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Muslim-Buddhist Conflict in Contemporary Sri Lanka


Stewart, JJ, Muslim-Buddhist Conflict in Contemporary Sri Lanka, South Asia Research, 34, (3) pp. 241-260. ISSN 0262-7280 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Sage Publications

DOI: doi:10.1177/0262728014549134


The end of the civil war in 2009 heralded hope that a new era of peace and inter-ethnic cooperation might be possible in post-war Sri Lanka. This hope now seems, at best, mere wishful thinking, as this article highlights an emerging conflict between the Sinhalese Buddhist majority and Sri Lankan Muslims. Through detailed analysis of online social data, argued evidence is provided that Muslim Sri Lankans are now at the receiving end of Islamaphobic rhetoric, even violence, from Sinhala Buddhist nationalist organisations, driven by a belief that the Muslim community represent a threat to Buddhism. The article suggests that Sinhala nationalists have skilfully adopted new internet technologies which have proved effective in their anti-Muslim campaigns. It becomes necessary to conclude that these attacks on Muslim minorities are an extension of pre-existing oppression patterns faced by other minorities residing on the island, particularly Tamils. Indeed, the rhetoric behind these attacks bears a striking resemblance to the type of nationalist discourse found during the Sri Lankan civil war.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Sri Lanka, Islam, Buddhism, Halal, Violence, Social Media
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology of migration, ethnicity and multiculturalism
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in philosophy and religious studies
UTAS Author:Stewart, JJ (Dr James Stewart)
ID Code:96789
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2014-11-21
Last Modified:2015-04-15

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