Wirathu Blames ‘Islamic Terrorists’ for Mandalay Explosion

The car that an explosion reportedly emanated from on Sunday is pictured. (Photo: Mann Thar Lay / The Irrawaddy)

MANDALAY — Nationalist Burmese monk U Wirathu has claimed that Islamic terrorists are behind a bomb blast that took place during a Dhamma sermon he was conducting that injured at least five Buddhist devotees on Sunday night.

“I think the culprit might be the Islamic extremists and the terrorists,” he told The Irrawaddy, adding that a video titled “Mohamed is now asking for Wirathu and Pyinnyarwara. Who will bring them?” was being spread in Mandalay, with a message against U Wirathu, fellow monk U Pyinnyarwara and the Buddhist nationalist movement that the two support.

“Since their plan to fight me via Time magazine has failed, they are now targeting my Dhamma events and the devotees with explosive devices,” U Wirathu said, referring to a Time article in the magazine’s July issue that took a critical tone toward Wirathu’s teachings and labeled him “The Face of Buddhist Terror.”

Shortly after the sermon began on Sunday, an explosion startled those in attendance, about two-thirds of whom proceed to exit the venue in fear. The sermon proceeded nonetheless, with local police guarding the site following the blast.

“I feel no fear and will not keep a security detail with me because I’m not a special person. I will continue with what I must do but have to condemn this action, as this is affecting the devotees and peace,” he added.

Soe Nyein, a superintendent of the Mandalay divisional police, said U Wirathu’s assertion was premature.

“It is too early to say that the perpetrators were Islamic terrorists,” he told The Irrawaddy, adding that he was not at liberty to elaborate on the investigation, which is ongoing.

Wirathu is a leader of the 969 movement, which encourages Buddhists in Burma to support fellow Buddhists and boycott Muslim-owned businesses. Among other anti-Muslim positions espoused by the movement’s supporters, 969 followers say Burma’s minority Muslims, who make up about 5 percent of the population, threaten to one day overtake Buddhists as the demographic majority. Some 90 percent of Burma’s people are currently followers of Buddhism.

Sunday’s incident comes just as a period of increased activity among Burma’s Buddhist community kicks off.

“Since Buddhist Lent is starting, there will be many religious ceremonies and Dhamma sermons from prominent monks will be taking place every week. We are worried that devotees might not come to the ceremonies and sermons in fear of their safety. We want authorities to provide security for the monks and the devotees,” said Ko Jay, an organizer of Sunday night’s Dhamma sermon.

The exact nature of the attack is unclear, with varying accounts of the source of the explosive device. One devotee told The Irrawaddy that the bomb had fallen from above and struck a loud-speaker that was affixed above the crowd.

“It [the explosion] took place about 20 minutes from when Sayadaw [U Wirathu] began the sermon. In the area of the crowd, something fell from above with sparks and later I heard a thundering sound and saw a car was hit and its tires were on fire. Many people tried to extinguish the fire by throwing sand [on the flames]. Five people were hit by shrapnel on their legs and arms while many others returned to their homes in fear,” said Ye Htun, who attended the sermon.

According to police, the bomb was thrown into the venue, where hundreds of devotees were listening U Wirathu’s sermon.

“It was a manmade bomb that included pieces of iron, nails and wires, designed to injure many people. Luckily, the bomb did not land among the crowd and went instead under a car that was parked near the area. Five women and a young monk were hit by those pieces of iron but just have minor injuries,” said an officer from the Mandalay divisional police office.

Other reports said the explosive device was planted inside or beneath the car.

Police said they were investigating the incident and planned to provide bolstered security at Dhamma sermons and religious ceremonies, especially during Buddhist Lent, which began on Monday and lasts three months.


20 Responses to Wirathu Blames ‘Islamic Terrorists’ for Mandalay Explosion

  1. Well I knew he would say that. It has been planned all along the way to develop fascist Buddhism amongst the general population to win in 2015. This is just a further escalation to raise passion is “defense of Buddhism”. The last thing any Muslim would do is try to hurt the crazed monk as they would know what would happen to the Muslim community in Myanmar. Remember also it is Ramadan the Muslim holy month.
    Just ask who wins from such an attack and the answer will readily come. Certainly no Muslim wins from this. Wirathu wins and the planners of the Rakhine and Central Burma killings win , it is all part of their plan. Wake up people it is just going to worse. Now in Kayin and Kachin States aid groups are being told by government orders not to go into Buddhist villages if they take any Christian staff members.
    Zeig Heil to the new Fuhrer. Who will it be???
    May Wirathu be imprisoned again so he can contemplate the true nature of his religion before his own karma swallows him. The man’s ego has no bounds now he is a celebrity monk and should be disrobed.

  2. What a spin doctor you are Irrawaddy! By putting the monk (and blaming him) and islamic terrorist as the center of the article you have made the actual bombing a secondary matter as though it is inconsequential. It is like saying “what’s the big deal it is only a small bomb, and no-one died!”

  3. One may say that the monk has instigated violence, but: to throw a bomb like mentioned is inhumane and only hurts the innocent by-stander. Such action is a typical terrorist/extremist one, which can never be justified by any standard. The same holds for the mentioned video.
    A person who has no valid argument can only resort to violence and proves therewith that their view is flawed.

  4. Not a surprise Wirathu the buddisht terrorist now got different plan to blame muslims. In the past military regime was playing games with its own people including monks by blaming them whenever such incidents. Now the fake monk Wirathu realized that the world is watching his dirty work. Instead he is using the past tricks of junta. The former junta is supporting him so he is playing with fire . Wirathu you are a real buddisht terrorist. Time magazine is right.

  5. This ill-educated bloody fool will even blame his mother or anyone to further his distorted views of other religions.

  6. Pointing finger at Muslims without evidence is so naive. We never know Wirathu himself is behind the explosion.

  7. Everybody know , fake monks and ex military government who are doing this explosion , put it blame to Burmese muslim. The whole world know ,brain of prawn of Wirathu, Dog of military.
    Shameful Burma.

  8. I just wonder so many Islamic extremist terrorists and their supporters on the pages of the Irrawaddy. Why should Wirathu bomb his own dhamma meeting? Why, after all, Islamic extremists blame this Buddhist monk just for anything that regards his democratic rights? The world knows why these Islamist fanatics are after the monk, and why the bloody islamist fools are criticizing him and the Buddhists in general. Everyone has their own democratic rights to say or utter anything. You may like it or not.

  9. Wirathu is in danger. He needs treatment. He has his mentally disorder of anti-muslim. He definitely needs help and supports by Psychiatric treatment. This is an abnormal monk. His life is at risk. We all must dig his family history background and give thoroughly mental health assessment. It is our government’s responsibility. so far Sangha Maha Nayyaka Committee lokks no response to his inhuman behaviour. Yes, he should be disrobed. He is not worthy of wearing robe.

  10. In Burma, we need more monks like U Thumingala (Dae-Oh Sayadaw) but not U Wirathu.

  11. What are democractic rights? Insulting other religion on youtube by joking, laughing and racist talks given is what we called democractic rights? It is not. Making other religion belief to suffer physically and mentally by abusing in open air, is also democractic rights? It is not. Making delibrate attempt to destroy unity is also democratic rights? An educated person will not do such things but only a fool will. In medical terms unnecessary worrying about one religion believers will dominent one day in 21st century on Burma and making attempt to wrongdoing is what we called ” anxiety” which is a mental problem. Other terms is mental abnormality and needs councilling treatment by a proper trained social worker or mental health professions. Extremist means not normal and this needs careful handling by councilling services which is not available in Burma. In foreign countries, especially in Western, anxiety has to be treated in correct way to avoid unnecessary conflicts and to save dangerous situations to him or her self or to save the public. By the way, I work in medical background and I saw many people who suffer anxiety and depression. I read these people’s history of anxiety problems and their childhood history which gradually elevted and absorved in their back of mind since chilhood to adualt stage. If you don’t believe this, you could ask a psychiatric who you are friendly with. I could assure that extremist means abnormility.

  12. If you don’t know about what the Islamists are preaching, tune to Islamic TV, listen to an Indian cleric, Zakir Naik, and you will understand why there should be one million Wirathu to counter the deranged Islamic clerics’ anti-Buddhist sermons. If preaching anti-Buddhist is not mental abnormality why should preaching anti-Islam be mental abnormality?

  13. Shortly afterwards the Bamiyan Buddhas were dynamited away by the barbaric Muslims in the world who took up the name of al-Qaeda, this deranged Islamist cleric, Zakir Naik, in the most vituperative attack in Urdu language said in one of his sessions supporting the destruction of the Buddhas in the Bamiyan valley as not only right in the light of the Quran, but also he demanded more such statues should be razed to dust. If I am not wrong, in one of the speeches of Hazrat Ali (RA) there is a mention of a simple but universal statement for all the Muslims: “The toughest task in this world is to rectify/purify oneself, while the easiest is to criticize others.” I don’t know which kind of Muslim background you have, but from all your comments on the pages of the Irrawaddy, I can find it as the most puerile and one made by the worst kind of the followers of Islam. Not all the people born in a Muslim household are true Muslims. While I say my tarabih prayers in the late evening, I find only a couple of prayer goers in the mosque which can house more than 1200 people during the Eid congregation. I hope you are not one who proves the Muslims to be despicable.

  14. Yes. Why has he not been disrobed yet? What is the sangha waiting for? Speech that incites violence should be sufficient to disrobe a monk.

  15. Derek, are you ordering the Sangha? Are you the head of the Sangha to be able to do so or just blabbering fool?

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