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The spread of anti-Islamic sentiment and religious intolerance is a serious challenge to the rights of Muslims in Burma. Some well-known members of the Buddhist monkhood, or Sangha, have given sermons and distributed anti-Muslim tracts and directives that call on Buddhist residents to boycott Muslim businesses and shun contact with Muslim communities.
Burma’s 2008 Constitution contains provisions that ensure religious freedom and states that the government should “assist and protect the religions it recognizes to its utmost.” President Thein Sein’s office on March 28 called for “earnest effort[s] to control and address all forms of violence including instigations that lead to racial and religious tensions in the interest of the people in accord with the Constitution and existing laws.”
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