The Dark Side of Liberalization: How Myanmar’s Political and Media Freedoms Are Being Used to Limit Muslim Rights

Islam and Christian Muslim RelationsHere is a link to my latest article “The Dark Side of Liberalization” published in the journal Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09596410.2016.1159045

ABSTRACT: This article describes how divisive groups have taken advantage of Myanmar’s new political and media freedoms to pursue an agenda that will limit the civil and political rights of the country’s Muslim population. The article argues that enforcement of the four Protection of Race and Religion Laws will disadvantage Myanmar’s already politically marginalized Muslim residents by creating a de facto religious test for full Myanmar citizenship rights. The article examines both the positive and negative aspects of Myanmar’s liberalizations, the nature of the ‘Protection of Race and Religion’ legislative package and how this will interact with Myanmar’s citizenship laws.

‘Reports on Genocide in Myanmar Highlight the Need for Change’

Muslim IDP Sittwe‘It’s a genocide’, was the conclusion of two recent research reports about the treatment of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims. Yet despite disturbing conclusions both reports have been criticised for their use of inflammatory language and their pre-election timing. Some argue the publication of a ‘genocide’ conclusion makes it harder to resolve the underlying causes of the Rohingya’s persecution. This article suggests these reports, despite the criticisms, highlight a human rights tragedy that needs to be publicised but that solving this tragedy must involve going beyond labels. Instead, a resolution and peace require working with both major ethnic communities in Rakhine State. Read my full article at E-IR here: http://www.e-ir.info/2016/01/24/reports-on-genocide-in-myanmar-highlight-the-need-for-change/