[Buddha-l] nyt on Buddhist-Muslim tensions in Myanmar

Dan Lusthaus vasubandhu at earthlink.net
Fri Nov 30 12:08:58 MST 2012


Includes a video and slideshow.

"The Buddhist residents of Rakhine see themselves as the inheritors of the 
ancient Buddhist kingdom of Mrauk U. They do not consider themselves 
ethnically Burmese, and the government recognizes them as a separate group. 
Rakhine Buddhists say they feel squeezed, persecuted by the Burmese majority 
and threatened by the swelling Muslim minority."

"Buddhists say Muslims should be considered illegal immigrants, and they are 
angry that foreign countries and the foreign news media have sympathy for 

And the well-known tactic of creating false parities:

"In Muslim-majority areas, monasteries were burned. In Buddhist-majority 
areas, mosques were destroyed. The mayhem was set off by the rape and murder 
of a Buddhist girl for which Muslims were blamed."

By playing down (and almost omitting) the provocations that led to the 
current situation, it's easy to paint the Buddhists as intolerant, racist 

Anyone care to dig deeper?

There is a link to an earlier article about what intially set off the 
current crisis

and the resparking of violence in October:


"Buddhists and Muslims, some of whom are Rohingya. The group is widely 
reviled by the Buddhist majority for complex historical reasons, including 
resentment of British colonial policies that brought many people from India 
to the country."

There's also a link to a guest nyt op-ed back in July by the Bangladeshi, 
Moshahida Sultana Ritu, that passionately reminds us that poor innocent 
Myanmari Muslims have *always* been the helpless victims of sharp-fanged 
Buddhist monsters, now in need of international support -- 
Of course, we know the world over that Muslims are always hapless victims 
and Buddhists are irrational hatemongering monsters. Right?

Anyone care to delve into the "complex historical reasons", or are you 
satisfied with this cartoon version of the situation?


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