Rohingya Muslim massacre

Dr. Raja Muhammad Khan

There live approximately 800,000 Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, forming 4% of the Burma’s total population. Contrary to this official data of Myanmar Government, neutral sources claims that, the total Muslim population is more than double the government estimates. It is worth noting that, Burmese Muslims, commonly known as Rohingya Muslims, settled in this part of the world in 7th and 8th century from Arab. Nevertheless, they had the legal status of Burmese minority until 1970s. In 1982, through constitutional amendment, the Military Junta of the country declared them as non-Burmese. Thereafter, Military Junta, started gradual exploitation of this Muslim population to include; denial of their personal and religious freedom and fundamental human rights. Owing to these inhuman acts, thousands of Rohingya Muslims to fled to the neighbouring countries too. After 9/11, the persecution of Rohingya Muslims has increased many folds.

Though, traditionally, the Buddhist population and successive governments in Myanmar have been discriminatory towards this Muslim population. However, the current phase of massacre of Rhingya Muslims, started in June 2012, has been the worst. During this phase, Burmese Buddhists in collaboration with their security forces unleashed, unprecedented terrorism on this ill-fated Muslim population. Independent sources did not mention any particular reasons for the massacre, except that, on provocation of their Monks against Muslims. Independent sources say that, on June 3, 2012, hundred of Buddhists attacked and slaughtered eight Muslims returning to Rangoon in a bus after visiting a Masjid in the Arakan province. An eyewitness narrates that, after killing these Muslims, “the culprits were celebrating triumph spitting and tossing wine and alcohol on the dead bodies lying on the road.

After having seen some of the recent videos and pictures of these brutal killings of the Burmese Muslims, one wonders, as Burmese Buddhists are really human beings or wild creature and is this message of peace Lord Buddha gave them. They have crossed all limits of being merciless. During the current wave of terrorism, Buddhists have killed thousands of the Rhingya Muslims cold bloodedly. Some insiders claim that number of killings could be as much as 20,000. According to a report of London based human rights organization, Equal Rights Trust, “The military has (of late) become more actively involved in committing acts of violence and other abuses against the Rohingya including killings and mass arrests.”

Indeed, “Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch have protested that instead of stopping the violence by the Rakhine gangs, the Burmese military has joined them in killing, setting thousands of homes on fire and conducting mass arrests of Muslims. President Thein Sein, lately being lionized by the West as a reformer, has a simple solution to the problem: Expel all the Rohingya or turn them over to the UN as refugees!” This statement leaves no doubt that, this massacre is indeed state sponsored. According to a New York based Human Rights Watch report, Myanmar security forces openly fire on Rohingya Muslims, committed rape and stood by to watch the Buddhists killing Muslims. According to this organization, Myanmar security forces have, “unleashed a campaign of violence and mass roundups against the Rohingya.” After the recent genocide of the Burmese Muslims, even United Nations considers that, Rohingya Muslims are, “one of the worlds’s most persecuted minorities.” UN resolution of 11 December 1946 declares, “genocide, whether committed in time of peace or war, is a crime under international law, and that all signatories of UN convention will cooperate to prevent genocide in order to liberate the mankind from such an odious scourge.”

Unfortunately, neither UNO nor the civilized world of 21st century has initiated any action or raised voice against this worst human massacre in Burma. All major world human rights organizations are silent, despite watching the horrific videos and pictures of this unprecedented genocide of Muslims at the hands of Buddhist terrorists. So much so, the Myanmar Pro-democracy western darling, Aung San Suu Kyi, did not condemned these acts of brutal killings of the Muslims by Burmese military and the Buddhist terrorist. This Nobel Prize winner said in a press conference in London that, “ethnic conflict plaguing the country” should be investigated and “dealt with wisdom.” She also believes that this Muslim community should be pulled out from the country.

Though Amnesty International has demanded the Myanmar Government and the Parliament to amend or repeal the 1982 Citizenship Law, so that, Rohingyas should get citizenship of a country, where they have lived for centuries. However, this is unlikely to happen. The reason is obvious, the Burmese Military Junta, the Buddhist Monks and civil political parties appears to be unanimous on this aspect that, Rhingyas Muslims have to be pulled out from Myanmar. UN Charter guarantees the basic right to live to all human beings. Rhingyas Muslims are living in Myanmar since centuries. How can they be dislodged from this country and which other country in the world will accept them as its citizens, if not acceptable to Myanmar.

The need of the hour is that, should not UNO, hold emergency session of either UNSC or UNGA over this Muslim massacre. Had there been any other religious entity affected, there would have been outcry all over the globe with possible UN (US) humanitarian intervention by now. Since US, EU and all major global players have their interests in the natural resources of Myanmar, thus, no one would like to displease the current ruling Junta, which is all set to bring democratic reforms, desired by US and West. On its part, Myanmar rulers found this most convenient time to unleash reign of terror on the Muslims of Burma, as it knew that, the so-called western and U.S human rights organizations will be mum along with their Governments. Nevertheless, the blood of Muslims is on sale, thus, everyone can shed it. Amazingly, together with rest of the world, Muslim Ummah has become insensitive too, which is a real tragedy.

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