News from the border between Bangladesh and Myanmar is not good: tens, maybe hundreds of thousands, of Rohingya Muslims are fleeing what looks for all the world like a campaign of ethnic cleansing by Myanmar’s Buddhist majority. The country’s security forces appear to be heavily involved, many Rohingya settlements have been burned to the ground, and extremist Buddhist monks are also accused of atrocities.
Stephen Yaxley Lennon aka Tommy Robinson
As the Bridge Initiative has told, “The flames of this genocidal ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims are currently being fanned by a Buddhist extremist movement known as ‘969’ which portrays itself as a grassroots movement. Its chief proponent – an extremist Buddhist monk named Wirathu – was once jailed by the former military junta in Myanmar for anti-Muslim violence. He … calls mosques ‘enemy bases’ and he was once sentenced to 25 years in prison for distributing anti-Muslim pamphlets that incited communal riots”.
But as the Rohingya are Muslims, the attempts to blame them for their own plight are never going to be far behind. And bringing his own inimitable lack of style to the argument has come Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson. Guess whose views he’s Re-Tweeting? “Buddhist monk U Wirathu says the growth of Islam is putting the Buddhist/Burmese culture at risk”. Backing an anti-Muslim extremist.
Then comes the all too predictable attack on the hated MSM: “Rohingya terrorists launched dozens of attacks on Myanmar police, army, Hindus, Buddhists last week alone. Crooked BBC doesn't mention once!” That the religious and racial politics of the Indian sub-continent leads to its own fake news genres does not occur to Lennon; he sees something fitting his agenda and duly reports it as if it were fact.
The next step is to smear UK politicians: “Labour MP @TulipSiddiq is export on Rohingya Jihadis … She’s gone quiet because Pak-Punjabi Labour voters support Rohingya terrorists”. That Tweet has since been deleted, but demonstrates the mindset: Muslims equals terrorists, whether they are just ordinary people, Imams, campaigners, or indeed MPs. The Rohingyas are being ethnically cleansed. But he can’t hear you.
All Lennon wants to do is to grab hold of anything that suggests the Rohingyas are not the victims. So he RTs “I wonder why nobody ever mentions that the Rohingya Muslims started the violence in the Rakhine State”. No citation for that one, and none will be forthcoming. It fits the requirement: the Scary Muslims (tm) done it.
So desperate is Lennon that he RTs Sonam Mahajan, who backed him by asserting “These guys have become a menace for native Hindus and Buddhists. Have been beheading their men, raping their women, stabbing their children”. Ms Mahajan is also adept at slagging off Sikhs. I’m sure Lennon will be able to explain that away to all the Sikhs he has been trying to get friendly with of late.
But the upshot is that Stephen Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson, has been shown to support ethnic cleansing, by promoting viciously dishonest portrayals of the Rohingya Muslims. And there he was, calling out others for lying. You really couldn’t make it up.