South Asia Islamophobia Burgeons in Sri Lanka

July 15, 2018 6 photos
  • Shamsuddic Raheem, left, and his son Shamsuddin Mohammad Fasal stand in the remains of their house in Digana, Sri Lanka. In March, the youngest brother of the family was burned alive when a Buddhist mob torched the home during an attack on the Muslim community.

  • Charred rooms are all that remain of the Shamsuddins’ home, which formerly housed a shop in front and living quarters behind. The violence took three lives in Digana and demolished property worth millions of rupees.

  • Friends and relatives received videos and texts describing the March violence. Digana religious leader Maulana Firdaus holds a phone showing a video he received as Muslim homes burned.

  • The Digana Mosque is located to the right of the Shamsuddin home. The inside of the mosque was destroyed in the March riots, although the external structure remains standing.

  • Muslims in Digana are using this makeshift mosque until their permanent mosque is rebuilt.

  • A poster calls for donations to reconstruct the Digana Mosque. The area is limping back to normalcy four months after the attacks, but “it will never actually be completely normal again,” says Maulana Firdaus, the religious leader of the mosque.