Hello everyone, especially those outside of the Burmese/Rhongiya/Burmese Muslim community,
Let me preface this whole thing by saying that I am a Muslim who was born and spent considerable of her life in Myanmar. Or Burma. However you recognize the country. So, well, you know, here is the answer for “who are you talking” as you read the rest of this post.
Recently, both here on Tumblrsphere and, I have noticed, on Facebook and other places on the interwebs, a lot of people have tried to bring awareness to the killing of the Rohingiya that is happening in Myanmar. Certainly, the news that is coming from within is very distressing, especially for me, because I have family and friends in the country (don’t worry, everyone is fine there, thank you for asking).
And I appreciate people who have posted the articles, and have talked about the issue, that is certainly very kind of them, because the outside world needs to know about the atrocities that is happening within, because certainly, silence only helps the oppressors.
But to my horror, a few things have happened which to me are very horrifying. First are the fake pictures circulating around trying to (I suppose) hit people’s nerves to get them moved to do something. And then there are the political cartoons. You know, look at those bad, bad Buddhist people killing the Muslims ohmygod the barbarians.
Btw, that last sentence above was sarcasm, in case you didn’t catch it.
I know that the monks have come out against the Rohingya. I know that the UN has put pressure on the Burmese government to let the Rohingya stay, that Human Rights Watch are saying that the those people are not being treated right etc. etc etc I know that thee situation is bad, okay? Okay. Glad we got that cleared, but let me tell you something.
Let me tell you that this sudden media frenzy, this sudden in pouring that I see from bloggers and facebook statuses (especially from the Muslim community - I say “espcially the Muslim community” because I network within it more, for obvious reasons) your showing a one handed story isn’t going to help. Your demonizing of Burma, and of Burmese monks isn’t going to help. Your frenzied “ohmygod we should do something this is so sad” isn’t going to help. Why? Because this is not how it all is, this is not a homogeneous community which thinks with a single mind, and there isn’t an easy, magical solution to the whole situation.
Believe it or not, even within the Buddhist Burmese community, there are diverse opinions, too.
Let me tell you a story. Back when I was in fourth grade and there were riots happening against the Muslims by the Burmese, other Burmese families that lived in the apartments above, and blow us, other Burmese families that lived in the neighboring area, assured us Muslims that we need not worry about being defenseless. At that time, many monks came out in support of the Muslims and clearly, and heatedly stated that those monks carrying out atrocities against the Muslims were not monks, were people disguised as monks, and if they weren’t, they were violating a lot of Buddhist principles.
People, please, please, please, I beg of you, clam down, this isn’t a simple story. You want to help? Go educate yourself. Start here. Read up the history. Read up why there is such a huge conflict in the first place. Think rationally, outside of media gimmicks. You want your government involved? Great. But think rationally and don’t be stupid about it, don’t jump in with savior complexes. Heck, I am worried that the Taliban, and the Jihadis are all chiming in. Yes, the violence definitely needs to be stopped, but sending around emotionally charged youtube videos and graphic pictures isn’t going to help. It reduces my beautiful country to a mass of barbarians, which is equally offending to me, a Burmese Muslim.
So please, with all due respect, please stop with the graphic images, the youtube videos, the charged political cartoons. It isn’t going to help. It just eggs on those who hate the Rohingiya so much anyway, it pushes people within Burma who are genuinely trying to help up against a wall, it just creates a whole lot of mess.
Please be a grown up.