[QODLink]
In Pictures
In Pictures: Myanmar's sectarian divide
As riots erupt in northern Shan state, a look at the "Buddhist 969" movement that is promoting anti-Muslim sentiment.
Last Modified: 31 May 2013 14:27
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Meikhtila, Myanmar - Relations between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar continue to deteriorate with mobs attacking Muslim neighbourhoods across the country.

The sectarian strife spread to northern Shan state on Tuesday, after a Buddhist mob torched a mosque, a Muslim religious school, and several shops. It was the third outbreak of anti-Muslim violence to flare up in Myanmar this year. 

The violence continued on Wednesday, with Buddhist and Muslim crowds fighting each other with machetes and swords, and at least one person was killed. A group was reportedly attempting burn down the sole remaining mosque in Lashio city. 

In late March, angry mobs burned mostly Muslim homes in Meikhtila in Mandalay division - about 540km north of the commercial capital Yangon - killing more than 40 people, mostly Muslims. 

In late April, rioters set fire to more than 150 Muslim homes after a Muslim woman on a bicycle bumped into a novice monk, spilling his alms bowl. One person was killed and nine others were injured. The woman who bumped into the monk has been charged with "deliberate and malicious acts".

The violence has coincided with the growth of the "Buddhist 969" movement, which is frequently tied to attacks against Muslim communities.

In Buddhism in Myanmar, the three numbers 969 represent the "three crown jewels": the nine attributes of Buddha; six attributes of his teachings; and nine attributes of the monastic order known as the Sangha. But now the numbers that are popping up all over the country represent something far different - hatred against Muslims.  

One of the group's leaders, Ashin Wirathu, preaches about the dangers of a Muslim conspiracy trying to convert the country to Islam by marrying Buddhist women.

Known as the "Burmese Bin Laden", Wirathu was jailed for inciting riots in 2003, when 11 Muslims died after a mosque was torched. Wirathu was released from prison in 2012. 

A month before violence erupted last March, Wirathu visited Meikhtila to deliver a three-day sermon on the evils of Islam. He was also there with his devotees when the town was set ablaze.


Brennan O'Connor/Al Jazeera
Ashin Wirathu, the leader of the 969 movement, encourages Buddhists to only shop at Buddhist owned shops.


Brennan O'Connor/Al Jazeera

Buddhist monks listen to Ashin Wirathu at Mae Soe Yein monastery in Mandalay. Behind them is the 969 symbol. Wirathu claims Muslims are trying to convert the nation to Islam through marriage to Buddhist women.



Brennan O'Connor/Al Jazeera

Novice monks line up before taking lunch at Thita Sa Waita Gu monastery outside of Mandalay. The head monk, U Kamasara, regularly preaches 969's anti-Muslim message.



Brennan O'Connor/Al Jazeera

A displaced Buddhist boy takes refuge at a Buddhist monastery near Chan Aye quarter where 761 houses were burned by Buddhist mobs in March. Most of the destroyed buildings were owned by Muslims, but a few belonged to Buddhists.



Brennan O'Connor/Al Jazeera

Buddhist monks walk through what is left of Thi Ri Mingalar Muslim quarter in Meikhtila. The neighbourhood was burned by Buddhist mobs following a quarrel between a Muslim gold shop owner and a Buddhist woman on March 20.



Brennan O'Connor/Al Jazeera

Muslim men survey what is left of their village of Chauk Te after it was destroyed by a Buddhist mob. Residents hid while attackers from nearby villages burned their homes.



Brennan O'Connor/Al Jazeera

A Muslim man rests in Kyawe Pone Lay in Oakkan township. Following an attack, 100 of the 500 residents fled to the commercial capital Yangon.



Brennan O'Connor/Al Jazeera

Muslims in Yangon set up barricades and night watches to protect their neighbourhood from possible attacks.




Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
images:
/mritems/images/2013/5/29/201352984419128561_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/5/29/201352984419253858_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/5/29/201352984419378216_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/5/29/201352984419503569_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/5/29/201352984419644470_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/5/29/201352984419784483_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/5/29/201352984419925824_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/5/29/20135298442066253_8.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2013/5/31/2013531122513639734_20.jpg;*;/mritems/Images/2013/5/31/2013531122558452734_20.jpg
captions:
Ashin Wirathu, the leader of the 969 movement, encourages Buddhists to only shop at Buddhist owned shops.;*;

Buddhist monks listen to Ashin Wirathu at Mae Soe Yein monastery in Mandalay. Behind them is the 969 symbol. Wirathu claims Muslims are trying to convert the nation to Islam through marriage to Buddhist women.

;*;

Novice monks line up before taking lunch at Thita Sa Waita Gu monastery outside of Mandalay. The head monk, U Kamasara, regularly preaches 969(***)s anti-Muslim message.

;*;

A displaced Buddhist boy takes refuge at a Buddhist monastery near Chan Aye quarter where 761 houses were burned by Buddhist mobs in March. Most of the destroyed buildings were owned by Muslims, but a few belonged to Buddhists.

;*;

Buddhist monks walk through what is left of Thi Ri Mingalar Muslim quarter in Meikhtila. The neighbourhood was burned by Buddhist mobs following a quarrel between a Muslim gold shop owner and a Buddhist woman on March 20.

;*;

Muslim men survey what is left of their village of Chauk Te after it was destroyed by a Buddhist mob. Residents hid while attackers from nearby villages burned their homes.

;*;

A Muslim man rests in Kyawe Pone Lay in Oakkan township. Following an attack, 100 of the 500 residents fled to the commercial capital Yangon.

;*;

Muslims in Yangon set up barricades and night watches to protect their neighbourhood from possible attacks.

;*;

A Muslim woman walks past a young Buddhist monk. The violence has coincided with the growth of the "Buddhist 969" movement, which is frequently tied to attacks against Muslim communities.

;*;

Children attend morning class at Zaygyo mosque in Mawlamyaing in Mon state, Myanmar. The 969 logo was designed in Mawlamyaing.

Daylife ID:
1369815394292
Photographer:
Brennan O'Connor;*;Brennan O'Connor;*;Brennan O'Connor;*;Brennan O'Connor;*;Brennan O'Connor;*;Brennan O'Connor;*;Brennan O'Connor;*;Brennan O'Connor
Image Source:
Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Religious Violence in Myanmarhttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1369815394292Violence erupts again between Buddhists and Muslims in the tropical nation-state of Myanmar. en-usAl Jazeerafeedback@daylife.com10Wed, 29 May 2013 08:16:34 GMTWed, 29 May 2013 08:39:26 GMTMyanmarreligious violenceBuddhistMuslim http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1369815394292?image_id=06Ab69u5Ry27b

Ashin Wirathu, the leader of the 969 movement, encourages Buddhists to only shop at Buddhist owned shops.

Wed, 29 May 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1369815394292?image_id=06Ab69u5Ry27bBrennan O'ConnorAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Ashin Wirathu, the leader of the 969 movement, encourages Buddhists to only shop at Buddhist owned shops.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1369815394292?image_id=06Ut6ZNaTU2ta

 Buddhist monks listen to Ashin Wirathu at Mae Soe Yein monastery in Mandalay. Behind them, on the left, is the 969 symbol. Wirathu claims there Muslims are trying to convert the nation through marriage to Buddhist women. Ashin Wirathu is a controversial figure within the Buddhist community. 

Wed, 29 May 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1369815394292?image_id=06Ut6ZNaTU2taBrennan O'ConnorAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

 Buddhist monks listen to Ashin Wirathu at Mae Soe Yein monastery in Mandalay. Behind them, on the left, is the 969 symbol. Wirathu claims there Muslims are trying to convert the nation through marriage to Buddhist women. Ashin Wirathu is a controversial figure within the Buddhist community. 

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1369815394292?image_id=05302ZR5Hv1Zl

Novice monks line up before taking their lunch at Thita Sa Waita Gu monastery. Located about 10km outside of Mandalay, the monastery started as a small meditation centre, but in the last year it has grown to include several large buildings. The head monk, U Kamasara, regularly preaches 969's message.

Wed, 29 May 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1369815394292?image_id=05302ZR5Hv1ZlBrennan O'ConnorAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Novice monks line up before taking their lunch at Thita Sa Waita Gu monastery. Located about 10km outside of Mandalay, the monastery started as a small meditation centre, but in the last year it has grown to include several large buildings. The head monk, U Kamasara, regularly preaches 969's message.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1369815394292?image_id=0fAH1gT8172o6

A displaced Buddhist boy takes refuge at a Buddhist monastery near Chan Aye quarter where 761 houses were burned by Buddhist mobs. Most of the destroyed buildings were owned by Muslims, but a few were owned by Buddhists.

Wed, 29 May 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1369815394292?image_id=0fAH1gT8172o6Brennan O'ConnorAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

A displaced Buddhist boy takes refuge at a Buddhist monastery near Chan Aye quarter where 761 houses were burned by Buddhist mobs. Most of the destroyed buildings were owned by Muslims, but a few were owned by Buddhists.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1369815394292?image_id=0eIMfU10p67UB

Buddhist monks walk through what is left of Thi Ri Mingalar Muslim quarter in Meikhtila. The neighborhood was burned by Buddhist mobs following a quarrel between a Muslim gold shop owner and a Buddhist woman on March 20.

Wed, 29 May 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1369815394292?image_id=0eIMfU10p67UBBrennan O'ConnorAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Buddhist monks walk through what is left of Thi Ri Mingalar Muslim quarter in Meikhtila. The neighborhood was burned by Buddhist mobs following a quarrel between a Muslim gold shop owner and a Buddhist woman on March 20.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1369815394292?image_id=00Ir4xMb0O50H

Muslim men survey what is left of their village of Chauk Te after it was destroyed by mobs. Residents hid while attackers from nearby villages burned their homes The attack came after a Muslim woman bumped into a novice Buddhist monk on April 30.

Wed, 29 May 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1369815394292?image_id=00Ir4xMb0O50HBrennan O'ConnorAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Muslim men survey what is left of their village of Chauk Te after it was destroyed by mobs. Residents hid while attackers from nearby villages burned their homes The attack came after a Muslim woman bumped into a novice Buddhist monk on April 30.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1369815394292?image_id=00ui7y34xs5Wb

A Muslim man rests in Kyawe Pone Lay in Oakkan Township. Following the attack, 100 of the 500 residents have fled to Yangon, a major provincial capital.

Wed, 29 May 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1369815394292?image_id=00ui7y34xs5WbBrennan O'ConnorAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

A Muslim man rests in Kyawe Pone Lay in Oakkan Township. Following the attack, 100 of the 500 residents have fled to Yangon, a major provincial capital.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1369815394292?image_id=06Rx7wYboifzw

Muslims in Yangon set up barricades and night watches to protect their neighborhood from possible attacks.

Wed, 29 May 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1369815394292?image_id=06Rx7wYboifzwBrennan O'ConnorAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Muslims in Yangon set up barricades and night watches to protect their neighborhood from possible attacks.



Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.