Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Those peaceful Buddhist monks: Slaughtering Muslim children

[Originally posted at NOW]

Anyone who still harbors the bizarre but enduring misconception of the cult of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha as one that shuns the use of violence would do well to read this excellent new Reuters dispatch from Myanmar, detailing a recent massacre by a machete-wielding Buddhist mob of at least 25 Muslim men, women and children.

Sparked by a petty dispute over a jewelry sale, the attack was just one of a series of anti-Muslim pogroms in recent weeks that have killed at least 43 and displaced some 13,000 across 14 villages. Especially interesting is that the death squads are typically led by Buddhist monks themselves, who “have played a central role in anti-Muslim unrest over the past decade,” according to the report. When not killing Muslims outright, the Buddhist clergy have organized attacks on mosques and Muslim residences, setting them alight and even sometimes bulldozing them to rubble.

Also of intrigue is the stance of widely-admired Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the country’s political opposition and “a devout Buddhist, [who] has said little [about the attacks] beyond warning that the violence could spread if not dealt with by rule of law.”

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