Roots of genocide in Burma are not in Buddhism

The roots of genocide in Burma are not in Buddhism, including in Theravāda, the current of Buddhism practiced by nationalist Buddhist monks led by Ashin Wirathu, by civilians in Arakan state functioning as death squads against the Rohingya, & by a majority of Burmese. The hatred for Muslims in Burma, & for the Rohingya Muslims in particular, is rooted in ethnic conflict fostered by British colonialism & perpetuated by the founders of Burma under the leadership of Aung San, the assassinated father of Aung San Suu Kyi & founder of the Burmese army.

The Rohingya are an ethnic group who are primarily Muslims. The persecution, pogroms, & now genocide against Rohingya is part of a military policy to maintain the Bamar (Burmese) as the dominant ethnic group. It is a system of social control over other ethnic groups–who are Muslims, Buddhists, & other religions–which the Burmese army is at war with in Burma. To suggest that the roots of genocide in Burma are rooted in Theravāda Buddhism is as politically debased as claiming the roots of terrorism in the Middle East are rooted in Islamic Wahabism.

The military of Burma prepared this genocidal assault, including by arming, training, & inciting Buddhist nationalists in Arakan state to function as paramilitary death squads. That’s the very nature of nationalism, supremacist ideology, & the divide & conquer strategy as practiced in Burma.