‘The most tragic images are the real ones”
Burma Times Special Report: June 08, 2015
Over the last few days, many people in that country have voiced concerns over the fake photographs of Rohingya Muslim genocide circulating on the social media. As expected, many have taken advantage over the confusion and claimed that as these pictures are fake, the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims is also fake.
According to some blogs and online newspapers in Bangladesh, the persecution of Rohingya Muslims is totally baseless.
One online newspaper Teknaf 71 quotes an unnamed Bangladeshi Buddhist monk as saying that there is no such persecution going on in their neighbouring country i.e. Burma. According to the online report, these rumours are being spread to perpetuate communal violence against the Buddhist minority of Bangladesh.
Similar reports in other mediums discuss some fake pictures spread over the social media and where they really originated. Then the reports say that if there is an ongoing genocide in Burma, it would have been all over the international media.
Whether the last claim is true, Bangladeshis can access the international media and find out. Even more worrying is the allegations that pro Rohingya activists are whipping up communal hatred in their country.
It is important for Bangladeshis to understand that Rohingyas have nothing against Bangladeshi Hindus or Bangladeshi Buddhists. Rohingyas are persecuted by the government of Burma (Myanmar) and Buddhist nationalist groups in Arakan (Rakhine) state. That much should be clear for everybody.
So where do minorities in Bangladesh come from? Is some quarter in Bangladesh attempting to use the persecution of Muslims in Burma to whip up communal hatred in Bangladesh and attack Buddhists or other religious minorities? Rohingyas will desperately hope this is not the case. But as marginalised refugees in Bangladesh, there is little Rohingyas can do to deal with the situation. The sad part is now because of these fears created among the Bangladeshi people, the Rohingyas long known as ‘one of the most persecuted people in the world’ risk being ignored by their immediate neighbours once again, and not for the first time in our bloody history.
Unlike the Rohingyas, the propaganda machinery employed by the Burmese regime is effective. It is always on the look out for the chunk in the enemy’s armour. It has found the weak point in the fake pictures circulating over the social media especially among the netizens of Bangladesh. The situation has been made worse by some Bangladeshi Muslims calling for a massacre of Buddhists.
Rohingyas don’t want Bangladeshi Muslims to attack Bangladeshi Buddhists. For one thing, such a communal attack would wipe out sympathies for Rohingyas in this part of the world. Secondly, such an attack would be wrong.
What Burmese Muslims want is for Bangladeshi Muslims, Muslims all over the world, and all humanity to rise up against the Burmese regime. Because make no mistake, one of the most brutal pogroms in history is currently taking place against Burmese Muslims, especially Rohingyas. But minorities in other countries do not deserve their vengeance because that would make us no better than the Burmese regime and the Buddhist nationalist groups of Burma.
It is important for Bangladeshis, to remember that while many of the pictures are fake, the tears of Burmese Muslims are real.
According to Jamila Hannan, UK based Rohingya rights activist and blogger, speaking to BBC trending “There are so many genuine images of tragic scenes of the Rohingya that are genuine, there is simply no need for anyone to fabricate anything. The most tragic images are the real ones.”