Considering the recent surge in violence perpetrated by Islamic extremists around the world, you may be thinking this headline is some kind of a mistake. Think again. Sectarian violence has spilled out into the streets of Myanmar. The AP reported on Wednesday, that raging Buddhist thugs have taken to the streets, in large groups, carrying “machetes”, “iron pipes” and “bamboo poles” terrorizing the poor, “embattled, minority Muslim community”.
The AP’s reporting on the story opens as follows:
“It was a terrifying sight: hundreds of angry, armed men on motorcycles advancing up a dusty street with no none to stop them. Shouting at the top of their lungs, clutching machetes and iron pipes and long bamboo poles, they thrust their fists repeatedly in the air. The object of their rage: Myanmar’s embattled, minority Muslim community.”
It was only last week that the world witnessed the horrific acts of two Muslim men butchering and beheading an innocent British soldier in broad daylight. Only days ago, a French soldier was stabbed in the neck in what authorities called a possible “copy-cat” crime perpetrated by Muslim terrorists – though that has not been confirmed as of yet. Not long ago, America experienced another domestic attack during the Boston Marathon; also at the hands of Islamic terrorists. The Muslim Brotherhood has practically taken over in Egypt. Hostile Muslim nations surround the small nation of Israel. The list goes on and on.
Is Myanmar the only place on the planet where Muslims are the minority victim of violent religious intolerance?
The report goes on to quote a Muslim woman who was described as still being “in a state of shock”:
“These things should not happen. Most Muslims are staying off the streets. They’re afraid they’ll be attacked or killed if they go outside.”
In Myanmar, it appears that Muslims are seen as victims of “racial and religious intolerance” at the hands of a majority, angry, intolerant Buddhist population. The AP also states that although Buddhists are the majority in Myanmar, it is the Muslims who have been overwhelmingly targeted with criminal prosecution.
This may come as a surprise to many, as most people perceive Buddhists as peace-loving individuals.
“The violence that started Tuesday in the northeastern city of Lashio is casting fresh doubt over whether president Thei Sein’s government can or will act to contain the racial and religious intolerance plaguing a deeply fractured nation struggling to emerge from half a century of military rule. Muslims have been the main victims of the violence since it began western Rakhine state last year, but so far most trials have involved prosecution of Muslims , not members of the Buddhist majority.”
Not much of the report regarding the tension in Myanmar is dedicated to exploring any possible involvement or wrongdoing by the Muslim community. There is brief mention of a Muslim man who “reportedly” set a Buddhist woman on fire. The AP appears to downplay the severity of this incident or the possibility that more incidents such as these – committed by Muslims – have taken place. That information – if any – is not included in the report.
“The rioting in Lashio started Tuesday after reports that a Muslim man had splashed gasoline on a Buddhist woman and set her on fire. The man was arrested. The woman was hospitalized with burns on her chest, back and hands.”
Apparently, as the AP reports, Buddhist mobs sought revenge and set fire to Muslim shops, one of the city’s main mosques, and an Islamic orphanage as a result of the attack on the Buddhist woman.
Buddhists are also mentioned as “thugs” who “hurled stones”, “smashed windows”, and even broke into and “ransacked” a “Muslim-owned movie theater”. Has the AP ever made reference to Islamic terrorists in the same manner?
Finally, the AP adds that the Muslim population makes up only 4% of the population of 60 million people and that “anti-Muslim sentiment is closely tied to nationalism and the dominant Buddhist religion….”