Tag Archives: Theravada Buddhism in Burma

Is there state complicity in the attacks on Myanmar Muslims communities?

The government of Myanmar’s President Thein Sein, so active in its efforts to assure Western audiences that the new Myanmar will never return to the dark days of the previous ruling military junta, has so far failed to display any commitment to ending the brutal spiral of attacks on Muslim communities, carried out in town after town by suspiciously well-organized Buddhist gangs.

Thein Sein’s periodic appeals for ”an end to communal violence” are less than convincing given the absence of any government measures or plan to stem the flood anti-Muslim propaganda being freely disseminated under the noses of the authorities.

Leaflets and magazines denigrating Muslims are being churned out every day across the country.

The monk Wirathu has spread a perniciously xenophobic version of Theravada Buddhism through inflammatory sermons directed against a Muslim minority that comprises only 5% of the population in this predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million

Extremist Buddhist monks led by the publicity hungry U Wirathu, are preaching a brand of pure Buddhist nation-state and hatred of Islam, that cause consternation and disgust  among the true devotees of peace non-violence and the path of the Lord Buddha.
Muslim shops and homes in Lashio in Shan state were the most recent victims of a Buddhist motorbike gang in June. Shan researcher Sai Latt commented  “the government and the police are not doing anything at all to clamp down on extremist hate propaganda against Muslims.” Continue reading

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