July 11, 2013
A monk has been dubbed the “Buddhist bin Laden” and the “face of Buddhist terror” after launching a campaign against Muslims.
U Wirathu has been accused of inciting violence against Myanmar’s Muslim minority with fiery sermons claiming the growth of Islam is putting Buddhism and Burmese culture at risk.
About 200 people have been killed by violence since religious riots erupted in June 2012 and tens of thousands fled after homes owned were burned by mobs.
Wirathu, who says he once compared himself to the al Qaeda leader as “a joke,” claims Islamic beliefs can encourage people to have “bad characters.” As a key figure in a movement that encourages people to boycott Muslim businesses, Wirathu espouses a form of radical Buddhism which seems incongruous to those in the West who associate the religion with peace and acceptance