May 10, 2017
Muslims were attacked in the suburbs of Yangon on Tuesday night after nationalist activists, hard line monks, accompanied by La Wa Ka and Police officials entered the area to search for ‘illegal Muslims’, a reference to the Rohingyas.
Even though a check in a suburban flat did not turn up any Rohingya Muslims, the mob of nationalists started attacking local Muslims and shouted obscenities against the Islamic religion.
Local Muslims gathered and tried to stave off the attacks, but many of them got injured. At this moment police did not take any action to stop the attacks on the Muslims and at one stage, the Muslim residents also started to retaliate.
As soon as the Muslim retaliation started, Police fired shots, prompting both groups to retreat.
Social media websites promoting Buddhist nationalist propaganda at this time spread the message of ongoing clashes, leading to activist fears that the stage might be set for another violent communal riot against the Muslim community in the near future.
Anti Muslim initiatives by Buddhist nationalist groups are becoming more common in Yangon, the commercial capital of a country with strong sentiments against the minority Muslim community.