Declare A. Wirathu, a Monk Behind The Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims, a Terrorist
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Dear United Nations,
Ashin Wirathu is a nationalist Burmese Buddhist monk, and the spiritual leader of the country’s anti-Muslim and Islamophobic 969 movement (1). He has been preaching extremism since last two decades now and incites violence against Muslims by statements such as “you can be full of kindness and love, but you cannot sleep next to a mad dog,”, referring to Muslims (2).
He rose to prominence in 2001, when he created a nationalist campaign to boycott Muslim businesses, Wirathu was jailed for 25 years in 2003 for inciting anti-Muslim hatred but freed in 2010 under a general amnesty. Since his release, Wirathu has gone back to preaching hate. Many believe his words inspired the fighting June 2012 between Buddhists and ethnic Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state, where 200 people, mostly Muslim were killed and more than 100,000 displaced (3).
It was Wirathu who led a rally of monks in Mandalay in September 2012 to defend President Thein Sein's controversial plan to send the Rohingya to a third country. One month later, more violence broke out in Rakhine state (4).
The Time magazine on the cover story mentioned him as "The Face of Buddhist Terror" on 20 June 2013 (5).
We, signatories to this petition, therefore request the United Nations to declare Wirathu as 'terrorist'. It is high time that we recognise terrorism in all its forms and save humanity from this vile disease. We, further, hope that this could be the start to fairness in global politics with regard to terrorism since the selective approach to this problem has precipitated varied national opinions and thus rendered global unity unreachable. Terrorism is one of the serious threats our planet faces, and we must, therefore, be united against it in all forms.
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