Seminar by Gerry van Klinken | ‘Myanmar: The contentious politics of anti-Muslim scapegoating’
21/04/2016 @ 15:30 - 17:00
By Gerry van Klinken (co-authored by Su Mon Thazin Aung). Recent anti-Muslim violence cannot be understood primarily as a spontaneous outburst of religious feeling among the general population. Rather it was a shocking repertoire deployed by a semi-organized ultranationalist social movement with clear political goals, which overlapped with those of Myanmar’s ruling military elite. This presentation traces the history of that movement. As elite factionalism deepened ahead of the November 2015 elections, it achieved a degree of autonomy not seen before under military rule.
Fortunately it failed to win many votes. But Aung San Suu Kyi will have to work hard if anti-Muslim chauvinism is not to become the new national orthodoxy by default.
Gerry van Klinken is senior researcher at the KITLV, and professor of Southeast Asian history at the University of Amsterdam. Su Mon Thazin Aung (not present at this seminar) is a PhD student at the University of Hong Kong.