Iselin Frydenlund is senior researcher at PRIO. Her research interests include the role of religion in war and peace, suicide terrorism, interreligious dialogue in its various forms, and freedom of religion or belief. She has written extensively on Buddhism and violence and works specifically on...
- Ethnic and indigenous groups in Nepal’s peacebuilding processes
Clare Castillejo , 17 March 2017
- East Asian perceptions of the UN and its role in peace and security
Sebastian von Einsiedel , Anthony Yazaki , 27 May 2016
- India’s global foreign policy engagements – a new paradigm?
Devika Sharma , Jason Miklian , 12 February 2016
- Bringing the region back in? Deciphering India’s engagement with South Asia
Jayashree Vivekanandan , Jason Miklian , 8 February 2016
- The evolving domestic drivers of Indian foreign policy
Atul Mishra , Jason Miklian , 19 January 2016
- China’s thinking on peace and security
Ola Tunander , 18 December 2014
- Developing relations: political parties and civil society in Myanmar
Kristin Jesnes , 16 June 2014
The rise of Buddhist-Muslim conflict in Asia and possibilities for transformation
Iselin Frydenlund , 15 December 2015
Violence against Muslim minorities in Buddhist societies has increased in recent years. The Muslim Rohingyas in Myanmar are disenfranchised, and many of their candidates were rejected by the official Union Election Commission prior to the 2015 elections. Furthermore, laws about religious conversion, missionary activities, and interfaith marriage are being promoted to control relations between religions and prevent conflict. The danger, however, is that increased control will lead to more, not fewer, conflicts. Discrimination against religious minorities may lead to radicalisation. In addition minority-majority relations in a single state may have regional consequences because a minority in one state can be the majority in another, and there is an increasing trend for co-religionists in different countries to support each other. Thus protection of religious minorities is not only a question of freedom of religion and basic human rights; it also affects security and peacebuilding in the whole region. Anti-Muslim violence and political exclusion of Muslim minorities take place in the wake of increased Buddhist nationalism. This policy brief identifies local as well as global drivers for Muslim-Buddhist conflict and the rise of Buddhist nationalism. It then shows how Muslim-Buddhist conflict can be addressed, most importantly through the engagement of local religious leaders.