Friday 17 August 2012

The unabated genocide of Muslims in Burma and the Scattered Muslim leadership…

Ground Report, 16 Aug 2012

The unabated ethnic cleansing of Muslims in the Burma is not a new thing which the world suddenly came to know, thanks to the continuous social media exposés, but in the past too, it has been the part of covet agenda perused by both ruling militarily regime as well as the Aung San Suu Kyi’s crusaders of democracy to uproot this minority permanently from the western Burma. Defying all the international laws and brazenly violating the human rights, Burma has launched time and again a deadly campaign of violence and round ups in collaboration with the Buddhist extremists to flush out the Rohingya Muslims in the western state of Arakan. But this time the ethnic cleansing campaign of Rohingya’s is horrific and heart wrenching than ever before as the pictures and videos surfaced on the various social media sites showed the extreme suffering, agony and brutality inflicted on them. The Burma has a diverse ethnic and religious make-up, but the Rohingya Muslims which numbered more than 800,000 in the country are neither treated as the citizen of Burma nor recognized as one of its ethnic group by the Burmese ruling regime.

It is not the first time that the most persecuted minority of the world according to the United Nations are facing state sponsored holocaust but from the last sixty years this community has witnessed five bloodied communal clashes in which thousands of Rohingya Muslims were silenced forever by the country which propagates and practices lord Buddha’s nonviolent philosophy of life. The latest spate of communal clashes erupted when a public transport bus in which local Rohingya Muslims including the members of Tableeghi Jamaat were travelling was attacked with sharp weapons and set on blaze by the Buddhist extremists. The bus had left the capital Rangoon and was on the way to Arakan state but when it reached the Taiyang Gog district, it came under the attack of armed Buddhist rioters resulted the horrific death of ten innocent people affiliated to this organization and seriously wounded twenty five others. However there is another dimension of the story also, which many independent sources believe became the catalyst for communal violence and hatred in the area, when two Buddhist girls of an orthodox Buddhist family embraced Islam. The family with the help of militant Bodo organizations plundered, arsoned the houses and raped muslin women living in the vicinity so that to put every sort of pressure to bring them back into Buddhism but their every pressure tactics couldn’t shake their newly faith. Thus it provided the stimulus for ruling regime and the Buddhist extremists to launch another barbaric campaign to uproot the Rohingya Muslims from the western coastal state. This barbarism and gruesome violence perpetrated by the Burmese security forces in this part of country was even endorsed by the Burmese premiers’ remark on the state television that these people don’t belong to Burma and the UNHCR should make an adequate arrangement to settle them in the third country.

Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch says “The government claims it is committed to end ethnic strife and abuse, but recent events in Arakan State demonstrate that state-sponsored persecution and discrimination persist."

According to Amnesty International, the Muslim Rohingya people have continued to suffer from human rights violations under the Burmese military regime and the extremists since 1978, as a result thousands of people have fled from the state of Arakan and have taken shelter in neighboring Bangladesh. They are also subjected to various forms of extortion and arbitrary taxation; land confiscation; forced eviction and house destruction; and financial restrictions on marriage. Rohingyas continue to be used as forced labourers on roads and at military camps, although the amount of forced labour in northern Rakhine State has decreased over the last decade." In 1978 over 200,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh, following the notorious ‘Dragon King’ operation of the Myanmar army. Officially this military campaign directly targeted civilians, and resulted in widespread killings, rape and destruction of mosques and further religious persecution .During 1991-92 a new wave of over a quarter of a million Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh. They reported widespread forced labour, as well as summary executions, torture, and rape. Rohingyas were forced to work without pay by the Burmese army on infrastructure and economic projects, often under harsh conditions. Many other human rights violations occurred in the context of forced labour of Rohingya civilians by the security forces.

Despite earlier efforts by the UN, the vast majority of Rohingya refugees have remained in Bangladesh, unable to return because of the negative attitude of the ruling regime in Myanmar. Now they are facing problems in Bangladesh as well where they do not receive support from the government any longer. This hostile attitude of Bangladeshi government against this oppressed community by not allowing them to enter their territory and let them die in the cruel spates of bay of Bengal and get killed in the hand of Burmese security forces clearly shows how deep is running the spirit of Muslim brotherhood in the so called Bangla Muslim political leadership. This government is even taking steps to expatriate them living in the various refugee camps in Bangladesh from so many decades. In between the lines neither the conciouslesss Muslim world nor the defenders of democracy and human rights organizations or the so called Muslim liberals are reaching out to this oppressed community so that to mount a political pressure on the Burmese military regime to abort the violence and give them their basic rights. They don’t want independence or have not waged a war against the state but they demand equal rights and security from the Rangoon. Maybe it’s not the East Timor or the South Sudan where the Non-Muslims were up against the Muslim state and how the whole world rallied behind them till they achieve their nationhood but here it’s the blood of Muslims which is being made cheap or as flies to the wanton boys by the west and the corrupt Muslim rulers.

The fabricated video of flogging of woman in Sawat valley can make the so called west and their media machines to go microwave and malign the cannons of Islam but when it boils down to serious and genuine issues related to the Muslims world they usually turn a blind eye. If such brutalities and barbarism is being perpetrated against any non-Muslim community, the western press, UN and NGO’s would have raised an outcry. If the OIC was alive and Muslims rulers had a sense of honour left, they should endeavor to stop the bloodshed of the Arakan Muslims going on in the hands of Buddhist extremists. This double standard policy of west is expected as they have waged a war against the Islamic civilization after the fall of Soviet Union but the more interesting thing is the criminal silence of media houses belonging to Muslim world over the this grave issue is really disgusting and disturbing. If the Burmese regime and Buddhists extremists succeed in their nefarious designs then it will be a second country in the world after Spain. Its wake up call for all the Muslim countries including the gulf satellite states of America to pull up the socks and stop the genocide of Rohingya Muslims but so for as usual they are watching like spectators apart from the press statements except the Turkish prime minster, how disgraceful land shameful its and the history will never forgive such cnnciousless Muslim rulers if it happen again.

Liyaqat Nazir
Research scholar
Indian Administered Kashmir

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