In fact, it has strengthened our bond. When we – a Muslim and a Christian – fell in love, we didn't think much about the differences in our religions. Doesn't being in an interfaith relationship necessarily weaken our individual religious beliefs We talk about the Buddha and tell folk religion origin stories. The Buddhist –Muslim relationship in Sri Lanka is centuries old. This is in spite of the fact that some of the Muslim countries' alliances being. Buddhist-Muslim Relations and Coexistence in Southern Thailand 77 ism is also .. Burr in fact argues that popular Islam is based on the. Thai spirit world.
Commendably, the Muslim response was instructive. They requested the colonial administration to leave Sri Lanka and that the Muslims standby with the Sinhalese in their quest for Independence and that the Muslims would mutually resolve any outstanding issues between the Sinhalese and Muslims. During the Middles Ages and up to the time of the 1st World War, the Muslims were a global power and they had the capacity and the reach to influence pressure regionally and globally. Remarkably, the conquest of India was spurred by an incident where Hindu pirates attacked a ship travelling from Sri Lanka with Sri Lankan passengers on Hajj pilgrimage carrying token gifts from the Sinhalese Kings to the governor of Iraq of the time.
The Muslim empire which extended from North Africa in the West to India in the East and from the south of France in the North to the Southern parts of Africa in the south during the Middle Ages, considered Sri Lanka as the most favoured and friendly nation. Therefore they had no ill intentions of conquering Sri Lanka. It was also evident historically that whenever there were internal feuds within the empire among the higher echelons of power, there were instances of political refugees choosing Sri Lanka as the favoured destination for their escapade and some of who domiciled here.
These historical factors show the presence of a two-way relationship. This two-way relationship helped both communities to nurture a sustained relationship that stood the test of the vagaries of time. This time tested relationship is the bedrock of understanding between these two communities that neither is a threat to the other and that the sustainability and security of both lies on the strength of the bond between them.
This paradigm of relationship has brought about bond that carries an unwritten pact on each other to protect and guarantee mutual security.
This as a result has built asymmetrical security to both communities. The Sinhala Buddhist community as the majority in the country accord mutual respect, recognition and protection to the Muslim minority community which is a part and parcel of a global majority.
On the other hand the minority Muslim community being a part and parcel of global Muslim community stands by the local majority Sinhalese and garners mutual respect, recognition and support of the Muslim world. Due to this factor, Sri Lanka commands respect and reciprocity in the Muslim world. Incredibly, this special relationship of the Muslim world with Sri Lanka should be viewed in the historical perspective of the Muslim minority role as outlined above.
By virtue of Muslim presence and their vibrant link with the Muslim world, Sri Lanka gains an asymmetrical advantage compared with other non Muslim countries of similar profile in respect to population, social and economic development, size and geopolitics etc. The Muslim community being part and parcel of the Sri Lankan social fabric, their historical bond with the country and particularly their relationship with the Sinhalese power structure and the Maha Sanga made the social psychology of the Muslims accord with the mainstream majority Buddhist community.
This common bond between them starkly contrasted with their diametrically different religious fundamentals and yet the time tested relationship was strong as ever.
However, deplorably, this religious difference was exploited by the British colonialist and their affiliates of the time to put a wedge in the time tested Buddhist-Muslim relationship as a strategy of divide and rule.
To a lesser extent, the British colonial administration and their affiliates of the time somewhat succeeded in dividing these two communities as a strategy to prevent the communities from becoming a challenge to western imperial grand plan of exploiting and controlling resources in the colony.
In spite of this external machination causing division, the relationship was resilient. However, to this day, this threat by imperial grand plan yet persists and the current attempt to polarize the communities by setting Muslims against the Buddhist should be viewed as a harbinger of post modern form of control, exploitation and colonization by polarizing societies as a strategy. The seeds of division sown by Western powers of the time still haunt our societies and have rendered us as unsustainable societies incapable of nation building to date.
What happens when you fall in love across the religious divide?
They used Sinhala and Buddhism as vehicles for their ascendance to power whilst the Sri Lanka society was crumbling down every day with the socio-economic and political burden laden upon them as a result. Such behaviour by post colonial leaders has done no good to the nation except but to protect their personal, family or group interests.
Today self interest based political culture advocacy has grown to the extent of threatening the very foundation of the Buddhist society which was built on the foundation of true Buddhist values and traditions during the last two and a half millennia.
Compounding this, politicizing Buddhism as a launch pad for personal growth of the political elites is destroying it. Today Buddhism is coming to be seen as the vehicle of the corrupt in Sri Lanka, like Christianity in the Middle Ages, where religion aligned with the powers to justify the corruption of the rulers.Is the fact that Buddhists and Hindus share a common belief in reincarnation...
This is bad marketing for Buddhism. The assumption here is that sharing the same religion is a shortcut to deeper unity. But praying the same words in the same order, or reading the same sacred book through and through again, or singing the same songs are not necessarily a gateway to a meaningful connection.
Each journey of faith is unique and personal. No two believers are alike. And, as anyone in any relationship will tell you, no two people are alike.
What happens when you fall in love across the religious divide? | Life and style | The Guardian
Everyone has their own views, opinions and convictions, regardless of their chosen religion or lack of one. Some relationships are interfaith, but all relationships are inter-belief.
What is that necessary and sufficient factor?
We have found that it is far more important to share the same values than the same religion. It is true that some values are associated more closely with certain religion affiliations.
The Asymmetric Relationship of Buddhist-Muslim Bond in Sri Lanka – Groundviews
But values do not just take root inside a person as a result of their religion, of how they have chosen to describe or name or worship God. We choose our values because of myriad factors: Our values shape us, as our journeys through life — and our journeys through faith — play out.
In faith, as in love, we leap. We whisper holy words, words that hold power, maybe magic. We pilgrimage across whatever distances necessary.
We experience the ineffable. We understand the unexplainable. We sense in an instant a familiarity, a knowing. We get over and outside of ourselves to connect with something so much bigger.