The sullen Democrat who just told the BBC’s correspondent that he won’t vote for Hillary Clinton over Trump because she’s “only slightly better than him” and “it wouldn’t make any difference” is quite the pure embodiment of straight white male privilege. It will be hellishly different for everyone else.
you know what bothers me about islamophobia, other than the seriously harmful effects it has on millions of people worldwide, is how it is never ever based on something factual? i have never seen the cool anti-sjw edgelord types on here have a problem with islam for some good reason - it is always IT PROMOTES VIOLENCE BC THE QURAN SAID KILL EVERYONE, or else ISLAM IS MISOGYNIST (the two most common ones i’ve seen). and for a community that prides itself on its fact-checking and ~logic~ this is actually laughable- because to understand islam you have to read the quran IN CONTEXT
let me repeat that
which none of you people have done. i have yet to come across an intelligent, well-researched argument against islam that isn’t sourced by known biased, islamophobic websites. you people keep quoting the same verse from the quran over and over again claiming it says to kill all non-believers, without ever reading it in context (the context is war and it says you are allowed to defend yourself against those who oppress you in conditions of war) and then you pat yourself on the back for being so ~progressive~ and telling the muslims their religion is Wrong. or else you’ll use the hijab to claim islam is misogynistic and doesn’t give women their rights when the opposite is true - islam gave women rights 1400 years ago when women weren’t even considered to be people by the majority of the world. but nope, you made a horribly researched post about how islam oppresses women, go you! you really taught us! i feel so liberated now!!! thank you so much, O Wise People of Tumblr dot com!!!
you people keep saying shit about our prophet when none of you have ever studied in detail the sort of life he lived, the way he behaved with his people and other minorities and women, but you are quick to claim he married a 9 year old and other disgusting shit without taking into context the time period people lived in then, and how society was different. you just want to prove that you have some sort of high moral ground when it comes to religion, and islam is archaic, old-fashioned and backwards. well, congratulations. the only thing you’ve achieved, in my opinion, is to look ass-backwards in your own community which prides itself on fact-checking, logic and not buying into propaganda and edgy bullshit about social justice issues.
sorry, this got longer than i meant. i’m just really upset because a person whose blog i enjoyed, whom i am friends with, posted this kind of thing and it broke my heart, honestly. i’m not asking anyone to agree with my religion all the time, i’m just saying, as a bunch of people who pride yourselves on your Intellect and Logic, use some of that damn intellect and logic and do your fucking research. islamophobia is an actual thing and yeah it’s an ugly label, no one wants to be associated with it, but whoops, tough titty, son, your actions are actively harmful for millions of people worldwide, so i’ll thank you to keep your poorly researched, shit opinions to yourself.
As a muslim, I hate the experience of my generation of muslim youth. I hate that 99% of us are just peaceful individuals and some of us (like me) just want to travel around and see the world and some other brothers and sisters want to live elsewhere and lead a better life and have a good family and be peaceful and hardworking, but we can’t do that because (most) white people hate us and will either make it very difficult to obtain visas, harass us if we do or try to elect a dickhead like trump who wants to ban us from entering their countries at all. Like, I hate ISIL so much, I hate any and every other terrorist organization but I also hate the fact that people from other religions can commit as many crimes in the name of their religion as possible but still be considered representing only themselves not their entire religion and that is entirely the fault of the media and white supremacists. I hate any form of tyranny and prejudice that affects our lives and taints us while we literally just eat, sleep, go out with friends and stare at a computer screen like everyone else.
As anti-Muslim nationalist groups lash out at the stateless Rohingya, Myanmar’s next generation of interfaith activists is struggling to promote compassion
Jue Jue Than, Htet Aung Lin and Phone Htet Naung face an uncertain future. The three students at Yangon School of Political Science received a phone call from police in mid-May, warning that they could soon face up to three months in prison. Their crime: steering a few dozen college students on an unauthorised march in downtown Yangon to pay their respects at religious monuments and promote diversity. The group defied an order to walk on a route that would have prevented them from passing mosques, Hindu temples, Buddhist pagodas and churches.
While the self-described “interfaith activists” wait for a dreaded knock on the door, other, arguably less peaceful, demonstrators rest at ease. Thar Htet is a supporter of the Myanmar National Network, an ultra-nationalist group that has staged large demonstrations outside the US Embassy and in towns throughout the country. Htet said the group has felt “no pressure from the authorities”. The movement has claimed a number of causes, but its primary agenda has been to deny Myanmar’s Rohingya, a stateless Muslim minority, the rights of citizenship and political agency in the predominantly Buddhist country.
“I feel worried, but I am not afraid,” Jue Than told Southeast Asia Globe, days after she was notified of the potential charges. She and her classmates, a group of twentysomethings from various parts of Myanmar, said they saw an urgent need to counter discriminatory rhetoric as the country slowly begins to shed its authoritarian legacy.
“We don’t want to be famous, we just want to spread our democratic values as much as possible,” said Htet Naung. “Respect and diversity – that’s what we want.”
The interfaith movement is new and small, branded less as a reaction to the rise in Buddhist nationalism than a promotion of metta, a Pali term for compassion. These activists – who are mostly young students, bright and well versed in English – joined by friends and supporters, said they simply want to provide an alternative to intolerance. Jue Than, a 29-year-old Muslim from central Myanmar, said she has endured discrimination since early childhood, often being called derogatory names and facing difficulty finding employment and obtaining government documents.
“It is really difficult to get a job, in companies and in the government, if you are wearing the hijab and you are being Muslim,” she said candidly in her school’s Yangon classroom surrounded by her peers: a mix of Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Muslim youths. “I don’t want to be discriminated [against]; I would like to be equal in human dignity.”
The rise of the Ma Ba Tha
Not everyone in Myanmar embraces multiculturalism. In 2011, the country began a transition to civilian rule after decades of military dictatorship, but new freedoms of expression have made space for more negative elements, leaving authorities struggling to balance the right of free speech against a growing tide of divisive and inflammatory language. Several permutations of ultra-nationalist Buddhist groups have grown in both public support and political influence, appealing to a Buddhist majority that feels under threat by other demographics.
First was a group called 969, led by firebrand monk Ashin Wirathu, which came to prominence in the wake of 2012 violence between Buddhists and Muslims. On the premise of protecting Myanmar’s Theravada tradition against a perceived threat of Islamic expansion, 969 advocated for boycotts of Muslim businesses, its leadership regularly travelling to the countryside to deliver riling and often anti-Muslim sermons. The group slipped into the shadows after much public controversy, giving way to another monk-led movement called the Association for the Protection of Race and Religion, known by its Burmese acronym, Ma Ba Tha.
With support from the previous military-backed government, Ma Ba Tha became a powerful social and political force, even successfully lobbying for passage of discriminatory laws restricting interfaith marriage, birth rates and religious conversion. While it claims to be apolitical, the group has been accused of interference in last year’s election, urging its supporters to vote for the incumbent party, which would “protect Buddhism”. Smaller, grassroots organisations, such as the Myanmar National Network, later sprung up as proxies. Though they claim to be independent, monks associated with Ma Ba Tha have been seen giving speeches at Myanmar National Network rallies.
“The aim is to protect race and religion in our country, and to take part in national politics,” said Win Ko Ko Latt, director of the Myanmar National Network. The group supports a list of 135 “national races” that were recognised by the former government as indigenous, and firmly believes that those not on the list do not deserve equal rights. Ko Latt proudly said the network was at the forefront of a movement to “make sure” that hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims were disenfranchised during last year’s election.
“The impact from these [Buddhist] groups has been significant,” said Matthew Walton, a senior research fellow at Oxford University who specialises in Myanmar’s religious dynamics. “While it can be difficult to directly connect them to anti-Muslim violence that’s occurred since 2012, their actions and rhetoric have certainly created an enabling environment and especially given anti-Muslim sentiment a sense of religious legitimacy.”
Walton said that while not everyone connected to these groups is anti-Muslim or even ‘nationalist’, they are united by a fear, often perpetrated by monks, that Buddhism faces an existential threat.
“We’re going to see the impact of that down the line if there aren’t alternative voices and narratives there, as a whole generation of young Buddhists are growing up with this message,” Walton said. “We have to admit that it’s much easier to rally people around fear and hatred rather than a shared sense of identity or peaceful coexistence. And this is the challenge that the counter-narrative movements continue to face.”
The Rohingya issue
The Myanmar National Network has taken particular aim at the Rohingya, who bore the brunt of ethno-religious riots in Myanmar’s Rakhine State beginning in 2012. More than 100,000 people still live in squalid displacement camps after losing their homes in the deadly conflict. They are also denied freedom of movement, education and access to healthcare.
“When communal violence broke out between Muslims and Buddhists in Rakhine in May 2012, I realised that there was a gap between Muslim and Buddhist societies in general,” said Htoo Lou Rae Den, the founder of an interfaith group called Coexist. “It was an elephant in the room. Nobody was visibly doing anything about it.”
Speaking out against extremism has already landed a number of activists in prison, he said, mostly under the previous government. The new administration, led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, is undertaking a massive overhaul of laws that have long been used to suppress dissent, but Rae Den said that the legal system “remains a significant barrier for advocates”.
Jue Than and her peers, for instance, were threatened with charges under Myanmar’s Peaceful Assembly Law, a controversial, military-backed provision that is under review by the new legislature. The law carries criminal penalties for assembly on unauthorised routes, or for demonstrators whose messaging was not approved by local authorities. Authors of the new amendments, many of whom are former political prisoners themselves, say that while they hope to prevent the mistakes of the past, they still believe in principle that criminal measures may be necessary to guard against potential “troublemakers”.
But while retaining these punitive tools could help curb hate speech and rein in provocateurs, the law does not meet international standards, according to Vani Sathisan, an international legal advisor with the International Commission of Jurists, which consults with the new government on how to bring antiquated laws in line with international norms and protect human rights.
“Overly vague or broad laws open themselves up to selective interpretation by the state and prosecutors,” Sathisan said, expressing concern that authorities at the local level could misuse the provision, however well intended it may be. Prosecutors at the attorney general’s office, she urged, “must exercise their discretion and not push for wrongful charges under this law”.
Aung San Suu Kyi under fire
Rae Den pointed out that while the interfaith activists may face prison, authorities have done little to temper the nationalist movement. An anti-Rohingya rally in Mandalay in mid-April was given the green light, while a rogue monk in southeastern Myanmar has faced no consequences after erecting Buddhist stupas at a number of Christian and Muslim sites, angering religious communities.
Police threatened to take action against members of the Myanmar National Network who led a rally outside the US embassy in late April, but Ko Latt said that no one has yet been charged. Donning headbands reading “No Rohingya” and carrying banners denouncing the group as foreign, hundreds of protesters withstood blazing Yangon heat, chastising the embassy’s use of the word “Rohingya” in a statement of condolence for the deaths of more than 20 people in a recent boat accident. Suu Kyi later advised US ambassador Scot Marciel against using the word Rohingya to describe the group, fearing that it would “just add fuel to the fire”.
“We are not trying to say that any particular stance with regard to nomenclature is better than another,” Suu Kyi said in her defence, standing beside US Secretary of State John Kerry in Naypyidaw in late May. “What we are saying is that there are more important things for us to cope with than just the issue of nomenclature.”
Suu Kyi urged the international community to give her “enough space” to address the crisis at hand, which has spread in scope from the dire conditions for displaced persons in Rakhine to broader resentment toward the country’s Muslims. Her government appears reluctant to tackle head-on what has come to be viewed as a tinderbox of distrust; rumours spread by nationalists portray Muslims as dangerous and invasive, and even insinuate that Islamic communities could become a breeding ground for violent extremists.
The test for Suu Kyi will be whether alternative narratives, such as the peaceful agenda of Jue Than and her classmates, will become casualties of a legal system that is designed to contain the very problem the students are attempting to counter.
“At the time, we were thinking that we needed to create a new culture,” Htet Naung said. “Yeah, we broke the law, but we hope that both society and the government understand what we are doing.”
Horrible news from France. RIP to the priest who was brutally and unfairly murdered.
ISIS scum are achieving their goals progressively. They’re killing people in the name of Islam and turning people against moderate Muslims. Eventually (and evidently) everyone will turn on each other and we will end up with another war. Guess who’ll have the last laugh? The masterminds behind Daesh/ISIS will. I’m terrified for the future. Come on, don’t do the work for them.
[image description: A series of tweets from Mikael Chuks Owunna @OwningMyTruth: American evangelical pastors were the key architects of Uganda’s initially proposed anti-LGBT law that mandated DEATH sentences 4 LGBT ppl. These pastors and missionaries have played a CENTRAL role in advancing anti-LGBT legislation not only in the US but in Africa as well And they worked alongside colonial regimes that not only created homophobia & transphobia as we now know it but advanced it across the WORLD. So it’s absurd to me hearing all of these fools like HRC and others going on about radical islam when AMERICANS are inciting killings & brutality against lgbtq people AROUND the world. where we have lgbtq people seeking asylum because their home communities have been made unsafe for them by the western imperialist advancement of homophobia and transphobia into our lands. People need to STFU about Islam being inherently homophobic/transphobic and look at how those systems are historically rooted in the WEST. And all of the brutality that is visited upon lgbtq folks, and especially twoc daily here speaks volumes to those historical roots]
We would not shut
up about gender. There would be a million politicians and newspaper
columns analysing “what is it about women that is making them kill?”
“What is it about how women are raised?” “What is our culture telling
women about violence?” “What books and movies are women reading and
watching that compel them to do this?” “Is it biological? We should
probably legislate their bodies right? They have an excess of a genetic
chemical known as oxythorconopolonomon
that makes them more prone to aggression and with just a small incision
we can..” Everyone from Trump to Oprah would be talking about this
But because 99.9%
of terrorists are men, we don’t look at gender. That’s how much we’ve
normalised male violence. We don’t ask what it is about *this* category
of people and how we raise men that makes them feel validated to others’
bodies. Gender and patriarchy isn’t the only factor here but it’s a big
one. Why are terrorists and shooters almost always men?
I’ve stated this before, but apparently it needs repeating: supporting Jews and supporting Muslims is not something that is mutually exclusive. Picking and choosing only one community to protect enables oppression of the other. The right thing to do is to fight both antisemitism and islamophobia. Don’t let anyone convince you that Jews and Muslims must be enemies. The world has more than enough room for both of us.
You know why im so pissed off about the silence when it comes to the Bosnian War and the Srebrenica Genocide in particular? Because this was the most recent genocide commited by Europeans yet no one talks about it? It’s not taught in schools (uk) it’s hardly a topic anyone cares about, it was systematically islamophobic, for those who don’t know it was a genocide targeting Muslim men and boys specifically, 8373 murdered from 11 July 1995 - 22 July 1995 to be precise. Muslim women were raped, Muslims were put in concentration camps yet this is the forgotten war and genocide? How? How can Europe just forget about this? I’m so disgusted. 21 years. 21 years of families suffering and mourning because their father, brother, uncle, grandad was killed for his faith. Fuck anyone who doesn’t care about Bosnia.