Is any nation not fighting the scourge of Islamization? via Asia Times Online :: Sri Lanka’s anti-Muslim campaign fuels discord.
COLOMBO – Sri Lanka’s minority Muslim community is coming under intense pressure from a hard-line Buddhist monk organization allegedly linked to certain powerful individuals in the President Mahinda Rajapaksa-led administration.
The Buddhist Power Force, more commonly known as the “Bodu Bala Sena” (BBS) in the native Sinhala language has lashed out at the country’s second-largest minority, which makes up 9.2% of the population, demanding an outright ban on several Muslim
practices including the traditional dress code of women and halal dietary guidelines.
Just days after pressuring the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU), the apex religious body of Islamic Theologians in Sri Lanka into withdrawing the halal certification provided to companies in the country, the BBS is now targeting the traditional Muslim garb including the abaya (long black cloak), niqab (face cover) and hijab (head cover).
Addressing a news conference in Colombo, the group’s general secretary, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, said the Muslim attire was creating all kinds of social and security issues.
“We will fight until this attire is banned from this country, so that there is no chance to unofficially enforce the Islamic Sharia Law in Sri Lanka, which is a Buddhist nation,” he said.
The government is yet to come out openly and condemn the victimization of the Muslim community, and even Muslim ministers in the government are quiet despite the continuous harassment of their community. Sri Lankan police chief N K Illangakoon has said that he will ensure the safety, security and equality of everyone, no matter to which race or religion they belong.
Meanwhile, veteran left-wing Sri Lankan politician Vasudeva Nanayakkara has expressed concerns over the increased activities of the BBS, warning that their activities can lead to riots in the country. The Jeddah-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a body comprising of over 57 member countries, this week wrote to the Sri Lankan government expressing its concerns over the escalating ethnic tensions in the island.
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“Addressing a mass rally held in Kandy city in the Central Province Sunday, the national organizer of Bodu Bala Sena Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera said that the organization would not speak of Halal again since they had won the Halal issue. …
The Buddhist monk vowed that the Bodu Bala Sena would now take up the issue of removing a mosque that has allegedly taken over the Buddhist monastery in Kuragala.
Kuragala rock cave is believed to be a Buddhist monastery dating back to 2nd century BC, The Buddhist organization says that in recent times the Muslim fundamentalists have taken over the site and destroyed the evidence of Buddhist heritage.”