Thursday, March 22, 2018 05:40:22 PM

Lankan Muslims, Extremist Monks & a Feverish Government

By Raashid Riza - Fri Dec 09, 12:11 am

Photo via Al Jazeera

As Groundviews turns ten, Sri Lankan Muslims are at a crossroads. The last ten years were predominantly about tensions between Sinhalese and Tamils, Muslims seem to now be the new bogey.

Despite having been inhabitants of the island for more than a millennium, and descending from Sinhalese and Tamil women who married Arab traders and with an ethnic history that predates Islam itself, Muslims are finding themselves increasingly referred to as outsiders. Muslims in many immigrant nations are wrongly considered to be outsiders due to the fact that they consist predominantly of communities whose roots do not stem beyond a few generations. However, the same cannot be said of Sri Lankan Muslims, who bear resemblance to their Sri Lankan counterparts in every aspect other than their religious faith. While Sri Lankan Muslims are a numerical minority, their claim to Sri Lanka’s heritage is by no means a recent phenomenon.

However, it is increasingly evident that it is this fallacious narrative of otherness that the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) led Sinhalese Buddhist extremists seem to want to embed deeply within the majoritarian mentality….

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