Buddhist monks seek hijab ban for schoolgirls

An influential group of Buddhist monks have put forward a proposal for the banning of hijab for schoolgirls in Myanmar.

Buddhist monks seek hijab ban for schoolgirls

World Bulletin / News Desk

A group of Buddhist monks in Myanmar is proposing to ban Muslim schoolgirls from wearing headscarves, in the latest sign of growing religious tension in the country.

A panel of monks known locally by the acronym Ma Ba Tha, said the headscarves were “not in line with school discipline”.

Ma Ba Tha came together and held a conference in Rangoon over the weekend. More than 1,300 monks from monasteries around the country gathered to discuss plans to promote a nationalist agenda as the country heads toward landmark elections later this year.

In a report in the Guaridan, Ma Ba Tha prepared a list of recommendations, and have told its members to lobby the government to put insist on further restrictions on the country’s Muslims, and included references to the wearing of either headscarves or burqas.

“We will demand seriously for the government to ban Muslim students wearing the burqa in government schools and to ban the killing of innocent animals on their [Muslims’] Eid holiday,” it said, which was a specific reference to Muslim cultural practices that Buddhist nationalists believe go against the culture of Buddhist-majority Myanmar.

Ma Ba Tha monk U Pamaukkha said: “When they [Muslims] live in Myanmar, they need to obey the law and regulations of the country. We are not targeting or attacking their religion.”

The group also said it was showing that the "show the people the right track” when it came to the elections, expected in November, encouraging people to vote for candidates who “will not let our race and religion disappear”.

The group issued a statement saying that it would keep monitoring “crimes by non-Buddhists” and using Facebook to spread news about alleged threats to Buddhism in Myanmar.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Haziran 2015, 12:37