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A politician, not an icon: Aung San Suu Kyi's silence on Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya

Lee, Ronan 2014, A politician, not an icon: Aung San Suu Kyi's silence on Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya, Islam and Christian-Muslim relations, vol. 25, no. 3, Issue theme: Islam and Muslim-Buddhist and Muslim-Christian relations in Southeast Asia, pp. 321-333, doi: 10.1080/09596410.2014.913850.

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Title A politician, not an icon: Aung San Suu Kyi's silence on Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya
Author(s) Lee, Ronan
Journal name Islam and Christian-Muslim relations
Volume number 25
Issue number 3
Season Issue theme: Islam and Muslim-Buddhist and Muslim-Christian relations in Southeast Asia
Start page 321
End page 333
Total pages 13
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication Abingdon, Eng.
Publication date 2014
ISSN 0959-6410
1469-9311
Keyword(s) Myanmar
Burma
Rohingya
Aung San Suu Kyi
Buddhist–Muslim violence
Arts & Humanities
Religion
Buddhist-Muslim violence
Summary In Myanmar (also known as Burma), the Rohingya are a persecuted Muslim minority living mainly in northern Rakhine State. Aung San Suu Kyi, the iconic leader of Myanmar's opposition party the National League for Democracy (NLD), is championed as the voice of the people. However, on the matter of the Rohingya's persecution she has been notably silent. This article examines the possible reasons for Suu Kyi's silence and argues that Buddhist-Muslim political relations in Myanmar are central to understanding the reasons behind Suu Kyi's position on the Rohingya. It is suggested that various factors, including the history of the Rohingya in Myanmar, the NLD's attitude towards the Rohingya, Suu Kyi's sense of obligation to her father's political legacy, and Suu Kyi's views on ethnicity, are creating a political environment in which Suu Kyi is presented with pragmatic political reasons for staying silent. Given Suu Kyi has the potential to become a future national leader, an understanding of her behaviours towards a sizeable persecuted Muslim minority is important. This is particularly the case when consideration is given to the contemporary pressures on Muslims to embrace radical politics and the implications this could have for Myanmar and the region.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/09596410.2014.913850
Field of Research 2204 Religion And Religious Studies
Socio Economic Objective 0 Not Applicable
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, University of Birmingham
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30085741

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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