Haroon Maghul, Senior Correspondent Source Religion Dispatches

RD recently received the following email from reader HK, in reference to my recent post, “Dear Reader, I’m Assuming You Don’t Know Any Muslims”: (This particular piece appears below this -TW)

At the end of this two-piece article, TW has reproduced a 11+ Minute Utube Video titled 

“What the Western World Can Learn from the Prophet Muhammad: Haroon Moghul at TEDx ColumbiaCollege”

I am writing to offer a suggestion for an RD piece (or series?) that would be extremely useful to me, and I suspect to many other RD readers:

Please discuss some of the problematic aspects of the Koran, and of Islam.

For example:

  • why are there no majority-Muslim countries that are democracies, or that recognize civil liberties?
  • why are majority-Muslim countries so concerned with matters like sex (and particularly adultery), which are, after all, about private behavior?
  • why is Islam science-phobic?  And what does that tell us about Islam and Muslims?   With all the Muslims in the world, how many have been awarded prestigious prizes in science?
  • what about that verse in the Koran that advises readers to lie, if necessary, to protect Islam?
  • what about dhimmitude and the Koran verses that impose taxes on non-Muslims?

These are only some of the most obvious questions.  No doubt there are many others.

I can understand how RD might be reluctant to do a piece (? series?) dealing with these matters.  But I think such a piece would help educate lots of folks, including me (and obviously I have a negative view of Islam), and would say something about the  courage and intellectual integrity of RD and its writers and editors.


The Parannoid Ploy of – “ It’s US  OR THEM “ (A very selfish self destructive agenda).

 G. Gunadasa, Aranayake Courtesy An Email Acquitance

Evil should never be uttered in public, except by him who has been wronged”. Again if someone curses you, you may curse him in return, but if he lies about you, you should not lie about him. These simple rules   will always be cherished by the righteous, as they are the ones that ultimately succeed. Today we hear Mahinda Rajapksa and his clan still persisting in their evil campaign for a Racist divisive  Sinhala Buddhist agenda. The Buddha himself denounced categorically such thinking. We Buddhists are supposed to say “Siyalu Sathhu Suhapath wewa”  “May ALL beings Live in Peace”.  Let us Buddhists  keep chanting these holy words of wisdom, within our hearts – it will bring peace within ourselves. This Racist Agenda  of “its  Either Us or Them “,  is a totally both a bankrupt,  paranoid and self destructive agenda,  fondly practiced by the founding fathers of the USA, Canada,  Australia Israel and later South Africa, which gave it up after much suffering and bloodshed.  Continue reading The Parannoid Ploy of – “ It’s US  OR THEM “ (A very selfish self destructive agenda).

When 14 Million Bees worth $92,000 on the loose!

Bee truck carrying 14 million insects crashes on to highway

Source Iindependent, UK

Drivers were advised to close the windows and air vents of their cars as they drove past the 128 spilt hives

A truck accident spilled millions of bees worth $92,000 onto a highway in an accident near the city of Lynnwood in Washington state.

The semi-truck rolled over on Interstate 5 on Friday morning and spilled its entire contents of 14 million bees onto the road. Continue reading When 14 Million Bees worth $92,000 on the loose!

Is Maithri struggling with his back against the wall?

Losing Grip?

(Daily Mirror Editorial)

President Maithripala Sirisena who completes 100 days in office tomorrow seems to be struggling with his back against the wall not only to fulfil his election promises, but also for his very survival in the long run. In fact he is besieged by his friends as well as foes.

He is being pressurized by his friends such as the JVP and certain media outlets that toiled for his victory at the January 8 Presidential election, to keep his election promises, especially those on scrapping or considerably trimming of executive powers of the Presidency and taking drastic action against the corrupt politicians and officials of the past regime.

For some reasons unknown to the country the authorities under the new regime of President Sirisena are dragging their feet in taking action against corruption despite graphic details of them being carried in the media. Sri Lanka is a unique country in which the police have to wait for the court orders for months in order to arrest a man who was well known to have supplied lethal hardware for nearly thirty years to the LTTE, one of the most dangerous terrorist groups in the world six years ago, to kill and maim thousands of people while he was right under their nose. Continue reading Is Maithri struggling with his back against the wall?

“How petty are the thoughts of small men!…” – Hitler

Disorder within, disorder without

“There are two ways of being a politician, the first is to bring to politics all one’s ideas, energies and even possessions to enrich it with one’s riches and yet in the midst of it to maintain one’s own intellectual and inner preoccupations, so that the management of public affairs maybe ennobled by them. The second way is the exact opposite. It consists of taking from politics all one’s ideas, along with the power and many other resources. This is living off politics instead of giving it life” – Paul Valery

“How petty are the thoughts of small men! Believe me; I do not regard the acquisition of a Ministers ‘portfolio as a thing worth striving for. I do not hold it worthy of a great man to endeavour to go down in history just by becoming a Minister. One might be in danger of being buried beside other Ministers! I aimed from the first at something a thousand times higher than a Minister….” – Adolf Hitler

“Gandhi looked at India as no Indian was able to; his vision was direct, and this directness was, and is revolutionary. He sees exactly what the visitor sees; he does not ignore the obvious. He sees the beggars and the shameless pundits and the filth of Banaras; he sees the atrocious sanitary habits of doctors, lawyers and journalists. He sees the Indian callousness, the Indian refusal to see” – ‘An Area of Darkness,’ V.S. Naipaul

Whatever we Sri Lankans may be accused of, it cannot be said that we are possessed of the instincts of the Teutons. Through our long history, we have caused no anxiety to our neighbours on account of our military prowess or economic interests. On the contrary, it were mainly the periodic incursions over the Palk Straight that eventually led to the disintegration of the then-flourishing Sinhala kingdoms of the north-central plains of the island. A mere glance at the map of South Asia is sufficient to comprehend the vulnerability of a small country with a relatively small population in such a geographic setting. Continue reading “How petty are the thoughts of small men!…” – Hitler

Interesting Facts about JVP’s Somawansa Amarasinghe!

‘Siri Aiya’ who revived the JVP

Uncommon, but true (The Original Title)


Former leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Somawansa Amarasinghe has decided to resign from the JVP to form a new party. The following article discusses in detail the role he played internationally in reviving the JVP after the reign of terror in the 1980s.

In the late 1980s the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) was active only in 19 out 25 districts. It was not present in the five districts of the North and Batticaloa district in the East. Accordingly, there were 19 JVP District Secretaries. The Central Committee comprised politburo members, district secretaries and secretaries of the military wing.

The party’s politburo (PB) members from 1986 to 1989 were Rohana Wijeweera, Upatissa Gamanayake, Sumith Athukorala, D.M. Ananda, Saman Piyasiri Fernando, Piyadasa Ranasinghe, H.B. Herath, Gunaratne Wanasinghe, R.B. Wimalaratne, Somawansa Amarasinghe, Shantha Bandara, Nandatilaka Galappaththi and Lalith Wijeratne. Continue reading Interesting Facts about JVP’s Somawansa Amarasinghe!

Lobbying for Fair Thinking


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