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Burma: Muslim-Bashing by Junta
Far Eastern Economic Review, May 13, 1999, page 8.
In Burma, free speech is so restricted that even a collection of poems
honouring Michael Aris -- the deceased husband of opposition leader Aung
San Suu Kyi -- is confiscated and the authors threatened. But two other
recent publications can be found alomost everywhere. The booklets don't
indicate where they were printed or who wrote them, but they share a basic
message: Muslims are about to subvert all other religions. The
anti-Muslim booklets tell how this has happened in Iraq and Indonesia, and
how Muslims in Burma are about to turn the country into an Islamic state.
Many Buddhist monks are said to be taking the propaganda seriously, while
more neutral Rangoon residents note that the booklets are being
distributed through the networks of the Union Solidarity and Development
Association, the junta's mass organization. Muslims have been made
scapegoats for the government's economic failures before, and Burma is
presently going through its worst economic crisis since the 1970's.