• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

CounterPunch needs you. piggybank-icon You need us. The cost of keeping the site alive and running is growing fast, as more and more readers visit. We want you to stick around, but it eats up bandwidth and costs us a bundle. Help us reach our modest goal (we are half way there!) so we can keep CounterPunch going. Donate today!
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Sri Landa and New Zealand: The Real Link

The carnage in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday has been condemned by people everywhere. Individuals and groups from different faith traditions have not ceased to emphasize that the mass slaughter of at least 321 persons in churches attending Easter services and in hotels on 21st April is a heinous crime in the eyes of any religion.

It is important to highlight this because there are voices — among them from the Sri Lankan government — that are saying that the carnage in Sri Lanka was revenge by a local extremist Muslim group, the National Thowheeth Jama’ath for the massacre of Muslim worshippers at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand by a White supremacist on the 15th of March 2019. How can a little known group in Sri Lanka claim to take revenge on behalf of the 51 who perished in Christchurch when some of the closest relatives of those killed in the massacre have asserted in public that they have forgiven the supremacist? Compassion and empathy for Muslims from New Zealanders a sizeable segment of whom are Christians reciprocated by Muslims in the country and elsewhere with a profound sense of appreciation and respect for the people of New Zealand and especially its Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern set the tone of the post-massacre atmosphere. Revenge and hatred were banished to the margins of society. Seen from another angle, an Australian academic has argued that the revenge theory is “nonsense” and has been trotted out to cover up for the inability of a dysfunctional government to manage security.

If one is looking for motives for the Sri Lanka carnage, they may be related to other factors. The positive atmosphere that emerged and evolved from the Christchurch tragedy is anathema for those bigots and fanatics who are hell-bent on fuelling hatred and conflict between communities. Such elements can be found among both Muslims and Christians. Even others, including those who are aggressively atheistic have at different times in history deliberately sought to drive a wedge between the two communities. I see the Sri Lanka carnage as a well-orchestrated manoeuvre to thwart Christian- Muslim amity which manifests itself in Palestine and is growing in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement directed against Israeli occupation. This then is the real link between New Zealand and Sri Lanka. The carnage in Sri Lanka allegedly perpetrated by a Muslim group has been manipulated to negate and nullify the positive vibes between Muslims and Christians emanating from the aftermath of the New Zealand massacre.

There is perhaps another reason which also explains the Sri Lanka episode. It serves the purpose of perpetuating the image of Islam and Muslims as inclined towards terrorism and violence. This image of the religion and its followers has been assiduously cultivated by religious followed by secular elites in Europe for more than a 1000 years and precedes even the crusades. Perpetuating it has become even more imperative today since non-violent modes of struggle — like the BDS movement —- are becoming more prominent. As they gain traction especially among Europeans, Israel and the United States are becoming increasingly desperate. It is more difficult now to convince even some of their allies that Israel’s existence is threatened by militant, terror oriented Palestinian and other groups. After Christchurch where Muslims were victims of violence, some have taken it upon themselves to remind the world that Muslims are, all said and done, still perpetrators of violence.

Indeed, the Sri Lanka carnage compels us to develop a deeper understanding of terrorism itself. Since ISIS claims to be behind the carnage, one has to ask searching questions about ISIS itself. How did ISIS emerge? Who is helping to sustain ISIS? Who created Daesh ? Or for that matter, who sired Al-Qaeda? Isn’t it obvious that many of the terror outfits we know today are linked to geopolitics and the pursuit of global dominance and power?

In the face of such cynical manipulation of terrorism by the powerful and their readiness to resort to unfettered violence, it is incumbent upon the adherents of all religions to accord much more emphasis to the values and principles that they share in common. It helps to repudiate any attempt to play one religious community against another. In the process, it reinforces a moral bond that transcends conventional religious boundaries and enhances our collective consciousness as human beings committed to justice and to a shared human dignity.

More articles by:

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

May 21, 2019
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Locked in a Cold War Time Warp
Roger Harris
Venezuela: Amnesty International in Service of Empire
Patrick Cockburn
Trump is Making the Same Mistakes in the Middle East the US Always Makes
Robert Hunziker
Custer’s Last Stand Meets Global Warming
Lance Olsen
Renewable Energy: the Switch From Drill, Baby, Drill to Mine, Baby, Mine
Dean Baker
Ady Barkan, the Fed and the Liberal Funder Industry
Manuel E. Yepe
Maduro Gives Trump a Lesson in Ethics and Morality
Jan Oberg
Trump’s Iran Trap
David D’Amato
What is Anarchism?
Nicky Reid
Trump’s War In Venezuela Could Be Che’s Revenge
Elliot Sperber
Springtime in New York
May 20, 2019
Richard Greeman
The Yellow Vests of France: Six Months of Struggle
Manuel García, Jr.
Abortion: White Panic Over Demographic Dilution?
Robert Fisk
From the Middle East to Northern Ireland, Western States are All Too Happy to Avoid Culpability for War Crimes
Tom Clifford
From the Gulf of Tonkin to the Persian Gulf
Chandra Muzaffar
Targeting Iran
Valerie Reynoso
The Violent History of the Venezuelan Opposition
Howard Lisnoff
They’re Just About Ready to Destroy Roe v. Wade
Eileen Appelbaum
Private Equity is a Driving Force Behind Devious Surprise Billings
Binoy Kampmark
Bob Hawke: Misunderstood in Memoriam
J.P. Linstroth
End of an era for ETA?: May Basque Peace Continue
Weekend Edition
May 17, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Trump and the Middle East: a Long Record of Personal Failure
Joan Roelofs
“Get Your Endangered Species Off My Bombing Range!”
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Slouching Towards Tehran
Paul Street
It’s Even More Terrible Than You Thought
Rob Urie
Grabby Joe and the Problem of Environmental Decline
Ajamu Baraka
2020 Elections: It’s Militarism and the Military Budget Stupid!
Andrew Levine
Springtime for Biden and Democrats
Richard Moser
The Interlocking Crises: War and Climate Chaos
Ron Jacobs
Uncle Sam Needs Our Help Again?
Eric Draitser
Elizabeth Warren Was Smart to Tell FOX to Go to Hell
Peter Bolton
The Washington Post’s “Cartel of the Suns” Theory is the Latest Desperate Excuse for Why the Coup Attempt in Venezuela has Failed
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Analysis of Undecideds Suggests Biden’s Support May be Exaggerated
Peter Lackowski
Eyewitness in Venezuela: a 14-year Perspective
Karl Grossman
Can Jerry Nadler Take Down Trump?
Howie Hawkins
Does the Climate Movement Really Mean What It Says?
Gary Leupp
Bolton and the Road to the War He Wants
Jill Richardson
Climate Change was No Accident
Josh Hoxie
Debunking Myths About Wealth and Race
David Barsamian
Iran Notes
David Mattson
Social Carrying Capacity Politspeak Bamboozle
Christopher Brauchli
The Pompeo Smirk
Louis Proyect
Trotsky, Bukharin and the Eco-Modernists
Martha Burk
Will Burning at the Stake Come Next?
John W. Whitehead
The Deadly Perils of Traffic Stops in America
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail