Myanmar Violence – Facts and Concerns

Electronic media in Pakistan is just starting to pick up the topic of the recent riots in Myanmar which allegedly led to the killing of thousands of Muslims. Religious groups in Pakistan are particularly expressing anger and condemnation of these reported killings while also asking why international media sources are silent about the killings. Even in many Muslim countries, including Pakistan, this allegedly big massacre, started after the reported rape of a Buddhist girl by three Muslims in late May, i.e. about two months ago.

The controversy surrounding this issue has been rendered cloudy by conflicting claims. Muslim groups and a few media sources place the number of these “openly murdered” Muslims at thousands – one religious party member claiming 9000 killings on a private TV channel in Pakistan. However, official sources from Myanmar have provided the detailed report of the incident and its aftermath to Indian authorities. According to them, only 79 people, including those from both sides, have been killed – details of the separate incidents of violence included in the report.

Two months after the violence, which according to some source still continues, Muslims in the Indo-Pak region are angrily reacting to the violence resulting in killing of Muslims in Myanmar, however large or small. This casts the impression of narrow-mindedness and religious bias; for all killing is condemnable, and any rape or harm out of malice to any life form is regrettable. The focus, instead of being on how to bring about peace, is on the self-righteous approach to truth. Ne word brewing out of this scum is “ignorance”. While humans are killing and attacking each other, others are making a political use of it – the religious leader in Pakistan for example, who never condemns the persecution of Christians in his country by Muslims, finds it hard to stop crying out loud over harm done in Myanmar. Now who is supposed to make peace in the place burning with riots?

To make things worse for the Muslim population, social media is being used as a propaganda platform to stir anger among Muslims. In an eye-opening blog post, Faraz Ahmed performed a truth autopsy of the social media’s postings in which Muslims, as claimed, were shown in photos being tortured or lying dead in the alleged Myanmar massacre. The blogger tracked the original photos along with the original captions from web pages where those were posted and then compared them with the captions manipulated by the social media users to make it looks like those victims were really Muslims of Myanmar.

It is obvious to see what immense damage such distortion of facts did to humanity in general and to Muslim communities particularly, for it literally proved that some Muslims would create provocative lies to fuel hatred and violence. Such manipulation tends to desensitize the public to truth, for it confounds facts and reinforces the perception that everybody is just a liar.

All killing is regrettable. Whether a Muslim dies, or a Buddhist, or Christian – the sad fact is that life is destroyed, life suffers. Only those speaking and working with the heart of a human – of no religious or political or ethnic affiliation – is our best hope for bringing about peace.