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Islamism and Muslim Minority in Sri Lanka


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Less than a decade since the end of Sri Lanka's grueling civil war in 2009, the country may once again find itself threatened by communal violence. Sri Lankas Muslim minority population is mobilizing around Islamist politics. Conversely, Buddhist Nationalists, inspired by instrumental politicians and the perceived threat of Islamization, are mobilizing against the Muslim population. This thesis asks: how and why is Islamism growing among the Muslim minority population of Sri Lanka? This thesis will test two hypotheses: first, the Muslim minority population in Sri Lanka is mobilizing around Islamism in reaction to growing Buddhist Nationalism; second, the Muslim minority population in Sri Lanka is mobilizing around Islamism as a result of external actors promoting religious extremism. Limiting the impact of international influences is a challenge in addition to religious extremists of both Buddhist and Islamist parties in Sri Lanka. Thus, controlling the strong external Islamization process is important to ensure ethnic harmony in Sri Lanka. Because Sri Lankas progress as a developing democracy depends on the confidence of international diplomatic partners, identifying and rectifying the driving factors of religious and ethnic disharmony in Sri Lanka is of the utmost importance to the security and development of the country.



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