South Asia

Abortion. Right to die. Stem cell research. How do Muslims around the world approach modern bioethical dilemmas?

Superstorms like Harvey and Irma are increasingly common — a result of global warming, say climate scientists. Yet President Donald Trump intends to pull the US out of the Paris agreement, a historic international pact to reduce carbon emissions.

Burma is one of the world’s largest producers of opium, second only to Afghanistan. And while the government has declared a goal of being drug-free by 2019, skepticism abounds among local politicians and officials – as well as the farmers who see growing opium as their only means for prosperity.

In this video, reporter Emily Johnson looks at the 969 Buddhist nationalist movement, which has been blamed for inciting violence against Burma's minority Muslim population. She talks to U Wirathu, the movement's spiritual leader, and visits the burned out remains of Meiktila's Muslim quarter. 

Burma's Rohingya Muslim population is one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. They can’t vote. They have no rights. And they aren’t recognized as citizens in their own country. Their desperate situation has attracted the attention of human traffickers, who prey on the vulnerability of people like “Abdul” whose 14-year-old daughter is now being held captive.

The case of Burma provides a unique glimpse into the challenges of moving from a military dictatorship to a more open society. To get insight into this process, we reached out to David Williams, the Executive Director of The Center for Constitutional Democracy at Indiana University, who has spent years working with ethnic minorities in Burma. He spoke to our host, Madeleine Brand, at length about the nation’s future.

This fall, Burma is scheduled to hold a historic presidential election. But with ongoing persecution of ethnic minorities and many other human rights issues, many wonder if the nation is ready for true reform.

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