Monks’ Convention in Burma Calls for Restricting Buddhist-Muslim Marriage

Buddhist monks U Dhammapiya, Dhamma Duta Ashin Saykaneda (C) and U Wirathu (R) discuss their plans to push for a law that restricts interfaith marriage. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

Senior Buddhist monks U Dhammapiya, left, Dhamma Duta Ashin Saykaneda, center, and U Wirathu, right, speak to the media about their proposals for easing religious tensions in Burma. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — About 200 senior Buddhist monks convening in Rangoon on Thursday have held discussions on drafting a religious law that would put restrictions on marriages between Buddhist women and Muslim men.

Ahead of the two-day conference, the monks — who are highly revered in Burma — had said that they would meet to discuss how to resolve ongoing tensions between Buddhists and the country’s Muslim minority.

On Thursday, some monks announced that preventing interfaith marriage would help improve inter-communal relations in Burma, and much of their time was spent discussing a 15-page draft law that would introduce the restrictions.

“We hold this meeting with the intention of protecting our Buddhist race and our religion, and also to have peace and harmony in our community,” said U Dhammapiya, a senior monk and a spokesman for the convention.

U Wirathu, a well-known nationalist monk, said he introduced the plans to try to stop any Buddhist woman from marrying a Muslim man. “I have dreamed of this law for a long time. It is important to have this law to protect our Buddhist women’s freedom,” he said during a press conference.

U Wirathu leads the controversial 969 campaign that is being implemented all over Burma. It encourages Buddhists not to do business with Muslims and only support fellow Buddhists’ shops.

The participants of the conference came from townships across Burma to convene at a monastery in Rangoon’s Hmawbi Township.

U Wirathu said they would collect signatures to pressure Burma’s Parliament to adopt the law, adding that they would send letters to President Thein Sein, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and all other lawmakers.

He said the law would follow other examples of restrictions on interfaith marriage, such as those that are in place in Singapore and in Muslim-majority Malaysia.

“We found that there was peace and harmony in Singapore after they ratify this law in their country. This is why we should not have a problem [passing a similar law] in our country,” U Wirathu told reporters.

Singapore and Malaysia both have long-standing restrictions on interfaith marriage between Muslims and people from other religions. The rules require that non-Muslims convert to Islam in order to register their marriage.

A copy of the law proposed by the monks would require any Buddhist woman seeking to marry a Muslim man to first gain permission from her parents and local government officials. It also requires any Muslim man who marries a Buddhist woman to convert to Buddhism.

Those who do not follow these rules could face up to 10 years in prison and have their property confiscated, according to the draft law.

Kyaw Khin, secretary of the All Myanmar Muslim Federation, said the proposed law would violate basic human rights. “In terms of human rights, this type of restriction would be an abuse,” he said.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 16 states that “Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family.”

Kyaw Khin doubted however, that the draft law would be adopted by lawmakers, adding, “There would be a long way to go, if it is to be passed in Parliament. I believe it won’t happen.”

Kyee Myint, a senior lawyer and member of the Myanmar Lawyers’ Network, warned against passing a prohibitive religious rule into law. Burma’s government, he said, “should be careful not to pass a law just to protect one particular religion.”

The proposed law comes at a time of growing sectarian tensions between Burma’s Buddhists and Muslims, who are estimated to make up some 5 percent of the country’s total population.

Violence between Buddhists and Muslim communities broke out in Arakan State, western Burma, in June last year. The unrest has since spread to dozens of towns in other parts of the country. Hundreds of people have been killed and more than 150,000 people — mostly Muslims — have been forced to flee their homes.

Nationalist Buddhist monks have been accused of openly supporting the violence by calling for the removal Muslims from towns and villages in order to establish Buddhist dominance. In some cases, monks were reportedly observed participating in and organizing the street violence.

Other Burmese monks however, have also criticized the actions of their nationalist brothers. U Pantavunsa, the leader of the Saffron Monks Network, told The Irrawaddy recently that he rejected the 969 campaign, as it was stoking up inter-communal tensions in Burma.

Correction June 17, 2013: The quote “We found that there was peace and harmony in Singapore … This is why we should not have a problem [passing a similar law] in our country,” was mistakenly attributed to U Dhammapiya. It should have been attributed to U Wirathu, who also should have been identified as the person proposing the draft law on interfaith marriage.


165 Responses to Monks’ Convention in Burma Calls for Restricting Buddhist-Muslim Marriage

  1. I am Buddhist. Are we turning into Buddhist salafist?

    • @ Dear Bamar,
      I don’t think so that there is a reason to be worried. But SELF-DEFENCE by Buddhists in critical times is legitimate.

      • Hey moron, self defense does not include killing innocent women and children, looting and burning other people’s property and a genocide backed by a government. As a German you should know that Hitler committed genocide not for self defense.

        • C’Mon, German Traveller is not a German. He is Wrathu supporter and a Burmese.

        • All the atrocities that you have mentioned above have had committed by the Prophet Mohamed led Muslim soldiers during the wars with other believers to convert them forcefully to Islam. You may read them even in Koran. May I give you a few references? I don’t think it’s necessary since you already know about it.

      • Self-defense from what? Muslim population consists only 4% of Burma. Buddhist population is around 80%. Radical Islamic militants do not attack in Burma. German Traveller is behaving like a cared crow for no reason. He better lets his sisters to marry Muslim men. Muslims know how to feed the family.

        • When is the last time Burma collects census? 4% wrong data!!!

        • Technically speaking as the Muslim religion demands a reduction of the rights women and their subjugation to men, self defence in terms of women who have equal rights with men.
          A more equal a fair restriction, would be the requirement that the Muslim religion alter the characteristics of it’s religion that enforce lesser rights for women.

      • Self Defense against from children by burning children alive in the mosque, tying them with a noose and killing them? You ain’t a Buddhist.

        • AmandaSwe, try to catch up what you seemingly do not understand: The Interdependence in all. First follow the very bloody traces of Islam in the past and at present age. Try to understand the psychological impact on the side of the victims. And then try to argue less dialectic-sensationally and mention your (special/dubious??) information sources.

    • According to the article “Monks Conference Calls for Harmony, Criticizes Interfaith Marriage Draft Law” the two senior monks issued a statement on Friday that was the opposite of what Wirathu said on Thursday sitting next to them. It seems that Wirathu used those monks as if the senior monks were supporting him..

      • Dear AmendaSwe
        I agree with you that you make a good point on those senior monks’ favor on Buddhist thugs , idiot wirathu, sitting next to the senior monks. Why?

  2. In principle, yes it can be – No mulsim gentleman can marry a Burmese Buddhist lady, but I doubt it can not be happen practically.

    • If rape case happens, it is criminal. Marriage involves at least two persons, man and woman. Monks have no right to interfere in personal choices. If the Buddhist women value their religion, they have the right to stay away from the Muslims. There is no way the Buddhist monks can enforce rules and bylaws which forbid Buddhist women to to marry Muslim men.

  3. Great idea!!!. Fully supports the monks’ proposal even if this new proposal – which is to prevent the systematic invasion and conversion of our Buddhist religion into Muslim by the Bengalis in view of their financial gains – violates human rights. The questions urgently need to be answered on the basis of simple human rights are that: What about our Buddhist women rights?; Why do they have to convert into Islam religion on the day they marries Muslim men?; Why do our Buddhist women have to agree to let her child/children to become Muslims?; Why do our Buddhist women have to wear scarfs/burkas/long black dresses after their marriage to Muslim men?; Why Buddhist women can only eat halal meat after their marriage to Muslims? Why do our Buddhist women have to allow their Muslim husbands marrying three other wives? etc.

    • What kind of patriot are you? If Muslim man marriages the Buddhist woman,what you people going to do? Are you going to take them out of the town and stone to death?Every woman have the right to chose who to marriage or what to believes, if you believe the basic human right,I hope you will understand. If any one do not like Muslim man marriage the Buddhist woman,ok why you people take the place of Buddhist woman?

      • Why are the non-muslims in Malaysia and Singapore are forced to convert to islam if they are marrying muslims? If this is acceptable, why can’t Myanmar, as a Buddhist country, enforce a similar law? Don’t be double standard, my friend.

    • if the burmese woman respect her religion, she dun have to wear scarf or tudong. and if the man dun respect the woman’s decision of not to convert religion, there is no need to marry such a man who dun respect your point of views. it’s not about religion. it’s about understanding and marriage. i as a Buddhist and myanmar find this proposed law a violation of human rights and adding more oil to the already burning fire and tension. i believe we buddhists are taught to forgive and love. i thought we were taught how to fight hatred and violence with peace and love. if it doesn’t work, use media to convince the world that we are as well the victims and this is not ethnic minority cleansing! or negotiate with the other party!

    • If they don’t want to convert then just don’t marry them, it’s as easy as that. We all have freedom over our choice of something. If something is expensive I won’t buy it, if I bought it that means I am committed to it.

    • I strongly agree with you. Myanmar is a Buddhist country and the muslims should respect Buddhism. If the non-muslims in Malaysia and other islamic countries are forced to convert to islam if they wish to marry muslims, then the muslims in Myanmar and other Buddhist countries must also convert to Buddhism if they wish to marry to Buddhists. You must be fair and square.

  4. A devout Buddhist has a natural belief that a Buddhist perception of events could enlighten us on the issue of “Why It So Happens”, based on the theory of “Cause and Effect”.

    Hence:

    “AWAIZA- PYIT-SA-YAR-THIN-HKAR-YAR”

    (IN ENGLISH: THROUGH ‘IGNORANCE’, WE DO THINGS RIGHT OR WRONG, NO MATTER WHAT)

    ‘IGNORANCE’ IN BUDDHISM INTERPRETED AS:

    LAWBA=GREED, DAWSA (DAWTHA)=ANGER, MOHA=STUPIDITY

    Lord Buddha’s Teachings are to be mindful of these and the Sangha (Monks) are to teach and spread these values in the population and upkeep Buddha’s teachings.

    I think they are going a little bit overboard since the issue is not part of what Buddha taught.

    Or are they mindful of what is driving them to convene such issues; or are they aware some political motivation is driving behind them – it is quite doubtful !

    • Q&A: On What Buddha Taught:

      1.Q: Killing is the worst Crime; A ; YES
      2.Q: Your own Greed to be contained; A: YES
      3. Q: Your own Anger to be contained; A: YES
      4. Q: You must be mindful of your own Stupidity; A: YES
      5. Q: Practice/Followers of his faith do imply, they should only prosper/become rich; A: NO

      (NB: Monks are to preach – WHAT BUDDHA TAUGHT)

  5. I do not think this will solve the problem. What happened to the separation between state and religion. A gross infringement of the people’s rights

  6. This is out of the line.You do not have the right to tell people what to believe or who to marriage.Also believing come from heart, not from the rule and regulation or FEAR.

    • True but if you are Buddhist, you have the duty to maintain our culture and religion isn’t? Interfaith marriage means one is ready to destroy his or hers family values, culture and religion for the sake of heart to heart with a man from different society, traditions, etc. Don’t get your knickers in a twist my dear. Think factual and not just because of love and trying to become one of the 4 wives.

      • hi
        Patriot Myanmar-faked PM
        If you count so much on your own culture, value, society and tradition, you can choose not to marriage the one you love. Because the one you love does not want to follow your culture, value , society and tradition you adored or admired.
        Everybody has a right to have their own culture , value, society and traditions as it is not crime. And it is not your business and matter. You can not say that your ones are better than others. If so, you are out of reality-psychosis or arrogant or obsessive or personality disorder. If some one do not count on those you count, it is his or her own right and own choice.
        If you count those matter seriously, obsessively and extremely, it is your own problem. You have no reason to prevent, to restrict, to rule some one to love one he or she likes, takes value. That “love” or “sex” will supersede all as it is one’s value as long as it does not affect other well-being. It is his or her own decision to sacrifice all he or she previously has. If one Buddhist lady loves Muslim man, she will no longer to eat pork and she will love pig forever (her value). Do you think it is your business or not to affect you? She or her Muslim husband does not rob your money, business and property. Do you want to say that avoidance to eating pork is crime? She would accompany with that Muslim husband or boyfriend to go to Mosque and will no longer to participate Burmese water festival (culture, tradition). Do you think it will ruin the country or Buddhism or Burmese culture? If so, how, what and why. I repeat you that she or her husband does not disturb your sleep as well as your sex. What is wrong with you? If you find many Buddhist ladies want to marry local Muslim men and it will affect your mind due to your jealousy, you can try to love Muslim lady to compensate the loss of Buddhist ladies in term of population for fair competition. Finally, you Buddhist will win due to high population of Buddhism believer in Burma from the mathematical calculation. Be positive and optimistic in term of your trust in Buddhism , the best of yours.
        In short, do you know what is the meaning of culture, tradition, society and value? If you respect others, you will receive the same from others. If you have a difficulty to understand the simple A, B, C, D, check with your teachers, parents or psychiatrist if needed. You can maintain what you like and what you have but do not ask me to maintain what i have and what i like. Don’t rob me, please.

      • Did you find out how many percentage of Muslim men in Burma have more than one wife? How many percentage of Buddhist mean have more than one wife.? If you are so concerned about this 4 wives business, why don’t you propose the government to ban polygamy. That way, any Buddhist woman marrying a Muslims will not have to share his property with other wives. Also, trust me that Muslims women will support you on that.

        • i never say that i am concerned about 4 wives businesses. In Burma, once upon a time, Burmese can have many wives. Those wives are later to have equal status and equal share from their husband. It happened at the time of notorious Ne win’s rule. It seemed to be that Ne win wanted more wives so he proposed equal share to all wives. Instead of calling second wife , the second wife was so called “equal first wife”- in Burmese it is so called Ma-Yar-Pyne by Ne win.
          So what? Chinese, Burmese and Indian can have many wives in the past with their own traditional or cultural or religious reason. Muslim continues to apply to have 4 wives or more according to their religious belief, culture, traditional or value. If any lady should not accept her husband having many wives, she must be careful to discuss with her boyfriend before getting marriage. The debate of polygamy is different issue and there are a lot of debate in this matter.
          I you want your share from your husband, discuss with your boyfriend before getting marriage. Rupert Murdoch wife ( wendi deng) agreed her share before they both get marriaged. Now, Murdoch demands divorce and i still do not hear the blame for share from wendi who is famous for tiger lady around the world in the aspect of protection to her husband, abused by other. World famous Hilary Clinton forgives and understand her husband ( real man) , Bill Clinton who is one of the best US presidents in history for making the US in the strong position. How much 22 years old-Monica Lewinsky got share from Bill Clinton except married man, Bill Clinton sexual love she appreciated and adored. Learn the altitude of greatest ladies in the world upon their husbands or sexual partner before you write to me. If you are different from them, go on from your personal choice and decision. Nobody will blame you but please, do not blame me.

  7. This is ridiculous. Marriage in Burmese custom as well as in Buddhism is none of their business. The place of our Sangha is simply to receive alms and partake in the wedding feast, not their job to sanctify the marriage. This I say as a nationalist Burmese Buddhist.

    Just because Muslim states have these laws it doesn’t mean we should stoop to their level. Two wrongs do not make a right. We must support the stance of the Saffron Monks Network.

  8. quite interesting that the draft focuses only on the supposed marriages between Muslim men and Buddhist women. How about the marriages between Muslim women and Buddhist men? the age-old male chauvinism really die hard among the Burmen–Burman males can fool around all they want, but their sisters can’t be fooled with. Can the burmen be even more fascist and sexist than they already are? SMH.

    • A muslim cannot become Buddhist as that means death. In this case I think they are of the opinion that in case of a Buddhist male the children will also be Buddhist.

      • I’ve seen more than enough muslim-to-buddhist converts and vice versa in my short life to disagree with your generalization.

        • I know many muslims converted to Buddhism who do not dare to mention it to their family as they will at the minimum be discarded from the family and their inheritance. I know a Muslim prince who became a Buddhist monk and did not dare to return to his home country!
          And this is only one example! The generalization is just meant as pointing at the common practice. Of course there are exceptions. But that does not change the general rule.
          Just the other day I met a muslim helping us in our Buddhist festival of Kazon and he was happy to do so. He said ‘it is all about the heart, not the religion’. Yet he acknowledged that we had to be careful with taking photos as ‘his ‘fellow people might misunderstand it and that would impede his life’. Quoted! Would a Buddhist be so reluctant to have his photo taken?
          You see it is a general feeling that is expressed, not excluding the individual cases. And that is what people (not only Buddhists!) are so anxious about.

          • This disinheriting goes both way. I know a Buddhist man who married a Muslim woman having to abandon his beloved wife because his older brother would not give him inheritance. She was my cousin’s cousin. My cousin told me how she cried and cried. and cried. They had a baby. the bottom line is that if people have financial means to support themselves, they would be able to exercise their human rights too.

    • The above is the example of how your type of people regard women in different religion. Why not stick to your own? Because you have other intentions not just heart to heart in marrying our girls but to spread your religion world-wide. The monks can see it and so do we. So watch out my man. We’ll send you packing soon to the oblivion

      • Do you get you jealous when Buddhist women marry a Non Buddhist men?

        • No, I do not. But I do know that in according to ISLAM, there will never be Muslim Men convert to Buddhism. Because 1) apostasy ( punishable by death).

          We have the rights to protect our Religion. We must learn Marriage Laws from Malaysia.

          Listen and Learn. Stop Spreading childish talks-

          Win Oo (From Myanmar)

          • Ko Win Oo – I agree with you.
            Typically Islam (which is both political and religious) has its bases covered. As a muslim female you can marry any man as long as he converts. Conversely, if a Muslim man marries a non muslim the kids must be muslims. But with the vast majority, the non muslim spouse typically compromises. Even with Buddhist families, if a daughter (more so than son) marries a muslim her family resigns to losing her from their fold.
            The tension with Buddhist marrying non muslim is far less, not that parents are outright happy and accepting. But life goes on for both families, and disowning, losing a child is less of an issue.
            Of course there are exceptions with secular minded people who don’t give a hoot and don’t care at all about religion. Amanda Swe’s friends could very well fall in this camp, which is commendable. I only wish for the day when they become the majority. But right now, Islamist are winning over the secularist all over the Islamic world
            I remember seeing the movie “Bend it like Beckham.” In one scene the older sister confronts her soccer playing sister in being away from home more than usual, “You’re not dating a muslim are you?” This coming from a cockney (albiet Sikh – Briton). While it was meant to be a joke there’s a kernel of truth in it. Very much in the West as well.

    • It is simple. An adult can do whatever they want it is non of your business. Thein-Nget. The problem is everyone interfere with everyone lives.

  9. Senior monks DDA is rubbish, idiot , lack of confidence in own Buddhism although Burma is Buddhism dominated country. Dirty-Devil-Arrogant monk should be expelled from monastery because of his low-self esteem, lack of education, low class as well as smearing Buddhist teaching, particularly in having tolerance. DDA’s worrying about the future dominance of minority Muslim in Burma is unreasonable, unjustified and his uncontrollable jealousy to local Muslim. DDA might learn that “the Sun arises from West” which means low population of local Muslim will bully high population of Buddhism in Burma. DDA also wants to copycat Singapore, Malaysia for introducing restriction in interfaith marriage law. Bama Bin Laden, Wirathu copycats Muslim for having number or figure ogre-969 for lord Buddha in the fear of Muslim religious or business invasion. I am very sure the members of USDP will sign DDA for showing of their strength in coming 2015 election. Anyhow, they all will fail and go to the hell according to Buddhism rule of law.

    • I bet you are not Buddhist and living abroad. You should be ashamed of carrying our Buddhist name ‘Hla’ and insulting our Priests. I would kindly urge you to change it to something acceptable by us, if not, don’t even dream of coming back to our Country.

      • @ Patriot Myanmar,
        Don’t worry, that’s his common language. He simply doesn’t understand the essence of the subject, doesn’t come to the point and is just polemizing.

    • It seems Wirahthu used the fact that those senior monks were sitting near him and acted like they supported his draft proposal. In the article ‘Monks Conference Calls for Harmony, Criticizes Interfaith Marriage Draft Law”, Those senior monks issued a statement that is the opposite of what Wirathu said.

      Yup, I do not acknowledge Wirathu as a Buddhist monk. He is an enemy of true Buddhism

  10. The monks or even the Presidents have no right to tell me whom to marry. These idiot monks are trying to convince Buddhists in the wrong way. Racism and discrimination have no place in democratic society.

  11. I thought the Buddhist people were free from this kind of bigotry but I was wrong. So much for naivite. I guess it’s human nature. The Buddhists have joined the Jews, the Christians, and the Muslims in their prejudice against others who think differently. I’m disappointed.

    • Don’t take the opinion of these monks as being Buddhism, please. This is just because of the volatile situation and the onrush of Islam in the world, that people feel threatened. I also feel that way (threatened I mean), though I don’t live in a similar situation. The vaster the number of muslims in a country the more they try to uproot other peoples values and put theirs in place.
      The better solution would beto educate the people and point out what Buddhism really is and the dangers of becoming muslim. The first one means freedom, the latter means quite the opposite.

      • You feel threatened without facts. Sure, western media makes it look like that way. If you know world history, the west’s exploitative economic system, and Islam’s no interest principles in economy and justice , you will understand why the West is scared of losing control over the exploitation they have upper hand on.

  12. …and it seems to bother no one making these draconian measures that their policies of intolerance mirror those of Nazi Germany? If people matter nothing to them, do the lessons of history and the disgust of people worldwide also have no effect?

    • @ jmuhj
      It seems to be you are ignoring the much more ‘draconian measures’ happening under the “Roof of Islam”, day after day. And don’t forget: Fanatic & militant Islam is a fascistic-religious movement resembling Nazi Germany in many aspects. Good relations between Nazi and Islamic leaders had been not coincidentally. Moslem batallions under Nazi SS-comanders were fighting against Stalin in communist Russia during WW II.

  13. A very logic and equitable decision.
    Marrying a Moslem partner automatically means converting to Islam.

    • Burmese women are not that dumb. When Burmese women marry Muslim men, they already see what their future lies. Love is above everything. You cannot buy love with silver and gold. Burmese women love Muslim men so much. That’s why they abandon their religion. If they do not want to convert into Islam, file divorce and remain as a Buddhist. I will never impose to my children whom to marry. They will have their own choice for their lifelong partners. I did the same thing. We do not impose law to the monks not to marry. They are the ones who choose to live unmarried life. All human beings are free to marry whom they love, including Burmese women.

      • Well I feel sorry for you but mostly for your mom and dad who raised you from day one but suffered so much due to your selfishness in becoming one them for the sake of dowry payment to you.

      • Great . This is the way it should be. Strong and opinionated. Burmese women are not stupid and they do know what they are doing. Nobody should impose rule and regulation on what they should or should not do. They have every right to decide what they want . Please respect their decision.

      • Hnin Yee,

        Have you ever thought or been to Karen State in villages? New Mosques are built and Muslims converts are everywhere. How about our children? Don’t we have any pride? Do we easily take money from Islamic countries by which proving free shelters and food to our children?

        Well, then So be it.

        Thank you,
        Win Oo ( from Myanmar)

  14. Question to U Wirathu; How about a Buddhist man wants to marry a Muslim woman ? Does your proposal apply to it? You forget to mention Myanmar marrying kalama. Thx.

    • Buddhist or Christian man can marry a Muslim woman but no need to convert his religion into Islam according to Islam. We are talking about not only for Buddhist women but also for all other women in any religion including Islam as there has been no women’s rights what so ever for them once they marry Muslim men. Most of Muslim men now a days pay monies especially to young and vulnerable girls from poorer background and convert them into Islam and the offspring. That has to be stopped forthwith.

  15. “Kyaw Khin, secretary of the All Myanmar Muslim Federation, said the proposed law would violate basic human rights. “In terms of human rights, this type of restriction would be an abuse,”
    But, sir, we can’t have double standards then. Non-muslims are required by Islamic law to convert to marry a muslim. Are sharia laws exempt from “basic human rights”? Non Malays are indeed required to convert to marry a Malay. Even for secular Indonesians, one has to go through a watered down muslim marriage process to marry a muslim.Some couples don’t give a damn (and good for them) but, unfortunately, they are a very small minority.

    • Do you understand that just because Sharia law is there, it doesn’t means all Muslims are following. What you are doing is that instead of building a democratic society, you are trying to go to 10th century tribalism. It is not progress, you know?

  16. What-a-shame! Buddhism

  17. That would be never come true. I am a very religious person and a Buddhist. But monks should do on their duties. Having Marriage and married life is not their business. Strongly condemn that nonhuman law.
    Venerable Sayadaw U Dhammapiya Sir, you were graduated in California very liberal state university as a Ph.D., not G.T.I graduate, and you frequently distributing democracy and human rights article across the world via internet. Now you are participating in that radical activity. We all have supported your humanitarian works and missionary job in homeland and U.S since 1999 in Fremont, CA. But I am sure this time is not your call. All women on the planet no matter their background religious believes, they have their own damn rights to marry whoever they love, whoever they want. We knew this activity intends to protect and long lasting Buddhism. Nevertheless, very discriminated draft proposal law done by monks is 100% wrong. Monks do not have rights to orchestrate how to marry, how to make love, how to issue marriage certificate to Bride and bridegroom. No way. People of the world, people of Burma are not stupid. U Thein Sein, Daw Suu and Myanamar Parliamentary representatives are not bloody fools. The world is changed and struggling country is going to be blamed internationally, and then trouble again because of this draft law proposed by unprofessional people. I believe in what Buddha said, not in Dhamma Duta Ashin Saykaneda and U Virathu. Monks can be wrong, because of they are not Buddha, they are just human, they can make mistake. They are not perfect yet. But still thank to U Virathu for not distributing yet Viagra and Condom to the people. He should do primary duty and responsibilities. Burmese dictators (Generals) crossed the line by wrong doing Politics and interrupted all kinds of sectors for 60 years, country is still in trouble. Because they were not specialist in politics, but they did, still they doing. It is called “Tat Yaung Kar”. Besides they are dirty men. Politicians will do their job. If you want to make the law, surrender your monkhood, then, join U Aunt Thaung. The law makers will do their jobs. Not you monks. Stay away from playing law. When you live in California, you always said NaWaTa Phonegyi and Phonegyi NaWaTa are different. Now you are trying to be Phonegyi NaWaTa. Don’t do the field you do not even understand about having marriage and reasons of marriage. This is about love; about worldly passionate, O Kay… please do not act like Burma military Generals (Tat Yaung Kar). This is new Myanmar neither Iran nor Afghanistan. No Ayatollah No monks are welcome in legislating Myanmar customary marriage law. Back off SIR!!!.

    • According to “Monks Conference Calls for Harmony, Criticizes Interfaith Marriage Draft Law” article, the senior monks had issued a statement that seemed to be the opposite of what this article says about the senior monks supporting Wirathu’s law.

    • Welcome from Democracy Thet…You might not have strong faith in Buddhism like Burmese people in Burma. Yes, we can VOTE for it.

      At least we are not voting for Sharia Law like in Indonesia. Burma is Buddhist Country and we are not ashamed to protect ourselves. Remember, BURMA don’t want to be like EUROPE.

      Marriages Laws are well established in Malaysia and Singapore. We must learn from them. Yes, we are building a new society. We are all aware of foreigners are moving into our country. Just watch for next 30 years.

      So Why don’t you BACK OFF, SIR!!!!

      Win Oo (from Burma)

  18. I’m a devote Buddhist who live by the five precepts which are similar to 10 Commandment of Christianity. There is also similarity on living a proper life in Islam as well. Most importantly, we must live according to our faith and must not impose on others. Just as it is important to keep military out of government affairs, it is important to keep religion out of public and private lives too. Religion should and is a personal preference. As such, I’m totally against this proposed law which is not the domain of Buddhism or any other faith. Just because someone or some country or some government abuse the human rights mean that we should too. Replicate others who are upholding human rights and don’t look at those who are restricting in the name of anything. Be it religion, race, culture, whatsoever.

    • You nailed it: Most importantly, we must live according to our faith and must not impose on others. And you nailed it when you said ‘Replicate others who are upholding human rights and don’t look at those who are restricting in the name of anything. Be it religion, race, culture, whatsoever.”.

      Kind of sad that the elders in a society have to be pointed out these things.

  19. ႈI don’t like Monks involve in State’s affair at all. It is contrary to their mission. This proposal should come from the man like you and me. Monks are the travellers of libration – total emancipation of all fetters.

    They have to sever all attachments, even to their parents, lovers, wives, sons, daughters, and belongings whatever they are. Our monks are making new attachments on their way. They are against their Lord’s law and regulations of the organisation of Sangha.

    I don’t believe that Islam can destroy Buddhism as long as we are true to the teachings of the Buddha. However, I believe that the worldly monks can destroy their own abode (that is Buddhism) by not respecting the Vinaya and mangling in all matters of human affair. All what they are doing is, in fact, possible ordinary people or social institutions can do in their places. It’s no wonder that we don’t have or hear even a single monk become a Sottapan now a day as they enjoy doing trifles and things that eventually destroy their images.

    • Yes, yes, yes, Buddhism in not frail to be destroyed by other religion. ex-military man turned fake monks like Wirathu don’t seem to know true Buddhism. Or he is getting paid well for doing this.

  20. What about Christians and Muslims? No worries?

    • Usually, in societies like Burma, woman follows their husband’s religion except if the woman’s family has more money. That’s the reality. So even that law is passed, people would ways around it to marry whomever they want. Buddhist women can convert to a different religion on her won and then marry the man she wants to marry. What would Wirathu do then? Oh, I am sure his so called vigilantes would attack the man and kill him. That’s all they are good at.

  21. “Those who do not follow these rules could face up to 10 years in prison and have their property confiscated, according to the draft law.”

    Haha, a huge joke is here. I think confiscating of properties, land or whatever, is already common practice in Burma. Why don’t you guys, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Whatever, spend your time watching what the regime govt would do. Races and religions are busy fighting one another while the military govt enjoy selling your resources. Bad guys are bad guys, no matter what religion is printed on their IDs.

  22. If I want to make a cynical remark I would say that for a man (or a woman) to attain Nirvana (Neibban) you have to renounce everything related to this world, in particular don’t get married and have children, but if you follow this belief to its logical extreme then all devout Buddhists who are human would die out at some point since thye would all have attained Nirvana, the state of nothingness devoid of attachments (unlike Muslims men who sometimes dream about being rewarded with virgins in heaven, Buddhists don’t believe there is sex in Neibban lol)
    On a less cynical vein, Buddhism is one of the few religions that do not “sanctify” marriage (unlike in Christianity where marriage is considered a holy sanctimony), so Buddhist monks are traditionally never involved in a marriage and the marriage ceremony never takes place in a Buddhist monastery, I don’t understand what these monks are trying to do, mixing themselves in such mundane worldly affairs like marriage. Do they still consider themselves to be true Buddhists or has Buddhism changed so much in Burma over the last 40 years? You cannot make Buddhism the State religion because that would contradict the nature of Buddhism and besides according to the UN Charter of human rights you cannot make laws that discriminate humans based on their race or religion.

    • on your first remark: That is a false assumption, whilst Buddhism will not die out because of Buddhists attain Nibbana. It is because people don’t care about true Buddhism.
      on your second remark: The monks should indeed be more concerned with their own practice and guide people accordingly. This is an unwanted call for a new law, as it goes against Buddhism. Indeed, marriage is nothing to be sanctified. The Sangha should guide people to peace within and without. These proposals (read these monks) are beyond the jurisdiction of monkhood. I am pretty sure that IF and WHEN they give guidance and proper education to the Buddhist people their goal will be easier achievable and in a wholesome way.
      However one has to point out dangers and dubious tactics in trying to get the uneducated and poor people into other religions. The christians are doing that (in job facilitation and at the same time converting, trying to get hold of the children – e.g. done in Sri Lanka) and so are the muslims (by offering money to those who have interreligious marriages; in coercing the partner to become muslim).
      Unfortunately some members of the Sangha have taken their role of being responsible for the welfare of the people up to a level to be actively involved in politics, creating disturbance in the whole world over the for centuries only peaceful and tolerant religion: Buddhism.

  23. “A copy of the law proposed by the monks would require any Buddhist woman seeking to marry a Muslim man to first gain permission from her parents and local government officials. It also requires any Muslim man who marries a Buddhist woman to convert to Buddhism.

    Those who do not follow these rules could face up to 10 years in prison and have their property confiscated, according to the draft law.”

    What unbelievable extremism. So long, human rights, when the Sangha can’t even champion it. And who thinks we’ll actually see elections in 2015? Not with this slippery descent into such villainous depths.

  24. I am a christian. But christian extremism has no place in this century. At the same time, extreme Buddhism nor Islamic extremism has no place in multi-ethnic society like the Union of Myanmar. We all need to stand firm against all kinds of bigotry. Buddhism has been a great religion in Burma for centuries. The Buddhists have been known as generous, kind, peaceful and inclusive until Wirathuism rises these days. Muslim fundamentalists have hijacked Islam, so many people around the world are seeing Islam in negative way. Buddhism in Burma must not be allowed to be hijacked by Wirathu and his narrow-minded followers. Recent religious violence has saddened all of us.

    • Dear Salai Lian,
      In general I agree what you say. But don’t forget one thing: There are countless “Wirathus” in Islam. And that’s THE PROBLEM !!!

      • German Traveller,
        Are you going to confront Islamic Fundamentalists with Buddhist Fundamentalists? Dealing fire with fire? Extreme Islamists are making Islam Religion into trash. Will you want to trash Buddhism like that?

      • You’d be surprised that percentage wise (of its respective population), what you called countless is not more than the percentage of Wirathus in Buddhist history. Just check out Sri Lanka history. In fact, Wirathu’s teacher is Bodu Bala Sena of Sri Lanka.

    • Well, I would say it again. Read my lips please. The priests(monks) are not imposing religion. They are responsibly involved in Politics same as the Pope. I can’t believe you guys kept dwelling on our Buddhism, which in this case has nothing to do with it. Sell your beliefs in other means but please don’t use someone else religion. If I were you, I won’t be able to look myself in a mirror.

    • You are right. Burma was in such a state of multi-ethnic and multi-religious society that it is ahead of other nation states in the world but now some cronies are attempting to reduce it to a 10th century tribal society. More people in Burma, especially the majority Buddhist people need to speak up or they will lose the social freedom they already have (more than in other Asian countries).

  25. yes absolutely agree it, we should have own legislation in all Buddhist countries.we need to preserve and protect ours Buddhist teaching, we Buddhist people are sending loving kindness(metta) by only verbal action this is nonsense in these days,and we urgently need physical action for this crucial Intermarriages cases

    • Dear Monk , Please respect your own vinaya . Stay away from politics and marriage. Then everything will work just fine. Please stay in the monasteries and practice metta to every living being. Seen or unseen .

  26. “to protect our Buddhist women’s freedom”? Really? How ,in any sense, would “restricting a marriage” protect women? And what does a monk have anything to do with women? Why so worry?

  27. What about between Hindus, Bahais, free thinkers and Buddhists, whether this law also applies ? Why is it so eccentric about religion only in Myanmar ? It is time to ponder if catching up with other countries through reforms.

    • Agree, but let’s not beat around the bush. The elephant in the room is Islam. Not compatible with any religion, atheists or free thinkers. Others get along just fine, in just about any combination.

  28. This move is totally against Buddhist teachings, which is what the monks should be promoting. Their move is very divisive and will only help to accelerate the demise of Buddhism rather than stem the growth of Islam. The monks proposing this law should tread very carefully as they are at putting themselves at risk of breaking the Vinaya which says that a monks cannot act as a go between in a marriage. Also, monks are not allowed to get involved in politics. Buddhism respects human rights and individual choice and these monks should do the same. Buddhism is widely recognized as a religion of peace I urge Buddhist monks in Myanmar to stop destroying the good name that Buddhism has worldwide. Myanmar does not have a monopoly on Buddhism. It is a world religion and by acting in this way they are offending the religion of others.

  29. I strongly believe that monks should stay in the Monasteries and teach lay people simple fact about love , kindness and compassion. Worldly affairs has nothing to do with monks. Especially monk should stay away from politics. Military personnel and monks should stay away from worldly affair and concentrate on development of unworldly affairs.

  30. Buddhist monks had high reputation in the past. Today, the monks are behaving like military dictators. Their agenda will go nowhere.

    • @ Linyone,
      Through the Islamic initiated (“Rohingya” related) Anti-Burma-Campaign, supported & financed by Islamic OIC-countries, Buddhist monks are simply acting in self-defence. We should try to understand the situation from bird’s-eye view.

  31. “Mein Kampf” the NAZI book, world known, illegal in any democratic system of NAZI Adolf Hitler, must have been the teaching tool to these Myanmar man in Monk rope as, U Dhammapiya, Dhamma Duta Ashin Saykaneda (C) and U Wirathu (R). There is near to nothing new on their demands. Why Buddhist monks as the two not concentrate on child molester happens to so many small boys in Myanmar by Buddhist monks , or did they ask the parents first. Buddha him self would have been ousted in his time when these two were alive already – when Buddha turned away from shaman and hindu and started Buddhism.
    Non of the most essential Buddhist teachings can be found in the speeches and ideas of these two above monks – it is just a hollow Monks Rope with a new kind of believing. Still Buddha would tell us “… if one like U Wirathu comes to you with such hate – show him love….”something he might have lost as a long term prisoner of Myanmar.
    Thein Sein state and government fails more and more to draw a line of what can be legal and what is against the rule of law also in words and writings. Sure an 2015 election should be seen as realist as “NOT Possible ” the way The government let all run down the drain importing this crises even into other ASEAN countries.—- What is the meaning here of having SEA games , where all Muslim Sports people – athletes need to fear for their live as in 1972 in Munich the Israel after a deadly terrorist attack. All Myanmar let a view Myanmar show the world that it is not save and secure to visit Myanmar – sure not as a Muslim, how sad and ironic – during army government that was no question at all and possible. Hitlers “Mein Kampf”is well known in Myanmar and translated into Myanmar since decades by the old Government. sure and to see now with a negative educational effect,– maybe just wanted that time.

    • @ oliver soe thet
      Are you really far from being A RADICAL yourself ? Perhaps a little bit infected by “Mein Kampf” or at least by a certain radical “holy book” ? Some of your words and accusations seem to seek for revenge. Are you perhaps using deliberately a Christian name in order to cast your dubious intentions on “others” ?? Are you sure to understand the essence of the main problems having been caused by Islam ?

  32. What is true ?

  33. buddist are not peaceful people they are criminals and only pretend to be peaceful what kind of stupid racist law is this or are they afraid that islam is spreading so fast it’s going to burn the buddists like fire.

    • @ someone
      I disagree what you say. Obviously you do not understand what’s really going on in our world. The biggest problems and most trouble are caused by ISLAM, worldwide !!! Even the very tolerant Europeans have come to realize that in the meantime. Buddhism has a very good name, worldwide !!! If Buddhists get out of patience, there must be serious reasons. And countless militant and fanatic Islamic followers are eager to deliver serious reasons, daily and worldwide !!!

  34. The truth in Bangladesh is, a Muslim man or woman can marry another Muslim. For this reason when two people get married in front of the Kazi, or the marriage counsellor and registrar, they are required by law to be Muslims. If a Buddhist boy marries a Muslim girl, he is automatically converted into Islam. And I think, more or less this is the same in other Islamic countries. Why the human righters across the world don’t shout for this inequitable and barbaric law? There are ‘honor killings’ practised across the islamic world. Because of this law hundreds of Muslim girls and their spouses get killed every year. Does it violate human rights or not? When a Buddhist girl leaves her home for a muslim boy, it is usually for good that she leaves. There are hundreds of Buddhist men marrying Muslim girls and living happily without any of them converting into the other’s religion. It is their or every person’s right to stick to one’s religion by choice. But what the Muslims in Burma are doing is forcefully converting women into islam. this is clear violation of the human rights and this has a longstanding and heinous plot of islamization campaign, and tough laws should be made to penalize them in an exemplary way. Stopping forcible conversion can be stopped for all the people irrespective of their religion or race.

    • @ mong pru
      Your examples express the situation very convincing and plastically. You hit the nail right on the head. That’s a part of the Islamic world, and illustrates some reasons why the “Religion of Peace” is causing problems and tensions, worldwide !

    • But do what you said happened in Burma? Why worry what happened in other societies, Islamic or not? Contrary to what you have been brainwashed, I have met Muslims woman with Hindu husband whose daughter chose to be a Muslims when she grew up. It all depends on the socio-economic background of people. In the case of conversion, most are superficial just to please the elders. The love birds just want to be together and they figured out a way to make their marriage works. Whatever floats their boats is nobody’s business.

  35. Read my lips all please. We are concerned for the systematic invasion of the Bangalis using the Islam religion as a back bone. The Sayardaws in Myanmar can see through this otherwise, our culture, traditions and Buddhism will vanish from our beloved Country Myanmar. Look at what happened in Afghanistan. Those great giant sandstone Buddha in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Valley which were there for centuries were dynamited and destroyed in March 2001 by the Taliban. It is so easy to live in comfort, outside Myanmar, worshipping Buddhism at home and heavily criticizing (and insulting our Buddhism) the preventive actions start taking by our religious leaders. We need to preserve our Shwedagon Pagoda as well as numerous pagodas in the ancient city of Bagan.

  36. What a shame.

    Normally monks in Burma are considered venerable because of their devotion to the monastic life and Buddha’s teachings, forsaking all worldly possession and concerns.

    Now it seems some of them have turned into fascists in saffron robes, trying to lord over the people, telling them how to live and whom to love or marry. In doing so, they bring disrepute to the rest of Buddhist monks and followers of the Buddhist faith in Burma.

    They should be disrobed and cast out to the streets where they belong as fascist thugs.

    • No matter what you’ve said MT, we Myanmars always respect and follow the preachings of Monks. If you’re not one of us, please refrain from using such fowl language with your pea size knowledge.

      • I am Burmese and of the Buddhist faith. Just because you call yourself a patriot doesn’t mean everything you say and do is right. We Burmese always respect the monks if they act respectable and follow the teachings of the Buddha. And all true Buddhists know that preaching and inciting hatred against others is not the right path.

  37. It is not a matter of practiclity, but a matter of principle.
    Just when did Buddhist clergy get themselves involved in marital affairs?
    These monks today have forgotten the universality of Buddhist faith,
    no matter what other faiths do to the Buddhist religion.
    Metta, karuna, mudita and upekka are a part of our faith, if not the whole.
    This encompasses all humanity, nay, not just other religions, it embraces all
    living things.
    The least you can say of Buddhism is that we do not react to hate or any
    thing akin to that. If one hates, that one is not a Buddhist, I mean not a
    true Buddhist. He or she may profess to be a Buddhist, he may be an
    honestly ignorant man of else just an andha puggala. And Monks are
    supposed to be better than that.They have abandoned their race
    (parents, included) once they are ordained- they.belong to the “tribe”
    of Sangha only. They should not incite sectarian violence and riots, and
    murder. Monks should have all their compassion for people of other faiths.
    The other people are human beings too (I mean they can be just as bad
    or as good as any Myanmar Buddhists. Let the Law take care of criminals.)
    With apology, I entreat the Buddhist clergy to retract all their subversice
    literature and pseudo-religious talks to stop inspiration for violence,
    arson and murder.

    • You took words from my mouth. Thank you for saying that. As someone who respects Buddhism (true Buddhism) greatly, it means a lot to hear a Buddhist Burmese saying this.

  38. With all due respects to reverand U Dhammapiya, Dhamma Duta Ashin Saykaneda and U Wirathu, all Buddhist monks and Buddhist people of Burma: Let’s talk sense. Burma has 90%+ Buddhist population…!!! Have no imaginary and unfounded fear. Let’s assume for a moment that even if Burmese Buddhist women choose to marry each and every eligible Muslim, Christian and Hindu man in Burma, still there is no reason to be concerned about Burma losing or diluting its Buddhist religious identity. Besides, if Burma wants to march on the path to genuine democracy, look up at and follow in the foot steps of true democratic countries like the US, UK, Japan, India and many others where they honor the rights of two adults of different religions and allow them to marry and raise a family. Respected Sanghas (supposed to be very wise and learned in the teachings of Buddhism): either you talk true Buddhism, democracy, or dictatorship; don’t mix them up for your own convenience and don’t use the hodgepodge as a means to your own end. Don’t control people’s private life. Stay out of it.

    BTW, it is very shocking and incredible to see on Youtube, Internet, etc. phonegyis weilding sticks, knives, iron rods, screaming n shouting like wild animals (sorry), leading mad mobs, march with them to KILL human lives, inciting their followers to hate, discriminate and kill people who follow a different relgion (Reverand Wirathu comes to mind as an example: spitting out poisonous and unbefitting words from the mouth of a Buddhist monk) – I am in my sixties and grew up among the Buddhists (good Buddhists!) all my life, it is very hard for me to believe what I see and hear these days. High time for all of you to go back to the monasteries, enjoy your daily round with alm bowls (tabeik) early mornings, meditation, chant the mantra and preach/practice peace, harmony and peaceful coexistence. Buddhism and Buddhists have been safe without you meddling in their private lives, and they will be.

  39. With World’s 7 billion population, there should be an universal law enforcing a separation
    of state and religion or Biblically known as ‘what’s Caesar’s is Caesar’s and what’s God’s is God’s’. Religions should be nothing but a personal matter encouraging followers to keep it
    to themselves rather than shoving it down others’ throats. What is most needed in a marriage
    is love and respect between man and woman, but clearly not Medieval law of a piece of papers established for a purpose of empowering faith-based institutions to flex their muscles allowing them to go into as much as entering peoples’ bedrooms and romances. Leave the monks, imams and priests where they belong – treetops and caves.

  40. You can not ban marriage between man and woman regardless of their faith.
    Why don’t we force convert all Muslims in Burma to Buddhist like what Muslim invaders had done in history instead of just talking loud without action follow?
    Buddhist monks have nothing to worry about what peoples are doing and who marry to whom. They have no business to meddling of peoples’ private life.
    I think some of Buddhist monks are going too far and they need turn back to Monk’s business.

  41. What about proposing a law that would bar religious leaders-Buddhist,Muslim,Christian…etc- from getting involved in politics and other sphere of private affairs? I would like to propose harsh labour, 1000 whips, public humiliation, and if necessary hanging and burning for any religious leader who violates this ‘law to uphold democratic value and citizen privacy’.

  42. It is very appropriate and in good timing that tis debate is going on today and to remind all that such a debate took place prior to and at the Panlong Conference between the AFPFL leaders led by Aung San (and is close colleagues, U Nu, U Kyaw Nyein, Bo Khin Maung Galay, Sayagyi U Razak, Thakin Tha Khin, U Tin Htut) and the British Colonial Ofice Representative Arthur Bottomley representing Clement Atlee the Prime Minister. The AFPFL delegation members (U Kyaw Nyein and Bo Khin Maung Galay) raised the question of Burmese Buddhist women’s abuse by muslin husbands, especially those arbitrarily divorced under muslim law and the muslim man goes on to marry other Burmese Buddhist women. The divorced woman is rejected by Buddhist society because she was forced to convert to Islam at the time of marrying a muslim man. Therefore the Burmese Buddhist women need to have constitutional protection in “independent Sovereign Union of Burma'”. At the initial stages of the discussions Bottomley was receptive to and was fully aware of the “deliberate British colonial policy towards the majority Burman Buddhist” that left the Burmese Buddhist women unprotected in the “courts” whereas the muslims, Hindus and Chrstians were treated in a different way when it came to marriage, divorce, inheritance, children, succession, education, etc.

    However, Bottomley received a new set of guidelines from the Colonial Office in London to have the AFPFL and the Burmese Muslim community to sort things out among themselves first before wading into “hot water”. But to the dismay of Kyaw Nyein and Bo Khin Maung Galay, Bottomley and Tin Htut worked on Aung San and hinted strongly that “independence could be delayed” with time being spent on “controversial constitutional issues” knowing that Aung Was in a great hurry to declare independence for the country. The AFPFL delegation was quite annoyed when their leader Aung San “for the first time” acted like “he knew what is best for Burma and the Burmese” and his reluctance to waste time. The writer had the opportunity to personally “clarify with U Kyaw Nyein, Bo Khin Maung Galay and Thakin Tha Khin) on constitutional matters, and this issue of Protecting the Burmese Buddhist women from abuse by muslim husbands in marriage and even thereafter was very close to their hearts and regreted their failures.

    But now in 2013, with Myanmar moving towards a democratic society, it about time to seriously consider under the principle of the “rule of Law” to have laws governing marriage, divorce, ingeritance, succession, education, children, adoption that will apply to “ALL EMBEDED IN THE CONSTITUTION” AS WELL AS OTHER PROTECTIONS FOR THE ENTIRE POPULATION AS NEEDED. The entire world knows and fully aware of “what the conflicts and the damaging wars between the 3 major faiths in the Middle East) and it is the responsibility of the present Government of Myanmar and its leadership to ensure that our women are protected and NOT TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF AND ABUSED BY ANY MAN OF ANY RELIGION.

    Naphetchun MaungSein

    California USA

  43. We should call this movement “The Islamatization of Buddhism in Myanmar”. It will only tarnish the peaceful & tolerance image of Buddhism & Myanmar. The leaders of this movement are great admirers of Ayatollah or Osama or Jihadists. Ironic isn’t it?

    • What are you talking about? “The Islamatization of Buddhism?” Tolerance has limit.

      Ask to locals how they feel about more and more “MOSQUES” in southern states like Mon and Karan States. Do you think easy to build temples in Saudi? or Even Pakistan?

      No doubt. This is territorial and village mentality. However, everyone has the rights to protect their race and religions whichever way they cans.

      Welcome from “Democracy”…..

      • So, you want to follow Saudi Arabian’s model? What a respectable ambition..NOT!

        • I am not following Saudi model. Marriage Laws are well established in countries like Malaysia and Singapore.

          Before complaints, may be you should read and learn about why they are promoting such laws.

          Thank you,
          Win Oo( from Myanmar).

    • Wrong. It should be called “Nationalization of Buddhism”.

  44. Parenting is more important to educate children to love and cherish tradition, culture and religion. Monasteries and monks cannot impose law to ordinary believers whom to marry. People have the right to switch their religions. Even the government cannot tell me whom to love and whom to marry. It is none of other people’s business. They cannot force others whom to marry. We the people have the right to have freedom of religion. At the same time, we do have the right not to have religion. I do not need assistance or advice from idiot monks. Leave us alone.

  45. I support this marriage law because- ( ISLAM is not compatible with DEMOCRACY)

    1) there is no minority rights in Muslim Countries ( Such as Saudi, and middle eastern countries)

    2) So called Moderate Muslims are not Honest about their religion ( such as Jihad, and hatred of infidels)

    3) Muslims are taught to hate JEWS ( We, Buddhists never taught our children to hate Jews or others).

    4) Muslims are taught to hate Gays ( We, Buddhists never taught our children to hate Gays)

    5) Muslims are taught to eat their shop only ( We, Buddhists, believe that we live in society there is always “Give or Take” ) Muslims are not taught to give ” NON-Believers”

    x) A lot of reasons to discuss and debate about…

    Thank you,
    Win Oo ( from Myanmar)

    • Then go to those Muslim countries and denounce their practices. It is a cowardice act to blame Muslim in Burma for behaviors of muslim in those countries. By your logic, Malay Muslim killings of burmese could have been justified. Don’t throw stones at others while you are living in a glass house.

    • @ Win Oo
      You are mentioning several very convincing arguments which underline why Islam in modern times is not an unproblematic religion, which is also used as a “vehicle” by fanatic & militant terrorists and other trouble makers to justify their evil deeds.

      • Thein_Nget.

        Go and buy Quran and what they taught their children. Teaching children for hating jews and gays are not acceptable and compatible with Buddhist Society.

        I am sorry but welcome from Democracy. If majority of people vote for this law, I have no problem with that. People and Religions are different. I have no problem with Burmese Muslim but I have problem with Mohammad, Allah. ( Read Chapter 9 in Quran). And educated yourself before preaching PEACE.

        German Traveller ,

        Although Westerns named fanatic&militant terrorist for some Muslims who commit terrible acts, I don’t necessarily believe that they are bad people and on contrary, most of them are well educated and truly believe in their faith. I believe that Faith matters especially if your Religion is full of hatred. Yes, we can argue that Quran has good thing. But remember that you can’t pick and choose in “ISLAM”. You are a good Muslim or you are not. I think Europeans already have problems with Muslims, but they just don’t want to admit that.

        This is my opinion:

        We are building a new country.We should do whatever it takes to achieve that GOAL. Burma is not Europe and we don’t have to embrace European and American ways of promoting multiculturalism. They promote and welcome immigrants for their Business reasons.

        We have strong roots for Buddhism and we should keep it that way. For sure, a lot of foreigners will move into our Country. Yeah, you named it. Westerners, Chinese, Indians, Saudi, Turkish, Bangladeshis, whoever- May be that marriage law will prevent spreading of ISLAM. (By the way, I don’t believe that Muslims are only 5% as media claims. When is the last time Burma collects census?)

        In my home state Karen, new MOSQUES are everywhere. Yes, we are very tolerance people until then…( after 30 years when we looked back, I hope BURMA will not be like EUROPE, where mass Muslims demands “You can’t even draw cartoon about Mohammad). That’s all and these are my concerns.

        Remember: Long term plannings matter. Family value matter. Promoting Buddhism matter. We should learn & study from JAPAN. I am sorry to be frank about it but there is no time to play game. We have to move on. Burma can’t be like Thailand where Muslims separatists are demanding new state.

        I vote YES on Buddhist-Muslims Marriage Law.

        (Malaysia and Singapore has great Marriage Law examples and may be we should study their laws too)

        Thank you,
        Win Oo ( from Myanmar)

        • I am not sure if there are hate-filled passages in Quran or not. I’m not a muslim. I don’t have any plan to read it at the moment. What I see is plenty of hypocrisy from Burmen who interpret Buddhism in their own twisted and sick ways and attacking Muslims in Burma. Every perceived muslim perpetrators in the recent riots have been punished with long prison sentences. Where is the justice for the muslim victims? Have charges been filed against the Burman hooligans in those riots? Let alone punishing them.

          Also there are some funny theories about a woman’s place in burmese version of buddhism. What’s up with not allowing females near buddhist statues and stupa? We are in the 21st century for crying out loud.

          When you seek out benefits of democracy, you can’t turn away from social responsibilities that come with it. if you don’t like it, might as well crawl back to the bold-face dictatorship that seemed to have served the likes of you best.

          • “I am not sure if there are hate-filled passages in Quran or not. I’m not a muslim.”

            May be you should read and understand their religion whether ISLAM is religion or political ideology.

            “Every perceived muslim perpetrators in the recent riots have been punished with long prison sentences. Where is the justice for the muslim victims? ”

            ” What’s up with not allowing females near buddhist statues and stupa? We are in the 21st century for crying out loud.”

            This is a culture. At least we don’t stone to death to our women( yes, make sure to read in Quran too) and we don’t taught our kids to hate JEWS and GAYS. ( Yes, make sure to read in Quran too).

            It is unfortunate but already happened. Let me ask you this. If, If Buddhists or Christian guy raped and killed Muslim girl, and IF Buddhists or Christian guy kills IMMAN. What could happen in country like Bangladesh, Pakistan or Middle Eastern or even Indonesia? This is all human emotions.

            I vote “YES” on Muslim-Buddhists Marriage Law. I have the following reasons:

            1) ISLAM is the fastest growing religion by Births.

            2) We should see England as an examples. After 30 years, for instance, some English neighborhoods turn into Muslim Community and English became minority in their own town.

            3) We must study and learn inter Marriage Laws from Malaysia and Singapore. They have great examples and no one can force that easily).

            4) As a native Karen, living in Karen State, we have documented spread of ISLAM throughout our state. We are very tolerance people but we don’t protect that kind of building new Mosques. Internet has open our eyes and we can see that Building Churches in Indonesia are not very easy and we concluded that ISLAM is not very tolerance religion. As a Karen, I want to know how Burma will change in 30 years later. I am 30 years old and how Karen and neighboring state like Mon State looks like in 30 years later.

            5) We should not forget that Burma let foreigners in for the first time in 60 years. We knew that Missionaries from Christian and Islam are spreading throughout our villages. We are surrounded by India, China and Bangladesh. Do NOT FORGET THAT!!!

            6) European and Americans journalists should stop blaming on Burmese Buddhists. I would suggest before western journalists should look into European society whether Muslims embrace Multiculturalism or not.

            7) We must also study and learn from Japanese immigration system. ( Japan should be our example. Not Europe and American).

            8) We must stop building new Mosques in Burma. ( Again, my argument is that ISLAM is political ideology: and you can’t deny that). Western Countries have serious problems but they don’t want to ADMIT YET.

            9) We have estimate guess for Muslims populations in Myanmar. This is not 5% as media claims. When is the last time Burma collects census?)

            10) Think for next 30 years. Populations matter. Religion matters. We want to build peaceful society. British already brought mass immigration in Colonial time. Understand Modern day colonial ways.
            11) As a Burmese-Karen Buddhists, I want to see my country, my state and my hometown live peacefully. The only way to do is we must implement Muslim-Buddhists Marriage Law for future generations. ( By the way, how many Muslims men convert to Buddhism when they marry to native girls?)

            12) It is very amusing to hear Western Journalists criticize 969 for promoting “SHOP Buddhist Business Model”. In France, Muslims have their separate swimming pool hour, Menus, and “Harla” ). This ideology has been decades. Are you forget about that? ISLAM must change this system. Frankly, this is not acceptable ideology for Harmonic Society. Christians have no problems.

            I hope that So-Called Educated Burmese will understand how people are facing day to day activities in State like Karen State. My question to all is: Yes, you can easily says ” If anyone convert to other religion, feel free. ”
            Then, How about children in our state? They don’t know. How can you let other religion easily convert by proving food and shelters? Don’t we have any PRIDES? Are we just taking easy money from Islamic Countries?
            My personal view on ISLAM:

            ( I have nothing against Burmese Muslims but we are moving toward Democratize Reform and as a Buddhist, we don’t believe that ISLAM is the religion of Peace. We have different views on that. We have seen ISLAM as political ideology and doesn’t match with Democratic society).

            Remember. Tolerance go both ways. Don’t forget what is happening in Southern Thailand in 21 century.

            Sincerely,
            Win Oo ( From Myanmar)

            P.S. Do you really think that ISLAM is match with Democratic Society? Well, my friend, may be you should go and see what is happening in France, Germany and Western Europe.

  46. I guess Irrawaddy has censorship for my comments. It is a bit sad that Irrawaddy will do such a thing like this. Again, I would say that ISLAM is not a religion of peace and ISLAM, itself, is not match with Democracy.

  47. Why you people are degrading your sisters and daughters. The law should be for both. Not only for Buddhist women but also for Buddhist men. Best advice will be to live like monks and nuns, live without marrying in this world. The monks who do not marry are supposing a law on a subject, they are totally ignorant.

  48. Than Shwe, Stroked Maung Aye and members of true inner cabinet (Emmanuel Goldstein’s inner party) of which Thein Sein is simply a conscripted appropriately pathetically voiced actor (please someone wake me up when this bald guy can look straight into the eyes of Than Shwe’s good for nothing grandson, let alone formulate those fancy, buzz-word strewn BS policies the international business communities and their arch-agent Aung San Suu Kyi insists he is promoting – even though he cannot even read them well!) would be falling about laughing how successful they have been to bring about the inner “evil” in these men of clothes who are now well conceited to produce edicts just like their firebrand militant and bullying Sri Lanka brethren. Super-Buddhist!!!

    Even without milti-billion kyat donations (what in the world are Buddhists monks doing with money?) and Sedona/ Trader conventions, simply power craziness and hate-mongering as seen above brings about disrepute to the clergy and the religion itself destroying peaceful observation of this sacred religion practiced in Burma for a thousand years.

    Muslim boys/ men would be so happy they now have good excuse NOT to marry the girl or girls. (May be these same monks should advise to stone those miscreants!)

    For the record that pathetic made up combination “969” is a not only a foolish sounding copycat which makes no sense whatsoever, it would be downright blasphemous like using a Buddha statute as a hat stand if there is such thing as blasphemy in Buddhism. Happily Buddhism is simply a sacred philosophy for people who wants to find the noble truth, Evidently not for the power crazy, inciting weird crowd in whatever clothes.,

  49. Some questions to THE IRRAWADDY referring to “Rohingya topics” :

    Who are the ‘puppeteers in the background’ using a group of WESTERN GREENHORN JOURNALISTS as speaking trumpets ? Islamic parties ? HRW and other NGOs ? Certain ideological oriented parties ? THE IRRAWADDY itself ?
    Do incentives and money play a part in all those (subtly propagandistic perceptible) ONESIDES ARTICLES ?
    Or are those stories approved as UNBIASED JOURNALISTIC WORK ???

  50. You are right Oliver to mention nazism! The ideal of “superior race” and its consequence “ethnic cleansing” is on the way in new Myanmar, and it is all the more shameful that it is expressed by eminent representatives of the Sangha! Why don’t Aung San Suu Kyi, herself a fervent bouddhist, condemn these fanatic monks? Her image is degrading day afet day and worse, the image of a new Myanmar all around the
    world.The end of a dream!
    Jean-Claude Augé (France)

    • Yup, my American friends – I am a highly educated circle – are speechless of what they are seeing, without hearing a word from me about it.

    • You got it WRONG! They are not promoting superior race. Muslim-Buddhist Marriage Law must be implemented. We don’t want to be like FRANCE, Great Britain, and Germany.

  51. Why Irrawaddy published a different contradicting story in Burmese version for this same subject .Below Burmese version of Irrawaddy says totally different account from this English version article. It simply said the monks never discussed such law. And never supported something like that too..

    http://burma.irrawaddy.com/archives/42247

    What a shame Irrawaddy ! You are making things worst..

    • That newer piece of article is also published in English version under the title “Monks Conference Calls for Harmony, Criticizes Interfaith Marriage Draft Law” a day later.

  52. You can’t compare apples and oranges !!! search this “Women’s Special Marriage and Succession Act of 1954” Bamar is not a race by the way.

  53. By the way. This article is misleading. So-called Marriage proposal was not in agenda of Buddhist Monks convention. It is a sideline proposal ahead of convention.

  54. Enough with the huffing and puffing and the selective outrage. I don’t fully support this move either but the reality of it is that virtually every muslim country has a similar law regarding interfaith marriages. In some of these countries, it’s actually punishable by death for a muslim person to convert to another religion. If you’re going to be outraged at this proposal, which most likely won’t be passed anyway, then you should do something about all the minorities being persecuted in muslim countries, even the secular ones like Malaysia and Indonesia.

    • Before you worry about the minorities in other countries, would you please worry about the minorities in Burma (Karen, Kachin, Muslims) that are being killed like dogs and pigs?

      • I worry about everyone including dogs and pigs. I’m a minority myself. Yes, we all know about the skirmishes between armed groups along the border and the communal violence in certain parts of the country. But all in all, minority groups in Burma are much better off than those living in muslim countries.

        I have muslim friends who are from these countries that were systematically discriminated just because they didn’t prescribe to the same branch of islam as the majority in those countries.

  55. The monks have no place in politics, Disrobe the yellow robe (Tingan) if they want to get involve in politics They are to be in the monastery and teach the Dhamma only and not get involve in secular affairs, There should be a separation of State and Religion, if not, the country will be in big trouble. What is next? Will they say a Buddhist women must not marry a Kachin,Chin, or Karen because they are Christian? I am a Buddhist but what the monks are proposing is against Buddhism, Buddhism teaches Metta( loving Kindness) and Karuna ( Compassion) it is the right of anyone to marry whom they want, even the parents have no right to stop it if the girl is over 18 years. If they are afraid of Myanmar becoming a Muslim country which I understand, then it is their duty to teach the Dhamma to the Muslims so they will become Buddhist. I hope they are not aiming to be the Ayatollah Khomeni of Myanmar, Beware of them U Thein Sein, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Shwe Mann, Monks place is the Monastery teaching Buddha Dhamma and not trying to divide the people by their sermons of whom Burmese women must marry, it’s the women choice, not the theirs. This is Democracy.

  56. All the commentators here who are criticising eagerly the ‘Calls for Restricting Buddhist-Moslem Marriage’ seem to be blind in one eye. It is especially ISLAM that takes the absolute advantage relating to interfaith marriages: The non-Moslem partner is forced to convert to Islam. And that is pure tactic in the context of enlarging the Islamic community.

  57. It’s great to see the comments so far however please be mindful of behind the scene politics in play in Myanmar.we have to be very careful otherwise we could be minority in our own country may be in next fifty years.Oh “Human rights’- look around you will see what it really means.It’s good to take necessary steps .

  58. It’s good to see all the comments so far however please be mindful of behind the scene politics in play . We are moving toward liberal system we better keep our eyes and ear open
    If we are not careful we could end up like The philippine or Thailand-then our military could be fighting against insurgent.Human Rights-just look around what it really means.Wake up .

  59. By attacking Muslims, the Buddhist monks insult Christians, Hindus and people from other faiths too. If they choose this way, it is up to them.

  60. Now Monks come to sense. They dropped the proposal forthe law against Muslim men marrying with Burmese women. Now people who are propagating hatred against Muslims. Come to sense. There is no place for those racists in this world and hereafter

  61. AmandaSwe, please ask the same question to those who do honor killing, who forcefully convert people to islam, and who know no other reason than destroy people’s honor. As a human being I don’t care if someone marries even an animal, let alone someone of others’ religion. But as a Buddhist or a Muslim or a Christian it is a decent person’s duty to work for the religion that they believe in. If not how could a religion flourish? When it comes with a Muslim if a Buddhist person marries a muslim girl or boy, it is the members of the muslim person who force them to convert. In 1986, a Muslim girl married a Rakhine boy in Maungdaw, and she willingly converted to Buddhism. After a few months she was secretly forced out of the country to Bangladesh and given in marriage to a Bengali Muslim there by her parents and relatives. Now what do you think from your point of view: who are jealous, the Buddhists or the Muslims in this case?

  62. Amanda Swe seems to be well in with The Irrawaddy. Or is she the favoured niece of the editor ? Her agitative and alleging comments dominate the ranks. All of my (moderate) comments on hers didn’t obtain the acceptance of the editor (on June 17th.).

  63. We can not measure this draft law by putting the regulations of human rights, this is nothing to be in line with the human right and other nation’s standard. This is aimed to protect the Buddhist women from getting married and then being converted to Muslim. And this principle will not only help Buddhist strengthen his or her belief to Buddha, but also help prevent from the highly growing population of Muslim. Here is the point, look at the every single area of Muslim countries, do they allow non- Muslim to marry any woman of Muslim? NO., do they, Muslim, care about the other religion’s right? NO. and do any one of you who is against this draft law want to stay in Muslim’s influential community? I know you may not, because you are afraid of being killed in a suicide bomber or other explosion- that is the reason is that you are not a Muslim, you can be killed at any time if you deny being converted to Muslim. Keep in mind that once half of the existing Muslim countries were Buddhist, and now why they are no longer in existence? I guess you definitely know about it. And any effect has its particular cause, and that is Muslims who make this draft law emerge?

  64. Patriot Myanmar and Win Oo: My Burmeseblood is very thick and I do care about Burma and its Burmese people a lot. Guys, forget about Muslims n Islam in Burma and around the world, good impressions or bad. Have confidence in your own faith Buddhism and practise upon what it teaches – love, kindness, non-violence, kindness, forgiveness, value for human and animal life, respect for parents, elders and teachers (regardless of their relition) and many more – Buddhism will be religion of the majority in Burma. Have confidence in your current majority which is 90+%. IF you think you belong to a non-violent religion and a born again democractic country, let those few Buddhists convert to Islam IF they choose to of their own free will. It is absurd and baseless to imply for anybody – laymen or sangha -that some members of a 3% minority Muslim population in Burma would dare to coerce or compel any Buddhist to convert to Islam and risk their lives, places of worship, businesses as a repercussion from the majority Buddhists. Talk sense, guys. No one in the world – Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Jews n Muslims – would dare to do such a thing if they are in the same situation and percentage as the Burmese Muslims are. Nobody, including Burmese Muslims, is that stupid and unthoughtful of doing such a mistake.

  65. Hello Win Oo
    Don’t worry to much, Burmese muslim do not swallow burma. Chinese only swallow the whole Burma. They wil say they are Burmese , they are Buddish .U Nay Win , San Yu , U Aung Min all are half Chinese.
    Ask yourself how percentage of buddish blood ,100 percent?

  66. Lwin Jalal Aung, try to feed your own four concubines, and their 40 plus children besides your wife, then teach the Burmese to do so. The Burmese already enjoy better health than yours. Or else why did you come to Burma (unless you were dying from hunger at home)?

  67. Muslims take advantage of democracy,they increase population with the aim of creating a muslim state,and buddhists know who is a buddhist and who is not.

  68. Fear mongering Monks and the uneducated

    I was a Buddhist Monk for many years. There are some great monks out there, people really putting into actions what the Buddha taught. They dont usually find themselves in the newspapers you have to search to find them.

    Then there are a few uneducated monks who have a very shallow understanding of the world.

    The Buddhist Monk should practise renunciation and his practise has nothing to do with writing laws for the worldly. Purify ones own mind.

    Teach people to live in peace, to abstain from killing, stealing, lying and intoxicants.
    Whatever beings there may be of any religion may they all live in peace.

    Fear mongering is not the Buddhas way, dont misuse your time in robes.

    When these Monks can show a scriptural reference to support them. A single word from the Buddha then I might consider following them, but having examined the whole tipitaka I see no place where it encourages or supports them in any way. They are uneducated and creating suffering for themselves and others. May they be free from the suffering of ignorance that drives them.

    with metta

  69. It is not a surprise that Israeli MP met with Hamas leadership. Since the demise of communism, most of the non-Islamic world has adopted freedom and democracy while most of the Islamic world has avoided democracy as a plague. The irony is that Muslim minority groups living in free and democratic societies like , Western Europe, India, Israel and North America are the biggest beneficiaries of the democratic systems in these countries. These muslim minorities are not brave enough to admit that they deserve no credit for the freedom and democracy that exists in the societies that they live in. But they are selfish enough to take advantage of it. In Israel an Islamic MP cohorts mingles with Terrorist groups, in India a muslim MP openly demands affirmative action for Muslims, in the USA a muslim group pays lip service to ‘inter faith dialog’, in Western Europe Islamic factions create their own private enclaves and demand ever expanding sets rights. As a bonus they cry wolf on the smallest sign of discrimination against them. While this is going on the minority populations in Islamic emirates and dictatorships lives under the threat of ever diminishing rights and even further curtailment of civil rights.

    We cannot surrender our democratic system to take this advantage away form Islamists but we can certainly use it to expose their hypocrisy. Thanks for writing about Haneen Zuabi of Israel. Democracies around the world are full of politicians like her and they must all be exposed.

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