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Sunday 28 October 2012

On Muslim protests - nonpublished

Mr. Shyamon Jayasinghe in his letter to the editor on Muslim protests states: “Nalin Silva’s account of the nature of the recent Muslim riots over the video trailer, "Innocence of Muslims," has missed focus on the real situation. Attempting as he does to relate it to what he calls the Western-Christian hegemony does not help our comprehension of the event.”. Unfortunately it is not clear what it is meant by the words “relate it”. Relate what? There were three events that we have to consider. Firstly the production of the relevant video, secondly the protests by most of the Muslims all over the world against the video, and finally condemning of the protests by the western media and the claim by them that the producer had the freedom of expression to produce the film. What I had said in my article published on 19th September was the following on western Christian supremacy. “When the western media tells us that the person who made the film had the right to do so they talk from their vantage position as everything in this world is today decided by the western Christian supremacy. It is true that in the west they have made films such as Da Vinci Code, though the film was banned in Sri Lanka if my memory is correct, but these films are made in a world dominated by western Christian hegemony. The book and the film Da Vinci Code were produced by western Christian culture who are looking for a new interpretation of Jesus Christ against the Jesus of the Catholic Church. This should be the last step in the fight of Christianity against Catholicism, and I was not surprised when the Catholic Church here decided to ask the Sri Lankan government to ban the film.”

I was neither concerned whether the producer of the video belonged to a minority Christian sect nor whether he was not born in the west. There may be thousands of Christian sects but generally they can be grouped under Catholic and Christian (non Catholic) though there are exceptions. Whether a person is born in Sri Lanka or Australia, generally he would belong to a culture and the latter is important as the way we look at the world (as they say grasp the world, though there is no one given world as such) is determined (created) by the culture and is based on what I call the chinthanaya. The person who produced the video did not try to defame Jesus Christ but Prophet Mohamed and his act has been governed by his general cultural view of the “world”, whatever the sect he belongs to. The Muslims were offended, and they protested against the video. Then the western media came to defend the producer appealing to freedom of speech. This defense was originated by a group in the western world with the help of the western Christian supremacy. Nothing would happen to the producer and as I had mentioned the protests have now been subdued with the help of some Muslim leaders as well, and the western Christian supremacy reins without any problem. The Muslims regardless of Iraq invasion etc., have fought and are fighting against Catholic as well as Christian cultural supremacies for more than a thousand of years and whether the video was produced by a Christian of a minority sect or a mainstream Christian the video appears to be an attack against the Muslim culture.

Mr. Jayasinghe has completely missed the point regarding Da Vinci Code. I am of the view that there has been another cultural “war” or a struggle between the Catholic Chinthanaya and the Christian Chinthanaya spreading over more than five hundred years. The Christian Chinthanaya has defeated the Catholic Chinthanaya on many counts, and today the dominant culture of the world including Australia is the Anglo Saxon variety of the (non Catholic) Christian culture. There may be local differences among the Anglo Saxon countries but in general their culture dominates the world. Whether one is an Atheist or not, or even if one does not practice a religion, it is immaterial in these cultural “conflicts”. Though the Christian culture is the dominant culture in the world ironically those who belong to that culture do not have their own Jesus. Books such as Da Vinci Code are attempts to “create” a Jesus who was married in contrast to the Catholic Jesus who did not marry, and there have been such efforts in the last five hundred years. Thus Da Vinci Code is produced in a Christian culture and not against it, though the Catholic culture would have been offended by the book as well as the film. The Christian culture is not happy with the Jesus of the Catholic culture, and is evolving towards a culture without a God in the Catholic sense. The Christian culture would in general not protest against Da Vinci Code and it was left to the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka to get the film banned in the country. It has to be reminded that though many Buddhists protested against “Bavatharanaya” written imitating the tradition of so called realistic novel of the western Christian modernity, the book was never banned in the country.

Copyright Prof. Nalin De Silva