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Islam and Politics ( 3 May 2019, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Muslim Community, Particularly Ahmadiyas, Are Victims of the Sinhalese Backlash after ISIS-NTJ Attacks in Sri Lanka

New Age Islam Edit Desk

03 May 2019

The ISIS-NTJ attacks on Churches and hotels on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka have caused a severe backlash against the general Muslim community and other sects of Muslims in the country. According to reports, the general masses of the country have lost trust in Muslims belonging to all sects. After the attacks, the Sri Lankan government has taken a number of steps to curb Muslim extremism and to arrest culprits. Burqa has been banned and the women are being harassed by general people on streets. People are misbehaving and abusing Burqa clad women. The government has banned NTJ and Jamat Millat-e-Ibrahimi and has cracked down on extremist organizations in the country. The entire Muslim community has become untrustworthy in the eyes of the majority Sinhalese community.

The backlash has also caused severe problems to the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in the country. Many Ahmadiyyas are migrants from Pakistan where they are discriminated and victimized both by the government and by the Islamic extremist organization who have declared them Kafir. To live in peace thousands of Ahmadiyyas had migrated to Sri Lanka where they had been living for the last 7-8 years. Now they are being thrown out and have nowhere to go. The Sinhalese majority do not differentiate between the Ahmadiyyas and general Muslims and have become aggressive against them. Those who had been living in rented houses have been vacated by the house owners. As a result they have become refugees and do not know where to go with their families.

The Muslim community who had already been target of hate propaganda by the Buddhist nationalist organizations has become easy target of these organization post attacks. Now they have got justification of their hate propaganda in the attacks conducted by the ISIS-NTJ combine. The Buddhist extremist organization Bodu Bala Sena has been campaigning against Hindu, Muslim and Christian minority communities as outsiders for the last ten years. They believe that Sri Lanka is the holy land of the Buddhists and so Christians, Muslims and Hindus should leave the country.  Prior to these attacks, there was no bad blood between the Christian community and the Muslims. But these attacks have harmed this harmony and the Sinhalese extremist organizations have succeeded to sow the seeds of mistrust and suspicion against the Muslims.

According to latest reports, the head of the ISIS has announced that the attacks were a revenge for their defeat in Iraq and Syria. It becomes clear that by targeting Sri Lanka, it has only harmed the Muslims of the country as the whole non-Muslim population has turned against the Muslims. The damage ISIS has done to the Muslims of Sri Lanka is difficult to be repaired. It will have serious repercussions on the Muslims of not only Sri Lanka but on the Muslims of entire South Asia.


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