The Influence of Global Islam Radicalisation to Sri Lanka
The Threat of Global Islam Radicalisation to Sri Lanka’ is a paper submitted to the 10th KDU International Research Conference. This paper in its Introduction examines the background to conflicts in countries where Islam is followed as a religion and gives a historical perspective to the current conflicts in the Middle East. The Introduction identifies that the historical divide between the Sunni and Shia Islam sects have led to create deep rooted sectarian divide among these two Islam schools of thought. It also brings out the present beginning of this sectarian divide when the paper identifies four major contributory factors to the rise of present day conflicts in the Middle East and its spill over effects to other parts of the world. The paper hopes to inspire Sri Lanka’s public servants and policy makers to gain more knowledge on the subject in order to be able to formulate effective counter mechanisms. This brings the reader to the research objective which is to find if Sri Lanka has a suitable national security and social framework to face this challenge. The research methodology is qualitative and mainly based on secondary sources related to Islam radicalisation and best practices as counter measures. A definition of radicalisation and Islam militancy by Tomas Precht which could be adopted to suit any religious militancy has been cited in context of the paper. The paper discusses how the phenomenon of global Islam radicalisation affected Sri Lanka in two ways. Firstly, it has affected the Muslim community but not to the extent where rapid radicalisation has taken place to inspire violent or radical activity openly. Secondly, this phenomenon set in motion a wave of Sinhala Buddhist radicalisation leading to intimidation and targeted violence. The Sri Lankan perspective gives insight to Islam radicalisation in Sri Lanka and the problems faced within the Muslim community. The paper also makes recommendations to counter the spread of violent radicalisation and also the necessity for regional and global cooperation to face this challenge. The whole of government approach or adoption of the concept of homeland security by strengthening cooperation between Government Departments and the Intelligence and Security Sector appear to be the key to deter this phenomenon.