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Popular Buddhist Monk Accuses Muslims of Deceiving the World


he CBS show, 60 Minutes, aired a segment last week entitled “The New Burma” (you can watch it online here). The segment was mostly about Aung San Suu Kyi, but starting at 6:55 they mentioned the conflict between the majority Buddhist population and the minority Muslim population, including an interview with the most outspoken leader against the Muslims, a Buddhist monk named Sayadaw Ashin Wirathu.

The 60 Minutes position on this conflict is typical for mainstream news: The Buddhist majority are bullying the poor, oppressed Muslim minority. But I enjoyed the following exchange between Wirathu and the 60 Minutes correspondent, Bill Whitaker (you can read a transcript of the whole segment here).

Whitaker tells viewers, “Wirathu’s rhetoric is extreme, but his mantra — that Burma is for Buddhists — is widely held, even by other holy men. He’s a provocateur, who enflames passions with fiery speeches. He’s attracted a large and growing following.” Then comes the following exchange:

Bill Whitaker: Do Muslims have a place here in Burma?

We can’t repeat his actual response, it’s R-rated. But essentially he said Muslims were defecating on Burma; threatening its very existence.

Ashin Wirathu: I don’t accept them.

Bill Whitaker: Why?

Ashin Wirathu: Because they’re deceiving


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