The book that foresaw the assault on the Rohingyas

5 months ago

Personae non gratae in Myanmar

Myanmar’s Enemy Within: Buddhist Violence and the Making of a Muslim “Other”. By Francis Wade. Zed Books; 280 pages, $24.95 and £14.99.

THE gradual implosion of an autocracy can open up a dangerous void. In Myanmar, on a fragile path of democratisation after nearly half a century of military rule, the power of the forces that filled that void—nationalism and religion—is only now becoming clear.

“Myanmar’s Enemy Within”, by Francis Wade, explores the outbreak of violence between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in 2012, and how it went nationwide in the years that followed. Mr Wade, a journalist who has reported on the country for nearly a decade, looks at nationalism, the pitfalls of the democratic experiment in Myanmar and how the military’s manipulation of ethnic and religious identities laid the foundation for conflict between the two communities. Published ten days…