Pakistan's extremists whip up frenzy over Burma's Muslims
[Christian Science Monitor] Paks are mounting protests online and in the streets of cities like Lahore and Beautiful Downtown Peshawar over the ill-treatment of Moslems in Myanmar, a situation that Islamist groups here are distorting to raise money and potentially win recruits.
The international community has raised concerns about human rights
| A nice change from their obsession with what it amuses them to call the Hinjoos and, as the rulers of Burma don't care a whit about the outside world, no harm will come of it unless some Pakistanis decide to go jihading in a new direction. In that case, a quick culling of Muslims will be effected, distressing no one but their mothers.|
One man's rights are another man's existential threat.
abuses against Moslem Rohingyas in Myanmar. Clashes in June between Rohingyas and their Buddhist neighbors, the Rakhine, left 78 dead, according to the Myanmar government. A new Human Rights Watch
... dedicated to bitching about human rights violations around the world...
report calls the number "grossly underestimated" and charges that security forces failed to protect Rohingyas, and in some cases opened fire on them.
But on the streets of Pakistain, the rhetoric runs much hotter with protesters claiming "thousands" of Rohingyas are being slaughtered in western Myanmar (also known as Burma). Online, meanwhile, a series of doctored and misidentified photographs are circulating widely in Pak social media and beyond that purport to show violence against Rohingyas.
Investigations by social media watchdogs, and the respected Pak newspaper Express Tribune, have proven that most of these claims are exaggerated or entirely false.
For example, one photo posted on a Facebook page originating from Pakistain show Buddhists dressed in their traditional red robes standing in the middle of two rows of dead bodies. The caption reads: "Bodies of Moslems killed by Buddhists." In reality, this picture is from an earthquake incident in China in 2010, where Tibetan monks came to help with the rescue efforts.
Islamist groups are exploiting the whipped up sentiments in Pakistain to raise money, ostensibly for the Rohingyas, at a time when political parties are also building up campaign coffers in anticipation of upcoming national elections. One bully boy Islamist group, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain, even threatened the Myanmar government, saying it will avenge the blood of Moslems being killed in Myanmar.
Shahzad Ahmad, the Pakistain country director for the global online activism group called Bytes for All, says stories of Moslem victimization around the world are exaggerated in Pakistain by Islamist groups on the Internet.
"They use such campaigns not only to fund themselves but also to gain more political ground and recruit people for their cause. Our research shows that there are many fake photographs being used to propagate [stories of] atrocities against Moslems on many of the Facebook pages which originate from Pakistain," says Mr. Ahmad.
Hundreds of pages in support of the Rohingya have appeared on the Internet over the past few months, he says.
"While there is no denying there are human rights violations in Myanmar against Moslems, such exaggerated online campaigns may attract those who want to promote terror and collaborate with thug groups which operate openly in Pakistain," adds Ahmad.
Among the groups involved in stirring the activism are Jamat-ud-Dawa, Jamat-e-Islami and Jamaat-e-Ulema Islam, three Islamist groups which hold significant street power in the country.
Posted by: Fred