On ‘Radio Times’: The ultranationalist Buddhist monk leading anti-Muslim fervor in Myanmar

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 Myanmar’s radical Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu attends a media briefing in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. (Eranga Jayawardena/AP Photo)

Myanmar’s radical Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu attends a media briefing in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. (Eranga Jayawardena/AP Photo)

On Wednesday’s Radio Times, host Marty Moss-Coane was joined by Azeem Ibrahim, author of “The Rohingya: Inside Myanmar’s Hidden Genocide.”

The Muslim ethnic minority in Myanmar called the Rohingya have long-faced persecution from the government and Burmese Buddhists, and the crisis is reaching a fever pitch with some 400,000 refugees fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh to avoid being massacred.

Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu is currently leading the anti-Rohingya charge with his ultranationalist group called the Ma Ba Tha. The monk, who has described himself as “the Buddhist Bin Laden,” has effectively spread its Islamophobia message via social media and YouTube, increasing support for the elimination of Rohingya from Myanmar.

On Wednesday’s Radio Times, host Marty Moss-Coane was joined by Azeem Ibrahim, author of “The Rohingya: Inside Myanmar’s Hidden Genocide.” He told Marty “people just don’t understand how Buddhism, and Buddhist monks, and Buddhist followers can actually engage in such violence. Buddhism after all is a religion, after all, that even when you have bad thoughts you have to go cleanse yourself.”

Ibrahim went on to describe Wirathu as “a Buddhist monk who wears a Buddhist orange garb, but at the same time you see him flying on private jets wearing diamond studded watches.”

Listen to the conversation above.

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