Legislating love: Myanmar mulls religious marriage curbs
Published on Jun 25, 2014 11:28 AM
YANGON (AFP) - Proposals by radical Buddhist monks to criminalise inter-faith marriage in Myanmar face strong opposition from women's rights groups in a tussle over the nation's religious identity that has sparked international alarm.
Buddhist nationalists, feeding off the fear and uncertainty caused by successive waves of anti-Muslim violence, have issued fiery pronouncements that the very fabric of the country's main religion is under threat, casting a dark shadow over ongoing democratic reforms.
The marriage law is one of four Bills suggested by a hardline faction within the Buddhist clergy and put to the fledgling parliament by the President.
To "protect" Buddhism - the religion of more than 80 per cent of the population - radical monks have urged boycotts of Muslim businesses, including of Qatari telecoms firm Ooredoo, despite its promise to bring much-needed affordable mobile access.
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