"Modern Japan Times" article Anti-Buddhist Media and Myanmar: Complex Regional and Historical Dynamics

by Visakha Kawasaki, Colombo, Sri Lanka, The Buddhist Channel, Dec 8, 2016

We refer to the article "Anti-Buddhist Media and Myanmar: Complex Regional and Historical Dynamics" by Modern Japan Times.

Please note that the article is neither scholarly nor reliable. We could find nothing to indicate the authors' qualifications or expertise.  The "Modern" Japan Times has no connection to the reputable Japan Times and has no known antecedents. It's funding, editorial policy, et al are also unknown. 

From what we have been able to learn, Lee Jay Walker has been involved for some time in anti-Islamic crusades and "security".  Apparently he has also written some anti-Obama articles, so we imagine he is a conservative , Christian extremist.  The "Modern Japan Times" includes "Christianity" in its "about us" section and the article you reference includes mention of Christian Chin and Karen and the "Free Burma Rangers" -- an evangelical Christian military group, so perhaps it is funded by evangelical Christians (which would explain the extreme anti-Islamic slant.)

As for the content:  pure, unmitigated provocative nonsense would be our kindest observation. We know of no single place in the world where "... with the connivance of local 'Buddhist' politicians who act oblivious to the rapidly declining plight of Buddhism in traditional Buddhist countries."  Although hyper-nationalistic Buddhist rabble-rousers might want to see threats everywhere, the facts don't support them.  Certainly Buddhism is not declining in Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Laos or Burma due to Islam, where Muslims are a tiny fraction of the population. Is it under threat in South Korea from Christian missionaries?  in Japan from secularism?  in China? in Vietnam?

The article is extremely dishonest for one simple reason -- it is trying to avoid the issue of genocide by throwing around examples of violence against different ethnic groups and pretending that the situation of the Rohingya is not essentially different, that statelessness, denial of citizenship and all human rights is the same as the usual Tatmadaw monsoon offensive in a border region. Genocide is in an entirely different category and to pretend this is a mere semantic, media matter is a dangerous, disingenuous lie. 

By throwing in every conflict in recent history, the "authors" are muddying the waters, making the victims somehow guilty of their own persecution, and giving a free pass to those responsible for the unfolding genocide in Rakhine State. It's a phony analysis, intentionally confusing, and extremely dangerous. It is no credit to the Buddhist Channel to spread this kind of pseudo journalistic piece. Too many nationalistic Buddhists are keen to repeat the anti-Islamic propaganda to the detriment of our religion.