New Blasphemy Encouraged By Burmese Buddhist Extremism
This month in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), three men have been thrown into jail and threatened with fines and a two-year prison sentence. Their crime: Blasphemy against Buddhism.
The owner and two managers of V Gastro Bar in The city of Yangon have been accused of creating an advertisement featuring an image of the Buddha’s head, with headphones on, surrounded by a psychedelic display of color. It’s a blasphemous image, say the Buddhists of Burma, and must not be allowed.
Myanmar’s Buddhists are also known for organizing riots against religious minorities and burning down their schools.
The idea behind Myanmar’s anti-blasphemy law is that, if freedom of speech about religion is squashed, religious people will never have to get their feelings hurt by seeing or hearing anything that contradicts their beliefs. That’s why, in response to the censorship, I’m reposting the image, which will be seen by many more eyes than it would have if only Buddhist extremists had held their righteous outrage in check.