Myanmars Enemy Within: Buddhist Violence and the Making of a Muslim Other by Francis WadeFor decades Myanmar has been portrayed as a case of good citizen versus bad regime – men in jackboots maintaining a suffocating rule over a majority Buddhist population beholden to the ideals of non-violence and tolerance. But in recent years this narrative has been upended.
In June 2012, violence between Buddhists and Muslims erupted in western Myanmar, pointing to a growing divide between religious communities that before had received little attention from the outside world. Attacks on Muslims soon spread across the country, leaving hundreds dead, entire neighbourhoods turned to rubble, and tens of thousands of Muslims confined to internment camps. This violence, breaking out amid the passage to democracy, was spurred on by monks, pro-democracy activists, and even politicians.
In this gripping and deeply reported account, Francis Wade explores how the manipulation of identities by an anxious ruling elite has laid the foundations for mass violence, and how, in Myanmar’s case, some of the most respected and articulate voices for democracy have turned on the Muslim population at a time when the majority of citizens are beginning to experience freedoms unseen for half a century.
The Battle for Myanmar’s Buddhist spirit
From a feel-good story of the retreat of the military and the rise to power of Nobel laureate and democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, the catastrophically divided nature of Myanmar society has been revealed as the source of new militancy, horrific ethno-religious violence, and refugee flight on a scale not seen since World War II. Out of this maneuvering, Wade claims, rose the extremism that dominates transitional Myanmar today, from which the stateless Rohingya Muslim minority has suffered disproportionately. As reforms unfurled after , that fervor was taken up by a range of forces, including Buddhist farmers who told Wade they traveled in to Muslim villages with machetes and torches to attack Rohingyas, who were their former friends and business associates. Rohingya bands retaliated. Hundreds were left dead, villages burned beyond recognition and coexistence among many Rakhines and Rohingyas no longer thinkable.
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Military governments — Current commanders: Ataullah abu Ammar Jununi  . Bombings and attacks. Anti-Muslim violence. Conflict and persecution. The Rohingya conflict is an ongoing conflict in the northern part of Myanmar 's Rakhine State formerly known as Arakan , characterised by sectarian violence between the Rohingya Muslim and Rakhine Buddhist communities, a military crackdown on Rohingya civilians by Myanmar's security forces,    and militant attacks by Rohingya insurgents in Buthidaung , Maungdaw , and Rathedaung Townships , which border Bangladesh.
They live predominately in Rakhine state, where they have co-existed uneasily alongside Buddhists for decades.
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Religion in Myanmar Pew . There is a history of persecution of Muslims in Myanmar that continues to the present day. While a few continued to serve, most Christians and Muslims were excluded from positions in the government and army. The largest Muslim group in Myanmar are the Rohingya people ; the Rohingyas have been among the most persecuted group under Myanmar's military regime, with the Kachin, who are predominantly U. S Baptists, a close second.