By Dr. Firoz Mahboob Kamal
More than a million Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state of Myanmar are subject to genocidal cleaning. Thousands of the Muslim children, men and women are brutally massacred. Women are being raped. Thousands of their houses, shops, mosques are blazed to ashes. To save life and chastity, several hundred thousand have already fled to Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and other countries. The Rohingya Muslims are about 2 million; but now decimated to only one million through sustained eviction and ethnic cleansing. Now, the ethnic cleansing has attained a new barbaric level. But surprisingly, the whole Muslim World is showing their tongue-tied cowardice silence – as if nothing has happened in the world.
The western world’s current worry is North Korea’s ballistic missile; as if the Korean missiles have started killing people in Europe and America and killing their friends in South Korea or Japan. So they could quickly convene an emergency session of the UN’s Security Council to impose more sanctions against North Korea. The members of the Security Council show their full consensus on such sanction. But they couldn’t spare any time to think over the on-going genocide in Myanmar. Rather they show their consensus only to keep their silence. Whereas, the genocidal cleansing of Muslims in Myanmar hasn’t started today or yesterday; the UN body could sustain their silence for long years –as keep silence on killings in Kashmir, Palestine and Syria. In fact, such a posture of the World leaders tells a lot vis-à-vis what they can do in the future.
So, the future of the Rohingya Muslims looks very gloomy. They have no friend and no helper. So far, they are suffering the most tremendous atrocities in silence; the carnage continues unfettered. They have received no help from any World Power. Even the neighbouring country like Bangladesh has been very harsh and ungenerous to these ill-fated people. Their boats were not allowed to come nearer to the Bangladeshi shore or cross the Bangladesh Myanmar border. The Bangladesh government even didn’t show any displeasure towards the brutality of Myanmar government, let alone condemn it. Instead, Prime Minister Shaikh Hasina pursues a policy of appeasement towards the Myanmar government. However, one can easily find some historical background for such an immoral congruency of the two governments. The atrocities that are being committed by the Myanmar government and the Buddhist thugs against the Rohingya Muslims, in 1971, the ruling party of Bangladesh and its political cadres did the same atrocities against the non-Bengali Muslims. The non-Bengali Muslims living in Bangladesh were deprived of the civic right to possess any house, shop or property. After the defeat of Pakistan in its eastern province of East Pakistan in December 1971, their houses and shops were forcefully taken by the ruling Awami League’s political cadres. They non-Bengali owners were sent to makeshift shanties; hundreds of thousand still live there. They were not given the citizenship of Bangladesh. As if, Bangladesh is only for the Bengalis. Myanmar government is pursuing the same racist policy against the Rohingya Muslims. So, the government of Bangladesh doesn’t possess any moral strength or appetite to condemn similar atrocities against the Rohingya Muslims.
So, the governments in both Myanmar and Bangladesh represent two faces of the same moral disease. During Soviet occupation, about 5 million Afghan refugees could find safe haven in Pakistan and Iran. More than 6 million Syrian refugees enjoy safe haven in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and even European countries. About half of the population of Lebanon are refugees –either Palestinians or Syrians. But the Rohingya Muslims do not enjoy such a fortune; because they do not have such neighbours. About 170 million Bengali Muslims show utter incompetence to give shelter even to few hundred thousand Rohingya Muslims. Rakhine state of Myanmar is now a fortified prison for the Muslims. And the prison is now set on fire; and the Bangladesh border security forces are doing every things to close the escape gate of the prison.
If the victims were Christian, Jews or Hindus, they would have received huge haul of weapons and strong political support from all over the world. And, if they could stand up to dismember any Muslim country, the support would have been many fold -as happened in the war against Pakistan in 1971 and against Sudan in recent decades . Since the victims in Myanmar are the Muslims, they have no friend in anywhere in the world! The human morality has entered into its most abysmal state. As if, the Muslims don’t deserve any moral, political and humanitarian support. As if, they deserve only bombs, drones, eviction, occupation and genocidal massacre. The USA is committing such crimes in Afghanistan for 17 years, in Iraq for 14 years and now expanded the crime zone to Syria. Israel is committing the same atrocities in Palestine for more than 80 years. And in Kashmir, India’s barbarity continues for more than 70 years. Since the perpetrators of the crimes have never been punished, the government of Myanmar has boastfully joined the same club. The government of India has recently declared that India will stand behind the government of Myanmar against its fight against the Muslims. Even the government of Bangladesh has approached the Myanmar that the country is ready to collaborate with Myanmar to fight against any Rohingya insurgency.
Rakhine state of Myanmar is a Muslim majority state with a coastline almost equal to that of Bangladesh. Historically, geographically and ethnically they are part of Bengal. Till 1948, it was the part of British colony in Myanmar. If any concern for the safety and security of the Muslim had ever worked in the British conscience, this Muslim majority territory of Rakhine must have been merged with Pakistan. But that didn’t happen –as didn’t happen for the Muslim majority state of Kashmir. The same anti-Muslim bias got its horrendous display in Palestine, too. Hence, what is happening in Kashmir, Palestine, and Rakhine is indeed the legacy of the British imperialists’ anti-Muslim policy. In order to bring an ethnic homogeneity in Myanmar, the fascist government of Myanmar and its Buddhist racists want a genocidal cleansing of the whole Muslim population from Rakhine. They don’t want to follow any civilised route. If they want to make Myanmar only for the Buddhists, why they do not allow the Rohingya people to separate from Myanmar and establish their own independent state or merge with Bangladesh. They conveniently forget that Rakhine was never inhabited by the Buddhist.
Now the Rohingya Muslims really run out of choice. They have to embrace either a total genocidal extinction or fight against the genocidal occupation. In Islam, there is no place for surrender. Surrender brings further punishment from Allah Sub’hana wa Ta’la. In such a dire situation, fighting against the killers is obligatory on every Muslim. Cowardice incompetence would only add more disgrace and death to the Rohingya people. It is also true that the world leaders will do nothing against the criminals; rather they will label them as terrorist if they try to resist the genocide. The imperialists would wish that the Rohingya people should embrace extinction rather than fighting the brutal occupation. Aung Sang Sochi – the Nobel Prize winning leader of the Burmese nationalist, has shown her real colour. Instead of condemning the perpetrators of atrocities, she has blamed the Rohingya Muslims for all the problems in Myanmar. More awfully, the world leaders are also showing their real colour by keeping their criminal silence and inaction.
[Dr. Firoz Mahboob Kamal, a prolific writer, is a community and civil rights activist. He is based in the UK. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org]