January 3, 2015

ASIAN BUDDHISTS get militant.

Feeling threatened by Hindu India, Communist China and Islam, Buddhists in south and southeast Asia are starting to develop a militancy of their own. Groups like the Buddhist Power Force (Bodu Bala Sena, or BBS) in Sri Lanka and 969 in Myanmar have become increasingly radicalized. They give voice to anti-Muslim sentiment that some think has inspired violence, like the anti-Muslim attacks in Sri Lanka in June that left three dead. According to a recent FT profile, leaders from 969 and the BBS signed a pact in September for “aimed at protecting global Buddhism.” . . .

This won’t be the last of such surges in militancy. The 21st century was supposed to be a post-religious, post-modernist era of peaceful secularism. That now looks less and less like the world we are living in.

Yeah, I’m afraid that’s right.

UPDATE: Related: In Sweden, the Land of the Open Door, Anti-Muslim Sentiment Finds a Foothold. This article doesn’t say why that’s happening. Perhaps the Times will run a followup on that question.

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