This article was written in response to Sulochana Ramiah Ramiah Mohan’s article under the title “Religious extremism spreads in Maldives in the Ceylon Today on Sunday 30 April 2017. However Ceylon Today failed to publish this response. CT article was produced after this article
Distorting and demonizing the peaceful religion of Islam and Muslims, indiscriminate bombing of Muslim countries under false pretexts, medieval style barbaric genocides and the persecution of Muslims worldwide have become today’s New World Order.
Jewish ruled United States lead the carnage while Israel, Britain, France and Russia are partners while Arab dictators remain shameful collaborators in this worst ever crusade in Islamic history. Indian, China and Myanmar have unleashed their own violent campaign on their Muslim population.
They exploited the media to sell their lies and brainwash people against Islam and Muslims worldwide. Western media has been integral part of this war machine. Third world media depending on the western media has inevitably become part of this anti Muslim campaign. Sri Lanka’s mainstream media is no exception.
In fact what has been going in US, Europe and the Middle East since the collapse of former Soviet Union in 1989, has been a very well a calculated campaign under the guise of fighting a fraudulent “ War on Terrorism” to mislead the world. The main target is to destroy Muslim countries and loot their precious natural resources and ensure Islam never rise as a force to bring peace and prosperity to humanity.
As a result US led war mongers first created an atmosphere of fear all over the west. This was aggravated by the Syrian, Libyan, Somali, Iraqi and other refugees fleeing to Europe for safety. The situation is such that some are forced to convert to Christianity and even ministers are asking Muslims refugees to adopt western values or leave.
The Middle East has been turned into a wasteland with dictators, rotten to the core, doing everything to please their US-European masters to remain in power and oppress their people.
Israel’s first Prime Minister Ben-Gurion said in 1948 that three Arab countries-Syria, Iraq and Egypt- need to be destroyed to ensure Israel’s safety and supremacy in the region.
Almost seventy years later today here we are. Syria and Iraq were destroyed and sent back to middle age. More than 4.5 million Muslims were killed, still being killed, created more than 55 million Muslim refugees and misplaced .In Egypt, the first ever elected democratic government in 61 years was jointly toppled by Israel, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, They jointly spent 11 billion dollars to install a Zionist Jew Abdel Fattah Al Sisi as the ruler. Of course with the backing of US, UK and France
When the Soviet Union, created and destroyed by Zionist Jews once the purpose was served, collapsed peace loving people worldwide were happy that cold war was over and the world will be a place without wars.
However Zionist Jews who were behind all wars and killings had their own agenda of creating Greater Israel. This can be done by destroying neighboring countries. Thus the peace loving people worldwide were disappointed.
US led war mongers turned their attention first to Muslim majority Bosnia where for over three long years hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims were subjected to the worst form of barbarity before being killed. The shameful aspect of this genocide of more than 10,000 Bosnian Muslim men took place at the United Nations safe zone in Srebrenica.
Simultaneously US President George Bush engineered the Kuwaiti crisis and turned the world attention towards the Gulf. In the war Bush massacred hundreds of thousands of retreating Iraq soldiers. Saudi Arabia spent US $ 55 billion for the war which Israel wanted to weaken battle hardened Iraqi war machine.
Then came the so called Arab spring when oppressed people in the Middle East peacefully rose up demanding little freedom from their dictators. War mongers exploited these uprisings by infiltrating with their own trained and equipped mercenaries to trigger wars between dictators and people. In the process, as planned, destroyed Somalia, Iraq, Libya and now Syria.
Latest in this series is the Saudi-US invasion and the destruction of the poverty stricken ancient country of Yemen. Former US Secretary of State and Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton approved US $ 36 billion worth of weapons to Saudi to kill Yemeni Muslims. So far more than 15,000 Yemenis including children and the aged were slaughtered by Saudis, the so called guardian of two Holy mosques in Makkah and Madina.
It is historic shame for the entire Muslim world to tolerate Saudi dictators as the custodian of Holy Shrines in Makkah and Madinah. However this is the unfortunate reality in today’s Middle East where rulers and regimes are made and unmade in Washington, London, Tel Aviv, Paris and Russia.
It was under such circumstance that hundreds of people including children were massacred last month by sarin nerve gas, a man-made nerve agent which causes unimaginable torturous pain, on Syrian people in the Idlib area.
In the midst US President Donald Trump, an anti-Muslim racist lunatic, bombed Syrian airfield using around 59 Tomahawk Missiles. No one knows how many were killed as the world is fed by calculated lies of the war mongers’ media.
This was followed by President Trump using the deadly “mother of all bombs”, MOAB, the largest non-nuclear bomb the US has deployed in the war so far, and bombed on 13 April 2017 a complex of tunnels and bunkers in Afghanistan’s Achin district in Nangarhar province.
The question is why bomb now? The secret is that Afghanistan has more than trillion dollar worth of natural resources and corporate war mongers do not want to lose them.
In the vast region of Muslim Central Asia, Russian President Vladimir Putin is using his own set of dictators in Muslim countries such as Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan to keep the people oppressed and the region undeveloped. Predominantly Muslim population is kept away from the rest of world especially Muslim world.
In neighboring China, Muslim and resource rich large province of Xinjiang has been under extreme oppression preventing Muslims from practicing Islam .Barbarity unleashed was kept out of limelight by strict restrictions on the media. Muslims are prevented from practicing Islam. Even growing beard, wearing caps and Muslim names such as Mohammad and jihad were banned.
In India the Hindutva fascists Rastriya Swayam Sevak, RSS, and its deceptive front BJP government ,has unleashed its anti-Muslim campaign in its drive to create a Muslim and Christian free Indian by 2020. Persecution of Muslims worsened since saffron murderer Yogi Adityanath was made chief minister by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the architect of Godhra genocide of Muslims which killed more than 2000 Muslims in February 2002.
The irony is this same Modi is coming to Sri Lanka to participate in the Wesak festival marking Lord Buddha’s
Since then Modi and his partner in crime UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has let loose his street gangsters called “cow vigilantes” to attack Muslims often with the collaboration of police. These gangsters are law unto themselves and Prime Minister Modi had done nothing to stop this and protect Muslims. Perhaps they are provoking Muslims to respond to commit further massacres-of course with the government blessings.
Kashmir continues to bleed and the medieval style barbarity continues. This is the state of affairs in the largest democracy. This is the plight of Muslims in the largest democracy
In Myanmar genocide of Muslims has been underway for some times. World remains indifferent while Prime Minister Aung San Sui Kyi deny the ongoing genocide while United Nations comes out with shocking details.
Now the question is who are the terrorists? US-UK-European-Russian Israel war mongers who turned the Middle East into A grave yard and Indian, China and Myanmar where Muslims are persecuted or the victims of these massacres, genocides and persecution?
How many columnists in Sri Lankan wrote about the barbarity perpetrated on Muslims worldwide? Perhaps they cannot see these war crimes as they serve the war mongers’ evil agenda against Muslims
Here is Ceylon Today article
Religious extremism spreads in Maldives
Ceylon Today - 2017-04-30
By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan
The gruesome murder of Maldivian Yameen Rasheed (29), a young progressive critical voice, activist and a blogger, signals not only violent extremism and ultra conservative ideas that are destabilizing the Maldives' civil administration and the economic growth but the events also hint that the future of the South Asian region is bleak and Sri Lanka can face a threat too.
The fearsome and ugly radicalism is spreading its wings in the South Asian region and Sri Lanka which is located around countries that are facing threats by religious extremism observes the developments in silence.
An investigative report citing Maldivian intelligence officials concluded that Wahhabized Maldivian youth following a Salafi jihadi ideology, are increasingly attracted to the idea of transnational jihad since 2011.
According to Yameen's father, Rasheed, who arrived in Colombo last week to pressurize all foreign missions to demand Male to hold an international investigation on his son's murder, alleged that Yameen was under death threats by radicals and gangsters who wanted his blood in the name of Islam.
"Yameen was against injustice and extreme religious fanaticism that is prevailing in his country", Rasheed added.
The latest reports show that the numbers of Maldivians joining the Islamic State (IS) is around 200 and there has been no further increase.
The rapid growth of religious intolerance in the Maldives is creating a fear psychosis as is the case in Bangladesh where the youth are embracing extreme Islamism.
Rtd. Indian Army Brigadier, Rahul Bhonsle who runs the research agency, 'Security-Risks.com' has found that the main threat in South Asia is the spread of Salafism. The South Asian Islam has two prominent strains - Barelvi and Deoband. The Barelvi is the Sufi inclined and the most popular, whereas the Deoband is more fundamentalist but are primarily anti-modernist, non violent, except for groups such as the Taliban who want to establish Sharia etc.
He pointed out that the spread of Salafi is due to two factors – such as the large numbers working in West Asia particularly Saudi Arabia, and the social media.
However, Bhonsle speculated that the four suspects arrested recently in the Maldives may not be linked with the IS and the murder of blogger Yameen appears to be political motivated and not necessarily a 'terrorist attack' as the police and government claims."
The IS has been able to spread its ideological influence in South Asia countries such as India, possibly Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
In Afghanistan and Pakistan the group has established its armed wing known as the ISK Khorasan. While in Bangladesh there is the Neo Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) which has been behind a number of attacks. What is more, the AQIS or al Qaeda in South Asia has also become active in these countries.
Yameen's 'The Daily Panic' blog became popular for his outright criticisms that go viral daily. He also poked into government establishments that are prowling on the masses with extrajudicial killings, abductions, death threats creating fear among the moderate Maldivians.
"Most people in the Maldives are neither conservative nor liberal and they are shocked and scared," says a young moderate Maldivian who is campaigning for justice for Yameen.
The Maldivian who wished to remain anonymous told Ceylon Today, "Even most conservatives, who believe that apostasy should be punished with the death penalty, don't agree with extra judicial killings".
The incumbent government of Maldives has been slated to be using the extreme religious connotation to keep their leader in power, the outraged Maldivian said.
Some Maldivians on social media have speculated that certain individuals linked to the Bosnian Mujahideen were behind the killing of Yameen.
Yet, the Maldivian government has so far failed to apprehended any person, and according to Rasheed, "within five minutes after Yameen was removed to hospital the police cordoned the area and repainted the flat where Yameen was attacked. "When this is done, how can a proper investigation be carried out," he pointed out.
Head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies Rohan Gunaratna added that Yameen's murder demonstrates the steadfast deterioration in the security environment. For peace and security to prevail, the political leaders should be decisive in both delivering good governance and administering the law. Since 2008, the Maldives is experiencing the rise of extremism and terrorism. The extremist ideologues and propagandists have exploited the ending a 30-year rule by President Maumoom Abdul Gayoom by radicalizing and militarizing a segment of its youth.
Since then, Gunaratna noted, "Over a hundred Maldivians have been killed in conflict zones from Pakistan and Afghanistan to Iraq and Syria."
"The Maldives should enact a harmony law that criminalize religious incitement and hate speech. The Maldives should punish and rehabilitate those who preach extremism and terrorism," he noted.
When one follows some Sri Lankan Muslim youth on social media one could also see they are in touch with several radicalized persons from various countries who have the symbol of IS as their profile picture.
It's a trend that foreign jihadists in Syria use the social media for networking as it is vital for relaying their message to audiences back home.
A young Indian Muslim girl form Pune, India who was radicalized online by the IS sympathizers was requested to contact a Colombo based recruitment agency that would send her to Syria. This was highlighted and confirmed by the Pune police in 2015 after she was thwarted from her attempt to join the IS.
The only known Sri Lankan that fought for the IS was highlighted in 2015 when he was killed in Syria. A karate master from Galewela, Kandy, he also had followers on Facebook, whom the writer followed right after his death. There were many of his students learning his religious ideologies and questioning him on Islam. But later on, all of them deactivated their Facebook accounts.
Muslims of the Eastern Province
Shyam Mohammed from Muttur (not his real name) elaborated about developments in the Eastern Province. He said the Muslims of Sri Lanka are under control and there are no reports of Muslims especially in the Eastern province who have been radicalized.
However, he noted that a large number of Muslims are becoming too conservative and religious in Muttur and in other areas. This is because they want to practice 'true Islam'.
"There are several Saudi Arabia funded housing and drinking water projects taking place in predominantly Muslims areas in the Eastern province including Muttur," he noted.
He added that Thableeq Jamath and Thowheed Jamath are two very conservative religious groups and their members have swelled over the last few years in Sri Lanka but their activities are closely watched and guided by the 'Mahallas'.
Another global security expert based in Chennai, India, Colonel Hariharan says Maldivians have been associated with al Qaeda and Taliban from Osama bin Laden's days. At least 50 Maldivians are known to have joined the two groups. It's a country that follows Sharia laws and presumably Wahabism has established its roots with help from the Saudis. Killing of the blogger Yameen is similar to such killings that took place in Bangladesh by jihadists, he noted.
"The small islands scattered over 100s of km make it geographically difficult to practice jihadism. But individual assassinations, sabotage, and the targeting of foreigners is possible," he added.
Another Maldivian activist fighting injustice who was in Colombo following Yameen's killing endorses that Sri Lanka should be alert because the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) is the transit hub for Maldivian's leaving for the Syrian war.
She said the Maldivians have opted to avoid the BIA and instead are now using Thailand and Malaysia as exit points.
Stressing that although Sri Lanka remains fully vigilant, the ongoing religious extremism in the Maldives can however destabilize the region as Sri Lanka is surrounded by countries facing religious extremism.
"There will be an impact on Sri Lanka if the government continues to ignore this serious issue in the Maldives."
Under the rule of President Abdulla Yameen, there are now efforts being undertaken to replace the ultra conservative Fiqh Academy despite criticism from various Islamic organizations as well as opposition political parties.
There are also reports that a so-called Islamic State of Maldives(ISM) which claims to be linked with IS emerged in 2014, coinciding with the country's Independence Day celebrations.
Reportedly, an IS flag was hoisted for the first time in the capital Male's Raalhugandu area. IS flags were also spotted during a protest in early August 2014 against Israel's military operations in the Gaza Strip. The protestors also torched both the American and Israeli flags.
There are reports also that ISM has been active in popular social networking sites for jihadist propaganda, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Its primary purpose is to promote the Islamic State in the Maldives, to create awareness about the Islamic State and to convey its messages to the Maldivian people.
The Maldivian Democratic Party lead by Mohamed Nasheed became unpopular 'for his anti-Islamic' attitude. There was anger when he resisted calls from extremists to shut down the country's luxury tourist resorts that facilitate 'pleasure tourism'.
When he was ousted the Islamic Ministry proposed the adoption of "Islamic tourism".
"Nasheed was easily thrown out for his anti Islamic policies whereas the incumbent president has a huge support for cultivating extreme Islamism to remain in power, the young Maldivian activist who came online to speak to the writer stated.
She noted, "I don't think Sri Lankan Muslims will become radical unless they feel disenfranchised from society and she notes that radicalisation has many factors not just hate toward how a religion is practiced.
Religious extremism in the Maldives has alerted countries that are fighting the IS. There is a close watch over developments.
Diplomatic missions based in Colombo have condemned every killing and abduction that took place in Maldives, yet, an international probe has not commenced into the blogger's murder or the extra judicial killings of the past. Even the Sri Lankan governments have said little about the abductions and killings that took place in the Maldives .
The Canadian High Commission for both Colombo and the Maldives expressed condolences to the family and friends of Yameen Rasheed following his murder. "Yameen represented the positive contributions, potential and aspirations of many Maldivian youth.
He was a fearless advocate of rights, democracy and good governance", the High Commission noted and also called for a full investigation into this crime and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. "We note and welcome President Yameen's commitment to such an investigation," the High Commission stated.
The Embassy of Canada also expressed concern regarding the growing restrictions on human rights, particularly freedom of expression and the press in the Maldives and efforts to restrict critical voices.
Canada has, and will continue to raise these concerns bilaterally with the Government of Maldives and in multilateral forums including the Human Rights Council such as the Universal Peer Review (UPR), the Embassy noted.
The Embassy also supports the work of local civil society organizations through initiatives such as the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), the 2017-2018 cycle of which has just been launched. We would welcome proposals from Maldivian civil society organizations.
When asked on the measures Sri Lanka has taken to counter the threat of religious extremism that has penetrated into the South Asian region, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Karunasena Hettiarachchi said that he did not want to comment on the IS matter.
The blogger's father said, "India, Sri Lanka and other countries should take serious note of what is going on in the Maldives before a worse scenario could come into play and it would be too late for everyone...