Feature

Myanmar: Rewarding anti-Muslim thuggery

A vicious racist ideology is taking hold in Myanmar.

Maung Zarni
Asia Times (China)

A vicious racist ideology is taking hold in Myanmar, said Burmese blogger Maung Zarni. A “neo-Nazi Buddhist movement” known as 969, led by “fascist monks,” is trying to drive the Rohingya Muslims out of the country. Nobody is stopping these fundamentalists—not the military, and certainly not opposition leader and human-rights advocate Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been photographed wining and dining with 969 leaders. Not a single person has been prosecuted for the slaughter of 10 Muslim pilgrims last year—in broad daylight and in public—or for the “videotaped pogroms against Muslim communities.” Yet a Muslim was just jailed for two years for scraping a 969 sticker off a shopkeeper’s mirror. The charge? Insulting religion. With the authorities so blatantly on its side, it’s no wonder the 969 group has felt free to register and support a racist political party that seeks a “pure Buddhist state.” And why should the authorities feel compelled to act? The West has embraced Myanmar since it freed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Suu Kyi—the country’s president, Thein Sein, a former military commander, was a guest at the White House just last week. His regime, and Myanmar as a whole, has learned that “international rewards and accolades” come even “in the direct aftermath of anti-Muslim ethnic cleansing.”

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