India’s anti-Muslim policies have received some media attention but Sri Lanka’s Islamophobia has been a blind spot. We look a little closer to find out what is underway in the island state.
The Easter Sunday carnage in Sri Lanka has revived painful memories of the long-drawn out Tamil campaign of suicide bombings that was crushed a decade ago. According to reports from Colombo, several Catholic Churches as well as hotels popular with foreign tourists were targeted leaving about 300 dead and more than 500 injured so far.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister D.M. Dayaratne’s order to demolish the 65-year-old masjid in Dambulla and build one elsewhere strikes at the very root of religious freedom.
Muslims have always been loyal to the country and were in the forefront of the struggle — resisting foreign invaders, winning back the lost freedom and consolidating the freedom won...
This month, the world may witness the final chapter in the 25-year-old conflict between the Sri Lankan army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), commonly known as the Tamil Tigers. The civil war, which has killed more than 70,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands others, was triggered by Tamil demands for an independent homeland in the North and East of the country following decades of complaints about discrimination against them by the majority Buddhist Sinhalese government.
Muslims in the Sri Lankan town of Mawanella suffered damage to their businesses and property estimated at R2.100 million ($1.2 million) earlier this month, when mobs attacked Muslim-owned businesses and shops, destroying 18 vehicles, 20 houses, 140 shops, two garment-factories and a rubber factory on May 2.
Hijab has also come to symbolise the Islamic identity of Muslim women. All over the world, Muslimahs in hijab have become targets for attack by secularists and others seeking to attack Islam. Even Sri Lanka, where Muslims have lived in harmony with the majority Sinhalese community for over 1,000 years, Muslimahs in hijab are now coming attack.
A spate of violent attacks against Muslims in the South Eastern province of Sri Lanka last month has caused alarm among the community. A police constable, M Badurdeen was shot and killed while performing ‘isha prayers in Masjidul Hudha (mosque) in Akkaraipattu...