April 11, 2013
Recently, a friend forwarded me a link to a web blog. The link points
to a 400-page document, titled “Islam Virus”, which is a collection of
misinformation about Islam – how cruel, inhumane and scary Muslims are.
The owner of the blog mentions that everyone must read the document
because what is happening in Myanmar today is very dangerous and scary.
That is, Islam is threatening the existence of Myanmar. Pointing to
distorted information about gross cruelty, the document urges the people
of Myanmar to protect Myanmar race and Buddhism by opposing Islam and
On the left column of the blog site, there are icons (with links) to
two books. One book is about the colonial-time conflict between Muslims
and Buddhists, and the other is a well-known anti-Muslim book titled
“fearful of the extinction of Burmese and Buddhism”.
On the top of the column was a feature section, labeled National
Traitors, under which people accused of supporting ethnic Rohingyas are
listed. They include Dr. Maung Zarni, Harn Yawnghwe of Euro-Burma
Office, Aung Zaw of The Irrawaddy magazine, Than Win Htut of Democratic
Voice of Burma, and Burmese section directors of the Voice of America
and BBC. There are anti-Rohingya posts here and there throughout the
What I want to say only starts here. Those involved in anti-Muslim
campaigns consistently claim that Kalars (derogatory term for Muslims
and South Asians) are taking over Buddhist women and converting them to
Islam. They also accuse Muslims to be spoiling Burmese woman to destroy
or swallow Burmese culture.
Only when I browse through the internet blog, I realize how irrational people are.
First, the blog urging people to protect Burmese culture and women turns out to a very popular Myanmar web blog.
Second, and more importantly, it is an abusive and disrespectful blog
for women. Why? Because it features nude photos of Burmese women and
leaked videos of Burmese couples. The blog also features photos and
videos of Burmese women/couples shared by blog visitors.Of course, the
attention is on ‘women’, especially their ‘passivity’ and ‘suffering’
during sexual intercourse.
They found the materials somewhere on the internet, or filmed by
themselves. Some women, possibly sex workers, allowed the men to film on
the basis that the films and photos won’t be published on the internet.
Regardless of the promise, these nude photos and videos made their ways
to the blog, which is a hard core pornographic blog accessible to
everyone for free. I will not enclose the blog address here to avoid
further publicizing of it and its contents, especially the women whose
privacy the blog has abused.
As soon as I realized the type of the blog, I immediately saw the
contradiction: calling for protecting Burmese women from ‘kalar’ on the
one hand, and abusing women by i) publicizing pirated photos and videos,
and ii) allowing blog visitors to write sexually abusive comments on
the other. These comments can be read as verbal rapes. Then, I asked to
myself, how possibly can these men, shamelessly writing sexually abusive
comments, protect the nation and the women?
They said they want to protect the women in order to protect the
nation, but they are verbally raping the women whose photos and videos
were pirated. I am amazed how self-proclaimed nationalists claiming to
protect Burmese women (by means of controlling their sexuality and
sex-related life) can easily abuse these women. They do not seem to
think that distributing the women’s nude images for the consumption of
the men they do not have any inter-personal relations is a plain abuse.
If they stay true to what they say about protecting the nation, they
should have opposed to the blog for the sake of the women’s privacy and
dignity. Far from it, they are the ones disgracing the women; they are
the one fulfilling their sexual fantasies on a free website. How
cheap they are!
This is an important indication that nationalists uttering to protect
the nation is not a safe refuge for women. These nationalists are in
fact the enemies of women. They abuse women by dictating personal
decision over relationship and reproduction. They abuse women by
exploiting sexuality and body.
The text said “Sky Net” logo on the TV in the back ground
To continue with my main point, the blog owner posted the 400-page
document on August 23, 2012. I thought he changed his attitude. I
thought he realized he needed to start protecting women and stop abusing
their private matters. But, the next day, he posted another nude photos
of a Burmese lady. What is even more surprising is, he highlighted the
logo of a Burmese channel “Sky net” on the TV in the background to
confirm that she is truly a Burmese.
There are many other photos and videos with exact names and locations
such as cities and countries where the videos were taken. Some
materials were taken secretly and make available on the internet.
The blog also links to another website. I am not too sure if
that belongs to the same person. On the second website, the most popular
post, as I visited in August 2012, was a nude photo of a Burmese
medical doctor in Thailand.
I expected that the woman’s privacy be protected – or at least
respected – by Burmese nationalists who have been upset and/or worried
about Kalars taking advantage of Burmese women’s sexuality. To my
amazement, supposedly the nation-loving and culture-loving blog owner
only publicized the photos of the doctor. The visitors left more than a
hundred comments that said they wanted to have intimate relations with
her (note: of course, their languages were sexually explicit, not even
some decent comments about woman’s body or the sort, but abusive hard
core comments). There is no single comment that said the woman’s privacy
should be respected. The point I want to make is, there is no such
thing as respect for the woman. It was a plain abuse and disrespect.
Book titled “Fearful of the extension of Burmese and Buddhism” (Left); Real Burmese Girl (Right)
The more I browse the blog, the more disturbing things I found. The
blogger posted the book “Fearful of the extinction of Burmese and
Buddhism” on the same day as his posting of a Myanmar-born star.
Similarly, he posted a blog post about Rohingya’s protest in the Middle
East on the same day as his posting of a pirated video in which a woman
was being forced to take off her cloth for filming. I found it strange
that the blog owner was publishing nationalist posts and nude
photos/videos of women at the same time – how contradicting it is. This
makes me wonder, if the nationalists are using pornography for
I need to mention another but similar point. The blogger posted
photos and videos of women specifically in Burmese traditional longyi
(women skirts). This is because the visitors asked if the women were
really Burmese. The blog owners highlighted longyi to prove that they
really were Burmese. I asked to myself: “is this part of Burmese
nationalism? are they that nationalistic that even their sexual fantasy
prefer specifically Burmese? This may sounds strange, but it is
difficult to make sense of how the nationalists can be that sexually
abusive against the women they said they wanted to protect. Perhaps,
they do not want Burmese women to have relationships with ‘Kalars’, but
they think they can abuse the women themselves. Whether or not this is
how they think, but this is how they appear.
In any case, the women need not be protected from Kalars, but from
the Burmese nationalists such as the blog owner and the visitors, the
sex fanatics who have no respect or what so ever for the women.
The hard core, sexually abusive comments on this web blog explains
why anti-Muslim and anti-Rohingya movement in Myanmar is characterized
with sexually explicit language. Perhaps, they are more or less the same
people — or the same sort of people. On various websites, insults
against Muslims in Myanmar have to do with specific words such as male’s
private part, mother, and the F word, just like the comments on the
A monk’s swearing against Muslims with male’s private part, mother and the F word
Translation of the comments:(comment 1) son of a . This is
our country, Myanmar. If you dog can’t say, leave. Mother [email protected]#$-er.
Penis. You dog kalar only go to Masjid to [email protected]# your mother. Penis (9
times). (comment 2) Penis: (15 times)
One might say, who care about what’s going on with this web blog.
This is a website. But I care because this is a million-hit web
blog. Nationalists one way or other band here together, and the massive
amount of sexually abusive comments towards women is quite concerning.
This is a good example of how abusive nationalists can be — to be
more accurate, how abusive “nationalist men” or “manly nationalism” can
be. One thing for sure is no woman expects protection from the people
who do not know the words ‘respect’, ‘privacy’ and ‘dignity’.
At least 130 people are injured and three dead after
two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday
afternoon. The injuries include dismemberment, witnesses said, and local
hospitals say they are treating shrapnel wounds, open fractures and
limb injuries. An eight-year-old boy is one of the three known dead,
multiple news outlets reported, and several of the injured are also
At a Monday night press conference, Gov. Deval Patrick urged
Bostonians to be vigilant on their morning commute Tuesday, and to
report any suspicious packages to the police. The FBI has officially
taken over the investigation, and is treating it as a potential
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis stressed that the police had no
suspect in custody yet. "I'm not prepared to say we are at ease at this
time," Davis said, when asked if the area was safe.
"This cowardly act will not be taken in stride," Davis said. "We will turn over every rock to find out who is responsible.''
Davis said Boston police were not aware of any specific threat to the
marathon before it began. Police said they had no one in custody and no
suspects, but the Boston Globe reported that a "person of interest" who
was injured in the blast was being questioned at Brigham and Woman's Hospital Monday night.
[Related: Full coverage of the Boston marathon explosions]
Two large explosions, just 50 yards apart, went off at 2:50 p.m. ET,
more than four hours into the race. One of the explosions happened near
the entrance of the Fairmont Copley Hotel in Copley Square. The blast
scattered hundreds of onlookers and runners, and left a bloody scene of
injured spectators, including children. Local news reporter Jackie Bruno
wrote that she saw some people with their limbs blown off.
The Boston Police Department said it is looking for video footage taken
from the finish line as part of its investigation. Video footage shows
first responders and bystanders rushing to the scene of the blast to
help the wounded.
Boston Medical Center took in 20 patients, including two children,
most of whom are being treated for "lower leg injuries," a spokeswoman
said. A spokeswoman for Tufts Medical Center said the hospital is
treating nine patients for conditions such as shrapnel wounds, ruptured
ear drums, and "serious orthopedic and neuromuscular trauma to the lower
legs." At least one patient was as young as three years old.
President Barack Obama warned Americans in a brief statement Monday
evening not to jump to conclusions before authorities find out who
committed the crime. "We will find out who did this," Obama said in an
appearance in the White House briefing room. "Any responsible
individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of
justice." A White House official said the incident is being treated as
an act of terror.
NBC News, citing anonymous law enforcement sources, reported Monday
that a "small homemade bomb" is believed to be responsible for the
explosion. The FAA created a no-fly zone around the area. Cell phone
service was shut down in the area, the AP reported, to prevent any
remote detonations. Family and friends of marathon runners or spectators
can call 617-635-4500 for information on their loved ones.
This video from the Boston Globe shows the moment the bomb went off, and the paper has also pulled together dramatic photos from the aftermath. According to marathon officials, several thousand runners had not finished the race when the explosions detonated.
Police have evacuated the area on
Boylston Street to continue sweeping for more devices. Runners who had
not yet finished the race were stopped at mile 25 and directed to Boston
Common. The Boston Police Department called in all off duty officers in
the city. This New York Times map shows where on the route the explosions took place.
[Related: Photos from the scene of the Boston Marathon explosions]
Patrick called it a "horrific day in Boston" in a statement.
The New York Police Department is stepping up security around the
city in response to the explosion. At the White House, yellow police
tape was used to block off Pennsylvania Avenue from pedestrians in front
of the White House's north gates and secret service were positioned
along the perimeter. Credentialed pass holders continued to be permitted
entry and exit from both the White House and the Executive Office
--The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Farah 'held by US customs in terrorism mix-up'
Double Olympic champion Mo Farah has revealed he was detained by customs officials on a recent trip to the United States, under suspicion of being a terrorist.
Farah, who was born in Somali but moved to the United Kingdom as a young boy, was held by border control as he returned to the USA - the country where he now lives and trains - over Christmas.
The runner attempted to show the two Olympic medals he won at London 2012 as evidence of his true identity, but claimed they did not prove sufficient as officials continued to hold him.
"I couldn't believe it," Farah told the Sun on Sunday. "Because of my Somali origin I get detained every time I come through US customs.
"This time I even got my medals out to show who I am, but they wouldn't have it."
It was a slight sour note for Farah, who was in buoyant spirits after discovering he had been awarded a CBE by the Queen in the New Year Honours list.
"I'm blown away. I'm honoured," said Farah. "For me, 2012 is done and it's time to look ahead. But I'll never forget what everyone in Team GB achieved."
He added: "It's been a big year. But the best way to end it is with the ones I love."
Farah has previously had problems with US authorities over his background, having initially experienced issues with his residency permit to live in Portland, where he and his trainer Alberto Salazar have worked together since the start of 2011.
Attempting to return to the US from Canada, Farah said that he was told his family were under investigation as a terrorist threat, and would have to stay out of the country for 90 days.
The matter was eventually resolved by an FBI friend of Salazar's, who was able to clear up the misunderstanding.
"God knows what would have happened if he didn't. We'd probably still be in Toronto," said Farah.
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