How can Aung San Suu Kyi – a Nobel Peace Prize winner – fail to condemn anti-Muslim violence?

Telegraph: I never thought I would write this, but Aung San Suu Kyi sent a shiver down my spine when she appeared on the Today programme this morning. Her equivocal attitude towards the violence suffered by Burma’s Muslim minority was deeply disturbing.

I’m sorry to say that she employed the standard devices used by people who want to play down – and avoid condemning – something utterly reprehensible.

The first common tactic is to draw a parity between perpetrators and victims. Suu Kyi duly said: “This is what the world needs to understand: that the fear is not just on the side of the Muslims, but on the side of the Buddhists as well.”

She went on: “Yes, Muslims have been targeted, but also Buddhists have been subjected to violence. But there’s fear on both sides and this is what is leading to all these troubles and we would like the world to understand: that the reaction of the Buddhists is also based on fear.”

Hang on a moment. Muslims are only 4 per cent of Burma’s population. The Rohingya Muslims, who have borne the brunt of the violence, are a smaller minority still. The idea that we should place the fears of the 90 per cent Buddhist majority alongside those of a small and vulnerable minority – and one that has been “targeted” for violence – is pretty extraordinary.

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Categories: Europe and Australia

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