Saturday, August 24, 2013

Buddhist-Muslim Tensions in Burma: The 969 Movement

Student interns for the PBS news site, Religion and Ethics, ask George Washington University religious studies and international affairs professor Eyal Aviv to explain Buddhist extremism in Burma and the role of their leader, Wirathu.

The name of the nationalist movement he leads is the 969 Movement. According to the New York Times, "its agenda agenda now includes boycotts of Muslim-made goods." The movement has included lynch mobs responsible for killing more than 200 Muslims and forced more than 150,000 from their homes.

In another story from the New York Times, a mob swarmed a car of U.N. Rights Envoy. The envoy, Tomás Ojea, said the experience gave him empathy for the fear and tension under which the Muslims live in Myanmar.

This is not the kind of Buddhism for which the Dali Llama  is spokesman.

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