Francis Wade is a journalist covering Myanmar and Southeast Asia. His book, Myanmar’s Enemy Within: Buddhist Violence and the Making of a Muslim ‘Other’, was published in August 2017. (October 2017)

Follow Francis Wade on Twitter: @Francis_Wade.


Myanmar: Marketing a Massacre

Propaganda depicting the alleged abuses of Buddhists by Muslims, displayed near the monastery of Ashin Wirathu, an anti-Muslim monk, Mandalay, Myanmar, May 31, 2017

All Rohingya were seen to be acting as one, the individual always in the service of the group. That inability to disaggregate one from the other has provided a lethal rationale for mass violence the world over, and it has formed a central pillar of the propaganda directed at the Rohingya since the late August insurgent attacks. Cartoons of machete-wielding Rohingya babies have circulated on social media, signalling a belief in an inborn malevolence that has had the effect of obliterating any distinction between young and old, violent and nonviolent.