Donald Trump’s victory has delighted bigots, especially Islamophobes, not only in the United States but also in a lot of other countries — and that says a lot about what the president-elect stands for.
Most recently, the racist who has expressed admiration for Trump is a radical monk in Myanmar named Ashin Wirathu, also known as “Buddhist bin Laden.”
The saffron-robed fundamentalist, who is an influential leader in the Southeast Asian country, said he feels “vindicated” after Trump’s shock presidential victory, according to the Associated Press.
“We were blamed by the world, but we are just protecting our people and country,” Wirathu said. “The world singled us out as narrow-minded. But as people from the country that is the grandfather of democracy and human rights elected Donald Trump, who is similar to me in prioritizing nationalism, there will be less finger-pointing from the international community.”
To understand the true meaning of Wirathu’s sentiments about Trump, you should know that he heads a Buddhist extremist organization known as Ma Ba Tha.
The man is not just a “nationalist,” as he so politely understated. He is, in fact, an extremist whose vitriol lead to a genocidal wave against a religious-ethnic minority called the Rohingya Muslims.
Wirathu initiated a nationalist campaign called the “969 Movement” in Myanmar against, what he believes, Islam’s expansion in the predominantly Buddhist Burma.
His false propaganda stoking fears of Muslim domination led to the persecution of Rohingya Muslims, who are already considered outsiders by the Myanmar’s government — despite having lived there for centuries.
Eventually, in 2012, Wirathu’s anti-Muslim agenda set off bloody communal violence between ethnic Buddhists and Muslims in the Rakhine state, which left around 57 Muslims and 31 Buddhists dead and displaced some 100,000 people, mostly Rohingya Muslims, in camps. More than 2,500 houses were burned down during the unrest, most of which — again — belonged to the Rohingya people.
In 2015, the vitriolic monk used abusive language toward Yanghee Lee, the United Nations’ special rapporteur to Myanmar. He called her a “b***g and w***e” after she criticized the state of the Rohingya people in the country.
Wirathu was labeled on the cover of Time magazine as “The Face of Buddhist Terror.” Although the controversial July 2013 edition was banned in Myanmar, the hate-monger couldn’t care less about what the Western media was writing about him.
“I am proud to be called a radical Buddhist,” he was quoted as saying.
However, now things have changed after Trump’s election. Wirathu, it appears, has more in common with the West now that the leader of the free world, the president of the United States, is himself a notorious bigot who wants to ban Muslim immigration.
Wirathu is even mulling the idea of cooperating with American nationalist groups.
“In America, there can be organizations like us who are protecting against the dangers of Islamization. Those organizations can come to organizations in Myanmar to get suggestions or discuss,” he said, according to AP. “Myanmar doesn’t really need to get suggestions from other countries. But they can get ideas from Myanmar.”
So, it’s not just white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan that have been emboldened by Trump’s victory.
The U.S. president-elect has somehow managed to inspire hate and hate groups all across the world.