Critical Commentary: Buddhists rioting

Posted on October 13, 2013 by


Since entering this class I have been trying to pay a closer attention to what is happening around the world in the news. This story really got a hold of my attention because it is not what the world has led us to believe when we think of Buddhists. With our World Religions class going over Buddhism right now I decided to look for an article about Buddhism and this one caught my eye. This article is about Buddhists rioting against the Muslim population in Myanmar. In one of these riots an elderly Muslim woman was stabbed to death and over 70 houses were burned down. The latest riots have started because of a Buddhist taxi driver thought he heard a Muslim shop keeper insulting him while he was trying to park his car. The Buddhist didn’t believe that the situation was handled properly by the authorities and took to vandalizing the shop keeper’s home afterwards. Since these riots have started there have been more Muslim arrests than Buddhist ones. After reading this article I was shocked because this just does not sound like the stereotypes that the media originally puts forth about Buddhists. In the article the author says that the government is trying to get ahold of the situation and are imposing a curfew, but with them arresting more Muslims that are being attacked than Buddhists who are doing the attacking it seems like the government is kind of urging the Buddhists to continue. This is a scary situation it would seem for the Muslim population in Myanmar because either way they lose, either by going to jail for defending themselves or by being beaten by the Buddhist mob. Right away in this article it points out what the government of Myanmar is trying to do to combat this violence and it seems like the author is putting most of the blame on the government for not doing more against the Buddhists mobs. I agree with the author in this because if the government really wanted this violence against Muslims to start then they would trying and do more like arrest more Buddhist rioters including the rioters leaders rather than arresting the Muslims for trying to protect their family and property. In the article it does not state if anyone was arrested for killing the elderly Muslim woman or for torching all those houses on that same day. It says in the article that few details are available about these events and that most Muslims either hid or fled from fear of the rioters. This is scary in my opinion because as an instinct people just want to do what is best for their family and what will keep them safe. So, naturally you think fight violence with violence, but this is not the way most of the Muslims are thinking in this region and is not the way to think in my opinion. Once you start on this slippery slope all you are left with is more violence than you had before. Also, with police arresting more Muslims at this point than Buddhists you also leave your family unprotected in the future.

Buddhist mob kills 94-year old woman, USA Today, 10/1/13

Posted in: Buddhism, Islam