Two Excellent Pieces on Burma’s Rohingyas at Tricycle: The Buddhist Review

“A mosque in the Bago region, where Buddhist mobs have attacked Muslims and their property. At least 40 people died last week.” Photo by Khin Maung Win for the Associated Press.

Tricycle: The Buddhist Review has two excellent pieces — one in the latest issue of the magazine, and one published to their Awake in the World blog — on the plight of Burma’s Muslim Rohingyas. The magazine article is “Buddhist Nationalism in Burma” by Maung Zarni, and the blog post, an interview with Zarni, can be read here.

Reuters reports today that attacks on the Rohingyas by Burmese Buddhists are rapidly increasing. The country’s president, Thein Sein, has threatened to use violence to control the rioting while rejecting the U.N.’s recent critique that the government shares in the blame for all the anti-Rohingya violence.

I wrote about Engaged Buddhist icon Aung San Suu Kyi’s silence and lack of action on this matter back in November. You can read that post here.

In addition, Joshua Eaton and I collaborated last year on an open letter from Buddhist teachers and scholars and others on Islamophobia at buddhistletteronislamophobia.wordpress.com. (Joshua authored the letter — though a few of us offered little tweaks and edits — and I put together the website and helped him get the word out and generate signatures.) Last year I also added my name to “A Joint Buddhist-Muslim Statement on Inter–Communal Violence in Burma”, authored by my friend Bill Aiken at SGI-USA.

  • http://burmakin.blogspot.com/ Burmakin

    Hi Rev. Danny,
    I have a metaphysical question concerning Buddhist nationalism in Myanmar. The monk, Virathu, has been actively campaigning for boycotting Muslim businesses. I am curious whether this kind of action can be considered as the Second Parajika offense of Buddhist monastic code, that is stealing or robbing any person’s property. Even though his action doesn’t directly rob, the effect and the motive of the action looks similar to me. With my due respect, it might be the question that a Pali Canon master Ven.Bikkhu Bodhi can provide an authorized answer. Could you help me for soliciting his opinion?


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