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Burmese Buddhists Attack Muslim Pilgrims, Killing 9

The attack on Muslims traveling to a mosque must be viewed in a much larger perspective, the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar (i.e Burma).

Authorities are saying that “anti-Muslim sentiment” played a roll in at least one of the attacks:

Muslims killed in attack in Burma’s Rakhine province


Buddhist residents in western Burma have killed at least nine Muslims as sectarian tension worsens in the region, police say.

Reports say a crowd attacked a bus in Rakhine province after blaming some of the passengers for the gang rape and murder of a Buddhist woman.

In another incident, at least 10 people were injured in the state capital Sittwe when police broke up a protest.

It is the worst violence to hit the province in recent months.

Sectarian and ethnic tension persists in the country despite a new, supposedly tolerant climate introduced by the civilian-led government which came into power 15 months ago.

Mob attack

The bus attack took place near the town of Taungup in Rakhine province, which borders Bangladesh, on Sunday evening, police and residents said.

It was thought to be carried out by mostly Buddhist ethnic Rakhine people.

“More than 100 people beat and killed those people,” a resident told AFP news agency. “The residents even torched the bus.”

The reason for the attack is unclear, but some residents say it was a revenge attack following the rape and murder of a Buddhist girl in another part of the province last month.


But the Burmese Muslim Association said most of those killed were Muslims visiting a mosque from central Burma.

That account was corroborated by unnamed residents quoted by Reuters news agency, who said those killed were not from the area.

No arrests have been made. A police investigation is under way.

In another, apparently unrelated incident at least 10 people were injured after police fired rubber bullets at a mob who attacked their police station in Sittwe, reports said.

A 13-year-old protester was among those injured, witnesses said.

There were contradictory reports about what triggered the protest, but some accounts suggested anti-Muslim sentiment could have played a part.

Rakhine is home to Burma’s largest concentration of Muslims, including much-persecuted Rohingya Muslims, and their presence is often deeply resented by the majority Buddhist population.

In a joint statement quoted by Reuters, eight Rohingya rights groups based outside Burma condemned the attack on the Muslims on the bus, whom they termed “Muslim pilgrims”.

Although it appears those on the bus were not Rohingyas, the groups said the attack followed months of anti-Rohingya propaganda stirred up by “extremists and xenophobes”.

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  • Omran

    You know what i think that the rich Islamic countries should help them to come and immigrate to their lands like KSA or UAE instead of the Buddhist Indian, now the Islamic countries help the Buddhists to eliminate the Muslims in Burma by paying the non Muslims-Indian a money to transfer it to their country,

  • Truth Hurts

    Issues are complex & nuanced & the outward end result may not reflect the internal dynamics within a region i.e. comparing southern Thailand & Burma.

    The politics of power & tribalism (a.k.a. Nationalism) may reflect the legacy of imperial borders & the effect of Westphalian nation states upon Asian peoples.

    For those whose unthinking kneejerk reaction is to cite this as an example of Islam’s “Bloody borders” theory, let me remind them of the other minority i.e. Karen & Shan Christians. Would they utilise the same logic, without fear or favour for Christians as for Muslims?

  • Fanoos

    Anybody notice that lately American media is almost daily trying to woo Myanmar’s leaders? hmmm…. I see some angle here. Does anyone else?

  • Solid Snake


    “When people are pushed eventually they will push back.”

    That was quick. Of course, when Muslims are killed, bombed, raped, tortured, and violated in many ways it is because they ‘did’ something. Yet when Muslims commit an act of violence there is no reason for it and it is just a spontaneous event occurring in a vacuum.

    According to your “logic” Muslims of the Middle East have every right to ‘push’ back because they are being ‘pushed’. But no. you will not give that luxury to Muslims, a luxury you are willing to hand out so liberally including to the merciless killer of children Anders Breivek. And according to you ‘pushing back’ means murdering ten people who were not from the area.

    Muslims are being killed daily in the Middle East by drone strikes. Two of their countries destroyed and many others are routinely bombed. Yet when actual intellectuals attempt to explain a phenomenon such as suicide bombings, terrorist attacks, and general low quality of life in the Middle East, Islamophobes, in a fit of happiness at the loss of life and opportunity to bash Muslims, begin spouting some vitriol about how these intellectuals are trying to justify what happened. It is a very strong case of projection and it is actually Islamophobes, including their leaders like Hrisi Ali, who attempt to justify the horrible action committed by Non Muslims by throwing out vague sounding statements like yours “When people are pushed eventually they will push back.”

    You Islamophobes make me sick with your despicable disregard for life.

  • Sam Seed

    “When people are pushed eventually they will push back”.


  • Umayr

    I didn’t understand isn’t this contradictory to what Buddhism teaches?

  • Awesome Atheist

    It is horrible to hear of such a loss of human life…

  • windsofchange

    When people are pushed eventually they will push back.

  • There is a need for a larger discussion about Buddhist relations with Muslims. For the most part it has been largely very good I gather, but for several reasons there are acrimonious and tense relations in certain regions and this needs to be explored further. How much did the Bamiyan statues destruction play in perceptions towards Muslims and Islam? Is there a rise in chauvinistic/fundamentalist tendencies in certain trends of Buddhism, as there are in religions worldwide? How much of the economic and colonial realigning of borders is at play in the conflicts here?

    It isn’t only the Rohingya in Myanmar, but also southern Thailand in the provinces bordering Malaysia, and parts of Sri Lanka such Dambulla and recently we heard of the attempts to tear down the Mosque in Colombo.

  • Buddha is crying.

  • MC

    Is this on the news?

  • mindy1

    HATE 😳

  • mindy1

    You kill me, I kill you, you kill me, I kill you 🙁 this is why it is hard to end war and ahte in the world.

  • @Emperor

    I wonder if Burma has an equivalent to Robert Spencer or Pamella Geller, preach some variant of the creeping sharia/stealth jihad conspiracy theory at this point.

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