Category Archives: Buddhism

Neue Publikation: Nationalismus oder Terrorismus?

Für die Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (BPB) habe ich einen kurzen Artikel zum buddhistischen Mönch Wirathu geschrieben, der in Myanmar und weit darüber hinaus durch seine Hassreden gegen die muslimische Minderheit des Landes in Verruf geriet.

herausgegeben von Jana Kärgel. Bonn: BPB (2021).

In dem Artikel “Nationalismus oder Terrorismus? Das Beispiel des burmesischen Mönchs Wirathu” argumentiere ich, dass entgegen der öffentlichen Darstellung, Wirathu kein Terrorist, sondern Ethnonationalist ist, da er ethno-religiöse Identitätsmarker instrumentalisiert. Das Beispiel Wirathus zeigt, dass auch im Namen des Buddhismus Gewalttaten begangen werden und sich sogar buddhistische Mönche radikalisieren können wie es auch aus anderen Ländern bekannt ist. Die Ursachen dafür sind weniger in den Quellentexten der jeweiligen Religionen oder in den Biografien von Individuen zu finden, sondern in den historischen und aktuellen politischen Kontexten, in denen Religion und Ethnizitat als Argumente von Akteuren ins Feld geführt werden, um Gewalttaten gegen Minderheiten zu rechtfertigen.

Der Sammelband umfasst 488 Seiten und kann für nur 7.00EUR direkt bei der Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung bestellt werden.

Illustration: Anika Takagi, Leitwerk, Büro für Kommunikation (2021)

Judith Beyer (2021). Nationalismus oder Terrorismus? Das Beispiel des burmesischen Mönchs Wirathu. In: Terrorismus im 21. Jahrhundert. Perspektiven, Kontroversen, blinde Flecken, herausgegeben von Jana Kärgel. S. 332-333. Bonn: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung.

In the name of stability. On the coup in Myanmar

Myanmar’s immediate neighbours have reacted very reluctantly in regard to the military coup that began on February 1 2021. Whereas ASEAN member-states have largely declared the coup an “internal affair” into which they would rather not get involved, China said it had “noted” the events and urged the country to uphold “stability”.

Stability, however, is not a neutral or entirely positive concept I argue in this German-language article for the daily newspaper TAZ: it is possible to justify not only repression and coups in Myanmar with it, but even the recent genocide of the ethnic Rohingya.

Stability has been a key metaphor during previous military dictatorships as well: Until 2010, for example, the second out of four so-called “national causes” that the military government under General Than Swe promoted under the title “The People’s Desires” read “Oppose those trying to jeopardize the stability of the state and the progress of the nation.”

It had also been Aung San Suu Kyi herself who, in December 2019 in her role as a member of her country’s delegation at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) left the more legalistic arguments to the specialists for international law, and challenged the legitimacy of the case on the basis of harmony ideology.

In the name of stability,she argued that the principal judicial organ of the United Nations should refrain from interfering in Myanmar’s domestic affairs.

In my recent article, I thus hold that invoking ‘stability’ is more in line with what the military government is advocating than it it is supportive of the civil resistance that is currently beginning to form.

Read the full post in TAZ.

Yangon, Myanmar

DSC02209First impressions from Yangon, Myanmar where I will be based until May 2016. The city has changed a lot in the last two years since I visited, mostly in terms of transportation and mobile phone use. What has remained the same are the great street food eateries, the use of loudspeakers to convey religious messages, lottery ticket sales and other important or not-so-important events. I missed the people a lot and its great to find almost everyone in good health and spirits. Nothing beats fieldwork, really! J. DSC02350DSC02219DSC04064DSC03713DSC03679DSC03683DSC02229DSC02211DSC03736DSC02138

On Buddhist nationalism in Myanmar – Interview for Radio France International, 27 May 2015

Radio Interview for Radio France International. ‘Buddhist Nationalism in Myanmar.’ May 27, 2015. available here (2 parts):