Muslim Massacre in Myanmar
Dr Raja Muhammad Khan
According to a statement issued from the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Mr Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the world largest Muslim organization has finally decided to despatch a fact-finding mission to Myanmar (Burma). The mission will find out the substantiation of the reports about the persecution of the Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State of Myanmar. Through a delayed action, the OIC mission will meet the Myanmar Government, which itself is the part of this ethnic cum religious cleansing and mass massacre of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. The Secretary General of this Muslim organization has also expressed his concern on the massacre. He also expressed his disappointment over the response of international community. Indeed, neither international community nor global human rights organizations, have responded over this cruel killing of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
It is worth noting that, Burmese Muslims, commonly known as Rohingya Muslims, are mostly inhabitant of Arakan state, located in the western Burma. Historically they settled in this part of the world in 7th and 8th centuries from Arab. Myanmar Government however, claims that these Muslims settled in Myanmar during British Colonialism. Nevertheless, they had the legal status of Burmese minority until 1970s. Later in 1980s, through a constitutional amendment, the Military Junta of the country declared them as non-Burmese. According to the data provided by the Myanmar Government, approximately 800,000 Rohingya Muslims lives in the country forming 4% of the Burma’s total population. However, according to un-official figures, the total Muslim population is more than double the government estimates.
Since 1970s, the Military rulers of Myanmar have started gradual exploitation of this Muslim population. This include; denial of their personal and religious freedom and fundamental rights, human rights violations, refusal to issue them ID cards, denial of property rights, education and health facilities, bar on their employments, extortion and other coercive measures. These inhuman acts forced thousands of Rohingya Muslims to flee to the neighbouring countries like; Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia etc, where too, they were treated badly. Now Bangladesh has even stopped their entrance in to the country, mainly because of its own problems and fearing of flood of Burmese Muslims, being the nearest neighbourhood. After 9/11, the persecution of Rohingya Muslims has increased many folds. In 2009, the fleeing Rhingya Muslims on five boats in Thai sea were forced to sink in storm.
In the current phase (starting from June 2012) of Rhingya Muslims massacre, 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, the Burmese Buddhists planned and executed the Muslims in various parts of the Arakan state; indeed, an intolerance for the Muslim in Buddhist dominant country. 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 Mosque 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. These innocent people have been killed like animals.”
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.” Military choppers of Burmese Army were seen by independent sources, while killing the Muslim refugees, who tried to flee on boats. 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!” After this discriminatory statement of Burmese President, there remains no doubt that, this massacre is indeed state sponsor and executed by Burmese Army and police, keeping fanatic Buddhists in the forefront.
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’ most persecuted minorities.” Since all acts of torturing, killing, inflicting physical pain and causing mental harm to any human being or group/ community fall under the category of criminal acts punishable under international law. Therefore, UN resolution 96 (I) dated 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.”
Regrettably, 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, civilian populace and political parties appears to be unanimous on this aspect that, Rhingyas Muslims should 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. United Nations and international community should be concerned over this intimate question.
Should not UNO, US; the sole super power and civilized international community ask Myanmar Government to protect life and property of Rohingyas Muslims? Should not there be UNSC or UNGA emergency session over this Muslim massacre. Had there been any other religious entity affected 5% of this massacre, 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 Myanmar, thus, no one would like to displease the current ruling Junta, which is all set to bring democratic reforms, desired by USA and West.
Indeed, these powers have their interests in the hydrocarbon and other natural resources of the Myanmar. On its part, Myanmar rulers found this as the most convenient time to unleash reign of terror on the Muslims of Burma. Myanmar Government is fully conscious that, this is the most appropriate time to do that, as 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. After massacre of thousands of Muslims in Myanmar, the OIC has now decided to send a fact-finding mission. Amazingly, together with rest of the world, Muslim Ummah has become insensitive too, which is a real tragedy.