Buddhist extremists welcome Myanmar`s anti-Muslim laws

2015-09-17 12:35:46 | Al Muslim News
Buddhist extremists welcome Myanmar`s anti-Muslim laws
Hard line monks celebrate laws said to target religious minorities


Hard line Buddhist monks declared victory Monday as they celebrated the introduction of laws widely viewed as targeting Myanmar’s religious minorities.

Hundreds of monks and supporters of Ma Ba Tha, or the Organization for the Protection of Race and Religion, gathered to celebrate the signing of four laws governing religious conversion, population control, interfaith marriage and monogamy, Anadolu Agency reported.

Yangjee Lee, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, has warned the legislation would “legalize discrimination” against women and religious and ethnic minorities.

Rights groups have also condemned the Race and Religion Protection Laws, drafted by Ma Ba Tha affiliated lawyers, as sexist and discriminatory.

Crowds arrived in trucks and buses at the sacred Shwedagon Pagoda in the commercial hub of Yangon Monday before riding in convoy to a monastery where a sign declared the new legislation as “the most important law for all Myanmar”.

Lakana Thara, a monk clad in dark red robes, indicated the target of the new laws. “We are hearing about many cases where ladies are forced into other religions,” he told Anadolu Agency. “The Muslim people want to make the ladies change to their religion.”

Standing before a large picture of U Wirathu, a prominent Ma Ba Tha leader, the monk added that Myanmar was at risk of being turned into an Islamic country.

Sam Zarifi, regional director for the International Commission of Jurists, said: “Though the laws do not specifically mention Muslims, in practice they are likely to affect the Muslim population disproportionately.”

He told Anadolu Agency that long-persecuted Rohingya Muslims, many of whom are confined to internal displacement camps, were especially at risk from the often vaguely worded laws.

“In this day and age, laws are rarely drafted with explicit discriminatory language,” he said.

The Rohingya have borne the brunt of bouts of religious violence between Buddhists and Muslims that have claimed hundreds of lives since 2012.

Supporters of the laws gathered before a stage for songs and speeches at the Tipidaka Nikal monastery in east Yangon Monday.

“These laws are there to protect the rights of the people,” Thant Myint, a Ma Ba Tha member standing in the crowd, said. “One religion shouldn’t invade another.”

Ma Ba Tha has become increasingly influential in Myanmar politics in recent months. Critics of the opposition National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi claim the party refused to propose any Muslim candidates for the general election in November in order to appease the group.



Tags: #Anti-Muslim #Rohingya-Muslims #

Latest News

What to Next

Attacks on mosques on the rise in Netherlands

There has been an increase in the number of attacks targeting mosques in the Netherlands, according to a report released by a Turkish university on Mo... More

China military ordered to pledge total loyalty to President Xi Jinping

China's military has been ordered to pledge absolute loyalty to President Xi Jinping while a paramilitary police force now literally sings his pra... More

Muslim teaching assistant wins unfair dismissal case over 9/11 footage

A Muslim teaching assistant who was sacked for objecting to 11-year-olds being shown graphic footage of the 9/11 attacks has won an unfair dismissal c... More

Somalia: 23 dead in Mogadishu twin suicide car bomb attack

MOGADISHU, Somalia: At least 23 people, including a former lawmaker and a police official were killed and more than 30 others wounded in two suspected... More

Singapore bans Mufti Menk from entering country

Singapore has banned Mufti Ismail Menk, a renowned Islamic preacher, from entering the city-state, with the government contending that his views promo... More

Turkey and Qatar: Behind the strategic alliance

The third meeting of Turkey-Qatar Supreme Strategic Committee at the ministerial level kicked off in Istanbul on Monday, October 23. Al Jazeera examin... More

Israel delays vote on bill to Judaise Jerusalem

Israel has delayed a vote on a controversial bill that would annex illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank to the Israeli-defined boundaries of ... More

Spanish PM dissolves Catalan parliament

Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy says he is dissolving the Catalan parliament and calling regional elections over its push for independence. The prime minist... More

presidential election in Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya - At least three people have been killed in violence gripping Kenya's contentious presidential election rerun, which has been boyco... More

Gazans demand release of loved ones jailed by Israel

Young Palestinian Jerusalemites detained by Israeli police are made vulnerable by late-night arrests, lengthy interrogations and a lack of access to t... More