At least two Islamic religious schools were sealed off by Buddhist nationalist extremists in Tharkayta Township of commercial capital Yangon following a week-long anti-Muslim rhetoric concerning holding services in these places.
Since this afternoon, hundreds of nationalists including Buddhists monks gathered at Anarwmar Quarter, where decades-long four Islamic schools are used to teach religious courses to Muslim children, and threatened to demolish the premises and other buildings such as shops and homes owned by Muslim residents.
Although local authorities, monks from State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committe and police tried to negotiate to ease the tension, nationalists refused to leave the area and demand to seal off the schools.
Country’s 2008 Constitution grants freedom of worship for all religious minorities including Islam but police failed to hold the rights of Muslim citizens and allowed nationalists to do what they wanted to do in their sight.
Some nationalist proudly post many photos and videos of their lawless act and even broadcast live stream on Facebook.
Last week, following the anti-Muslim incitements by nationalist extremists concerning the use of the religious schools for fulfilling daily religious duties, administrative officials from Tharkayta Township urged Muslims to stop holding services in those places warning that they have no power to halt nationalists if something happens.
According to the witnesses who have shared their experience on the Facebook, some journalists were confronted by angry extremists and told not to cover the situation.
AP correspondent Min Kyi Thein was beaten by some extremists after trying to report this lawless activity.
In November 2015, representatives from eights Muslim religious schools in the area were forced by nationalists and local officials to sign an unofficial paper stated that holding religious services in these places are illegal.
Since the establishment of Tharkayta Township, local Muslims have used those Mandarasas to fulfill their daily religious duties for not having a permit to build a Mosque.
Although country’s 2008 Constitution grants freedom of worship for all religious minorities including Islam, Muslims in Myanmar are being targeted, abused and even assaulted in some cases by Buddhist Nationalists who are active after the democratic change in 2011.