World News: Religious Clash

After two nights of religious violence between Buddhists and Muslims, an overnight curfew was imposed in Mandalay. Two were killed and 14 injured in Myanmar’s second-largest city. The violence began when a mob attacked a shop owned by a Muslim man who was accused of raping a Buddhist woman. The rioting escalated after extremists spread anti-Muslim ideas through social media. In response, the government had temporarily suspended Facebook. Although Muslims make up 5% of the population of Myanmar, there have been countless anti-Muslim riots in the past few years. A rights researcher claims that radical Buddhist monks played a large role in instigating this conflict. Some Buddhist nationalists have also been accused of promoting a ban on interfaith marriage. Although authorities have not been able to mitigate the anti-Muslim sentiment, activists in Myanmar are beginning to speak up in response to the hate speech and racial violence.

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