Thursday, 29 August 2013

Buddhist monk ignites violence against Rohingya

15:06, 29 August 2013 Thursday
Buddhist monk ignites violence against Rohingya

Buddhist monk ignites violence against Rohingya 
Myanmar's radical monk Wirathu's anti-Muslim rhetoric has placed him at the centre of rising religious violence, according to the BBC report

World Bulletin / News Desk
This week, religious violence has once again flared in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. Hundreds of Muslim homes have been burnt to the ground in Sagaing region after being attacked by Buddhist mobs.

In just over a year more than 200 people, mostly Muslims, have been killed and many more displaced as unrest has spread from Rakhine state in the west to towns across the country.
According to the BBC report, many are blaming a controversial monk and the nationalist organisation he helps lead for the rising tensions.

Shin Wirathu teaches his students "that the country is under attack from Muslim "invaders".
"Muslims are only well behaved when they are weak, " he said. "When they become strong, they are like a wolf or a jackal, in large packs they hunt down other animals."
Wirathu believes there is a Muslim "master plan" underway to turn Myanmar into an Islamic state.

If he is right, it is a long-term project. Latest estimates suggest that of Myanmar's 60 million people, 90% are Buddhist and about 5% Muslim.
"Over the past 50 years, we have shopped at Muslim shops and then they became richer and wealthier than us and can buy and marry our girls," Wirathu said. "In this way, they have destroyed and penetrated not only our nation but also our religion."

Wirathu's solution lies in a controversial nationalist organisation called 969, BBC reports. It calls on Buddhists to shop, sell property and marry within their own religion.
A short drive from Wirathu's monastery, Muslim volunteers guard Joon Mosque, the biggest in Mandalay, each night. The men told me that in the event of a Buddhist attack, they expect no protection from the (Buddhist-dominated) police or the army.
Some Muslims cling to the hope that there exists a silent majority of moderate Buddhists appalled by recent events, secretly rooting for them.

Predominantly Buddhist Burma has been grappling with sectarian violence since the country's military rulers handed over power to a nominally civilian government in 2011.
More than 250 people have been killed, most of them Muslims, and 140,000 others forced to flee their homes.

The most serious attacks took place in Rakhine State in the west in June and October last year, when Buddhists attacked Arakan Muslims, who are denied citizenship by Myanmar and seen by many in the country as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. At least 192 people were killed.

A Reuters investigation found that the wave of attacks in October had been organised, led by Rakhine nationalists tied to a powerful political party in the state and incited by Buddhist monks, abetted at times by local security forces.
credit-World Bulletin

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