As early as the 1500s Europe felt it had the great burden of spreading ‘civilization’ to the pagan barbaric cultures that was the rest of the world. Fast forward a few hundred years and our tiny island saw the spread of this ‘civilization’ on our very own shores. First came the benevolent Dutch, then the Portugese, and finally the Victorian British during the 1800s.
Back then, it was a fairly simple, upfront matter, this colonization business (though not so with the wily British). They came, they saw, they
converted conquered spread ‘civilization’ to us backward Sri Lankans. And, of course, their efforts would have been in vain if not for our own local espousers of Western ideals. Once we ‘gained’ our independence from our former colonial masters, local history books would mention the pivotal role these ‘sole distributors’, of what a civilized society was, played in the perpetuation of colonial laws in this island during colonial rule. I’ve always wondered what motivated these fellow Lankans to change their values to such an extent as to be a completely new identity.
Then, there were the blessed missionaries, who either spread the message by way of sword/musket or wealth and status. Of course, these days, it’s mostly done by providing ‘financial’ opportunities in various forms.
I admit, it’s a better way to spread an ideology, rather than at gunpoint (refer European colonization, WWII, Cold War, Vietnam War, Korean War, etc…). This ‘economical’ method is just that. It’s economical: not a single soldier sets foot abroad, not a bullet is fired, and best of all, no lives are lost. It’s less expensive. Note that as of late, the definition of ‘civilized’ has changed from religion to secularism and political correctness, disguised as (and please don’t hate me for saying this) democracy/civil liberties.
These days, it’s backwards to believe in God and practice one’s religion. It’s blasphemous to not support homosexual behavior. ‘Islamic’, ‘Jihad’, ‘Sharia’, ‘Burqa’, and ‘Tawheed’ have negative associations. And, it’s downright suspicious to speak in Arabic.
So, now we have the same salesmen with the same product, but with a new package with a new sales (economical) pitch.
When I first heard about how one of the stipulations for Sri Lanka to receive GSP+ status was to amend the Muslim Personal Law, namely, the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act of 1951, I was like, ‘GSP+ and what??’
Now, I haven’t personally read the Act so I really don’t know EVERYTHING that’s in it. So, I really can’t comment on it. However, it seems the issue is the minimum age for marriage. One could argue for or against it, and again, not the point of the article.
But what strikes as odd, indeed disturbing, is the amount of stir it’s creating in social circles. Really disturbing. If you’re Sri Lankan and haven’t come across such posts in social media, then consider yourself blessed. Again, not the point.
However, upon some reflection on the matter, I happened to draw some interesting insights.
Now, how the world operates, at least for us so called ‘developing countries’ is like this:
- As a ‘developing nation’ (I fail to see how we still have this term, considering the amount of luxury vehicles that are driving on the roads, and how super luxury condominiums seem to grow faster than trees and in greater numbers, etc…) and thanks to successive corrupt governments, we have to depend on loans, trade concessions for exports/imports from ‘developed’ nations (again puzzling, considering amount of debt most Westerners are in, student loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc…)
- Change local policies to curry international favor to receive monetary aid.
In light of this, it seems rather interesting, nay, extremely fishy, for the European Union to stipulate that SL makes changes to its Muslim Personal Law. And I’m sure some of you out there have voiced your opinions regarding this matter. Kudos to you.
Muslim personal law aside, these EU stipulations smell a whole lot like we’re in a new wave of colonization, and what’s worse, most aren’t even aware of it!
On a side note, have you ever wondered why the Muslims (and Islam) are being targeted, and not just here, but on a global scale?