Buddhist monks in Dhaka, Bangladesh are distributing food parcels to Muslims this Ramadan.
Outside the Dhammarajika Monastery, in the Basabo neighbourhood, monks distribute hundreds of iftar parcels.
Suddhananda Mahathero, the monastery’s head monk told the AFP:
“Buddhism taught us that serving humanity is the ultimate religion. We are feeding the poor Muslims who cannot afford to buy proper meals to break their fast”.
Some individuals travelled several kilometers on foot to cue for food. When the AFP observed, over 300 Muslims sought food parcels.
A measured police presence ensures peaceful transactions.
Muslims in Bangladesh colour the majority of the country’s religious makeup (86.6 per cent). The noted Buddhist minority mainly occupies the southern regions (near the border with Myanmar).
In 2012, in the southeast of Bangladesh, Muslims protested a blasphemous image on Facebook. Rumour spread that the individual responsible was Buddhist. In response, protesters burnt at least four Buddhist temples and 15 homes of Buddhists. As some sought to ease community tensions, Amnesty International condemned the violence.