citizenship and belonging. There have been Muslims in Rakhine for a thousand years, but their numbers were substantially increased by migration from British India, particularly Bengal, during colonial rule. Monks, priests, and majoritarians in every country in South Asia will have taken note that the government of Myanmar has been able to stand out as the defender of the faith by legally discriminating in favor of the countrys majority on the basis of religion. This majoritarian push was aimed at marginalizing Tamil speakers, a substantial non-Buddhist minority concentrated in the north and east of the country. Be sure to check out the theater when youre here for a visit. Members of the majority faith and culture are viewed as the nations true citizens. Despite its being 80 percent Hindu, there was no formal sense in which Indias religious minorities were expected to assimilate into Hindu culture. In a little over two years these laws were approved by the legislature and signed into law by the president.
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Of all the laws governing monogamy, birth control, religious conversion, and interfaith marriage that implicitly target Muslims, the most flagrantly discriminatory is the Myanmar Buddhist Womens Special Marriage Law. But Sri Lankan majoritarians dont necessarily single out Muslims: a long-standing campaign by the Jathika Hela Urumaya (National Heritage Party) for a bill that would place strict limits on conversion to non-Buddhist faiths was spurred by a dislike of Christian missionaries. For the Sinhala Ravaya (the Roar of the Sinhala Nation the Ravana Balaya (Ravanas Force, referring to a legendary king believed to have ruled over Sri Lanka and the Bodu Bala Sena, Muslims have replaced the Tamils as the existential threat to Sri Lankas integrity. The result was the political marginalization of an already threatened minority. The Myanmar military retaliated by burning Rohingya villages, killing and raping civilians, and forcing more than half a million Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh.
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The Holy Bible: King James Version.
Now will I arise, saith the lord I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.