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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

The Muslim Factor

[b]The Muslim Factor[/b]

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

[u][b]“….as if this was not to perish indeed – to be made into something else!”[/b][/u]
[b]Erasmus[/b] ([i]Praise of Folly[/i])

Muslims can probably live in a Tamil Eelam; but they cannot exist in a Tiger Eelam. As far as the Tigers are concerned any Muslim who is not content to be included in the ‘Tamil speaking people’ category is axiomatically a traitor. In fact the very insistence of the Muslims on their separate religio-cultural identity and the primacy of that identity over that of language is regarded by the Tigers as incontrovertible proof of betrayal.

Muslims can thus never be loyal citizens of Tiger Eelam and in Tiger Eelam only loyal citizens are allowed. The LTTE attacks on Muslims are not aberrations; these are an integral part of that Tiger policy of absolute domination which is making the LTTE murder any fellow Tamil it suspects of disloyalty.

Small wonder that the Tigers are doing their utmost to make the world think that there is a growing problem of Islamic fundamentalism in Eastern Sri Lanka. The Islamic fundamentalist bogey is a politico-propaganda weapon with multiple uses, as it can hide many a Tiger sin including a policy of ethno-religious cleansing towards Muslims. It can also scare the Americans to lessen their opposition to the LTTE; this is especially possible under a Bush administration which has a habit of equating terrorism with Islamic fundamentalism. Raising the spectre of Islamic fundamentalism can also win for the LTTE the backing of the vitally important evangelical lobby which is closely allied with the Bush White House and the Republican Party.

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