Mosques, Madrasas to be Razed in Myanmar’s Rakhine State

A high-level government official in Myanmar’s Rakhine State is set on demolishing hundreds of buildings, including mosques and Islamic religious schools, in the state’s Muslim-majority townships of Maungdaw and Buthidaung.

“We are working to bring down the mosques and other buildings constructed without permission in accordance with the law,” Col. Htein Linn, Rakhine’s security and border affairs minister, told local media on Wednesday. One of his staff members told VOA’s Burmese Service that Minister Linn, recently appointed by Myanmar’s de factor leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, is leading a campaign to review and raze an unknown number of structures.

Myanmar officials say an estimated 2,270 illegally-built buildings, including nine mosques and 24 Muslim religious schools, are currently standing in Maungdaw, while some 1,056 illegal buildings, including three mosques and 11 madrasas, stand in Buthidaung.