Sri Lanka: A nation of haters or just hate-speech tolerators ?

hate speech pie

We are on our way to becoming something as a nation. Apart from things that we cannot do anything about are those things that we condone by averting our eyes or just let be cos it’s not worth spoiling our day by reading it.

Apart from the Anti-Sthreewaadaya or Anti-Feminism blog  which was alarming, the Waduge article on Muslims has been a scary example of how people write bullshit which could lead to paranoia and communal and other tensions.

Here is a great blog by Gehan Samuel whose tracks on Soundcloud are creating a nice backdrop right now.

Read Gehan on Hate Speech in Sri Lanka. Why are we still listening ? 

His final para says it well.

“Look; the entire article is completely bonkers. It sounds like someone on a bad acid trip, or some kind of low budget sci-fi movie, and what’s even worse is that the writer identifies with the crazy people she is defending. I’m sad to say that this isn’t the first time I’m hearing people speak like this, and a 5 minute search on Facebook will uncover a massive number of pages dedicated to similar extremist, racist, militant thinking. Yet, to find sensationalist, fear-mongering dribble published in a national newspaper is inexcusable!
When our media is controlled to such a point that people have now forgotten there is anything north of Anuradhapura except free food and joyous Tamil families playing hopscotch with the Army, any platform given to mad men/women like this writer is negligent and just intolerable. The entire article compares Sri Lanka to radical Muslim states and rules such as those held in Saudi Arabia. Why can she not understand that we are not to hold ourselves to such low standards, but instead aspire to be a free nation that doesn’t have to militantly put down the minority when they try to seek representation? Yes, there are Muslim states with grave injustices being carried out, but is that an excuse to conduct our own form of terrorism on their communities in our country? What kind of playground mentality is this?
Bottom line: there are crazy people out there, but it’s our job as a sensible, peace-loving community of intelligent adults to refuse them a platform to spread their hate-filled message. In that respect, and in the light of this (and other) article(s) written by writers such as Shenali Waduge, we have failed miserably.”

 

Here is a response to Waduge by Fazli Sameer :

 
The writer is spewing out venom, filled with a total bias against all things Non Buddhist/Sinhala, using very fickle arguments to substantiate his case.
 

First and foremost he/she must realize that comparing Sri Lankan Muslims with Muslims in Africa, Arabia and the Far East is a gross case of apples and oranges. The SL Muslims have nothing to do or no say whatsoever in whatever rules, laws, and restrictions other so called Muslim/Arab states choose to impose on their people and those who visit and live in them.
The prevalance of separate laws to sustain the needs of minority communities in their social sphere of marriage, divorce, inheritance, etc has been ongoing since Colonial times and is certainly not a new phenomenon introduced in recent years as he/she claims. The Tamils have the Thesavalamai and even the Sinhalese have two sets of laws, one for the Kandyans and the other for the Low Country Sinhalese. These laws are not criminal laws but social laws based on their ethnicity, race, caste etc and do not have or cause any major implication, abuse, oppression, or hardship to others.

 

The writer is only trying to pour oil into the fire.

 

Does he/she realize that it was the Muslims who supported and fought with the Kandyan Kings against the Colonial rulers and it was for this reason that they were given Nindagam lands in the Eastern Province. Their own Sinhala rascals committed treason by selling them out to the Colonials in return for wealth, fame, and status. Only one name is being mentioned while there were so many fellows who sold their nations to the foreigners, even in recent times. has anyone read “From Nobodies to Somebodies” by Kumari Jayawardena? She lays it on the line how the Sinhala fellows sold their religion, race and dignity in return for big bucks.

 

The fact that there are more  Mosques than Buddhist Temples in SL only proves that tyhe Muslims were more pious than their Sinhala compatriots and chose to build these places of worship to facilitate their needs. It doesnt create any pressure on the Sinhala people whatsoever. Loudspeakers have been used by all religious bodies throughout history and one cannot simply single out the call of Azan from Masjids as the oppressor. Poya Day Bana sermons are blasted 24 hours round the clock to the whole neighborhood disturbing the peace throughout the whole day.

 

It is sad to see so called “educated” and “intelligent” journalists stoop to these levels in this day and age without considering the reality on the ground.

 

Not a single Muslim in SL would even dream of wanting to make it a Muslim nation under Shariah Law. Qazi courts have been in existence since the time of the Colonials providing a simple facility for Muslims to fulfill their social needs.

 

If the writer thinks that the Muslims are also preparing another Eelam type war against the Sinhala public then hhe/she is sadly wrong. In fact what he/she is attempting to do by this article is to rouse up a war cry that is non existent.

 

Foolish is not the word for the Modaya.

 

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