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Pictures regarding Rohingya Massacre may be wrong, but that’s not the point!

Why do we care for Rohingya Muslims when so much is going on in our own country?

Pictures you are sharing are false; have you verified these before sharing?

In connection with ongoing persecution of Burmese Muslims, I have been through these questions on multiple questions at several social media posts at my profile. There is a faction of society, chiefly consisting of seculars, which is using nationalism to defend its villain-ish apathy towards Burmese Rohingya community. According to them, there is no point in raising your voice against Muslim Holocaust in Myanmar as we have too much problems already at home. First, we have to take care of our own country and only then we should look outside of our border.

This argument is fundamentally flawed because it puts you in isolation. With globalised economy, culture and politics, ignoring calamity of such scale is nothing but inhumane regardless of geographical location. It’s like you should ignore Tsunami because it didn’t hit Pakistan; you don’t need to help Nepal earthquake victims because you have alarming levels of poverty in Pakistan; there is no point in extending support to UN peace missions as you have already a lot of chaos in Pakistan; and the lists goes on. In fact, with current situation, Pakistan should not be part of any type of campaign anywhere in the world as we have all sorts of problems at home.

I follow international newspapers on regular basis (listening to BBC Radio, reading NewYork Times and The Guardian) and believe me, I haven’t seen a single headline regarding Rohingya massacre. Yes, there is some news here and there but if you look at the headlines, or listen to News Bulletin, it becomes evident like daylight that nobody wants to report what’s happening in Myanmar (Times front page presenting Buddhist Monk as terrorist was an exception though). Even if some news is broadcasted, you will have words like violence, unrest and disorder rather than killing, genocide and persecution.

This international apathy has forced people to bank on social media to spread awareness and that’s why you see so many pictures shared which are actually not from Myanmar. In this regard, it’s also interesting to quote Army Public School massacre that got all the media attention but still fake and/or false images were shared regarding that event. For example, following image was shared with heartbreaking captions countless times that later proved to be actually from Gaza massacre in 2008[1].

The point is; if incident like APS massacre was associated with false pictures despite the fact that it was heavily covered by media, why it’s so annoying and disturbing to see same phenomenon happening in the case of Burmese Muslims massacre, which has, unlike APS massacre, isn’t covered at all by print/electronic media. One should verify before sharing; principally, agreed, but it’s an unfair world. Nobody verified the famous Swat flogging video that was aired on News Channels uncountable times to strengthen the case for Swat operation. It came out later on that the video was manufactured by some NGO and newspapers used a small one-column-back-page-below-the-fold space to publish the apology[1]. On international scale, nobody verified the report of ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ in Iraq that US used to kill millions. Later on, US felt ‘sorry’ because claims about WMDs were proved false[2]. And even, if some false pictures are being shared in the name of persecution of Rohingya Muslims, it doesn’t change the reality that these people are being treated the same way Hitler treated Jews.

I think it’s better to focus on putting efforts to stop this mass murder rather than arguing about authenticity of pictures.

[1] http://www.ibtimes.co.in/peshawar-attack-photo-hoax-image-blood-stained-shoes-little-girl-not-school-massacre-617472

[1] http://nation.com.pk/islamabad/29-Mar-2010/Video-of-flogging-of-girl-in-Swat-was-fake

[2] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/oct/07/usa.iraq1

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