The Nation:Buddhist Violence in Burma

In the West, Buddhism is often understood as a religion of compassion and peace, with gauzy images of serene meditation, the hum of chanted prayers, a symbolic lotus bloom. So what are we to make of a currently circulating video of a robed Burmese monk wielding a sturdy pole as he joins a killer mob beating a defenseless Muslim man to the ground? In the background, mosques and houses are burning and Muslim children are running for their lives.


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