Mapim and Shura Laud Myanmar Government’s Decision To Crack Down On Ma Ba Tha

Kuala Lumpur, 11 Shawwal 1437/16 July 2016 (MINA) – Sekretariat Himpunan Ulama Rantau Asia (SHURA) and the Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organization (MAPIM) applaud and welcome the courages move. At last Myanmar government has decided to crack down on a hard-line Buddhist nationalist group, aiming to curb ethnic and religious tension.

“Better late than never. This is our stand on the recent Myanmar government crackdown on Buddhist nationalists. The recent two mosques destroyed and scores of Muslim residents fleeing their villages in recent weeks should have triggered a quick response from the authorities,” they said ina a statement to Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA).

They said, it should have the taken the notice of the Nobel Peace Prize winner and government leader Aung San Suu Kyi to curtail the perpetrators of the attacks aimed at the Muslim minority.

They hope that this response should be a decisive move against an organisation of nationalist monks, known as the “Ma Ba Tha” since the damaged done by this movement on the image of Myanmar have been too long unchecked.

“The government must stand firm to act on the group, to halt any violation of the law through the spreading of hate speeches and incites violence. We take note that the government had launched a task force to prevent violent protests as part of a broader push to stop religious violence,” they said.

They regret that the simmering religous tension in the Buddhist-majority Myanmar for almost half a century of military rule was allowed to prevail. As a result, in 2012, clashes between Rohingya Muslims and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists flared into hundreds of death, thousands injured and hundred of thousand was cordoned in IDP camps.

Violence between Muslims and Buddhists in other areas followed in 2013 and 2014.

They demand that the Myanmar authorities investigate and hold accountable those who have incited violence.

“The government must put a stop to groups using hate speech and inspiring violence against Muslims,” they said.

They realised that members of the ruling National League for Democracy party have said Ma Ba Tha is largely responsible for the spread of Islamophobia across the country. Therefore to take appropriate measures to curb their disruptive actions should not be delayed. To declare it as not a recognised organization and yet having networks throughout the country and campaigning hate messages against Islam is tantamount to categorically labeling it as an illegal organ.

They call on all the politicians of Myanmar to be principled in critizizing the group no mather how their nationalist message seemed popular in the overwhelmingly Buddhist Myanmar.

Wirathu’s reaction to the decision, alledging that Ang San Suu Kyi’s move to crack down on the group, as a dictatorial women is unwarranted, because she has to reform the country towards a peaceful and just nation. (L/R05/R03)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)