Why has the US security apparatus which sees a Muslim terrorist behind every bush, still not listed Burmese Buddhist monk and convicted criminal Ashin Wirathu, along with the “969” movement led by him, as terrorists?
Even Time magazine ran his picture last year on their cover in every country in the world except the United States, labeling him in the largest typeset that would fit as “The face of Buddhist Terror.” Wirathu even calls himself the “Burmese bin Laden.”
Despite spending seven years in prison for religious violence, Wirathu honored with a “freedom of religion” award from the UK’s foremost Burmese monastery in the same week that he spread rumors that a Rangoon school would be developed into a mosque. Myanmar’s President Thein Sein praises him as a noble person dedicated to peace.
His “969” organization has recently linked up with groups in Sri Lanka and India which are violently pursuing the same anti-Muslim agenda, but the US security apparatus remains entirely silent and the international political apparatus continues its policy of engaging the Myanmar regime in both military and economic matters while praising the regime for its imaginary progress towards democracy.
Meanwhile, the Islamic world is hardly willing to recognize the dark skinned Rohingya as Muslims, despite the fact that they have been a jewel in the Islamic crown since at least the 9th century.
The situation could hardly be worse as roughly a million and half Burmese Muslims face a slow and agonizing extermination.
Quite apart from Wirathu’s role in agitating for extreme violence against Muslims, his mouth is a virtual cesspool of hate propaganda. He is on record as having praised the ultra-right wing English Defense League and said at various times:
“Muslim guests (in Burma) are violating, insulting and abusing the hospitality and tolerance of the Buddhist hosts. We have put up with these (Muslim) thieves, robbers abusers and invaders for too long. I don’t want to resort to violence. But they continue behave like a band of car thieves. This situation requires radical solutions. We need covert actions like CIA and Mossad. I will make the Muslims of Mandalay starve. I will make them homeless. When I give you all the signal to start this campaign will you be ready to take actions!”
“Once we won this battle we will move on to other Muslim targets and we must keep on moving our (Muslim) targets. Now Moulmein is about to fall into the Enemy’s hand, or the hands of the Kalars (niggers), that is, of course, unless we fail to mobilize our Buddhist public’s force.”
“Muslims are only well behaved when they are weak. When they become strong, they are like a wolf or a jackal; in large packs they hunt down other animals.”
Of course when condemning this terrorist monk, we should not overlook that there are many decent Buddhists; nor should we ignore the fact that fact the Burmese government is 100% behind, involved in and supportive of this racist’s agenda of violence. The same holds true for many of the activists who comprised the anti-junta “88 Generation.”
Many people ask, what can the US do to legitimately help defuse the dangers faced by Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims? There are of course many things which need to be done but the US can start by officially listing Wirathu and his organization as terrorists in the same way the security apparatus would certainly have already done had they been Muslim rather Buddhist.
Barry Grossman is a political commentator and international lawyer based on the Indonesian island of Bali.