THE deadly attacks on three churches outside Colombo and three high-end hotels in the heart of Colombo in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday taking place within a few minutes, which have so far left more than 320 dead and more than 500 wounded are a heinous act and, therefore, unacceptable. We express solidarity with Sri Lanka and the people who have fallen victims to the attacks. We also condemn the attacks — which have constituted the worst atrocity since a 37-year civil war ended about a decade ago although there was an upswing in clashes between the Buddhist majority and Muslims in 2014 and 2018 — that appear to have been against the small Christian minority, which makes up 7 per cent of the 21 million Lankan population. The Sri Lanka authorities ordered a curfew and a national state of emergency ‘limited to counter-terrorism regulations only’ to ensure people’s security and to preserve the social peace and inter-religious coexistence, especially because of the speculations, based on media reports that at least some attackers were Muslims, that could lead to increased anti-Muslim acts. But irrespective of who were involved, the scale of the attacks, which is unprecedented, suggests that it is difficult for some small groups, Islamist or non-Islamist, to orchestrate them. There must be some involvement of international forces in the attacks.
A day after the attacks, Sri Lanka came up blaming local Islamist group National Thowheeth Jama’th but appeared uncertain about any international support behind the group. Even a day after, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is reported to have claimed the responsibility for the attacks through its Amaq news agency. The reasons for such extremist attacks seem to lie elsewhere. The US establishment has preached the theory and politics of the clash of civilisations and then advanced the causes, clearly creating an axis of state actors, especially in the west, blaming and standing against the Muslims all over the world. In all major incidents beginning with the 2010 Twin Tower attacks till date, the Muslims have, thus, come to be blamed by the west. When the state actors the world over — Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and all who have maintained a good relation among them — have worked in tandem to blame and spread hatred against the Muslims for terrorism, non-state actors such as Islamist groups everywhere have also, in reaction, developed a connection between them, putting up resistance against the stand of the rogue states. All this coming at the scene has resulted into deadly attacks in which innocent people, irrespective of their faiths, have lost and are losing their lives.
All this makes the countries, regions and the world unsafe. There hardly seems to be any way out of this situation unless the world stems the theories and politics of state actors against the Muslims. The world needs to understands, and act accordingly, that without stopping the state actors in terrorism, clashes involving non-state actors could continue. It is, therefore, time that the world delved deep into the problem, got to the root of terrorism and rooted it out.
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