The Muslim Reverend

Authored by: Nissanka Wijemanne

The Routledge Companion to Sinhala Fiction from Post-War Sri Lanka

Print publication date:  September  2022
Online publication date:  September  2022

Print ISBN: 9780367554682
eBook ISBN: 9781003094708
Adobe ISBN:


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This is a story of a friendship between a Buddhist monk and a Muslim man – and the easy way they interchange their words and worlds shows a link that is very difficult to imagine in present-day Sri Lanka, where the Buddhist–Muslim tensions run high. The fact that the monk could quote the Quran and that the Muslim could preach a Buddhist sermon – the two having grown up together as friends – and that the Muslim could actually sort out a Dharma problem for a real Buddhist monk , makes one wonder at the distance imagined for different faiths. The irony of the Muslim actually coming under attack by Muslims since he was in disguise – and being revered by Buddhists for the same reason, throws up the link between costume and identity , significant within the Sinhala Muslim tension in Sri Lanka. The fact that the protagonist is a small businessman, a tailor, is also significant, as many of the Sinhala–Muslim riots are believed to be fuelled by commercial interests .

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