By Mohammad Yousuf Najar
What is the precise most philosophy behind the modern nation states’ relationships; the minimum terms and conventions of engagements with the people living on this planet earth other than a wholesale insulting of human dignity and sucking each drop of poor human blood overtly or covertly? What are the most costly sponsored scholarships, treatises and sophisticated researches worth for when the most international relations are done via the barrels of guns alone? Which government/state have been tried in any court of justice after they were proven involved in killing of millions of innocent people? Who is going to heal these festering wounds? Is this the civilized most era of human race when we do not tolerate fellow human beings only because they allegedly do not possess a well defined page of their identity? Where shall our dispossessed and ravaged fellows mostly from Muslims lands go if we do not accommodate them on any piece of land? Shall they be left drowning in the high seas, kicked out to get rotten in ferocious rivers or get shot upward to other planets without any traces? Or, be left unattended in order to push them towards total annihilation in such a way that animals too feel ashamed on our criminal behavior? Our age is replete with human sufferings; our blood is becoming lesser important with each passing day; more cheaper if this fallen blood belong to Muslims who are continuously butchered from North Africa to Middle East to Central, South and East Asia under one pretext or other. Thousand pities on this world!
The decades old brutal crackdown by Myanmar army, police, nationalist monks and Buddhist fundamentalists on Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State in the country›s northwestern region that has intensified in recent months, is no doubt one the most unaccounted human tragedies of our era. The Rohingya Muslims comprising more than 1.1 million souls apart from another million scattered in different countries, have been living in Myanmar since the 12th century and settled more so during British Raj when Myanmar (Burma) was the extended province of the then British India. But, post independence Myanmar never recognized these Rohingya Muslims as their citizens, stripped them all human rights rendering them as stateless landless boat people who have nowhere to go. They have not been included into 135 official recognized ethnic groups despite their centuries old permanent settlement in this country. They are mostly poor and are under decades of persistent and systematic human rights violations. They are massacred like goats and sheep.
The Rohingya Muslims, described as “amongst the world’s least wanted” and “one of the world’s most persecuted minorities”, were initially denied their citizenship rights like permanent domicile, higher education, government jobs, free movement, foreign travels, when the British sallied back from South Asia during 1947/48. They are not allowed to travel without official permission and were previously required to sign a commitment not to have more than two children. They are subjected to routine forced labour where typically a Rohingya man will have to give up one day a week to work on military or government projects and one night for sentry duty. The Rohingya Muslims have also lost their own centuries old agricultural land, which has been confiscated by the military to give to Buddhist settlers from elsewhere in Myanmar. After the 1982 new citizenship law was passed, these Muslims were totally sidelined. Instead officially sanctioned brute ethnic cleansing which is probably going on to wipe this community from the map of the earth, reportedly have been pushed towards no man’s land bordering different neighbouring countries mostly Bangladesh where they are being attacked from every side, their boats not allowed to touch any land. The Burmese army nationalist Buddhists especially militant monks have been accused of wide-scale human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, gang rapes, arson and infanticides, claims which the Burmese government dismisses as “exaggerations”.
The United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, scores of human right groups have criticized this “pariah regime” regime against such wholesale inhuman acts. The fall of Aung San Suu Kyi to the depths of disgrace when she and her government , instead of stopping such ethnic cleansing and granting these most prosecuted Muslims their lost human dignity, labeled them as terrorists. This is not surprising at all when the once role model Nobel laureate has fully compromised her human rights stand and is hand in glove with the hypocritical civilized world to rule by hook or crook regardless of morality or immorality involved. Neither media nor human rights groups are allowed to visit these areas of tensions to investigate the scale of death and destruction over in the region.
What ought to be done?
If not anybody, Muslims are still answerable before God and His Messenger (P B U H). They are duty bound by faith to rescue these vulnerable people and must act before it is too late. The Middle East is burning because of our criminal silence, internal and sectarian wars which has cost us everything on the earth. The earnest most task before Muslims is to provide shelter in all possible ways to save the Rohingya Muslims from further prosecution. The Buddhist should state be sidelined from world community, sanctioned with political and economic boycotts. All Muslim countries should call off their trade relations with them, diplomatic ties should be suspended so long they do not accept these poor souls as their full fledged citizens. If the Myanmar government still does not move, the Rohingya Muslims be helped by all means to defend themselves. In the same way, the responsible heads and the elite class of Muslim states must discard their narrow fights and get themselves mobilized internationally in order to defend the Rohingya Muslims in international forums like the UN, ICC. They must force their local governments to kick out the ambassadors of this Buddhist state without any delay. The good for nothing OIC must deliver now or get packed. If some assertive and concrete steps are not taken immediately, the mayhem of Myanmar and of Middle East will be the things of past, there will open up new chapters of more harsher tragedies consuming Muslims like never before. The Muslims in India and not to forget our own Kashmir will too experience such horrendous events in an immediate future. All Muslims must come forward to help and defend these amputated parts of Muslim body.
Back home in Kashmir, we are ourselves dispossessed on every front, smoldering in the largest open person, hounded day in and day out and are on the very brink of meeting same horrific treatment if the hands and feet of the blood hungry fascist juggernaut is not curbed and halted sooner. We just cannot figure out what and how to offer any help for these helpless Rohingya Muslims. Our collective but tired voice is: “neathnien baya lajiya woednien ben’nih” (O naked brother, may the half naked sister sacrifice for you!!).
—The author can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org