Two strong editorials take Burma’s Buddhist leadership to task for “chauvinism” and “racism”

Writing in Foreign Policy, William McGowan reflects this week on what he terms “Burma’s Buddhist chauvinism.” In discussing the plight of the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority in the Rakhine state, McGowan sees “a nationalistic and at times hateful side” of Buddhism there. You can read the entire piece here.

In addition, the Bangkok Post‘s Assistant Editor, Sanitsuda Ekachai, offers an even more strongly worded editorial, “This is Racism, Not Buddhism.” The opinion focuses on the disparity between Buddhist teachings and Burmese monks’ leadership in anti-Rohingya demonstrations.

“The world is full of injustice. But isn’t it the business of monks to advise against it, and not to be supportive of any form of prejudice and human cruelty?¬†Aren’t empathy and non-exploitation the key words in Buddhism? Aren’t monks supposed to devote their lives to deepening spiritual practice in order to see through the different layers of we-they prejudice so that compassion prevails in their hearts, words, and actions?” asks the author. You can read the rest of the editorial here.

We’ve previously covered the violence against Rohingya Muslims, and you can see our past coverage here.