Sri Lanka riots target Muslims in vengeance over Easter bombings of Christians

Sri Lanka last weekend saw the sort of "anti-Muslim backlash" that seems to trouble American officials and media so much that they customarily express bafflement as to the motives for attacks when a jihadist yells "Allahu akbar!" while slaughtering infidels.

Interestingly, the rioters do not appear to be predominantly Christian, and one account of one attack on a mosque specifies that Buddhist monks were part of the incitement.  The religious breakdown of Sri Lanka's population is as follows:

While Westerners tend to be more familiar with the anti-Christian and Jew-hating passages of Islamic scripture, in fact, Islam is even more condemnatory of what it calls "polytheist" religions, including Hinduism and Buddhism.  India, Sri Lanka's huge neighbor, is riven with religious conflict between Muslims and Hindus that the government mightily tries to contain.

There has been very little media attention here, but I found this Reuters account from a Hindu (not Christian) source, "Struggle for Hindu Existence."

Sri Lankan police fired tear gas at mobs attacking mosques and shops owned by Muslims on Monday and imposed a nationwide curfew after the worst outbreak of sectarian violence since the Easter bombings by Islamist terrorists. ...

"There are hundreds of rioters, police and army are just watching. They have burnt our mosques and smashed many shops owned by Muslims," a resident of Kottampitiya area told Reuters by telephone, asking not to be identified for fear of reprisals.

"When we try to come out of our house, police tell us to stay inside." Police imposed a nationwide curfew until from 9pm (1530 GMT) to 4am, spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said.

Authorities also imposed a temporary ban on social media networks and messaging apps including WhatsApp after a clash in another part of the country was traced to a dispute on Facebook.

A police source said police had fired tear gas to disperse mobs in some places in North Western Province. ...

A Reuters reporter saw a mob of several dozen young Sinhalese men wielding sticks and rods in what appeared to be a standoff in the town of Madulla in North Western Province.

Many anxious Muslims were hunkering down at home but young men, some of them carrying rods, were still zipping around on motorbikes, despite regional curfews from 2pm before the nationwide curfew was imposed.

Glass was strewn across the Abrar mosque in the town of Kiniyama that was attacked overnight. All the windows and doors of the soft-pink building were smashed and copies of the Quran were thrown onto the floor.

A mosque official said the attacks were triggered when several people, including some Buddhist monks, demanded a search of the main building after soldiers had inspected a 105-acre (43-hectare) lake nearby.

Interesting that it was Buddhists, not Christians inciting the attack.

A 34-year-old man who was at the mosque said about 150-200 came towards the mosque with rods and swords on Sunday but the Muslims who were in the mosque persuaded them to go away with the help of the police.

But they came back and this time there were about 1,300 people. The Muslims, huddled in the mosque, asked the police to fire in the air to disperse the mob, but the police said the people wanted to inspect the mosque for weapons.

Then the crowd surged into the mosque and ransacked it, the witness said.

"They destroyed and burned Qurans, broke every glass window and door and urinated on the water storage which Muslims used to take ablution," he said.

Here is a video of the attacks and their aftermath:

Image credit: YouTube screen grab.

Sri Lanka last weekend saw the sort of "anti-Muslim backlash" that seems to trouble American officials and media so much that they customarily express bafflement as to the motives for attacks when a jihadist yells "Allahu akbar!" while slaughtering infidels.

Interestingly, the rioters do not appear to be predominantly Christian, and one account of one attack on a mosque specifies that Buddhist monks were part of the incitement.  The religious breakdown of Sri Lanka's population is as follows:


Source.

While Westerners tend to be more familiar with the anti-Christian and Jew-hating passages of Islamic scripture, in fact, Islam is even more condemnatory of what it calls "polytheist" religions, including Hinduism and Buddhism.  India, Sri Lanka's huge neighbor, is riven with religious conflict between Muslims and Hindus that the government mightily tries to contain.

There has been very little media attention here, but I found this Reuters account from a Hindu (not Christian) source, "Struggle for Hindu Existence."

Sri Lankan police fired tear gas at mobs attacking mosques and shops owned by Muslims on Monday and imposed a nationwide curfew after the worst outbreak of sectarian violence since the Easter bombings by Islamist terrorists. ...

"There are hundreds of rioters, police and army are just watching. They have burnt our mosques and smashed many shops owned by Muslims," a resident of Kottampitiya area told Reuters by telephone, asking not to be identified for fear of reprisals.

"When we try to come out of our house, police tell us to stay inside." Police imposed a nationwide curfew until from 9pm (1530 GMT) to 4am, spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said.

Authorities also imposed a temporary ban on social media networks and messaging apps including WhatsApp after a clash in another part of the country was traced to a dispute on Facebook.

A police source said police had fired tear gas to disperse mobs in some places in North Western Province. ...

A Reuters reporter saw a mob of several dozen young Sinhalese men wielding sticks and rods in what appeared to be a standoff in the town of Madulla in North Western Province.

Many anxious Muslims were hunkering down at home but young men, some of them carrying rods, were still zipping around on motorbikes, despite regional curfews from 2pm before the nationwide curfew was imposed.

Glass was strewn across the Abrar mosque in the town of Kiniyama that was attacked overnight. All the windows and doors of the soft-pink building were smashed and copies of the Quran were thrown onto the floor.

A mosque official said the attacks were triggered when several people, including some Buddhist monks, demanded a search of the main building after soldiers had inspected a 105-acre (43-hectare) lake nearby.

Interesting that it was Buddhists, not Christians inciting the attack.

A 34-year-old man who was at the mosque said about 150-200 came towards the mosque with rods and swords on Sunday but the Muslims who were in the mosque persuaded them to go away with the help of the police.

But they came back and this time there were about 1,300 people. The Muslims, huddled in the mosque, asked the police to fire in the air to disperse the mob, but the police said the people wanted to inspect the mosque for weapons.

Then the crowd surged into the mosque and ransacked it, the witness said.

"They destroyed and burned Qurans, broke every glass window and door and urinated on the water storage which Muslims used to take ablution," he said.

Here is a video of the attacks and their aftermath:

Image credit: YouTube screen grab.