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The Role of Myth in Anti-Muslim Buddhist Nationalism in Myanmar

  • Nyi Nyi Kyaw
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Abstract

This chapter highlights the role of myth in Buddhist nationalism in Myanmar. It traces the emergence and re-emergence of the colonial-era myth of deracination that provides a potent scheme of meaning and interpretation for Buddhist nationalists in Myanmar. The initially anti-colonial myth, which targeted Hindu and Muslim Indian migrants in colonial Burma, has become fixated on Muslims alone, especially from the 1990s. The myth, which now prophesizes a demographic and religious doomsday for the Myanmar Buddhist race, has been used as the official motto of the Ministry of Immigration and Population since 1995. The increasingly Islamophobic myth re-emerged after the Rakhine violence in 2012, and it stokes the brand of anti-Muslim Buddhist nationalism in Myanmar in the 2010s.

Keywords

Myanmar Buddhist nationalism Myth Rohingya Muslims 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nyi Nyi Kyaw
    • 1
  1. 1.Myanmar Studies ProgrammeISEAS – Yusof Ishak InstituteSingapore

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