Myanmar Authorities to Muslims – We have no power to halt Nationalists

21st, April 2017

A file photo of Muslims in Tharkayta township taken by Buddhist nationalists used to stoke anti-Muslim sentiment on social media

– Administrative officials from Tharkayta Township of commercial capital Yangon urged Muslims to stop holding services in Islamic religious schools warning that they have no power to stop nationalists if something happens, local weekly news journal Friday Times reports on their Facebook page.

In recent days, some Buddhist nationalists have stoked anti-Muslim rhetoric on social media concerning the practicing of religious duties by Muslims in Thaykayta Township including Friday prayer in some Mandrasas which used for religious classes for Muslim children.

“At 3 pm, in township administration office, they (officials) told us not to hold services in religious schools and also warned they will have no power to response except to stand and see if something happenes.” said a Muslim resident from Anawmar quarter who doesn’t want to share his name due to sensitivity of issue, Friday Times reports.

He also said, in the afternoon of April 21st, some people, who are not the members of government institutions, have gathered surrounding area of the Mandrasa situated in Anawmar 12th Street and took some photos and videos of Muslims who came out of the place after finishing their Friday Prayer.

Weekly Journal also reported that the warning from township officials to Muslim residents may be the pressure of nationalist groups and township administrator refused to answer their call.

A facebook post that inciting anti-Muslim rhetoric concerning the Muslim who are practising of their religious rights granted by constitution

In November 2015, representatives from eights Muslim religious schools in the area were forced by nationalists and local officials to sign an unofficial paper stated that holding religious services in these places are illegal.

Since the establishment of Tharkayta Township, local Muslims have used those Mandarasas to fulfill their daily religious duties for not having a permit to build a Mosque.

Although country’s 2008 Constitution grants freedom of worship for all religious minorities including Islam, Muslims in Myanmar are being targeted, abused and even assaulted in some cases by Buddhist Nationalists who are active after the democratic change in 2011.

A young man believed to be control of the account (Myant Phone Mo) that was the main promoter of anti-Muslim hate speeches about Tharkayta Township

Ref : Facebook page of Friday Times Weekly Journal

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