Segments in this Video

Introduction: Myanmar's Hardline Buddhists (01:25)


Some Buddhists in Asia express nationalist rhetoric backed by violence. Mobeen Azhar will investigate why some monks incite hate in defense of faith and the role of extremism.

Religion and Conflict (04:40)

Approximately 90% of the Myanmar population is Buddhist, with most following the Theravada tradition. A 1988 military coup severely repressed the nation and monks became activists. During the 2015 elections, Aung San Suu Kyi refused to address the persecution of Rohingya Muslims.

Yangon Marketplace (02:58)

A dispute between a Buddhist market vendor and a Muslim shopkeeper escalated to violence. The vendor shares her side of the story.

Muslim Rohingya (03:23)

Thousands of Rohingya live in poverty stricken camps in the Rakhine State. Many Buddhist activists depict the Rohingya as a threat. Win Ko Ko Latt, leader of the Myanmar Nationalist Network, explains why they persecute the religious minority.

Meiktila, Myanmar (06:25)

In 2013, a conflict between a Muslim goldsmith and Buddhist customers escalated into violent anarchy. Azhar visits a school run by the Ma Ba Tha; the abbot explains the pledge children take to protect Buddhism. U Aggadaja cites Muslim intent to dominate countries; he sees Myanmar as the last fortress of Buddhism.

Religious Conversions (02:07)

Race and religion laws curb conversions and make them subject to registration. Azhar meets a Muslim family that now practices Buddhism; authorities observe and take notes.

Kyaukpadaung, Myanmar (05:52)

Only one non-Buddhist man resides in the township. Azhar meets a monk who discusses purity. Myo Min Tun fights against the ignorance that underpins prejudice.

Preaching Against Islam (04:23)

Some Buddhists use faith to justify violence and exclusion. Wirathu shows Azhar a display of alleged Muslim crimes and discusses the impact of Islam.

Attempt to Limit Hate Messages (03:06)

The Myanmar Minister of Religious Affairs and Culture works with Buddhist leaders to pass a law that bans hate speech and activities. Are existing race and religion laws unfair to minorities? Wirathu attends a prayer meeting in Yangon.

Religious Scapegoating (04:53)

San Win Shein of the Interfaith Friendship Group speaks against religious intolerance. Azhar discusses Myanmar's forgotten history and visits the Bengali Sunni Jamae Mosque.

Ethnic and Religious Diversity (05:11)

Azhar visits a Sufi mosque in Yangon and the tomb of General Ba Thaw. Siddhu Maung was a leading activist during the Saffron Revolution. Azhar visits various religious buildings and reflects on a multi-faith society.

Credits: Myanmar's Hardline Buddhists, Episode 3 (00:39)

Credits: Myanmar's Hardline Buddhists, Episode 3

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Myanmar's Hardline Buddhists, Episode 3

Part of the Series : Power and Piety
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BAFTA Award-winning reporter Mobeen Azhar travels to Myanmar to investigate the destructive links between religion and violence in the country. Buddhism is often associated with teachings of non-violence and compassion, but in Myanmar, hardline Buddhist nationalists are being blamed for inciting violence against the stateless Rohingya Muslim minority. Azhar uncovers how ultra-nationalist groups such as Ma Ba Tha and the Mynamar Nationalist Network are campaigning for religious and ethnic purity, stoking up fears of the perceived ‘Islamization’ of the country. Through discussions with key figures including controversial nationalist leaders Win Ko Ko Latt and Ashin Wirathu, as well as Burmese Minister of Religious Affairs Thura Aung Ko and local people affected across the country, Azhar explores the simmering ethnic and religious tensions underlying this ongoing conflict.

Length: 46 minutes

Item#: FPT154337

ISBN: 978-1-64347-932-3

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

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