The Dambulla Mosque Debacle and The Rise of The Minority Extremist

By Shaahima Fahim- MM Correspondent covering Sri Lanka and the GCC

The city of Dambulla in Sri Lanka, more known for its representation in tourism brochures as a registered heritage destination for culturally-inclined tourists to the island, made headlines of a less-idyllic nature on the afternoon of Friday the 20th of April – when Buddhist monks led a 2000-strong protest against a local mosque. Intimidation in the form of marching picket-wielders, fire-bombs being hurled and emotionally-driven chants demanding the demolition of Masjidul Khaira led to the cancellation of Jumaah prayers at the masjid, the evacuation of worshipers and effective cordoning off of the premises.

Said protestors claim that the land on which the mosque is built is of reverential value and sacred to their faith, the reason for which the ‘illegal structure’ must go.  The Muslim community of Dambulla has countered the allegations stating that the mosque has in fact been lawfully registered and operational for the past 50 years.

Muslims in Sri Lanka make up roughly 8% of the 21.5 million-strong population, a percentage tying them in third place with their Christian counterparts, after Buddhism and Hinduism. A statistic that also has them tagged a ‘minority’ in the Sinhala Buddhist dominated (70% of population) nation.

Surprisingly (as is not usually the norm with these type of targeted attacks) the majority of immediate public reaction exchanged over social media and online forums was not of reactionary animosity directed towards Buddhism and the Buddhist community as an entity, but rather a collectively-acknowledged finger of disapproval pointing in the direction of another sort of minority  – the minority of radical trouble-makers representing  the very anathema of what Buddhism entails.

Aside from a negligible faction of ideological individuals out to instill and fester strained Muslim-Buddhist relations, true Buddhists embarrassed at this misrepresentation sympathized with the Muslim community, and the Muslims though understandably upset at being targeted in such a fashion, in turn acknowledged that the attacks were not definitive of general public sentiment.

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All ears however were directed to the then-silent government, at the time yet to take a stand on the issue.

On Sunday the 22nd of April, the Prime Minister’s office released a statement ordering for the mosque’s closure, but ‘assuring ‘ the Muslim community that they would be provided with the necessary facilities to facilitate the relocation of Masjidul Khairah to a safer location. The decision claimed to have been collectively made with the consent of the country’s Muslim leaders, but the ministers in question have denied having had any say at the time.

This portrays the Sri Lankan government in a very negative light both internally and across international waters, especially to the Muslim countries who voted in support of Sri Lanka in the recent US-backed UNHRC resolution last month.

Despite a history in the island dating as far back as the 8th century, Sri Lankan Muslims feel they’ve been plated an unfair share of occasions to feel targeted, especially over the last couple of years. What with a similar incident in September 2011, and when earlier this year more than a hundred visiting Islamic preachers were asked to leave on grounds relating to flouting Sri Lanka’s immigration laws – this sentiment is not without argument.

The nationalization and politicization of Buddhism as a state religion has always been a cause for concern among the religious minorities, having the potential to hinder any balanced decision making that can serve to suitably placate all parties concerned.

The ethnic minorities have however proven their mettle in tolerance (not mere complacence) in light of recent events, but the minority in question that needs to be dealt with more pressingly, is this new surge of religious radicals set out to widen the divide on peaceful co-existence.

At the point of this going to print, the repercussions of this ordered move was only just getting started with a volley of words exchanged between the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka and the so-called ‘Buddhists’ behind the attacks.

The Muslim community of Sri Lanka seems to have now resorted to placing greater expectancies on the well-positioned Muslim parliamentarians (a considerably large representation in the current regime) than in the government as a whole. That in exercising their rights as MPs and leaders they will be dutifully positioning the well-being of the Muslim community before personal fears of potentially risking their political footing on the boards they represent.

If there is anything productive to come out of all of this, it is the exposition of the not-so-lesser-evil of the religious extremist. For like the hate-driven Breivik murders in Norway earlier this year, the exhibitionist tendencies of these misfits in question are being broadcast (and received) for what they truly are. A pandemic not just for the governments of Asia, Europe or America to learn to quash effectively long-term, but also a pressure test for the targeted groups to come out of it better represented than when they went in.

Image Courtesy: Associated Press

 

 

 

45 / View Comments

45 responses to “The Dambulla Mosque Debacle and The Rise of The Minority Extremist”

    • Arjuna Rajapaksa says:

       I am a Sinhalese and I am ashamed by your racism, Falcon! When Sri Lankans tell the international community that there is equal rights for all in Sri Lanka – we have idiotic bigots like the above trying to destroy Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is not the land of Buddhism or Sinhalese – it is a democratic, multi-ethnic island where all are welcomed to worship their own religions!

      • Suban says:

        Sri Lanka is the Land of Buddhists and sinhalese.

        You may be a sinhalese but cant be a buddhist! Do you let your neighbour to come and rob your land ? See how Buddhist temples have been destroyed by Muslims in Eastern province. They are living like friends bcoz they are not the majority. If they were, they will practice teachings in Quarn.

        If they do destructions they will never listen to others. Can you remember what happened to Bamian Buddha Statues? they blasted it according to their Quarn.

        • KingofDemocratics says:

          You should be shot with Cow Shit :P 

        • Hajanim says:

          donot compare Afghanistan muslims with us. you idiot.
          bro we did not come from arabia we were also born to sumanawathi or kusumawathi long time back in the history our blood is also sinhala. first of all practice buddisam then talk.how many liquor bars in the country?

          how many corrupt politician in the country?
          how many brothels in the country?
          how many night clubs in country?
          bullshit holy land

          • Suban says:

            Yes. You are correct, when anything is polluted, it cant be a holy land. It’s a buddhist land stolen by dirty politicians and distributed among bars, mosques and kovils etc for money.. I have seen how muslims behave harssing Buddhists in Kirinda Temple and even in Dambulla mosque after the prayer.

            I have seen how SL Muslims support Parkistan in cricket matches against Sri Lanka. May be there are few like you who have national thoughts, but not the majority.

    • Bobbythara2000 says:

      first wont to kill like you people…… are you  human been or enything else…. just think abv you u first…..how long u can live in this world?….. after u die what u can take from the world..?
      hello……. this is the short life….. just think abv ur self dont pull and dont hirt others…….
      u know one thing y ur using    {us}   if your lion come straight…..fight allown man……before that go and stand near the lion first….i dont think that u can….. please try ok

      • Falcon says:

        Life is short but the Samsara isn’t short.
        so one day you will born in the human realm once you died. it will repeat again and again until you reach the Nirvana.
        if you collect bad Karma meanwhile you will reach the hell. if you collect good Karma you can reach the heaven. if you improve your inner self
        by doing meditation while collecting the Karma u can reach the Brahma realm (the highest realm above all heavens). somehow you can also born in the
        human realm randomly depend on ur karma level.

        yeah that’s what we have been doings since 70,000 BC fighting with intruders. do u know how LTTE was kicked out from out land?
        then read the history. so as long as u stay from Srilanka you will be fine.

        • Malik says:

          So if you are human  now because of some good  things  you did in your previous life as an animal. and if you wrere an animal in that existence  because in  previous life of that animal  he was a human and done something bad  to merit the animal existence  which came first ?

          • Falcon says:

            humans are animals too. in Buddhism actions don’t judge the people it’s his/ her intention. if there is an action without an intention then that would be an accident.
            if you meant about animals other than humans then well those animals can’t collect bad or good karma they can only be given by someone else.
            or if they have bad karma they would pay them automatically with the suffering in that life once they ran out of bad karma then they die and reach to a realm that they can collect
            good or bad karma which is actually the human realm. that way they can decide their fate again whether go to a lower realm or stay in the human realm.

          • Malik says:

            It seems you didn’t  graspt the logical implications of your  theory and instead  chose to delve into the technicalities of it  which had no bearing on what I stated.  So let me rephrase it  considering your explanation given above.

            Assume    you (A)  are  in the present  human realm  because  in your  previous  life(lives ) in the animal  realm (B)  you  ran out of Bad Karma  and  ended up in  human realm (A) which is present. (A).   Now consider the  animal realm  (B)  you were in   your previous life.  You  ended up there  because in your  previous life (C)  before B  you were in human realm  like  you are at the moment  and for some  Bad Karma    you ended up in the animal realm (B). consider the flow below.

            A  (human ) <—-    B ( animal )   <—   C (human )  <——   x (animal )  <——-Y (human )      …………………  infinity

            This cycle  goes into the past ad infinitum  which is absurd. Since there has to be some point of beginning  which came first    Human existence or animal existence . Chicken or the Egg?.  ( I have ignored other realms  for the sake of brevity and clarity  and since it does not impact on what  i have discussed above.).

             Explain your reasons   for your conclusion  in a logically coherent way.

          • Falcon says:

            by assuming at first place
            “because  in your  previous  life(lives ) in the animal  realm”
            there is no because of gibberish.

            anyway it seems it’s you who don’t know how to spell “grasp” properly. perhaps you can fix your poor English, if you waste your time for learning it
            rather than wasting your time for defending your blind faith. I am not here to defend the Buddhism. this is a MUSLIM MATTERS site not a BUDDHIST MATTER site.
            if you wanna know about Buddhism just go to the nearest Temple cause Buddhism isn’t just one book there are many topics.

  1. Desperado Banderas says:

    First of all from where this lion came to sri lanka ether there is only a couple caged in the dehiwala zoo?
    we saw the behaviors of the Teachers and preachers so  there is no wonder how the followers .
    Ranjan

    • Falcon says:

      yeah we are Lions but with an Intelligent Brain and a fearless heart.
      you have to pass through us-Sinhalese if you want to touch Buddhism.

  2. Samuel says:

    Sri Lankan Muslims form around 7% of the Sri Lanka’s population. They are the second largest minority group, after the Tamils, and consist of two main groups – the Sri Lankan Moors who form the majority of Sri Lanka’s Muslims, and the Sri Lankan Malays who form a tiny minority of Sri Lanka’s Muslims. Recent events have left some commentators making sweeping claims that Muslims have no rights in Sri Lanka, that their rights are not protected by the Sri Lankan government , that they are persecuted in other parts of the world, and that “…even in Sri Lanka, can’t catch a break.” However, is this really the case? Is it an accurate reflection of the position Sri Lankan Muslims find themselves in, in Sri Lanka?

    Let us take a closer look…

    In Sri Lanka:

    – The Sri Lankan Muslim community is specially represented on the national flag by a green strip. Sri Lanka is the only non-majority Muslim country in the world to recognize its Muslim citizens on its national flag (http://tinyurl.com/7az4mwt ).
    – Muslims in Sri Lanka have complete freedom to assemble, practice their religion, build their mosques and madrassas, and propagate their religion. This freedom of religion is granted to all sects of Islam – the Sunnis, Shias, Sufis and other groups such as the Ahmadiyyas who are not recognized or are actively persecuted in several Muslim countries ( http://tinyurl.com/7ejea3n ) ( http://tinyurl.com/7yvj5fc ).
    – The Government of Sri Lanka allows in Islamic preachers such as Zakir Naik (who are banned from the Britain and Canada on account of propagating extremism), and provides them with the freedom to assemble and organize conferences in the island ( http://tinyurl.com/84cvthl )
    – The Muslims of Sri Lanka are supported by the Government of Sri Lanka through a special Department of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs which attends to their needs. This includes the the funding of several Arabic collages, paying the salary of many Madrassa teachers, and ensuring a similar syllabus is followed in the diverse Madrassas found throughout the island.
    – The Government of Sri Lanka recognises Islamic Law. Muslim Personal Law is recognised in the country’s judicial system and applies to its Muslim citizen. This includes the right of Muslim men to legally have more than one wife.
    – The Government of Sri Lanka has recognised the importance of Sharia for Muslims and has set up government-sanctioned Qazi courts in several Muslim areas to intervene in personal disputes between Muslims.
    – The Government of Sri Lanka is officially involved in organizing Muslim pilgrimages to Mecca, including the appointment of several travel agents to arrange the pilgrimage and the use of the national airline SriLankan Airlines to facilitate the pilgrimage. The Government of Sri Lanka actively engages with the Government of Saudi Arabia to increase the quota allowed for Sri Lankan Muslim pilgrims, has built a government resthouse for Sri Lankan Muslim pilgrims and subsidies the pilgrimage itself ( http://tinyurl.com/7bh5g9p )
    – The Government of Sri Lanka sponsors several daily Islamic programs, both on national television and on national radio ( http://tinyurl.com/7s4ulze )
    –  Muslims employed at Sri Lankan Government Institutions are allowed to leave work for Friday prayers. During Ramazan, the Government of Sri Lanka officially requests all private institutions in the island to afford this privilege to their Muslim workers as well ( http://tinyurl.com/7atqxuk ) and to provide salary advances.
    – During the entire period of Ramazan, the Government of Sri Lanka officially broadcasts the Azan on national television and on national radio ( http://tinyurl.com/764zarz ) and organizes Ifthar ceremonies with its Muslim members of parliament.
    – All mosques in Sri Lanka have the right to broadcast the Azan over loud speakers 365 days a year, even in areas where the majority of the residents are non-Muslims. During Ramazan, this right is extended past midnight.
    – Muslims in Sri Lanka have the right to slaughter animals publicly, without licence, in the streets or in their backyards in accordance with their religious duty during Eid Ul Adha (the festival of sacrifice), despite objection from some non-Muslims.
    – The Government of Sri Lanka’s official newspaper The Daily News affords a special section for Islam on its Monday edition ( http://tinyurl.com/896xg9a )
    – The Government of Sri Lanka funds and runs several Islamic Government Schools, and provides to all Muslim students studying in other national schools the option of choosing Islam as their subject for Religion. It funds the curriculum and the printing of free textbooks  on Islam for Muslim students.
    – The Government of Sri Lanka affords national holidays to the following days that are holy to the Muslims: Milad un-Nabi (Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad), Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Adha. This is more national holidays for Islam than is accorded by Saudi Arabia.
    – The Muslims have their own political parties which take part in elections such as the SLMC (Sri Lanka Muslim Congress), and he ACMC (All Ceylon Muslim Congress) as well as many politicians in the two major political parties in the island, the SLFP (Sri Lanka Freedom Party) and the United National Party (UNP). Muslim parties have been a part of successive Sri Lankan governments, and in the past have been king makers on several occasions.
    – Several Muslim politicians have been voted into power from areas that have an overwhelmingly Sinhalese majority.
    – The Government of Sri Lanka provides free cloth to school going Muslim girls so that they can wear a hijab if they so wish. This is in recognition of their religious obligations ( http://tinyurl.com/8ymokvg ) . Followers of other religions are not provided with this benefit.
    – The Government of Sri Lanka officially recognizes Sharia/Islamic Banking and has incorporated this as a legitimate banking means into its national banking structure.
    – Muslim men are allowed to wear the skull cap, and Muslim women are allowed to wear the hijab in photos for the national identity card in respect of their religious injunctions ( http://tinyurl.com/7snxtgj ). Non Muslims are disallowed from having any embellishments.
    – Muslim men and women are free to wear their religious clothing in public and as employees in all Government Institutions. Their right to wear religious clothing at government institutions has been supported by the Sri Lankan courts.
    – The Government of Sri Lanka provides special identity cards for members of the Muslim clergy to facilitate their travel through security checkpoints and ensure they receive government subsidies
    – The Government of Sri Lanka has opened a Department of Arabic & Islamic Civilization in almost all national universities to provide information on Islamic and Arabic culture both to Sri Lankan and foreign students.
    – The Government of Sri Lanka closely supports the right of the Palestinian people to an independent state. The current Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rakapaksa is the founder of the Sri Lanka Palestinian Friendship Association.
    – Muslim owned businesses flourish in Sri Lanka, and are largely patronized by non-Muslims. The Sri Lankan Muslims play a central role in the country’s economy and business and are renowned for their acumen in this area.
    – All pork-based medicines are not imported into the country by the Government of Sri Lanka,and are banned in government hospitals because they are not compatible with Islamic belief. This is despite the fact that often the non-pork based medicines are more expensive and the vast majority of patients are non-Muslims.
    – The Government of Sri Lanka officially recognizes the Halal label and liaises with the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama for certification.
    – The Muslims of Sri Lanka have a long history of peaceful co-existence with the majority Buddhists, since the arrival of the Islam to the island many centuries ago. Muslims fought against the colonials and were provided refuge by Buddhist kings in Central Sri Lanka when they were persecuted by the Portuguese in the maritime provinces. Muslims were provided land in Eastern Sri Lanka where they could live without persecution from the colonials. This relationship continues today with Buddhist monks actively involved in organizing Islamic classes for wayward Muslim children  ( http://tinyurl.com/88ogawo ), and in the past Buddhist temples like the Ridi Vihara have donate land for the construction of a mosque (http://tinyurl.com/7zb9pxk ) and supported the education of Muslim children.
    – Sinhalese Buddhist researchers like Dr Lorna Dewaraja have spent great time and effort documenting the peaceful history between the Buddhists and Muslims of Sri Lanka ( http://tinyurl.com/7bndb3m )
    – Buddhist sacred spaces such as Kataragama and Sri Pada provide space for Islam, especially Sufism (http://tinyurl.com/7wzxrkz )
    As can be seen, Sri Lanka looks after the collective and individual rights of Sri Lankan Muslims quite appreciably.

  3. Demure says:

    How come Sri Lanka’s Muslims kept silent about the following?

    Sufi-led mosque demolished by Wahhabi mobsPolice Sunday declared unofficial curfew in Kattankudy, a large Muslim town 5 kilometres south of Batticaloa in Sri Lanka, after mobs demolished a mosque and several houses and buildings belonging to an Islamic sect. Special Task Force (STF) commandos were called in after Police failed to control crowds of orthodox Muslims armed with clubs and machetes stormed the main mosque and a computer centre of the influential Islamic sect led by the charismatic cleric known as ‘Payilvaan’. Police said crowds were called up by muezzins from orthodox mosques in the thickly populated town.

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2004/10/sri-lanka-sufi-led-mosque-demolished-by-wahhabi-mobs.html 

    • Sub says:

      If at 8% of population, muslims behaving this way, what would be if they become majority one day. Remember what happened to Bamian statues in Afgan.
      Muslims are a cancer to the world as in there religion killing and violence is permitted. I dont know why these fierce books are not resticted. They are blind believers who is ready to kill non believers under their lord’s order.
      Shit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Falcon says:

      Muslims came to here as refugees and merchants.  so they ain’t belong to here.
      Srilanka belongs to Sinhalese since 70,000 BC.
      and of course Buddhism since much later.

      • EagleEye says:

        Dear Falcon. Technically if we look at it in your perspective, then Sri Lanka actually belongs to the Veddhas and even you are a tourist!!! So get ready to pack your bag too and leave. Most buddhists came from India so everyone is a tourist except for the indigenous people (veddhas)! hope you get the point!  

        • Falcon says:

          No Veddha are descendents of Sinhalese and one of lost human taxinomies.
          http://www.scenicsrilanka.com/history-of-sri-lanka.html
          read this. Sinhalese ethnic group is the oldest civilization on this Earth. have been living since 70,000 BC. in that time there was no Christianity, no Islam, no Judaism nothing.

          • Malik says:

            Falcon your ignorance about your origin is appalling  indeed. Sinhalese originated with the coming of prince Vijaya  from India. His father  was Sinhabahu (Sinha=Lion , bahu  = arm). That’s how you got your name sinhala (sinha =lion  , lay = blood).  at that time there were no real lions in existence. So your laying claim to a fictitious  version of history . Yes that is right.  You are a tourist.  Learn to live with these facts.

          • Falcon says:

             It’s the history was written in wikipedia not the actual one. just come to Srilanka then u can realize how much small churches are there for the King Ravana still in the North Central province. some villagers still worship him as a god. and he was exist a long ago before the Vijaya came here. I live here and I know about our history better than u.
            http://www.scenicsrilanka.com/history-of-sri-lanka.html
            read this man

          • Malik says:

            Why is that in Sri Lankan schools they teach the wikipedia version instead of the true version? explain how you got the term “Sinhalese”. I don’t want your tourism websites. I want your explanation backed up with research publisehd in peer reviewed academic journals..

            The tourism website which you gave is very childish. on the first paragraph itself it mentions that 

            ” History of Sri Lanka (documented) is more than 3,000 years, but Archaeologists claim that Sri Lanka was definitely inhabited by humans prior to that even going back to 700,000 BC. ”

            Do you realise that this time there were no real modern humans in existence. Btw  I have no problem even if this is true since our holy quran considers the different races and tribes as a blessing. So if you have a history going back to the time of Jurassic period still no problem. I am happy for you . But dont confuse the race with the religion Buddhism which was imported to Sri lanka and acquired by you. It was not part of your indigenous culture. With Islam its the same case.  You and rest of the racist  minority of the majority sinhala buddhist  pf Sri Lana  are  making  a big hue and cry for  very silly reasons.

            Allah says in the Quran says: “O mankind, we have created you from a male and a female, and made you into races and tribes, so that you may identify one another. Surely the noblest of you, in Allah‘s sight, is the one who is most pious of you. Surely Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (49:13)

          • Falcon says:

            Buddhism isn’t a religion cause no one worship the Lord Buddha. it’s some kin of Philosophy which describes the nature of this universe.
            some people worship Buddha cause they want to show the respect upon him that’s all.
            and what made you think the Srilankan tourist website
            isn’t “backed up with research publisehd in peer reviewed academic journals.”
            It’s reviewed by our local universities. if you wanna know about Srilankan history u need to come to Srilanka not commove garbage in the Internet

            well the funny thing is you believe in an unknown god but don’t believe Srilankan tourists site. I thought you believe everything which reflects the
            legitimacy.

            Sinhalese means Sinha – Hela.
            Sinha means LIONS
            Hela means the people who are descended from 4 tribes, Devils, Demons, Gods, Snakes.
            well it seems funny or a bit fantasy names but those are true names. so Sinhalese are a mixer of all these tribes

            if you come to here you can find a ton of physical clues of our existence since 70,000BC.
            I only believe in clues that I can see and touch not some gibberish preached by a pedophile prophet.
            if you can show a picture of your god I will believe him unless no so don’t bring Quran into this conversation.
            cause it doesn’t make  sense. Quran is a fictional book made for conquering the world by a warlord.

  4. Malik says:

    There is a logical fallacy in the argument claiming the mosque is an illegal structure which needs to be demolished because it’s erected in sacred land. Does any structure becomes illegal just because it’s in a desginated sacred land. Ofcourse not. If it’s so, the law has to stipulate this in unambiguous terms. If it was illegal because  it has been built without the proper approval from the  relevant authorities the argument is valid. but the issue of whether the land was sacred or not does not arise.  In this case the  necessary approvals  are in place. so there is nothing illegal. in this sense.  If it’s illegal in a spiritual sense there is no law  to justify it’s demolishing since it’s a spiritual matter.  These kinds of red herrings  needs to be exposed  since politicians  mainly and now these monks are resorting to fallacious arguments to justify their behaviour.

    • Falcon says:

      whatever anything built in Buddhist sacred zones are illegal.
      if you don’t move them away you will be forced.

      • Malik says:

        Since  you didnt address my point   and instead  resorted  to repeating yourself,  you have conceded your inability to approach this issue  in an intelligent manner. if you are man enough address the points in an intelligent manner. Come up  with some sound arguments without resorting to logical fallacies.

        • Falcon says:

           there is no logic if you touch our zones you will be forced. just try it ;)
          you will never know the lions’ tricks. we have 70,000 years of history and our history is in our blood. this long history is a lesson to us. 

          • Malik says:

            Your  so called  Lion’s roaring  reminds me of the Pomeranian  bark . It’s the result of  a  teethless lion roaring. If  you dontt  trust me  just have a look at the  lion in the national flag.
            Btw just wondering  are  you related to Minister Mervin ?

          • Falcon says:

            well at least Pomeranians are better cause here Muslims are known as pigs.
            still a Pomeranian  can beat a pig so easily.

  5. graham says:

    As Mecca is dear to Muslims and no other religion never be allowed to build any structuters there, Muslims shall NOT build mosques in sacred regions of others.  Do Christians build churches in Dambulaa, sacred city of Buddhists?

    • Suban says:

      Well said graham

    • Tridax says:

      Graham   you are  missing the point. There are no  buddhist citizens in Mecca and there never has been indigenous sinhalese  buddhist people living in Mecca.  Hence your  argument is based on a  false premise. However just to remind you , whatever  happened in history due to ignorance of some overzealous  muslims,  our  prophet  Muhammed (PBUH)  and the four   rightly guided caliphs  strictly instructed and no places of religious worship or monks  to be destroyed or killed .And this was strictly  adhered at that time.
      Further muslims  consider Mecca  a sacred place based on the  religious teachings. Where is it taught in any of the Buddhist teachings that Dambulla  needs to be considered sacred and you should not have any other sacred places of worship of other religions ?  Or where  Buddha  advocated destruction of other places of worship ?   Now please don’t get emotional  when  responding.  Please think carefully and reply  objectively.

      • Falcon says:

        Mecca used to be a Buddhist city. if you have no idea about that read the Buddhist scriptures.
        the ancient city Mecca was known as “Sunaparantha” in Buddhist scriptures but later it was eradicated with the Islamic induction.
        the same thing happened to Afghanistan, and some parts of India. Muslims burned the Nalanda Monastery the valuable Buddhist and Hinduism library and the Monastery.
        so that’s what happening in Sri Lanka now. u can try to invade our lands but you won’t success in here. Buddhists ain’t violence.
        but Sinhalese are obviously violence. Sinhalese and Buddhists are not one they are two. Sinhalese are guardians of Buddhism.
        Sinhalese will fight for Buddhism until the last one like we have been doing since 2~3BC.
        you have just one god but we have millions of gods ;)

        • Malik says:

          Falcon,  Mecca  used to be  a buddhist city only in your figment of imagination.”Sunaparanta ”  was a place in  West India and not  Mecca. Some futile attempts have been made to relate it with Mecca  after gross exaggeration and semantic gymnastics.  But it fails under academic scrutiny. Anyway that is besides the point. Instead of responding to my points  you came up with another red herring. Whether  Mecca was buddhist or not  14 centuries ago is irrelevant to current discussion since  there are no buddhists living in  Mecca  now.  Why dont  you backup your claims with some credidible  archaeological evidence instead of coming up with  tourism website .. And also prove that  at the advent of islam in 610 AD  there were buddhist temples and they were destroyed by muslims. Unsubstantiated  assertions does not constitute proof.
          Your perception of    the  present Dambulla mosque crisis as some kind of a muslim attempt to destroy  buddhism is  delusional. I am glad  most of the majority sinhalese buddhists  don’t possess your kind of mentality.
          Btw  why don’t you instead of fighting for buddhism  try to get your followers to go to the temple, get your monks  to refrain from asking  meat during the Daana, get the government to ban the liquor bars and taverns . But keep in mind  Buddha  himself  prophecised the decline of buddhsim  in 2500 years  which otherwise  would have lasted  5000 years. Now  2500  years have already lapsed. I hope this is some kind of a solace for your troubled mind.

          • Falcon says:

            It’s not Buddhism which lasts 5000 years later .it’s the Buddhism relics.  Buddhism will exist as long as people believe it then a new Buddha will appear in the Human realm after a thousand years later. the Sunaparantha was indeed the ancient Mecca. it was known as Sunaparantha in Pali by Ancient Indian people just read the Buddhism scriptures we don’t have just one book we have a ton of books so it may take a while ;). Buddha himself made a foot print somewhere in Mecca but the location is still unknown due to the religious intolerance environment.

          • Malik says:

            Ok   produce the exact text in full  which discusses  about this  buddhist  relics  you mentioned above.   Buddhisms  decline is  prophecised  at  2500 years. quote the relevant part of your  scripture where  it is mentioned  that   damma would  last for  5000 years . Especially the   text says that another new buddha will come after  1000 years ?

            W ith regard  to  “Sunaparanta”  being Mecca , there is no point repeating yourself  a million times since it would not constitute  proof. since you have Buddhist scripture  tell us as per your understanding how you concluded  that   Mecca at  that time was  referred to as  “Sunaparanta”  contrary to what  modern findings  which places  “Sunaparanta”  in the area of  west india  close to present day Mumbai. Also  show us the archaelogical proof  for existence of budhist temples and statues in  Mecca.

          • Falcon says:

            it seems you have no idea about Buddhism. nowhere Buddha said Buddhism will last in 5000 years since the death of Lord Buddha.
            it’s just the relics. Buddhism is a Philosophy not a religion so anyone can be Buddhism despite their religion.
            there are a ton of Muslims in our country who regularly come to Buddhism temples
            why? cause It’s not a religion.

            I can repeat the same thing there is no point of repeating the same thing Sunaparanta isn’t Mecca
            Sunaparanta wasn’t a place in India. Sunaparanta is indeed the Mecca. that’s the truth some says The Kabba is also a Buddhism relic
            made by ancient people. I am not sure about that but from India to Middle East through out Pakistan, Afganistan, still there are a ton of
            Buddhism relics. u need to learn PALI language if u wanna know about the truth. cause most of Buddhist Scriptures were written in Pali.

        • Hajanim says:

          mr falcon we are also sinhala only difference is we practice is Islam our blood is also sinhala. if you act violatanty agaist mulims there are plenty muslim countries to back us. but for poor you die in hunger no country to support.

  6. graham says:

    Sinhalese are very tolerent.  There are 20,000 mosques in Sri lanka.  Now these mosques are popping up in areas sacred to them.  Obviously there is going to be a conflict.  Also many knows Muslims dont allow Buddhism in their countries.  This make people look down upon Muslims unfortunately.  

  7. Zee says:

    FB group was formed to promote racism in srilanka….the removal of this group is only possible with you all guys..pls act nowhttp://www.facebook.com/pages/Sorrycom/274859899198267http://goo.gl/oydaI

  8. Mohamed Zulfy says:

    I believe Islam, Islam is a Religion, which is not make violence against other religions. As far as my view is about Dambulla incident, It looks very shame for Buddhist nations of there image. 

  9. Regular_Reader says:

    This is an informative article, however the english used in this post can be improved. The author doesnt seem to be american because the phrasing is not american. 

  10. […] Matters has been consistently reporting (see here and here) this escalation of anti-Muslim sentiment on an otherwise charming island, and the events […]