After abandoning his far-right party to embrace Islam, a former colleague of Dutch politician Geert Wilders has visited the holy lands in Saudi Arabia to perform his first `Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) in his life.
“If any person told me that I will visit the land of the two holy shrines, I would have told him that he must be insane,” Arnoud Van Doorn told Al-Madinah newspaper.
“Finding Islam is a dream came true,” a tearful Doorn added.
Doorn, a member of the far-right Freedom Party (PVV) has embraced Islam earlier this year after an extensive study into the religion.
He was among party leaders who helped produce an offensive film titled Fitna that linked Islam and the Qur’an to violence.
This write-up appeared in LANKADEEPA local news paper on 19th December 2012.
Vol - XLVII No. 22, June 02, 2012 | Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri
Nirmal Ranjith Dewarsiri is with the department of history, University of Colombo.
The recent attack led by Buddhist monks on the Khairya Jumma mosque located in the so-called “sacred zone” of the Dambulla rock temple in the central province is important even though it did not develop into a larger scale clash between the Buddhist and Muslim communities of Sri Lanka. The Dambulla Khairya Jummah mosque had been in existence for over 60 years and the mosque trustees have legal documents regarding its construction. On Friday the 20th of April 2012 a tense situation arose as regular Friday prayer at the mosque was prevented by a gang led by Buddhist monks who claimed that it was an illegal construction built on sacred Buddhist ground.
Many view this incident as an isolated event led by a group of extremists; an event which was easily quelled as it did not represent the sentiments of the majority Buddhist populace. Although this may be true, this line of thinking conceals some of the realities of the inter-religious relations in Sri Lanka within which the Dambulla incident could be located. In this short piece, I attempt to highlight existing problems in the religious setting in the Sinhala-Buddhist south of Sri Lanka giving special attention to the Dambulla incident.
Qadijah Irshad (Colombo Courier) / 11 May 2012
Almost three weeks after the vandalisation of a mosque in the Dambulla district by a 2,000 odd mob led by some Buddhist clergy, a Buddhist organisation called the Buddhist Protection Foundation held a protest march and a campaign on Monday in Kalutara demanding the removal of the in Dambulla.
Addressing media, the Executive Director of the Foundation Priest Puliyadde Sudhamma Thero said that the protest was just “a beginning of a series of protests against the Muslim mosque in Dambulla.”
A common question among many who possess a little knowledge of Islam is, why no non-Muslims allowed in Makka and Madina, two most sacred cities of Islam. The instant answer, that goes usually is, what business do they have in these cities? Picnic? Leisure? Official? Religious visit? Absolutely no need exists for a non-Muslim to travel to these cities. In the first place, they have never been tourist attractions, neither for Muslims nor for others. And for that matter, Muslims never travel there for the purpose of merry-making. They are meant for pure and focused worship of Allah alone.
by Usthad Rasheed Hajjul Akbar
Holy lands are indeed sacred and they exist on this earth as sites that are respected and that should be respected, not only by the people who believe in the particular faith but by every one in the civilized world. As people who live by Islamic faith, we have sensitivity over this delicate subject because Islam too has its own proclaimed sacred places. These places belong to every Muslim in world and it is their refutable obligation safeguarding and cherishing those places. The countries that have those sacred places within their geographical areas cannot proscribe Muslims coming to their countries for just about any reason.
Terror war: The thunder, blunder and the plunder
By Ameen Izzadeen
Sri Lanka's road to peaceful co-existence
The intent to demolish Dambulla mosque tears at wounds of ethnic violence which are in the process of healing
By Tariq A. Al Maeena
Following a protracted and violent civil war that lasted for more than 26 years costing thousands of lives and destruction of property, it would have been natural to assume that Sri Lanka would set itself on the path of healing through national reconciliation with all its peoples; Buddhists, Tamils and Muslims.
Yet, within many Tamils there exists a widespread belief that the Sri Lankan government is trying to wipe out their Tamil culture and religious identity by constructing Buddhist temples in Tamil areas. Now many of another ethnic minority feel recent moves have taken another dimension.
He also added that "If the places of religious worship of the minorities are being attacked while the police and army are idly watching, it implies that they are
Asad Sally, chairman of the Islamic Solidarity Front (ISF) and former deputy mayor of Colombo, stated that "it is misleading to say that the mosque was in existence for two years as it has been there for more than 65 years. We have all the documents to prove that it is a legally constructed mosque under the Waqf Act. Therefore the statement by the prime minister claiming that the unauthorised construction of the mosque has been stopped is totally false. The land on which the mosque was located was bought by a Muslim lady in Jaffna from Englishmen. This mosque has existed since then.
"Later the adjacent land too had been bought by mosque authorities in 1995. This statement by the prime minister is misleading the Buddhists in the country. The prime minister should not make such irresponsible statements as the Waqf Board comes under him and he is contradicting his own statement. Besides statements like Muslims will not have a place to urinate are not only irresponsible but very dangerous too."
Though the leader of the United National Party Ranil Wickremasinghe is yet to make a public statement on the tense situation, his deputy Sajith Premadasa described the prime minister's order as "law of the jungle and nothing to do with Buddhism". Sajith wondered "how could we develop the country when the prime minister's
Some public figures deplored the political pandering of the prime minister to a few Buddhist thugs, stating that in any civilised society one would expect unruly elements who vandalise places of worship to be arrested and brought to justice. Instead they have been rewarded in violation of all principles of human decency.
Courtesy: Gulf News
Riza Yehiya (Courtesy: GroundViews.Org)
The storming of the Dambulla Mosque on Friday the 20th April and chasing away of the Muslim worshippers attending Friday prayers by a mob led by Buddhist priests is epoch making in modern Sri Lankan history. The majority of the people of all communities are shocked and incensed by the way Buddhist priests lead this violent and destructive mob against the Dambulla Mosque.
By Hameed Abdul Karim
According to Western public discourse there are two types of Muslim. One is a ‘fundamentalist’ the other is a ‘moderate’ Muslim. The former is one who wants to be independent from Western hegemony and the latter is one who cozies up to the Western agenda, wittingly or unwittingly. But now there is a new kid on the block. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Rand Corporation Muslim. ‘Who the heck is he’, you might ask and quite rightly so. Well, for starters he or she is a Muslim or, more appropriately, one who wears the ‘Muslim’ name tag and one who is trained and financed by America’s Rand Corporation to dilute Islam to a point where its adherents will no longer be a stumbling block to the empire’s plans for total world hegemony. And Manzoor Ahamed, writing under the title ‘China, Pakistan and the Iranian Bomb’ (Ceylon Today’ Sat. 24 March, 2012) fits the description of a ‘Rand Muslim’ like a glove going by his vilification of Pakistan’s much maligned nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan who gave his country its ‘Islamic bomb’.