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Living A Lie: Rape And The Burning Muslim Shops

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May 14, 2014 |

Hameed Abdul Karim

Hameed Abdul Karim

The other day I came across an article that appeared in The Island titled ‘Buddha Sasana Ministry Invasion is a Rehearsal for Regime Change’ and was horrified to find the writer had casually justified the arson attack on a shop in Aluthgama owned by Muslims by claiming that this had happened because a young Sinhala Buddhist boy had been raped by the owner inside the shop.

The writer had gone to extents to twist the facts of the case to suit his ‘theory of justification’ blindly ignoring all the facts that were out there in the open days before the incident took place. The police had taken the shop owner into custody and kept him in the cop shop for one and a half days after which they were compelled to release him because there was no evidence at all to press charges.

To add insult to injury the writer states quite categorically that the boy, allegedly raped, was hospitalised. This is an absolute fabrication on his part. If this was the case, as he claims, then it would be only proper for him to check the hospital records.

Inside the Fashion Bug

Inside the Fashion Bug

According to media reports this boy in question had gone to the shop with his mother and it was at this point that the alleged incident had taken place. If the shop owner had actually raped the boy or abused him in any way then common sense suggests that quite a length of time would have passed for the act to take place. What was the mother doing while the boy was absent? Mothers usually don’t lose sight of their children when on an outing like going out shopping. Clearly this is a set up.

Another thing that your readers must consider that anybody trader of any faith will never commit such a vile crime in the place where he derives his income from fearing, what we might call, a divine backlash.

The writer then abrasively claims that in any such incident the shop would have been burned even if the culprit happened to be a Sinhala Buddhist! This is about the most ridiculous statement I have read in a long time. The media often reports cases of Sinhala Buddhist fathers raping their daughters and even grandfathers raping their grand children, but there have been no reports of their livelihoods been destroyed. Child abuse is happening as we speak and if we were to go by the twisted logic of the writer we must read of vindictive arson attacks quite often.

Moreover, in this case the CCTV footage vindicates the shop owner. If there was even a shred of evidence against him the police would never have let him go. What must be borne in mind is that the pretext for this attack is identical to the attack on the Muslim owned shopFashion Bug at Pilyandala.

Take the reverse argument for a moment. Supposing a Sinhala Buddhist had raped a Muslim boy and a mob of Muslims had done the same thing that the mob of Sinhala Buddhists did to the Muslim owned shop in Aluthgama, would the writer or Sinhala Buddhists applaud and justify the crime? Why, there would be hell to pay if this ever happened.

Right thinking people who read this article in The Island would be angered by the casual manner in which the writer justifies and dismisses the burning of the Muslim owned shop, never mind to which faith or race they belong to. There is no doubt that this dastardly act was one based on unbridled racism.

All this brings in the role of the police. What were they doing all the while when they knew they had a situation on their hands? A situation that would cause a breach of the peace? Why did they give permission to carry out a protest march against the shop like as if it was a political rally? Or was this job consigned to the newly formed Religious Police? If so where were they?

In my stupidity I still believe there is a rule of law in this country. And in that frame of mind I think the law should have taken its course. If the Muslim trader had indeed raped the Sinhala Buddhist boy or any other boy he should have been taken into custody and dealt with, with the full force of the law.

As a civilised society (a claim that politicians often utter) we should be talking of apprehending the arsonists and about compensating the shop owner, but up until now nobody has been taken to task and the shop owner is left destitute. No police teams have been appointed to inquire into the matter even as a ploy to allay the fears of Muslims. Neither has any politician of the area ‘looked into the matter’ and promised to compensate the shop owner who probably voted for ‘his’ man or woman at the previous election. And the OIC of the police station in the area sits smugly in his seat oblivious to the crime that had been committed under his nose. Sri Lanka is certainly a ‘land like no other’.

 

The Roots of Communal Politics

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The emergence of the Bodu Bala Sena and its continuing militant, anti-Muslim political activism has irritated many liberally-minded people. Some of those who are agitated have responded by proposing simplistic solutions to contain the movement such as banning it. Like many other such groups, BBS also did not emerge from nowhere; it has its social and political roots. It is necessary to understand these roots to find a satisfactory resolution of the deeper issues involved.

As is well known, in spite of the efforts of the leftist and liberally-oriented parties to promote class or citizenship-based politics in the country even before the country gained political independence from the British, communal politics emerged as the dominant form of politics in post-independent Sri Lanka.

As many analysts including the present writer have pointed out on many occasions, the result was that the post-colonial public policies with respect to language, education, land settlement and employment have further reinforced rather than marginalized communal politics in the country. The ethnic and religious conflicts that emerged after independence further solidified ethnic consciousness and ethnic divisions. Consequently, competition for resources in a context of rapid population growth and rising aspirations of the masses for a higher standard of living was perceived by many as a zero sum game involving ethno-religious communities. This competition became even more intense after economic liberalization. This became evident during the 1983 ethnic riots, when racist groups openly participated in the violent campaign.


The thirty-year war that devastated the country and a large section of the population does not seem to have taught the leaders of the country a lesson



Increasing economic pressure after economic liberalization compelled most people to look for more lucrative income opportunities through a highly competitive process. In spite of the adoption of market friendly, liberal economic policies and the rise of the market forces, the post-1977 Sri Lankan state continued to play a dominant role in land alienation, resettlement, provision of education, employment of educated youth and infrastructure development. Leading ruling party politicians continued to allocate public resources largely on the basis of political loyalty and personal connections. Given the dominance of the majority ethnic community in government, the general perception was that much of the resources flowed into the hands of this ethnic group, though minority community members of the government could also follow the same practice to favour their own communities.

Persisting communal politics coupled with the continued reinforcement of the ethnic consciousness of the wider population, including many members of the elites, by educational institutions and the mass media led to a widely held public perception that it is ethnic groups that compete with each other for life chances, not individual citizens on the basis of their personal attributes and their relative social class position.

As I have pointed out in a number of articles in this column, ethno-linguistic segregation of the education system over many decades, even in so-called elite government schools in Colombo and other major towns have continued to facilitate the formation of exclusive, ethno-religious identities even among upwardly mobile members of ethnic groups. So, it is not just the underprivileged, monolingual members of ethnic groups who are sympathetic to ethno-religious extremism but also the more privileged people who have had their education in segregated schools where they had no opportunity to interact with children from other ethnic and religious communities and get acquainted with their cultures and social practices.

The prevailing cultural differences and the social distance between ethno-religious groups often facilitate the formation of settlements segregated on the basis of ethnicity and religion. So, even in the ethnically mixed regions of the country, we have exclusive Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim villages and there are not many villages where people belonging to different ethno-religious groups share the same space. Such a settlement pattern, though it does not necessarily lead to conflict, does not facilitate social interaction across communities. Community based organizations functioning at a village level also often remain confined to their respective villages without having many opportunities to work together and transcend long established boundaries.

So, in an increasingly competitive socio-economic environment, segregated ethno-religious groups tend to perceive one another as being engaged in a zero sum game when it comes to securing resources such as land, employment and business opportunities. Recent controversies at a national level over admissions to the law college, settlement of people in the Wilpattu national forest reserve in the North-West, Halal certification of manufactured food, etc. clearly point to this perception. Then, there are literally thousands of such disputes at a local level in almost all parts of the country. The latter often do not come to the attention of the national media.
Allocation of public resources and resolution of disputes between contending groups cannot be done in an amicable manner in a country where the state and the public institutions appear to fail to treat citizens equally on the basis of their inalienable rights. Rational public policies and independent state institutions are critically important here. When the allocation of public resources does not appear to be guided by rational public policies and handled by independent institutions and public officials, and when it is increasingly perceived by people as a process which is micro-managed by numerous, sectarian politicians at all levels, extremist groups can easily arouse communal sentiments among ethnically conscious people across communities. This is what is happening today with the BBS.


The prevailing cultural differences and the social distance between ethno-religious groups often facilitate the formation of settlements segregated on the basis of ethnicity and religion


This is not the first time that communal politics derailed rational public policies and undermined public institutions. Well-conceived Kannangara-education reforms were subverted by communalists in the recent past with disastrous results. The monolingual, segregated education system that came into being as a result has continued to divide the younger generations into rival ethnic camps engaged in violent communal campaigns themselves, to divide up not just public resources but the country itself. The thirty-year war that devastated the country and a large section of the population does not seem to have taught the leaders of the country a lesson. If so, they would strive to move away from communal politics and take steps to adopt rational public policies and empower public institutions to ensure that public servants manage public institutions in keeping with the rules, regulations and state policies rather than take a backseat, virtually allowing politicians to take their place. Given the long established tradition of patron-client politics, deep ethnic divisions and widespread political corruption, most politicians will not be considered by the general public as impartial actors in the public domain. The situation appears to have got worse in recent years when national politics became more communal and sectarian, not less.

So, in conclusion, what is argued here is that there are no short cuts to resolving inter-community disputes when social and cultural institutions like education and the media continue to reinforce ethno-religious divisions in society and promote the public perception that it is ethno-religious groups that compete with each other for life chances, not individual citizens and classes on the basis of merit, need and socio-economic standing.

Then, we are asking for politicians to move into a new kind of politics, either of a social democratic or at least of a liberal variety.
http://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/172-opinion/46690-the-roots-of-communal-politics-.html
 

The Heart and Its Healing

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The Heart and Its Healing

Understand Quran AcademyArticles > The Heart and Its Healing
inspirationoturnerofhearts

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
The body without a heart is useless. The Prophet (saws) has said,
There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoiled, the whole body gets spoiled– and that is the heart. [Bukhari]In the previous article, we looked at the three stages of the heart. They are summarized in the diagram below.
triangleheart

Corrupting the Heart

The heart is corrupted by committing acts of sins or disbelief. The Prophet (saws) said, When a slave (a person) commits a sin (an evil deed) a black dot is dotted on his heart. There are some sins which we are not aware of committing that leave spots on our heart, and these are the ones which we should be most watchful of.
A common example is backbiting. It has become so common everywhere that not criticizing someone behind their back might label you as being backdated or unsocial. Internet social media, blogging, and youtube have made it especially easy and dangerous, and I have seen people not even sparing scholars, actually thinking they are doing something righteous.
Another common disaster is showing-off, and it is actually a kind of hidden shirk. If you find in yourself signs of a sick heart, look out especially for these hidden sins.

Curing the Heart

  1. Tazkiyah (Purification)
قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن تَزَكَّىٰ
He has certainly succeeded who purifies himself. [Quran, 87:14]

For curing the heart, it needs to be purified first from all kinds of filth like envy, hypocrisy, arrogance, gluttony and other diseases. First step towards purification is istighfar. The Prophet (saws) said,
When a slave (a person) commits a sin (an evil deed) a black dot is dotted on his heart. Then if that person gives up that evil deed (sin), begs Allah to forgive him, and repents, then his heart is cleared (from that heart covering dot); but if he repeats the evil deed (sin), then that covering is increased till his heart is completely covered with it. And this is Ar-Ran that Allah mentioned (in the Quran):
Nay! but on their hearts is the Ar-Ran (stain) which they used to earn” [Quran, 83:14] [Tirmidhi]
Another form of tazkiyah is charity. The words zakah and tazkiyah come from the same root word, meaning purification. Both zakah and sadaqah are purifying. The Prophet said,
Charity extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire. [Tirmidhi]

  1. Reading and reflecting on the Quran

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِّمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
O mankind, there has come to you instruction from your Lord and healing http://whereslloyd.com/cls for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers. [Quran, 10:57]

Allah calls the Quran shifa , i.e. medicine for the heart. Reciting the Quran itself is purifying even if we don’t understand the meaning. To learn correct recitation, you can have a look at the course Read Quran in 20 hours.
Of course, understanding the Quran is far more beneficial than just reciting it without knowing what we’re saying. Learn 50% of the Quranic words in 9 hours.

  1. Patience in the face of trials
The Prophet said,
The Fitan (trials, tests) are offered to the hearts, just as the straws that are sewn into a http://historyfactory.com/sale/ woven mat, one after another. Any heart that accepts the Fitan, then a black dot will be engraved on it. Any heart that rejects the Fitan, then a white dot will be engraved on it. The hearts will therefore become two categories: white, just like the barren rock; no Fitnah shall ever harm this category as long as the heavens and earth still exist. Another category is black, just as the cup that is turned upside down, for this heart does not recognize righteousness or renounce evil. [Muslim]
  1. Dua

There are many duas which you can make for curing the heart. The best dua is of course that which comes from the heart. I’ll give you one beautiful dua each from the Quran and the sunnah.
يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِى عَلَى دِينِكَ
O Turner of the hearts, make my heart firm in Your deen! [Tirmidhi]

رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ
Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower. [Quran, 3:8]

There are two excellent books on this topic which you can benefit greatly from: Diseases of the Hearts and their Cures, by Ibn Taymiyyah, and In the Early Hours, by Khurram Murad.
Tabassum Mosleh

http://understandquran.com/heart-healing-cc.html


   

Stoop to Conquer: 10 ways of honoring servants

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By Sadaf Farooqi

Most Muslims in Eastern countries employ domestic staff as a norm. For some, domestic helpers are a priceless resource who significantly ease our day-to-day chores. Conversely, for others, they can be a source of distress and chagrin. 

Many women complain to each other about the trouble they face from the incompetence, treachery, and intentional misdemeanor of their servants. However, we need to remind ourselves that it is in managing our helpers according to Islamic injunctions where the secret lies to get the best out of them.

1. Think of their pay as Sadaqah

We need to change the way we view our servants’ wages. By considering it an “expense,” we tend to extract “full value” of the money. For instance, even if a maid is sick, her employer might say, “I pay her to work, so she must work.” But if we consider the salary a “Sadaqah” that helps fill their bellies, we will Insha Allah be more tolerant of their shortcomings as human beings.

2. Counsel them when they need it

You might notice that your domestic helpers are disturbed on some days. They are human beings who have problems and worries just like us. Ask them what is troubling them; then advise them to have patience and hope in Allah’s mercy. Keep the counsel short, but show them that you care.

3. Forgive and forget their mistakes

Just like other human relationships, it is not pleasant to have your past mistakes and wrongs thrown in your face repeatedly. Forgive them for the sake of Allah if they wrong you, and do not be harsh when scolding them.

4. Do not accuse them of stealing, cheating or lying on mere suspicion

Many employers are guilty of this unfair action – as soon as something in the house is missing due to their own absentmindedness, the domestic helper is squarely accused of theft or negligence. “O you who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin.” (Qur’an, 49:12). Ask them normally if they have seen the missing object, but do not accuse them of theft or misplacement. In most cases, the object is eventually found after the maid has been fired, causing guilt and embarrassment to the employer for life.

5. Informally teach them Islamic manners and knowledge

One of the rights of our domestic helpers upon us is that they be taught about Islam, or given its message if they are non-Muslims. Without being overtly ‘preachy’, give them small doses of the truth. The best way is to act upon Islam yourself. This will eventually make them love and respect you for the sake of Allah – which results in a sincere relationship devoid of mistrust and treachery.

6. Eat with them occasionally without separating utensils

Domestic helpers are not animals. Some people treat them as if they are unhygienic beings from another planet. Allow them to use the utensils from which you and your family eat. If they have dirty habits, teach them hygiene. But do not separate their utensils as if they are untouchables. This will make them feel insulted. They will never return an insult with loyalty or obedience. Abu Bakr Bin Hafs said: “Abdullah Bin Umar would never eat food except in the company of an orphan.”

7. Give them gifts

Reward their work – whatever it is like – with occasional bonuses in the form of clothing, shoes or other items that you are yourself using. Do not cast off broken, torn or damaged goods to them unless they agree to take them. This is part of the Islamic etiquette taught by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)“None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

8. Ease work when they are sick

Allow your helpers to go home early by reducing their chores when they are not feeling that well. Help them if they need money for medicines or medical treatment. Consideration such as this, without reminding them of these favors later, is a good way to establish a relationship based on mutual trust and care.

9. They are not robots

Domestic helpers are human beings with feelings and self-esteem. Any treatment that you would dislike for yourself would hurt them too. Scolding them in public, pointing out their faults before others, and allowing your children to mock at them or hit them or treat them disrespectfully are totally unacceptable behaviors. Treat them with honor and dignity.

10. You are not superior

“It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in the life of this world: and We raise some of them above others in ranks, so that some may command work from others.” (Qur’an, 43:32)

It is one of Allah’s laws of the universe that some people possess higher worldly ranks than others, so that they employ the services of the latter in return for wages. But this doesn’t mean a wealthy person is superior than a poor person. This doesn’t mean you are better than your servant. 

Islam has mandated lofty treatment with slaves. But we don’t show that even to servants who are mere employees, and not slaves. 

Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said to Abu Dharr regarding his treatment of his slave: “They are your brothers and servants whom Allah has placed under your authority. Anyone who has his brother under his authority let him feed him the same food as he eats and dress him in the same clothes as he wears. Do not overwhelm them with work and if you give them work to do then help them with it.” (Al Bukhari and Muslim) 

Our servants are not our slaves. But is our treatment as good as what the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded with regard to slaves during his time?

 

Inside Story Of The Torching Aluthgama Muslim Owned Shop

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Inside Story Of The Torching Aluthgama Muslim Owned Shop

Filed under: Colombo Telegraph,Opinion |

By Rifai Naleemi -

Dr. Rifai Naleemi

Dr. Rifai Naleemi

A group of nearly three hundred radical Buddhist extremists have burned down a Muslim owned shop in Aluthgama town on 8/5/14.  This was not coincidently happened attack on the shop of this innocent Muslim businessman rather this was a premeditated racist attack to destroy the livelihood of this man. There is no shadow doubt that this attack was initiated and carried out with the support of Police, BBS and some Buddhist radicals of this area. This was the only Muslim shop in Aluthgama town. This shop has been set on fire last night (8/5/2014). It is believed that some extremist Buddhist people under the leadership of some radical Buddhist monks set fire to this Muslim shop. We should listen to the owner of this shop to know what exactly happened to his shop and why his shop was set on fire.

 

The owner of this is Mr. Ahmad khan. He has been living in this town since his childhood and he has been running this family business for many years. With his dedication and hard works he managed to build this shop and developed his business. He and his brother managed to develop their business with years of hard works and dedications: yet, some Sinhalese people in the town become jealous of this growing business and they did not want see one and only Muslim shop in that town. He has been doing business among Sinhalese people in that town.

It is due to mere jealousy and hared that this shop was set on fire and destroyed.  Some of these jealous people deliberately and intentionally created a plot and conspiracy to destroy this hardworking Muslim man’s shop and his livelihood without any human remorse for his family and children.

They plotted and conspired. As a part of their conspiracy they sent a mother and a son to his shop some time ago. This mother came up with a fabricated story against the owner of the shop. She claimed that her son was strangled or squeezed by his neck by the brother of shop owner and she made a complaint about it to Aluthgama police station and the brother of shop keeper was taken to police custody. He was kept in police for one and half day. This episode was craftily y set up by some elements in the town to destroy this shop and livelihood of this innocent business man

In order to revenge for this fabricated story some 300 hundreds Sinhalese radicals demonstrated in the township under the leadership of some monks.  They shouted that this Muslim shop would be set on fire and burned down! Police warned the owner of this shop to close down the shop when the demonstrators were marching towards the town and yet he turned down that request saying there was no reason to close the shop. The owner told police he has done no wrong to close his shop. The demonstrators did not do any damage to the shop on the day of demonstration and yet, at night time the shop was set on fire by some of these thugs. The shop was totally destroyed and nearly 50 million rupees worth of goods are destroyed and shop is totally burned down.

This was a racially motivated incident.  It was reported that Police did not take any action against the culprits of this attack and police has been supporting these thugs. It should be mentioned here that entire Police team at Aluthgama should take the responsibility for this incident since they have failed to take action.  They have failed in their official duties and they perverted course of justice in this case. It is in front of these police that this shop has been destroyed and yet, Police have not taken any action. Police was collaborating with these thugs, otherwise these thugs would not be able to do this destruction that quickly in that speed in the middle of the town.

This begs many questions about the prejudice and discriminative attitudes of Police in Sri Lanka. Police force is a law enforcement agent in any country. Sadly such law enforcing agent itself is collaborating with thugs to break the laws and order of this country? Why did not police take any action against these people and why did not police stop this destruction and why did not police do something to stop this injustice? The credibility of Police is questionable today in Sri Lanka?

There is no need to destroy a shop because of any minor incident or dispute.  We have a good legal system in Sri Lanka.  Why these people do not take these types of incidents to court rather than following the path of violence and destruction in Sri Lanka? Who is going to benefit from such destruction? No one benefits from such destruction. It is public who will pay the price for such destruction and it is our own national resources we destroy.

End of the day, we are damaging the image of our country and its economy by these types of anti-social behaviours and barbarism.  Today we do not need people who destroy Sri Lanka rather we need people who develop and build our Sri Lanka.

After all these happened to Muslims in Sri Lanka in broad day light, no constructive steps have been taken yet, neither by this government or Muslim politicians to stop this anti-communal activities. This government should take responsibility  for all these racist attacks.  This government is trying to catch fish in trouble water and it has been ignoring the plights of Muslims deliberately and intentionally for its dirty political ambitions. Our selfish politicians have failed to grasp the grave danger that has already engulfed Muslim community in Sri Lanka.

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