The Racist, Islamophobic Movement in the Burmese Sangha — Now with Sexism and Misogyny! [UPDATED]

“Buddhist monks U Dhammapiya, Dhamma Duta Ashin Saykaneda (C) and U Wirathu (R) discuss their plans to push for a law that restricts interfaith marriage.” Photo by The Irrawaddy.

The Irrawaddy breaks the news that a convention of Buddhist monks in Burma (including the odious U Wirathu of the “969 Movement”) has called for the restricting of Buddhist-Muslim interfaith marriages in the land, similar in many ways to policies in Singapore and Malaysia. There aren’t any real surprises here, but the thick layer of sexism and misogyny in this particular story is worth noting:

A copy of the law proposed by the monks would require any Buddhist woman seeking to marry a Muslim man to first gain permission from her parents and local government officials. It also requires any Muslim man who marries a Buddhist woman to convert to Buddhism.

Those who do not follow these rules could face up to 10 years in prison and have their property confiscated, according to the draft law…

U Wirathu, a well-known nationalist monk, said he was delighted with the plans to try to stop any Buddhist woman from marrying a Muslim man. “I have dreamed of this law for a long time. It is important to have this law to protect our Buddhist women’s freedom,” he said during a press conference.

“Defending women’s freedom” by taking away a human right granted to them in Article 16 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, and, as men, deciding what’s best for them? Well, that’s a new one on me!

[UPDATE: Both the AFP and the Associated Press have now reported on the meeting as well.]

[SECOND UPDATE: The Irrawaddy is now reporting that a second monastic conference "concluded on Friday without any mention of a proposal by nationalist monk U Wirathu to lobby for a law that would put restrictions on Buddhist-Muslim marriages. Instead, the organizers called for peace and communal harmony in Burma and denounced the proposal."]

  • JoFro

    The problem with this is what, exactly? These are the exact same rules for Buddhists when they marry Muslims in Malaysia and Singapore or anywhere Islamic law applies!

    Why does the world accept and allow Muslim-dominated nations to impose such demands on their citizens with not a single protest?

    But now that non-Muslims are retaliating to this injustice, now suddenly this is a case of Islamaphobia?

    Where are you when the Muslims around the world continue to practise Christophobia, Buddhphobia, Hinduphobia, Sikhphobia and Secularophobia?

    These crocodile tears of outrage fools nobody!

    • Richard

      “Look how he abused me and beat me,

      How he threw me down and robbed me.”

      Live with such thoughts and you live in hate.

      “Look how he abused me and beat me,

      How he threw me down and robbed me.”

      Abandon such thoughts and live in love.

      In this world

      Hate never yet dispelled hate.

      Only love dispels hate.

      This is the law,

      Ancient and inexhaustible.

  • JoFro

    So no different to Islamic laws, right?


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