Rohingya Muslim massacre: The truth and the propaganda

Rohingya Muslim massacre: The truth and the propaganda

A very sad series of events are going on in the current day Myanmar. In the state of Rakhine, Muslim Rohingyas and Buddhist Rakhines are raping, killing and looting each other from the last two months. The online community is abuzz with the news of the violence that is going on there. I am always shocked by the horrific inhuman acts that are caused due to religious intolerance, differences and prejudices.

I write this article with a heavy heart but I have to bring out the truth. The news about the Rohingya massacre is mixed with truth, lie and heavy propaganda. I think that it is my duty to separate the truth from falsehood.

Who are the Rohingyas:

  1. The origin of the word Rohingya is disputed. Some Rohingya historians like Khalilur Rahman contend that the term Rohingya is derived from Arabic word ‘Raham’ meaning ‘mercy’.
  2. Arakan (old name for Rakhine state) was a fertile land under the British conquest. It was sparsely populated. The Britishers encouraged people from the Bengal state to settle in Arakan.
  3. Millions of Muslims settled in Arakan during that period. They worked in Paddy fields and were an important unit of the growth of British Economy.

The Birth of Myanamar (Burma):

  1. Burma became an independent state in 1948.
  2. The majority of people living in Burma are Buddhists. Even though, the Buddhists as well as many Muslims fought together for the independence of Myanmar, a group of Muslims (Rohingyas) started to ask a separate nation for themselves after independence.
  3. A Mujahid party was created by Rohingya elders in 1947. They supported Jihad for the creation of a new state in in Arakan.
  4. The Mujahid party was very active until 1962 when after a coup de etat, General Ne Win came to power.
  5. Rohingya movement for autocracy was suppressed with an iron fist. Thousands of Rohingya were persecuted for the next two decades.

Citizenship issues for Rohingya:

  1. Rohingyas are basically not considered the citizens of Myanmar by the government.
  2. They have been given no rights and there is no law to protect them as Myanmar citizens.
  3. According to Amnesty, Rohingyas are the world’s most persecuted minority.
  4. The 1982 law, enacted by former military ruler Ne Win, recognises the 135 national races in Burma but specifically excludes the Rohingya. It replaced the 1948 citizenship act, which stipulates that any person who has resided in Burma for more than two generations is entitled to citizenship.
  5. Statelessness is a major issue with the majority of Rohingya people. Many cases of torture and human rights abuse against Rohingya have been documented by International organisations. Greg Constantine, the writer of newly published ‘’ Exiled to Nowhere’’ recounts many heart breaking stories from Burma. He recounts the story of 20-year-old Kashida who had to flee to Bangladesh with her husband. The Burmese authorities had denied her permission to get married, but when they discovered she had married in secret and was pregnant they took away all her family’s money and cows and goats. They forced Kashida to have an abortion, telling her: “This is not your country; you don’t have the right to reproduce here.”

The Truth of the Violence:

  1. On May 28, 2012, 3 Muslims including 2 Rohingya raped a Rakhine Woman in Arakan state in Myanmar.
  2. On June 4, a mob attacked a bus in Taungup, mistakenly believing those responsible for the murder were on board. Ten Muslims were killed in the reprisal attack.
  3. Retaliatory attacks have started since then between Rohingya Muslims and Rakhine Buddhists.
  4. According to government figures, approximately 80 people have been killed in the riots. Around 90,000 people have become homeless.

The Lie of the Violence:

  1. Many Muslims on TV and internet forums are saying that thousands of Muslims have been killed in Myanmar. We have no evidence to prove that allegation.
  2. Not only the Myanmar government, Independent NGOs but also international Human rights organizations have said that around a 100 people (including Buddhist) have been killed in the violence.

The Propaganda of Violence:

  1. Social networking sites and Blogs are abuzz with the pictures of Rohingya massacres. Most of these pictures are utter lies. These false pictures of gruesome violence on Muslims are propagated to induce widespread hatred in the minds of Muslims in different countries.
  2. These pictures are also used as a tool by terrorist and Islamist political groups to hire recruits for their purpose.
  3. Let us analyze a few famous pictures here.



This picture was taken in 2010 after an earthquake in China and captures the efforts put in by the Tibetans to help rescue the victims. Now, Islamic political parties and some other elements are sharing this image as Muslim killing and their slaughter in Burma.



This picture below is a classic case of shady media reporting and false propaganda.



The people of Myanmar have long suffered under the iron fists of their nationalistic dictators. But after a very long time, the sunshine of democracy is shining over the beautiful lands of Myanmar.  Aung Saan Suu Kyi, the Nobel peace laureate is an incumbent leader of the lower house of Myanmar government. She has a huge public support and political clout to bring about a major change in her country. She must take strong actions to stop the violence in Rakhine state. She must also make provisions to officially recognise the Rohingya people as the citizens of Myanmar. There is no other solution to the plight of those poor people.

This article was originally published in Bobby Allen's original blog. A few days back, he saw the propaganda of mass Muslim genocide in Myanmar returning on twitter and facebook. This article is being published again at his request.

Author: Bobby Allen

I am a science graduate, free thinker and atheist living in my own dream world, floating along with the speck of cosmic dirt that we call earth. I love reading books, traveling, watching movies, drinking scotch and all the amazing things that this life has granted us. Cheers!