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The Voice

Genocide plagues Myanmar

     Violence has cursed the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar as a consequence of the festering decades of disputes on the Rohingya identity. Are they terrorists? Are they Bangladeshi? Or Burmese? These may seem like simple questions with concrete answers, but in reality, everything related to the Rohingya’s label is an awfully blurry picture. Considering how dire the situation is, I feel that this severely marginalized minority has not been getting the amount of news coverage it rightly deserves.

     The rise of this genocide exploded out of an identity crisis of the Rohingya Muslims. Bangladesh borders a small part of northwestern Myanmar. The Rohingya were settled in the Rakhine state of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) for multiple generations, but the people of Myanmar still label them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. On the other hand, Bangladesh labels the Rohingya as Burmese (citizens of Myanmar). Are these atrocities occurring as a result of how Myanmar and Bangladesh both consider the Rohingya as an outside group?

     Another possible explanation for this ethnic cleansing is the fact that the Rohingya are a Muslim minority in a Buddhist majority nation. Minorities within nations are universally marginalized to an extent, but I believe this is something directly related to how Muslims are portrayed in the media as well. The news, among other media, have a very repetitive tendency to display Muslims only in a negative light. This leads to the generalizations that are causing these challenges people like the Rohingya are facing today. According to the media, all Muslims are terrorists.

     Terrorists. Yes, that is what Myanmar blames to be the catalyst for the violent outbreak. “The government of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, blames terrorists for starting the recent violence, alleging in state media that Rohingya militants Killed 12 security officers in border post attacks in late August” (CNN).

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     Do the actions of a few people determine the fate of a whole group, even if it did start out as terrorist attacks? That would be completely absurd. As seen multiple times throughout history, negative generalized groups of people who are culturally alike always lead to genocide.

     CNN also states that there are nearly one million Rohingyas that are displaced from trying to escape harm. So far, the leader of Myanmar has released an “underestimated” number of deaths that reach to 1,000. Many of them being children.

     My question is, why is the American media so obsessed with making a show out of Trump’s tweets when genocide is currently prevailing? In this way, America is putting a value on human lives, and the Rohingya apparently don’t make quite the show. At least, not quite enough for good ratings for top news channels.

     The only upside to this is that the U.S. plans on allocating $32 million to those who have been displaced by violence, as explained by CNN. It is definitely a nice change to see America taking a step in the right direction for once; God knows we have not seen that in a while.

Chloe is a senior Anthropology and German major . She is the BU Democrats Communications Coordinator and German Club Secretary. She is a staff writer for The Voice

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