Recent violence between Muslims and Buddhists in Burma left more than 60 Muslims dead. Some people claim the anti-Muslim attacks are being organised in an attempted threat to undermine Myanmar’s transition to democracy.
In a Dateline Special from Myanmar, Evan Williams looks at graphic footage of Muslims being attacked and their neighbourhoods torched.
And he asks if the anti-Islamic teachings of a quietly spoken Buddhist monk could be behind the increasing tension.
Ashin Wirathu once described himself as the Buddhist Bin Laden, and in an interview with Evan, he blames Muslims for the violence and voices concern that they will take over Myanmar.
But with support in high places and an increasing following, could his views end up having an impact on the crucial 2015 elections?
WATCH – Click to see Evan’s story from Dateline’s Myanmar Special.
EXTRA – Follow the links under ‘resources’ on the right-hand side of the page for more on Ashin Wirathu and academic Maung Zarni, who’s been studying Wirathu’s following.
REPLAY – Look back at Dateline’s stories from Myanmar over the past few years, while the country has been undergoing huge change.
Text taken from SBS Dateline and modified.