“Radical” Buddhists stand up to “radical” Rohingya Muslims in Burma
Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 24, 2013
The Washington Post calls the Buddhists trying to keep Islamic supremacism from washing over Burma “radicals.” But, of course the Rohingya Muslims are “long-suffering” and play no role (according to the media meme) in the bouts of violence springing up in Burma/Myanmar.
Thanks to The Muslim Issue for directing us to the latest whitewash of the controversy spreading throughout Southeast Asia as Rohingya Muslims from Burma arrive by the boatload and expect asylum especially in places like Australia.
Having followed the issue for almost 6 years (148 previous posts here at RRW), I find this one-sided reporting maddening. The latest flare-up of violence began last year when a Buddhist girl was raped and murdered by Muslim men, yet that is long-forgotten in the latest telling.
From the Washington Post (is this a news story, or an opinion piece—it is hard to tell!):
Members of Burma’s Buddhist majority, including some of its much-respected monks, are increasingly persecuting the country’s long-suffering Muslim minority and adopting an ideology that encourages religious violence. It seems a far way from the Buddhism typically associated with stoic monks and the Lama – who has condemned the violence – and more akin to the sectarian extremism prevalent in troubled corners of the Middle East. The violence has already left nearly 250 Burmese Muslim civilians dead, forced 150,000 from their homes and is getting worse. [It is infuriating because scores of Buddhist villagers were killed and made homeless by Muslims as well. Where is the balanced reporting?---ed]
“You can be full of kindness and love, but you cannot sleep next to a mad dog,” Ashin Wirathu, a spiritual leader of the movement and very popular figure in Burma, said of the country’s Muslims, whom he called “the enemy.” He told the New York Times, “I am proud to be called a radical Buddhist.”
Already, the movement has expanded beyond this one self-styled radical Buddhist monk. It’s now expanding across Burma (also known as Myanmar) according to the Times article. The anti-Muslim sentiment has spread with alarming speed over just the last year, as Burma – which is finally opening up after years of military dictatorship – loosened its strict speech laws. It has prompted boycotts and sermons that can sound an awful lot like calls for violence against Muslims. Monasteries associated with the movement have enrolled 60,000 Burmese children into Sunday school programs.
The article goes on to criticize Aung San Suu Kyi who has largely remained silent on the Muslim Issue.
Just a reminder to American readers, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops testified at the State Department last month that they wanted more Burmese Muslims resettled in America!
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