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Religions 2016, 7(10), 125;

Anti-Muslim Sentiments and Violence: A Major Threat to Ethnic Reconciliation and Ethnic Harmony in Post-War Sri Lanka

School of History, Politics and Strategic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences & Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
Department of Political Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya 20400, Sri Lanka
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Moojan Momen
Received: 7 June 2016 / Revised: 31 August 2016 / Accepted: 11 October 2016 / Published: 17 October 2016
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Following the military defeat of LTTE terrorism in May 2009, the relationship between ethnic and religious groups in Sri Lanka became seriously fragmented as a result of intensified anti-minority sentiments and violence. Consequently, the ethnic Muslims (Moors) became the major target in this conflict. The major objective of this study is to critically evaluate the nature and the impact of the anti-Muslim sentiments expressed and violence committed by the extreme nationalist forces during the process of ethnic reconciliation in post-war Sri Lanka. The findings of the study reveal that, with the end of civil war, Muslims have become “another other” and also the target of ethno-religious hatred and violence from the vigilante right-wing ethno-nationalist forces that claim to be protecting the Sinhala-Buddhist nation, race, and culture in Sri Lanka. These acts are perpetrated as part of their tactics aimed to consolidate a strong Sinhala-Buddhist nation—and motivated by the state. Furthermore, the recourse deficit and lack of autonomy within the organizational hierarchy of the Buddhist clergy have motivated the nationalist monks to engage in politics and promote a radical anti-minority rhetoric. This study recommends institutional and procedural reforms to guide and monitor the activities of religious organizations, parties, and movements, together with the teaching of religious tolerance, as the preconditions for ethnic reconciliation and ethnic harmony in post-war Sri Lanka. This study has used only secondary data, which are analyzed in a descriptive and interpretive manner. View Full-Text
Keywords: ethnic minority; Muslims; violence; ethnic reconciliation; post-war Sri Lanka ethnic minority; Muslims; violence; ethnic reconciliation; post-war Sri Lanka
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Sarjoon, A.; Yusoff, M.A.; Hussin, N. Anti-Muslim Sentiments and Violence: A Major Threat to Ethnic Reconciliation and Ethnic Harmony in Post-War Sri Lanka. Religions 2016, 7, 125.

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