'Buddhist Bin Laden' Calls United Nations Envoy B**ch And W**re

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The controversial Buddhist leader is allegedly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people.

Buddhist Monk Wirathu

A controversial Buddhist spiritual leader has drawn the ire of the United Nations after he made profanity-laden comments about a special rapporteur to Myanmar during a public rally last week.

A top UN official criticized Ashin Wirathu for using “sexist, insulting” language toward Yanghee Lee, who was on a 10-day trip to the south Asian country to assess the country's human rights situation. UN officials asked all political and religious leaders to condemn the incident.

In Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), the minority Muslim Rohingya community is reportedly facing a genocide believed to be initiated – or rather instigated – by Wirathu, who claims Islam will one day overrun the country.  

Also known as the “Buddhist bin Laden,” he was labeled on the July 2013 cover of TIME magazine as “The Face of Buddhist Terror.” Although the controversial edition was banned in Myanmar, Wirathu was less than concerned with what was published about him.

“I am proud to be called a radical Buddhist,” he was quoted as saying.

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His vitriolic rightwing rhetoric and the nationalist campaign called the “969 Movement” has caused hundreds of deaths and displaced more than 140,000 Muslims in almost three years. He and his followers have also endorsed and proposed several legislative measures and policies against the Rohingya.

When Lee criticized these discriminatory laws during her visit to Myanmar last week, Wirathu insulted her while addressing a cheering crowd of hundreds in Yangon. (Content Warning: The following two paragraphs contain language that some readers may find offensive)

"Just because you hold a position in the United Nations doesn't make you an honorable woman. In our country, you are just a w**re. Can this b**ch really be from a respectable background?" Irrawaddy magazine quoted Wirathu as saying in the speech, which was posted on YouTube by the Democratic Voice of Burma.

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Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, fired back in a statement released from Geneva:

“I call on religious and political leaders in Myanmar [Burma] to unequivocally condemn all forms of incitement to hatred including this abhorrent public personal attack. The sexist, insulting language used against the U.N.'s independent human rights expert on Myanmar ... by an influential monk during Ms. Lee's official visit to the country is utterly unacceptable.”

With the United Nations directly involved, we now have to see how the Myanma government – which has been shamelessly ignoring Wirathu and the blatant human rights abuses against the Rohingya community for almost three years now – responds.

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