On April 21, 2019, a terrorist attack and a series of subsequent explosions took place in Sri Lanka, and the extremist Islamic State declared responsibility for the matter. In the eyes of the international mainstream media, this incident is the revenge of the Islamic extremist group against the New Zealand shootings, which was carried out by an extreme Christian. These two events shocked the world. Looking at the Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, and the Financial Times, it’s not hard to find that this Pacific island nation has been so concerned for the first time in years, and it has also pushed into issues such as terrorist attacks, religious conflicts, and the governance of the world order. The cusp of the wind.
The future of Sri Lanka’s multi-religious landscape
Since Sri Lanka became a British colony in the early 19th century, this South Asian island nation has become the center of commerce and religion. The prosperity of the Indian Ocean trade, such as spices, ivory and jewellery, combined with British colonial rule, naturally led to the prosperity of Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism so much that the symbiosis of these religions can be seen in their communities today. Even in the Sri Lankan civil war from 1983 to 2009, the main cause was ethnic conflict and little relationship with religion. However, due to widespread religious belief, it was involved in many religions. As in Myanmar, the extremes of Buddhism in Sri Lanka are also an issue that cannot be underestimated, which greatly reduces the living space of Christianity and Islam in the local area. In this historical context, the extremes of Islam are actually relatively new things.
In fact, this terrorist attack was not an extremely strict plan, and the Sri Lankan government had already received relevant information about the system. As Sri Lankan Prime Minister Wickler Masinha said in an interview with the Financial Times, he made clear instructions on the relevant report, but it has not been implemented; if the official system communicates smoothly, at least most of it Bomb attacks can be prevented. Financial Times reporter Stephanie Findlay’s investigation pointed out that after the bomb attack, the local Muslim community also provided a secret report to the government, which enabled it to quickly lock the suspects. Local Muslims are not radical on the whole, and they also hate extremists in the community. According to The New Yorker, the dereliction of duty in the relevant departments of Sri Lanka has a deep history and local roots. Due to long-term ethnic conflicts, the relationship between the community and the community is extremely tense, leading to mutual attacks and reports. Therefore, the information received by the government departments is difficult to distinguish, and the people who execute them are rarely active unless they encounter special circumstances. Deal with issues related to religion and race.
The crux of the matter is that Christianity and Islam are a few religions in Sri Lanka. Today they account for 8% to 10% of the total population. There is no grievance in history. Why did the bomb attack occur between the two, which will give What impact does the local multi-religious ecology have? The reporters of the Financial Times are more optimistic and believe that as long as local politicians do not use this political mobilization, the local religious ecology will soon return to its original state. However, the Atlantic Monthly is more pessimistic. It believes that in the context of the extreme extinction of Buddhism and Islam, coupled with the deep-rooted ethnic conflicts and long-term colonial history, religious violence will continue to escalate as a whole. Analysis of the location of the bomb attack reveals that there is a Christian church, and the second is a luxury hotel. The latter is mainly a place for Western tourists. These are precisely the Christians and Westerners born of colonialism. In this sense, the prospects of Christianity in Sri Lanka are not optimistic.
This incident seems to be a problem between Islam and Christianity in Sri Lanka, but the reality is more complicated. As the religious scientist Amarnath Amarasingam said in an interview with The New Yorker, the most critical issue before Sri Lanka is the simultaneous violent extremism of local Buddhists and Islamists. Since many members of the Tamil Tigers were Muslims during the civil war in the second half of the 20th century, their extreme suicide attacks left a deep historical wound on the locals, leaving Muslims marginalized. Since 2013, local Buddhist organizations have called on believers not to go to Islamic stores to buy items, and even set fire to some local Muslim shops in 2018. In addition, there are related rumors that Islamic extremist groups in the Arab region are secretly financing Islamic extremists in Sri Lanka. Although this rumor is still difficult to prove, it is enough to alert other local religious groups and alienate the Muslim community. These dangerous signals indicate that there is a possibility of a systemic religious conflict in Sri Lanka.
Seeing global counter-terrorism from Sri Lanka
It is well known that the “Islamic State” claimed responsibility for the Sri Lankan series of bomb attacks. The evidence is that the perpetrators of this incident have sworn under their banner to loyalty to Abu Bakr Baghdadi, the highest leader of the “Islamic State”. Although the “Islamic State” in the Middle East has been attacked by the US military in March this year, it has lost its physical support, but as the “Atlantic Monthly” report pointed out, the “Islamic State” has no physical base, but through violence. The terrorist attacks have established a global platform. Through this platform, it is enough to mobilize and recruit thousands of supporters to continue to sell for themselves. The recent explosions in the Congo and Sri Lanka show that the actual existence of this extremist organization is no longer limited to Syria and Iraq, and the global counter-terrorism situation is becoming more severe.
Tracing back to the source, the “Islamic State” began to consciously compress its occupation in Syria and Iraq in the summer of 2018, reducing the fighting power. It seems that this organization seems to be weakening. In fact, they turned to the “paradox” position through social media. Sounds. As its slogan instills, the physical organization of the “Islamic State” in Syria and Iraq is important, but some things will be more important. What is referred to here is the establishment of a global organization with a strong ideological foundation, the danger of which is self-evident. The explosions in the Congo and Sri Lanka have proved the great destructive power of this approach.
In the editorial article, The New York Times examines the global impact of horror from the perspective of news dissemination. The terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka were brought about by long-term ethnic and religious conflicts. However, after this incident, the impact has far exceeded the local level. People in all regions of the world can understand this dynamic through social media for the first time. Become the “experience person” of this event. Religious conflicts around the world have led to various hate speeches on social media, and the parties have continued to join this melee. Rumors, distorted information and news reports are intertwined, adding a fire to religious conflicts on the Internet. After the explosion in Sri Lanka, religious riots and mutual massacres have occurred in Indonesia, India and Mexico. Although social media is not directly responsible for this issue, it provides a platform and space for the dissemination of such information, and is not very helpful in rumors and information provision. Social media has undoubtedly provided a platform for terrorism extremes, and has enabled more young people to join the embrace of the “Islamic State”. Under this circumstance, as a globally shared social media, it is also necessary to assume the responsibility of global governance to prevent the spread of religious extreme ideas and rumors.
Although violent attacks only occur in individual sporadic places, terrorism is already global. Samuel Huntington correctly predicted the seriousness of the conflict between different religious civilizations after the Cold War, but he did not predict that the globalization of terrorism would appear in the form of “global public opinion panic” and did not realize that social media The great challenge brought by the governance model based on the nation-state. What is before the nations is how can we reach a consensus on these issues that truly threaten global security and development, rather than provoking disputes on some unnecessary issues.