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Buddhist nationalist monk Ashin Wirathu in Yangon, Myanmar.

Firebrand Buddhist Monk Ashin Wirathu was released from prison by the Tatmadaw (Myanmar military) on Monday, two years after he was booked and imprisoned for making seditious remarks against the former leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Ashin Wirathu was born on the 10th of July 1968 in Kyaukse province which is one of the numerous offshoots of the vast Mandalay Division of Myanmar (then called Burma). He is a Burmese Buddhist monk and the founder cum leader of the extremist 969 Movement in Myanmar. He was infamously dubbed as the "The Face of Buddhist Terror" by Time Magazine in 2013. Some even went a step further and unceremoniously christened him " Buddhist Bin Laden ".

Ashin Wirathu is known for his fiery stance against radical Islam. He on numerous occasions has given derogatory press statements against Muslims. Once speaking to Time Magazine, he upfrontly said that they [Muslims] are breeding fast. Also, they steal our women only to rape them. They would like to occupy Myanmar, but I won't let them. One must strive to keep Myanmar a Buddhist country.

Myanmar is a predominatly a Buddhist country and Muslims respresnt a tiny fraction of the overall population. Photo by Joseph Gatto on Unsplash.

In yet another interview in 2013, he vehemently declared Muslims as African Carp. Justifying his claims he stated that they breed quickly and are very violent in nature and also they eat their own kind. He even went further to highlight the burden on the masses by saying that even though Muslims were a minority in Myanmar, ordinary Myanmmarse are reeling under the burden they bring us.

He gained limelight when on one occasion, he opined, "You can be full of kindness and love but you cannot sleep next to a mad dog." He mentioned the word "Mad Dog" slyly alluding to the Muslim community.

Ashin is the founder and the leader of the infamous " 969 Movement ", a Buddhist revivalist movement that advocates a complete socio-economic boycott of Muslims throughout Myanmar. It also seeks to ban marriages between Buddhist women and Muslim men and annul the existing ones.

The inspiration for the unique name comes from Buddhist scriptures, with the first number "9" denoting the nine special attributes of the Buddha, the middle number "6" represents the six special characteristics of his Dharma while the last number "9" represents the nine attributes of the Buddhist monastic order or the Buddhist Sangha.

The black flags of Radical Islam. Photo by mostafa meraji on Unsplash.

When quizzed on his fierce stance against one particular community, he said "I am defending my loved one like you would defend your loved one. I am only warning people about Muslims. Consider it like if you had a dog, that would bark at strangers coming to your house – it is to warn you. I am like that dog. I bark."

With Afghanistan taken over by the Radical Islamic outfit Taliban, jihadism is on the rise in Asia. With the new Delta variant of the novel coronavirus ravaging through Asia, the continent has turned into a hotbed for new deadlier mutations to arise. The belligerent act of the Taliban seizing power in Afghanistan has invoked Radical Islamists all over the globe to launch a global offensive. By freeing Ashin Wirathu Myanmar has deployed its best available weapon against the onslaught of Radical Islam.

Keywords: Islam, Radical Islam, Ashin Wirathu, Myanmar, Terrorism.


Photo by Jorge Fernández on Unsplash

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