This is a response to the article appearing in the Daily Mirror of 22 November 2016 titled “Anti-Muslim hate post-war Sinhala Buddhist and selective truth telling” by one Hafeel Farisz. The article immediately recalled the interview with Dr. Ameer Ali on ‘Muslims are self-alienating’ beseeching Muslims to ask themselves whether they want to be Muslims of Sri Lanka or Muslims in Sri Lanka, appealing to Muslims to look at how the world looks at them and why. From America, Canada to Europe and other parts of the world why is there growing resentment shared by all towards Muslims? If so, it clearly underlines the need for self-introspection and re-adjustment instead of pointing fault at only the Sinhala Buddhists. Islamaphobia was coined not by Sinhala Buddhists but the West. Media too must play a role in uniting communities instead of using their communication modes to divide people and fan ethno-religious tensions.
Can Mr. Hafeel explain world opinion against Muslims? Yet it is Sinhala Buddhists who are only faulted.
- 55% Americans have an unfavourable opinion of Muslims
- 38% American Muslims says ISIS are correct (Centre for Security Policy)
- 1.5 Million British Muslims support Islamic State – about half the total population.” (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/muslim-leader-isis-supporting-brits-disenfranchised-6018357)
- 23% Germans, 25% French, and 34% British say that Muslims are sympathetic to al Qaeda
- Anti-Muslim hate crimes in the United States rose 67%, from 154 incidents in 2014 to 257 in 2015 – of 5,818 hate crimes 59.2% were racial/ethnic
- 89 mosques in US attacked between 2010-12 – FBI and NYPD even has informant programmes to infiltrate mosques/communities to keep tab on them.
- Pew Research (2011) saw 28% Muslims feel Americans treated them with suspicion while 22% said they were called racial names and 21% Muslims had been signalled out by security officials. 48% Muslim Americans say they experienced racial/religious discrimination
- 60% of Swiss favoured the ban on construction of minarets in Switzerland (2009)
- Between 16% and 21% French, German and British say they would not like Muslims as their neighbours
- Norway claims rapes of native Norwegian women are by Muslim immigrants
- 16% Germans, 30% British, and 39% French say wearing the hijab - threatens European culture
- 61% Germans say Islam does not fit in the West (Bertelsmann Foundation)
- According to TROP in 2016 - 1274 Islamic attacks in 50 countries, in which 11,774 people were killed and 14303 injured. (The Religion Of Peace) https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/terror-2016.htm
- Following attacks on “Charlie Hebdo,” anti-Muslim attacks in France increased by 500%
- Europeans are calling for a moratorium against mushrooming mosques while countries are banning the face veil. Ironically ISIS has also banned the burka.
- “Throwing a pork head, or sometimes even a grenade, on a mosque. Assaulting a Muslim woman who wears a head scarf. Demonstrating against the building of a mosque or against the local supermarket which sells Halal food. Incidents like these are happening on a daily basis in 21st century Europe” (Emran Feroz)
- Muslim migrants burnt down centre for lack of chocolates/gummy bears http://www.wnd.com/2016/11/muslim-migrants-burn-down-center-over-lack-of-chocolate/
- https://www.rt.com/news/340050-belgian-pm-muslims-cheer-attacks/ Muslims danced after terror Brussels attacks
More Muslims have been killed by Muslims!
According to a 2009 report published by the Counter Terrorism Centre at the United States Military Academy, Al-Qaeda kills over seven times more Muslims than non-Muslims. ISIS has killed thousands of Muslims across the Middle East, including beheading Sunni Muslims in Iraq for failing to pledge loyalty to them, executing Imams for not submitting to them, and even killing an Imam in Iraq for simply denouncing them.
Wahhabi Islam is a creation of Colonial British. The new trends in how Muslims dress, behave and demand are all Wahhabi Islam related. Wahhabism is not true Islam.
Muslims themselves do not see eye to eye – Sunnis, Shias are fighting each other, harmless Sufis are attacked. The crimes between and among the Muslim world is far more horrendous and frightening than the allegations made by Muslims against non-Muslims.
There is not one single word in any Buddhist text that calls people to war or to kill. However there are 109 lines in the Quran calling Muslims to war with non-believers whatever context it is used.
Dr. Ameer Ali, a prominent Islamic scholar, former advisor of Muslim Affairs of Australian PM John Howards’ Government in an interview with the Ceylon Today in 2013 said Muslims in Sri Lanka were self-alienating and isolating themselves due to Saudi-influenced orthodox Islam that has influenced how Muslims in Sri Lanka dress, their values and their practices, prompting confrontation between communities. He cites Muslim women dressed in sarees in the 1970s, he mentions 58 mosques in Kattankudy with only 20 people at prayer and asks why Muslims want to spend millions planting dates to make Kattankudy look like Arabia.
Hafeel brings out isolated examples none of which have proven that the culprits were Sinhala Buddhists. Yet, how about 25,000 Muslim rioters destroying historical monuments, artefacts, torching Buddhist temples in Bangladesh? https://www.rt.com/news/buddhist-temples-torched-bangladesh-342/
Attempts to destroy the Bamiyan Buddhas were made by emperor Aurangzeb, Abdur Rahman Khan until it was finally destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. Karma was such that within months US/Allies invaded & continue to occupy Afghanistan!
Maldives expunged its original Buddhist history after killing/ converting all Buddhists including monks and is now destroying Buddhist artefacts inside its museum. Media never covers the persecution of the indigenous tribes in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The Mahabodhi Temple in India was almost completely destroyed by invading Muslims. Can Buddhists be asked to forget how Islamic invaders turned to dust the oldest library in the world at Nalanda and beheaded the Buddhist monks.
The media must also introspect.
Its biased, double standards and even fake news was exposed during the US elections. Not learning lessons the media continues its damage. Media chose not to publicize news that millions of Muslims marched in protest against ISIS in Iraq because they want to showcase Muslims as cheering Islamic jihadist groups.http://www.mintpressnews.com/media-blackout-millions-muslims-march-isis-iraq/222443/
Former President of CNN confirmed its staff were paid to lie. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW5VDLHN33Q
We implore Sri Lanka’s media to function as an unifier and not a divider of communities. Unbiased coverage has been lacking by Sri Lanka’s media – Sinhala Buddhists are only trying to protect their historical civilization & heritage – they do not demand mono-ethnic enclaves as minorities are now doing.
Media has never drawn attention to the version of the Sinhala Buddhists & incursions they suffer - Kuragala, Muhudu Maha Vihara, Dambulla, Mihintale, Sri Pada, North & East Buddhist history far before Tamils from South India or Muslim Traders from Middle East arrived. The Sinhala kings followed the Dasa Raja Dhamma and killing animals was banned by royal edict. All former Buddhist majority nations are today either Islamized or Christianized. The Sinhala Buddhists are only protecting the nation from becoming known as a ‘once Buddhist nation’ too.
However, there is a problem.
Muslims must realize from the statistics shown that Non-Muslims have the same issues against Muslims world over and work out how to overcome these. Self-alienating and making accusations are no solutions. In addition, differences between Muslims & Muslims end in death yet the West enjoys using Muslim minority issues to advance their own imperial agendas and invariably Sinhala Buddhists become political targets. These dynamics must be understood by all.
While putting the facts in perspective, we should not allow politicized issues to come between the general friendships enjoyed by all communities in Sri Lanka.