The future for Muslims in Myanmar affects the region and Australia. While many have lauded Myanmar’s transition since 2011, the political changes have come at significant cost for certain social groups. Serious violence in 2012 spread from Rakhine State to many major towns across Myanmar and primarily targeted Muslim communities. This led to widespread displacement within Myanmar, as well as beyond its borders. The Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea crisis last year promoted a renewed sense of urgency for the region, including Australia. Domestically, in 2015, some monks were successful in lobbying the Myanmar parliament to pass several laws in an attempt to stop Muslims from marrying Buddhists. In addition, changes to electoral laws that meant those without citizenship (many of whom are Muslim) were not allowed to vote or run in the elections of November 2015. In short, law has been used as an instrument to fuel anti-Muslim sentiment and Muslim-Buddhist relations have reached new lows.
This timely seminar and book launch, chaired by Professor Clive Kessler, will offer a fresh perspective on the future for Muslims in Myanmar and the implications for the region and Australia. Dr Melissa Crouch will provide an overview of the Muslim community in Myanmar and focus specifically on the potential impact of recent laws passed that attempt to mandate monogamy, outlaw adultery, and restrict certain inter-religious marriage. Dr Nicholas Farrelly will address the history of Muslim political participation in Myanmar and the implications of the recent elections for Muslim communities. Professor Clive Kessler will officially launch the new publication, Islam and the State in Myanmar: Muslim-Buddhist Relations and the Politics of Belonging in Myanmar (Oxford University Press 2016).
- Event date:
- Where: The University of New South Wales - Staff common room, level 2 Law Faculty, Building F8, Kensington Campus, Sydney, NSW 2052
- RSVP: bit.ly/myanmarbooklaunch