The Easter Sunday Bombings and the Crisis Facing Sri Lanka’s Muslims A.R.M. Imtiyaz Imtiyaz

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This paper primarily examines the Easter Sunday bombing plotted and executed by a group of Sri Lankan
Muslims and post-war Sri Lankan conditions among Sri Lankan Muslims, also known as Moors. The article will
attempt to argue that (a) the post-war violence and organized Islamophobia among non-Muslim communities
in general and the Sinhalese in particular increased fears and distrust among Sri Lankan Muslims in general;
and (b) state concessions to Muslim political leaders, who supported successive Sri Lankan ruling classes
from independence through the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009, have meant
an isolation of the community from the other two main ethnic communities. The concessions that the
Muslim community has won actively helped the Muslim community to be proactive in its religious practices
and thus paved the way for exclusive social and political choices. The rise of Islamic movements and mosques
in the post-1977 period galvanized Muslims. In time this isolation has been reinforced by socio-religious
revival among Muslims whose ethnic identity has been constructed along the lines of the Islamic faith by
Muslim elites. Despite this revival it has been clear that the Muslim community has been reluctant to use
Islamic traditions and principles for peace building, which could have helped to ease tensions, brought about
by the 30-year-old ethnic conflict. Finally, some pragmatic ways to ease tensions between Muslims and nonMuslims in the greater discipline of conflict resolution are explored using traditions within Islam.

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