Ashin Wirathu: Buddhist monk who fought against Islamic Jihad in Myanmar released from prison.
News Published by NRI Herald, 09 September 2021
As per the media reports, Buddhist Monk Ashin Wirathu was released from prison by the Burmese Military Junta on Monday, two years after sedition charges were slapped at him for alleged derogatory remarks he made against former leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
After becoming a fugitive for months, he finally surrendered in November last year. Ashin Wirathu was accused of inciting “hatred or contempt” and “exciting disaffection” against the civilian government.
Spokesperson for the Myanmar Military, Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun, said:
“The case was closed and he was released this evening,” before proceeding to add, “he is still receiving medical treatment at the Tatmadaw Hospital.”
Who is Ashin Wirathu?
Ashin Wirathu was dubbed the “The Face of Buddhist Terror” by the Time Magazine in 2013 even though there was no proof against him. He has also been branded the ‘Buddhist bin Laden’ by some. The monk was quoted as saying in Time Magazine, “[Muslims] are breeding so fast, and they are stealing our women, raping them. They would like to occupy our country, but I won’t let them. We must keep Myanmar Buddhist.”
For his part, Wirathu accused Time Magazine of committing “serious Human Rights Violations” by not quoting him verbatim in their piece. “Before I had heard [rumours] of the Arab world dominating the global media. But this time, I’ve seen it for myself.”
Nonetheless, when Time Magazine branded him a the face of Buddhist terror, then president of the country, Thein Sein, lashed out at the magazine and accused it of slandering the Buddhist religion. He described Wirathu as a “Son of Buddha” and defended him as a “noble person” committed to peace.
In one of the interview Mr Wirathu said:
In another interview in 2013, he declared:
“Muslims are like the African carp. They breed quickly and they are very violent and they eat their own kind. Even though they are minorities here, we are suffering under the burden they bring us.” On another occasion, he opined, “You can be full of kindness and love but you cannot sleep next to a mad dog.”
The monk led the ‘969 movement’, a Buddhist revivalist movement that advocated the social and economic boycott of Muslims and sought to ban marriages between Buddhist women and Muslim men. The inspiration for the name comes from Buddhist scriptures, with the first 9 denoting the nine special attributes of the Buddha, 6 represents the six special characteristics of his Dharma and 9 represented the nine attributes of the Buddhist monastic order, or the Buddhist Sangha.