Racist Law?

In Myanmar (Burma), the Buddhist monks presented a petition to President Thein Sein which would limit interfaith marriage and religious conversions. The Buddhist monks that proposed the bill are part of an organization of monks called, the Organization for the Protection of Race, Religion, and Belief. Myanmar faces racial tensions amongst the Buddhist and Muslim religions. The monks began this petition in July 2013 and the Myanmar government has taken steps to make the bills become a reality. The government has started to create laws in conjunction with these beliefs. The Buddhist monks created this petition as a way to maintain certain races and religions in order to obtain peace in the country.

One bill involves people wanting to change their religion. If this bill is enacted, it would require the individual to attain the consent from several authorities. They would need to obtain permission from different groups. Many people criticize this proposal and argue that it targets Muslims. The second bill places a ban on polygamy. In addition, this bill would limit the size of the family. Critics fear that if this bill is enforced, it would lead to a more divided country. The division would be amongst ethnic and religious lines. Another part of the bill would require Buddhist women to seek permission from the government before they are allowed to marry a man of a different religion.

There is a strong possibility of these bills becoming law. The Organization for the Protection of race, religion, and belief has about one million signatures.

There are several opponents to these bills. Some believe that these bills are designed to prevent Buddhist women from marrying Muslim men and converting to Islam. They believe this because the proposals were made soon after the anti-Muslim riots that occurred across the country in 2013.

Do you think these bills will be passed? Do these bills violate human rights? Do you believe that these bills are racially motivated?




One comment

  1. Considering the events surrounding the proposal of such bills, it appears that those bills are both rationally and religiously motivated. The Organization for the Protection of Race, Religion, and Belief seems to support these bills in an effort to prevent Buddhist people from marrying Muslims. Right to marry is a fundamental right, and people should not be force to request permission from the authorities before they can marry whom they want to marry. There is no question that, if passed, those bills will violate basic human rights and completely disregard people’s freedom of choice to marry whomever they want to marry. The purpose presentend for the passage of these bills is to protect peace within the country, but I do not think creating discrimination between different races is the right way to ensure peace. Passage of these bills will probably drag to country into a new chaos rather than providing peace.

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