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June 24, 2013

Is this the 'face of Buddhist terror'?

Time cover featuring Burmese monk Wirathu comes under fire.

This illustration picture taken on June 24, 2013 in Bangkok shows a man reading a copy of the July 1 issue of Time magazine carrying a picture of controversial Myanmar monk Wirathu on its cover. (AFP/Christophe Archambault) 

Time magazine’s decision to label Burmese monk Ashin Wirathu as “the face of Buddhist terror” in its July cover has drawn criticism from all sides.

Wirathu, a proponent of Buddhist nationalism, is known for controversial statements comparing Muslims to "African carp" and describing them as quick-breeding and violent. Some have blamed his speeches for the rise in anti-Muslim violence in the newly democratising nation-state. The government of Myanmar issued a press release condemning Time’s cover story, and Wirathu was quoted as saying, “This is being done because the Islamic extremists want my downfall.”


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