THURA AUNG KO: Myanmar’s Islamophobic Minister of Religous Affairs | English and Burmese Subtitles

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His Islamophobic remarks came while he was paying homage to the late Buddhist nationalist monk Myaing Gyi Ngu Sayadaw in Karen State on November 27. The divisive minister referred Islam “an extreme religion”.

The minister stated that there is “danger and the domination of non-Buddhist community in our Buddhist country”, and called on the Buddhist monks during the funeral ceremony on Tuesday to “amend the monogamy law drawn on patriotic view” to prevent charging of Buddhists and the dominance of non-Buddhist communities.

He also mentioned that “Interfaith dialogue is not because of our compassion for other religions but to avoid the sanction” that is placed by the international community and UN.

He is often seen paying homage to extremist Buddhist monks such as Wirathu.

Aung Ko, who calls himself “a pure Buddhist”, plays an important role in the rise of Islamophobia, hate speech and violence since he was appointed as Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs in 2011 under the Myanmar Military-back government. He was handpicked by Aung San Suu Kyi and promoted to Minister of Religious Affairs and Culture in 2016.

On his first day as the minister in April 2016, he stated that Muslims will only be considered as “associate citizens rather than full citizens” in Myanmar.

Video subtitles by Aung Aung.

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