You probably wouldn’t have heard of Ashin Wirathu and you are not to blame for it. Wirathu is an extremist Buddhist monk from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, whom American Time magazine described as a symbol and face of Buddhist terrorism? He is leading a vicious campaign of extremism and violence against the Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine State of Myanmar.
He and his brutal militias have been killing, torturing and forcing hundreds of thousands of Muslims to abandon their homes to live in squalid camps on the Bangladeshi border. Ashin Wirathu is the Buddhist version of the terrorist Hassan Nasrallah. As such, he promoted himself to be the leader of the resistance movement seeking to preserve the national ethos and heritage of Myanmar.
This lie and deception attracted the people of his country and forced Myanmar’s first political leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who is the Nobel Peace prizewinner, into studied silence over the crimes committed by Wirathu’s militias. She in fact justified the violence.
Her remarks drew strong condemnation from the global rights activists and triggered a global campaign calling on the Norwegian Nobel Committee to withdraw the award bestowed on her immediately as a punishment for her passive and sluggish attitude toward the crimes against humanity in her country.
As a matter of fact the number of Muslims in Myanmar does not exceed three million (gradually decreasing) among the 50 million Buddhist population of Myanmar as a whole.
Buddhism, which calls itself as a spiritual philosophy of peace and tolerance, has a monk who leads militias that kill people in cold bloodHussein Shobokshi
Ashin Wirathu in the garb of religious spiritualism seeks to influence people and send them a message that whatever he does, no matter how ugly his acts may be, is as spiritual as his partner in terrorist criminal mentality Hassan Nasrallah with his mercenary and his flock of followers. The number of the dead and the displaced can no longer be hidden or buried despite the enormous media blackouts that the Myanmar’s military government has resorted to in hiding these ugly and bloody events.
Ashin Wirathu is a new terrorist face for those who mix religion with politics and offer wild justifications for carrying out their heinous crimes. The crimes of the criminal Ashin Wirathu have also embarrassed the world’s most famous Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama.
Buddhism, which calls itself as a spiritual philosophy of peace and tolerance, has a monk who leads militias that kill people in cold blood and displace minorities amid the deafening silence of the top spiritual leaders of Buddhism.
Wirathu is a new ugly criminal face that joins a seemingly endless series of evil characters such as Nasrallah, Zawahiri, Baghdadi and others. The whole world must treat them not as religious heads, but as criminals, they must be brought to justice by force. This is the only correct moral position that can be taken against them and those who are like them.
A studied silence
The tragedy of the Rohingya Muslims is startling and outrageous in its magnitude and ugliness. The most important thing is there is a studied silence over the grave crimes. In contrast, individual incidents receive greater, deeper and more important attention.
Terrorism is an indivisible one and the human soul is of no value whatever the place of the event and the identity of its victims. Otherwise, it is considered political hypocrisy. The Rohingyas continue to join other tragedies, and these religions produce a new face that is hijacked in the name of terrorism.
Ashin Wirathu will soon receive your reward or at the very least whatever your supporters will shout to you. Your place will be with murderers and martyrs throughout history, you and those who are like you.
The pens are tired of repeating such positions and hinting at them, but that remains what we can do because it is the weakest faith!
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on September 25, 2017.
(Hussein Shobokshi is a Businessman and prominent columnist. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al Takreer on Al Arabiya, and in 1995, he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his B.A. in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa. His twitter handle is @husseinshoboksh.