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Myanmar Muslims forced to keep Eid al-Adha festivities low-key


Muslims pray during Eid al-Adha morning prayers at Tachanpe Mosque in Yangon, Myanmar, 06 October 2014. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

Muslims pray during Eid al-Adha morning prayers at Tachanpe Mosque in Yangon, Myanmar, 06 October 2014. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

Muslims in Myanmar have been forced to keep celebrations of one of Islam's major feast days, Eid al-Adha, low-key, fearing reprisals from a Buddhist nationalist group pressuring local governments to ban cattle slaughters that are central to the festivities ucanews.com reported on 28 September.

Local authorities appear to be targeting Muslims celebrating Eid al-Adha in smaller townships such as Yamethin and Tharzi in Mandalay Division, according to Muslim community members who spoke with ucanews.com.

Aung Thein, a Muslim leader, said local members of the influential Buddhist nationalist group, Ma Ba Tha, have gone around town checking on whether cattle slaughters have taken place.

Ma Ba Tha, or the Committee for the Protection of Race and Religion, has intensified anti-Muslim rhetoric in recent months. This has raised fears that religion will be used as a political tool as the country gears up for the 8 November elections.

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