Some Questions

What has been the role of Buddhism in Burmese society since the 1980s?

What roles have Buddhism played in political action? How would you describe the relationship between Buddhism and the state?

How would you compare and contrast the tensions between Buddhists and Muslims within Burma with religious conflicts elsewhere in the world?

How does Buddhist belief inform the respective outlooks of Aung San Suu Kyi and Ashin Wirathu?

Possible Starting Places

  Dan Arnold And Alicia Turner, "Why Are We Surprised When Buddhists Are Violent?," New York Times, March 5, 2018.

  "Burma: Buddhism And Power," Speaking Of Faith, American Public Media, September 27, 2007.

Alan Strathern, "Why Are Buddhist Monks Attacking Muslims?," BBC News Magazine, May 2, 2013.

  Sarah Buckley, "Who Are Burma's Monks?," BBC News, September 26, 2007.

Burma And Buddhism In The News

  Anders Hardig and Tazreena Sajjad, "The Military Coup In Myanmar Presents Opportunities To Buddhist Nationalists," Conversation, February 8, 2021.

  Rebecca Ratcliffe and Emanuel Stoakes, "Myanmar Army Accused Of New Atrocities In Attack On Rakhine Village," Guardian, May 25, 2020.

  Rodion Ebbighausen, "Buddhists Fan Flames Of Islamophobia In Southeast Asia," DW, March 27, 2018.

  "Two Ultra-Nationalist Buddhist Monks In Myanmar Return To Preaching," DW, March 10, 2018.

  Jonathan Head, "Rakhine State: Hatred And Despair In Myanmar's Restive Region," BBC News, February 8, 2018.

  "In Myanmar, Pope Calls For Unity And Tolerance, But Doesn't Mention Rohingya," Two-Way, NPR, November 28, 2017.

  Paul Fuller, "Myanmar And Buddhist Extremism," Conversation, November 14, 2017.

  Poppy McPherson, "'We Must Protect Our Country': Extremist Buddhists Target Mandalay's Muslims," Guardian, May 8, 2017.

  Jonah Fisher, "Myanmar's Rohingya: Truth, Lies And Aung San Suu Kyi," BBC News, January 27, 2017.

  Jane Perlez and Wai Moe, "Violence Escalates Between Myanmar Forces And Rohingya," New York Times, November 13, 2016.

  "Myanmar Bans Officials From Saying 'Rohingya,'" Al Jazeera, June 21, 2016.

  "Aung San Suu Kyi's Cowardly Stance On The Rohingya," New York Times, May 9, 2016.

  Hanna Hindstrom, "Changing Myanmar's Hidden Atheists," Al Jazeera, December 30, 2015.

  Diane Cole, "You'll Never Guess The Most Charitable Nation In The World," Goats And Soda, NPR, November 28, 2015.

Joshua Carroll, "Buddhist Monks In Myanmar Celebrate Repressive Laws," Al Jazeera, September 23, 2015.

  Yuriko Koike, "The Dangerous Rise Of Buddhist Chauvinism," Japan Times, July 31, 2015.

  "Myanmar Bill Limits Women's Right To Wed Non-Buddhists," Al Jazeera, July 8, 2015.

  Simon Lewis, "Buddhist Monks Seek To Ban Schoolgirls From Wearing Headscarves In Burma," Guardian, June 22, 2015.

  Jason Farago, "Buddhist Art Of Myanmar Review: A Subtle, Sculptural Nirvana," Guardian, February 13, 2015.

"Myanmar Monk Who Called UN Envoy A Whore 'Could Hurt Buddhism,'" ABC News, January 21, 2015.

  Emily Murdoch, "Myanmar Drafts Shocking Laws On Religion And Family," World Religion News, December 13, 2014.

  "Myanmar Bar Accused Of Insulting Buddhism In Flyer," BBC News, December 11, 2014.

  Dinouk Colombage, "Buddhist Monk To Fight 'Jihad Street,'" Al Jazeera, September 28, 2014.

  Krista R. Burdine, "Myanmar: Rohingya Minority May Suffer Concentration Camps," World Religion News, August 26, 2014.

  "Myanmar Seeks To Regulate Marriage," Al Jazeera, June 18, 2014.

  Hereward Holland, "Facebook In Myanmar: Amplifying Hate Speech?," Al Jazeera, June 14, 2014.

  Haroon Siddique, "Burma Sectarian Violence Motivated By Fear, Says Aung San Suu Kyi," Guardian, October 24, 2013.

  Harrison Akins, "No Place For Islam?: Buddhist Nationalism In Myanmar," Al Jazeera, October 18, 2013.

  Jonah Fisher, "Anti-Muslim Monk Stokes Burmese Religious Tensions," BBC News, August 29, 2013.

  Fiona MacGregor, "Burma's 'Bin Laden Of Buddhism,'" Telegraph, July 13, 2013.

"Buddhists Get Prison Terms In Myanmar," New York Times, July 11, 2013.

  "Burmese Leader Defends 'Anti Muslim' Monk Ashin Wirathu," BBC News, June 24, 2013.

  Max Fisher, "'I Am Proud To Be Called A Radical Buddhist': More Burmese Embracing Anti-Muslim Violence," Washington Post, June 21, 2013.

"Radical Buddhism Ascendant In Myanmar," New York Times, June 20, 2013.

  Thomas Fuller, "Extremism Rises Among Myanmar Buddhists," New York Times, June 20, 2013.

Brennan O'Connor, "In Pictures: Myanmar's Sectarian Divide," Al Jazeera, May 31, 2013.

  "The Buddhist Path For Young Men In Myanmar," The World, PRI, May 8, 2013.

  Kate Hodal, "Buddhist Monk Uses Racism And Rumours To Spread Hatred In Burma," Guardian, April 18, 2013.

  Jonah Fisher, "Burma's Displaced Rohingya Suffer As Aid Blocked," BBC News, December 13, 2012.

  Francis Wade, "Burma: Escalating Violence Signals Religious War," Guardian, November 9, 2012.

  Azad Essa, "In Burma, Violence Against Muslim Minority Stumbles Into The Spotlight," Guardian, August 14, 2012.

  Timothy Garton Ash, "So Begins The Fourth Life Of Aung San Suu Kyi," Globe And Mail, June 21, 2012.

  "Profile: Aung San Suu Kyi," BBC News, May 30, 2012.

Francis Wade, "Myanmar's Monks Remain A Political Force," Al Jazeera, December 23, 2011.

Madeleine Bunting, "Aung San Suu Kyi's Idea Of Freedom Offers A Radical Message For The West," Guardian, June 26, 2011.

Anand Gopal, "Monks With Guns?: Burma's Younger Activists Get Bolder," Christian Science Monitor, September 19, 2008.

  Christopher Johnson, "Burma: Monks Vs. Junta," Christian Science Monitor, May 16, 2008.

  "Burma Monks Not Ready To Forgive," BBC News, November 14, 2007.

  Choe Sang-Hun, "Uneasy Days For Monks In Myanmar," New York Times, October 24, 2007.

  "Burma Unrest: Account From A Monastery," BBC News, October 1, 2007.

Pankaj Mishra, "Comment: The Burmese Monks' Spiritual Strength Proves Religion Has A Role In Politics," Guardian, October 1, 2007.

  Seth Mydans, "Karma Power: What Makes A Monk Mad," New York Times, September 30, 2007.

Aung Zaw, "Comment: Burma's True Leaders," Guardian, September 29, 2007.

Jonathan Watts, "A Brief History Of Monks On The March," Guardian, September 27, 2007.

"Viewpoint: Love Over Fear In Burma," BBC News, September 27, 2007.

"When Buddhist Monks Act," Christian Science Monitor, May 25, 2000.

  "Prisoners 'Reprieved' For Pagoda Ceremony," BBC News, April 6, 1999.

Video Sources

  "Rohingya Crisis: Monks With An Ultranationalist Agenda," Focus, France 24, September 21, 2017.  (12 mins)

  "The Battle For Myanmar's Buddhist Spirit," Guardian, September 8, 2017.  (17 mins)

  "Genocide Agenda," Al Jazeera Investigates, October 26, 2015.

  "Myanmar Court Jails Three For Insulting Buddhism," Al Jazeera, March 17, 2015.

  "Buddhist-Muslim Tensions In Burma," Religion And Ethics Newsweekly, PBS, August 22, 2013.

  "Buddhist Radicals Resort To Violence," Lateline, ABC, July 5, 2013.

  "Burma's Bin Laden, The Buddhist Monk Who Fuels Hatred," Guardian, April 16, 2013.

"The Hidden Genocide -- Rohinga In Burma," Al Jazeera Investigates, December 9, 2012.

"Buddhist Monk Dubbed 'The Face Of Terror,'" Australia Network.

"101 East: Myanmar's Turn," Al Jazeera English, April 21, 2012.

  "Burma: Inside The Saffron Revolution," Frontline World, PBS, September 25, 2008.

  "Myanmar Monks," Religion And Ethics Newsweekly, PBS, November 16, 2007.

  "Monks On The Frontline," Foreign Correspondent, ABC, November 6, 2007.

"Buddhist Monks March In Myanmar," Religion And Ethics Newsweekly, PBS, September 28, 2007.

Audio Sources

  "Freedom And Fear In Myanmar," Assignment, BBC World Service, March 23, 2017.  (27 mins)

  "A Profile Of Aung San Suu Kyi," Documentary, BBC World Service, November 9, 2015.

  "Floating Without Hope -- The Rohingya Refugees," Heart And Soul, BBC World Service, October 4, 2015.

  "Burma's Rohingya Among The World's Most Persecuted People," Current, CBC, May 27, 2015.

"Spirits On The Streets Of Yangon," The World, PRI, September 16, 2013.

  "969: How Burma's Buddhist Monks Turned On Islam," Heart And Soul, BBC, September 3, 2013.

"Buddhism And Violence," Beyond Belief, BBC Radio 4, August 19, 2013.

  "The History And Future Of Government-Monastery Relations In A Changing Myanmar," The World, PRI, July 16, 2013.

"Burmese Monks Draft Law To Make Marriage Between Buddhists And Muslims Illegal," PM, ABC, July 5, 2013.

  "Are Buddhist Monks Involved In Myanmar's Violence?," Morning Edition, NPR, May 17, 2013.

  "Will Reforms End Myanmar Monks' Spiritual Strike," All Things Considered, NPR, June 29, 2012.

"Monks At Center Of Fight For Myanmar's Future," NPR, October 9, 2007.

"Monks Rise Up In Myanmar," Tell Me More, NPR, October 2, 2007.


  Buddhism In Burma -- Wikipedia:  An entry from the on-line encyclopedia.

Burma -- Religions:  A brief overview from Asian Studies at Michigan State University.


  Peter Coclanis, "Terror In Burma: Buddhists Vs. Muslims," World Affairs (November/December 2013).

  "Banyan: Unforgiving History," Economist (November 3, 2012).

  Joshua Hammer, "Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's Revolutionary Leader," Smithsonian (September 2012).

  Joshua Hammer, "Letter From Burma: A Free Woman," New Yorker (January 24, 2011).

Lennox Samuels, "Where Have Burma's Monks Gone?," Newsweek (November 18, 2007).

"Commentary: Saffron Revolution," Religion And Ethics Newsweekly, PBS, September 28, 2007.


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