With riots breaking out in Sri Lanka against the Muslim minority, it is time to take stock of the regional situation of hate against minority groups. Its does not matter who the group is, none of the South Asian countries have set a good example of inclusive citizenship where minorities are safe.

In Sri Lanka the government has done nothing to prevent violence against Muslims, who make up about 10% of Sri Lanka’s population. This month three people were killed, about 80 injured during a BBS rally that marched into a Muslim populated area. It is these small fringe right-wing groups that through violence, propaganda and intimidation smash smaller groups with minimum resistance. In Sri Lanka, the issue of halal slaughter has been a flashpoint and the BBS has called for direct action against and boycotting of Muslim businesses. This type of religious hate seems a regional problem and not just one that is chonic of muslim countries.

Sri Lanka is not the only country with Buddhist violence against Muslims, Burma has seen worse riots. In Burma, the 969 group is led by a monk, Ashin Wirathu, who calls himself “the Burmese Bin Laden”. March saw an outbreak of mob violence directed against Muslims leaving 40 dead. In May Buddhist mobs attacked mosques and burned more than 70 homes after a Muslim girl on a bicycle collided with a monk.

And as the situation relates to Pakistan, after the international embarrassment of travel restrictions due to polio, Sri Lanka also publicly shames us. Sri Lanka had recently become a tourist hotspot, and was especially popular with Pakistan, as the authorities gave visa on arrival. With rising tensions in Sri Lanka against Muslims, and the prevailing perception of Pakistanis being a security risk, it is understandable that they would revoke this privilege. The Sri Lankan authorities uncovered that about 1,500 Pakistanis, who were registered with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) were flowing into Sri Lanka, seeking asylum. Many of these people were suspected of being part to anti-state activities in India and Pakistan.

Just when there seems to be relative peace there spark anti-muslim riots in India as well. This is a problem of the entrenchment of religion in politics. All violence against minorities is religiously motivated. This version of the rightist politics needs its wing clipped.