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Abid Bahar

Muslims in Burma are only 5% of the total population and they have been almost always used as escape goats by the military government to distract the attention of the Buddhist majority on the the oppressive military regime. A google search (see the reference) on riots against Muslims in Burma would show, the riots would invariably start on a Muslim rape charges. Almost always it starts as a rumor and some Muslims are attacked or a mosque is destroyed, followed by a riot. (1) The trend of blaming the victim repeated in Akyub on May 28, when the dead body of a Rakhine woman was found near a Muslim village.

The dead body was that of a female teacher who previously punished a Rakhine boy and the boy's brothers on the teacher's way home captured her and punished her to a point when she died. To save themselves from murder charges the Rakhine brothers left the dead body near a Muslim village.(2) Arakan already an extreme anti Rohingya region was burning with anger now burst into flames. The xenophobes already found an issue and provoked the locals to the point of attacking Muslims. 10 Muslims were traveling by bus were killed brutally.

"Since yesterday the Buddhist monks and Rakhine extremists escorted by security forces were announcing ‘War on Kalas, (war on Rohingyas) along the street of Maungdaw. This message was spread like a wild fire all over Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships."(3)

"Rakhine is home to Burma's largest concentration of Muslims, including much-persecuted Rohingya Muslims, and their presence is often deeply resented by the majority Buddhist population.

"In a joint statement quoted by Reuters, eight Rohingya rights groups based outside Burma condemned the attack on the Muslims on the bus, whom they termed "Muslim pilgrims".

"Although it appears those on the bus were not Rohingyas, the groups said the attack followed months of anti-Rohingya propaganda stirred up by "extremists and xenophobes".(4)

Abid Bahar, Burma's Missing Dots, 2010;

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