged office without a single word of condemnation. The All Ceylon Muslim Congress and its splinter parties as at fault on this matter. To some extent their silence can be welcome as any provocation towards retaliation can have serious consequences. But at least they can make representations to the government and if no action has been taken then must have the courage to resign from the government and be in opposition. Please do not let this end up in blood shed. No Buddhist wants it; no Hindu wants it; no Christian wants it and certainly no Muslims want it.


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