The world may be watching Iraq ignite, but fires are smoldering all over the globe. In Sri Lanka on Sunday, fighting between Muslims and Sinhalese Buddhists resulted in the death at least three people and the injury of 80 others. Muslim communities and businesses were targeted, the New York Times reports:
The riots on Sunday followed a protest march by a hard-line Buddhist group, Bodu Bala Sena, which is led in part by monks. Its name roughly translates as “Buddhist Power Force.” Shops and homes in the area, many of them owned by Muslims, were set ablaze and vandalized in violence that continued throughout the night. Mobs shouting anti-Muslim slogans and hurling gas bombs and stones advanced on a Muslim part of the village of Welipitiya, where men were protecting a mosque.
Buddhist persecution of Muslims has also escalated in Burma. The UN reported recently that over 86,000 of Burma’s persecuted Muslim minority, the Rohingya, have fled the country by boat alone since mid-2012, and with 615 dying in the attempt.Meanwhile in Kenya, Al-Shabab militants from over the Somali border attacked Mpeketoni, a coastal tourist town on Sunday, killing at least 48 people. The gunmen targeted non-Muslims, the Wall Street Journal reports:
One Mpeketoni resident, a 28-year-old bus-station employee, said gunmen asked him to recite a Quranic verse in what he said was an apparent effort to identify Muslims. The man, who is a Christian, said he was spared from being shot after he was able to recall a verse in Arabic. Other residents recalled seeing women and children separated from men—and the men being killed.
Al-Shabab is perhaps most infamous for the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi last December, where they killed at least 67 people and used similar tactics to identify, then murder, non-Muslims.In September of 2013, President Obama told the U.N. General Assembly that “the world is more stable than it was five years ago.” Not only is Iraq conspiring to prove him wrong—so is the rest of the world.