Why Are Buddhist Monks Attacking Muslims ?

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Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar


Unread post by sixfeetunder » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:45 am

LAST spring, a flowering of democracy in Myanmar mesmerized the world. But now, three months after the democracy activist Daw Aung San Suu Kyi won a parliamentary seat, and a month after she traveled to Oslo to belatedly receive the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, an alarm bell is ringing in Myanmar. In the villages of Arakan State, near the Bangladeshi border, a pogrom against a population of Muslims called the Rohingyas began in June. It is the ugly side of Myanmar’s democratic transition — a rotting of the flower, even as it seems to bloom.

Cruelty toward the Rohingyas is not new. They have faced torture, neglect and repression in the Buddhist-majority land since it achieved independence in 1948. Its constitution closes all options for Rohingyas to be citizens, on grounds that their ancestors didn’t live there when the land, once called Burma, came under British rule in the 19th century (a contention the Rohingyas dispute). Even now, as military rulers have begun to loosen their grip, there is no sign of change for the Rohingyas. Instead, the Burmese are trying to cast them out.

The current violence can be traced to the rape and killing in late May of a Buddhist woman, for which the police reportedly detained three Muslims. That was followed by mob attacks on Rohingyas and other Muslims that killed dozens of people. According to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, state security forces have now conducted mass arrests of Muslims; they destroyed thousands of homes, with the impact falling most heavily on the Rohingyas. Displaced Rohingyas have tried to flee across the Naf River to neighboring Bangladesh; some have died in the effort.

The Burmese media have cited early rioting by Rohingyas and have cast them as terrorists and traitors. In mid-June, in the name of stopping such violence, the government declared a state of emergency. But it has used its border security force to burn houses, kill men and evict Rohingyas from their villages. And on Thursday, President Thein Sein suggested that Myanmar could end the crisis by expelling all of its Rohingyas or by having the United Nations resettle them — a proposal that a United Nations official quickly rejected.

This is not sectarian violence; it is state-supported ethnic cleansing, and the nations of the world aren’t pressing Myanmar’s leaders to stop it. Even Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi has not spoken out.

In mid-June, after some Rohingyas fled by boat to villages in Bangladesh, they told horrifying stories to a team of journalists whom I accompanied to this city near the border. They said they had come under fire from a helicopter and that three of six boats were lost. Some children drowned during the four-day trip; others died of hunger. Once in Bangladesh, they said, the families faced deportation back to Myanmar. But some children who had become separated from their parents made their way to the houses of villagers for shelter; other children may even now be starving in hide-outs or have become prey for criminal networks. Border guards found an abandoned newborn on a boat; after receiving medical treatment, the infant was left in the temporary care of a local fisherman.

Why isn’t this pogrom arousing more international indignation? Certainly, Myanmar has become a destination for capital investment now that the United States, the European Union and Canada have accepted the government’s narrative of democratic transition and have largely lifted the economic sanctions they began applying after 1988 (measures that did not prevent China, India, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore and multinational oil companies from doing business with the Burmese). Still, when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Myanmar late last year and welcomed its first steps toward democratization, she also set down conditions for strengthening ties, including an end to ethnic violence.

The plight of the Rohingyas begins with their statelessness — the denial of citizenship itself, for which Myanmar is directly responsible. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, though not as powerful as the military officers who control Myanmar’s transition, should not duck questions about the Rohingyas, as she has done while being feted in the West. Instead, she should be using her voice and her reputation to point out that citizenship is a basic right of all humans. On July 5, the secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, appealed to her to speak up to help end the violence.

To be sure, Bangladesh can do more. Its river border with Myanmar is unprotected; thousands of Rohingyas have been rowing or swimming it at night. But even though Bangladesh has sheltered such refugees in the past — hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas live here now, legally or illegally — it has been reluctant so far this year to welcome them, out of fear of encouraging an overwhelming new influx. Already, such fears have aroused anti-Rohingya sentiment among some Bangladeshis, and initially Bangladesh’s government tried to force the refugees back without assisting them. After some villagers risked arrest by sheltering refugees in their homes, the government began to offer humanitarian aid, before sending them back on their boats. Bangladesh should shelter the refugees as it has in years past, as the international community is urging.

But the world should be putting its spotlight on Myanmar. It should not so eagerly welcome democracy in a country that leaves thousands of stateless men and women floating in a river, their corpses washing up on its shores, after they have been reviled in, and driven from, a land in which their families have lived for centuries.

Moshahida Sultana Ritu, an economist, teaches at the University of Dhaka, in Bangladesh.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/13/opini ... ngyas.html

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Re: Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:42 pm

Killings - Massacre of Muslims in Burma | Where is the Media and the Muslim Ummah?

http://www.vidjin.com/killings-massacre ... ummah.html

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Re: Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:05 pm

After Instigating Conflicts With Christians, Jews And Hindus, Do Islamists Now Want Muslims To Fight Buddhists: Social Media Is Lying to You about Burma’s Muslim ‘Cleansing’

Social networking sites are abuzz with news about Muslims being killed in Burma. You can see the sporadic posting of pictures by different people with captions like ‘Muslims killing in Burma’, ‘Muslims slaughtered by Buddhists in Burma’ and so on.

Thus, I took on the mission to sort the truth out for myself once and for all and researched some pictures that I felt were dubious. Below are a few pictures and their original copies. You can evidently see the gross difference between them and how they are thrown out of context.

I do not deny the killings of Muslims in Burma – not even for a minute.

I think it is horrific and I am sympathetic towards the immense loss being suffered by my Muslim brothers and sisters abroad.

What I am against is being lied to.

Imagine the amount of lies we are being fed through these pictures. How can one trust any image online if such drastic manipulation and editing is being done to cater to someone’s political or personal agenda?

Social media and networking sites, if used properly, can be an impressive tool in spreading awareness amongst its users, but it can be an equally dangerous median as well if misused.

These images are false and are only igniting hatred and prejudice in our youth.

We need to become more vigilant and aware of the credibility and authenticity of pictures we browse through. It only takes one wrong image to push us over the edge towards extremism.

http://www.newageislam.com/islam-and-th ... ng'/d/7983

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Re: Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:52 pm

Why Dalai Lama, ‘messiah of peace, humanity’ silent on genocide in Myanmar?

New Delhi: For last one week, Buddhist spiritual leader Dalai Lama has been touring Kashmir giving sermons on peace and conflict resolution – yesterday he paid tributes at the mazar of Sheikh Abdullah in Kashmir. But it has been observed that the greatest spiritual leader of world Buddhist community has maintained a studied silence on the gruesome and large scale killing of Muslims by Buddhist extremists groups in Myanmar.

Reports coming from non-mainstream media – as – sIndia’s mainstream media have almost blacked out the news of ethnic cleansing in India’s eastern neighbor ay tens of thousands of Muslims have been massacred in last two months in Burma, the old name of Myanmar. It is said that Buddhist extremist groups in connivance with the Army are killing Rohingya Muslims in thousands and bodies are being burnt.

While a small Buddhist group in India, All India Buddhist Council along with some Muslim groups last week wrote Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to ask Myanmar to stop killing of Muslim minority there, Dalai Lama has remained tight-lipped over the issue.

http://twocircles.net/2012jul19/why_dal ... im+News%29

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Re: Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:45 pm

Rohingya Muslims: A brief history of centuries-long persecution

The recent ethnic clashes between the Rohingya Muslims and the Buddhist community in the Rakhine (or Arakan) province of Myanmar have attracted global attention though late – the latest is the UN’s decision to probe into the killings and human rights violation there.

The history of Rohingya community in Burma goes back to 8th century as they claim to be original settlers of Rakhine (Arakan) province the country while tracing their ancestry to Arab traders.

This is not the first time that Rohingya Muslims were persecuted in Myanmar. In their history, such mass killings and exodus have happened several times.

In its latest report issued on July 19, 2012 the rights group Amnesty International has slammed the increasing human rights abuses and arbitrary detention of Muslims in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state.


http://twocircles.net/2012jul29/rohingy ... im+News%29

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Re: Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:29 pm

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s wife and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu will travel to Myanmar’s Arakan province on Wednesday to deliver aid to Rohingya Muslims.

The Muslims in Myanmar’s Arakan province, now renamed Rakhain State, have been forced to flee their homes on account of the violence there and who now face hunger, thirst and disease.

Erdoğan announced the plans during a TV programme on Sunday night, stating that a delegation, including his wife Emine and daughter Sümeyye, will pay a visit to Arakan on Wednesday. Foreign Minister Davutoğlu will also join the delegation.

The Turkish Prime Ministry has also recently launched an aid campaign for Rohingya Muslims, reports Today’s Zaman.

Releasing a notice that was published in the Official Gazette on Sunday, the Prime Ministry said thousands of Muslims from Arakan are seeking shelter as refugees in neighbouring countries and that they are facing life-threatening conditions.

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"They will Kill us all, please help us!"


Unread post by sixfeetunder » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:52 am

Burma Muslims Exclusive video: "They will Kill us all, please help us!"


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Re: Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:54 pm

World Muslims Aid Persecuted Rohingyas

CAIRO – Muslim countries are rushing to send aid to Rohingya Muslims in Burma, amid horrifying accounts of murder, arson and rape of the sizable minority.

"King Abdullah ... has ordered that assistance of the amount of $50 million be provided to the Rohingya Muslim citizens in Myanmar," the Saudi state news agency reported.

Saudi authorities said the Rohingya Muslims had been "exposed to many violations of human rights including ethnic cleansing, murder, rape and forced displacement".

The United Arab Emirates has also ordered urgent relief aid to the Rohingya community in Burma.

The move came after Emirati foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan sent a letter to the international community, seeking support to end the plight of Rohingya Muslims.

The Muslim aid comes aid Bangladesh, which hosts thousands of Rohingya refugees, ordered aid agencies to stop providing aid to Rohingyas.

Dhaka argues that international aid to Rohingya Muslims was creating a “pull factor” for refugees.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/asi ... ugees.html

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Re: Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:11 pm

Burmese refugees sold on by Thai officials

An investigation by the BBC has revealed that Thai officials have been selling boat people from Burma to human traffickers.

Thousands of Muslim Rohingya have fled to sea in recent months after deadly communal violence in Rakhine State, with many heading east across the Andaman Sea to Thailand.

The BBC found that boats were being intercepted by the Thai navy and police, with deals then made to sell the people on to traffickers who transport them south towards Malaysia.

The Thai government say they are taking the allegations seriously and have promised to investigate.

'Canned fish'

In November Ahmed said goodbye to his wife and eight children and left western Burma.

His fishing boat had been destroyed in clashes between Muslim Rohingya and Rakhine Buddhists, and he needed to earn a living.

With 60 others he travelled for 13 days on a flimsy wooden boat across the Andaman Sea to the coast of Thailand.

When they were caught by the Thai navy not far from shore Ahmed thought his ordeal was over. In fact it had just begun.

That night the Rohingya were taken from the border town of Ranong in a police van. After two hours they were bundled out and put in the back of six smaller vehicles and hidden under nets.

"We were forced to lay down next to each other just like canned fish," he said.

Ahmed did not know it at the time but a trade had taken place. The 61 Rohingya were now heading south towards Malaysia in the custody of people-smugglers.

When they got out of the vehicles they were prisoners in Su Ngai Kolok, a town on the Thai Malaysia border.

"They dug a hole for us to use as a toilet. We ate, slept and excreted in the same place," he said. "The smell was horrible. I was poked with an iron and beaten with a chain."

The traffickers had paid money for the Rohingya and were determined to get their money back. Ahmed and the other Rohingya were periodically given a phone to call friends and family to beg for help.

"The broker said that they bought us from police," he said. "If we don't give them money they won't let us go. They said: 'We don't care if you die here'."

The price for Ahmed's life was set at 40,000 Thai Baht, about $1,300 (£820) - a substantial amount for an ex-fisherman. Ahmed called his wife and instructed her to sell a cow. But that only raised half the amount.

After a month as a captive, as he began to despair a fellow Rohingya in Thailand came to his rescue and loaned him the rest.

Ahmed was set free and put on a bus back north to Phuket. Despite all that happened to him, he is surprisingly calm about his treatment by Thai officials.

"I'm not angry at the navy. I don't hold any anger or grudge with me anymore. I'm so grateful that I'm alive," he said.

'Natural solution'

With weather conditions favourable Rohingya boats are now arriving on the Thai coast almost everyday. And Ahmed is not the only one being sold by Thai officials

We took a close look at the fate of one particular boat which arrived on New Year's Day off the holiday island of Phuket.

On 2 January the 73 men, women and children were brought onshore, put in trucks and it was announced that they were being driven to the Thai/Burma border crossing at Ranong and deported.

But they did not get that far. A deal had been struck to sell the Rohingya to people smugglers.

When the trucks reached the town of Kuraburi, the Rohingya were transferred back into a boat and pushed back out to sea.

We spoke to one of the brokers involved in the deal. They said that 1.5 million baht (about $50,000, £31,500) had been transferred from Malaysia and paid to officials in Thailand. That amount was confirmed to us by other members of the Rohingya community in Thailand.

The Thai authorities told us they believe there are just a few corrupt officials. But in the border town of Ranong a Thai official closely linked with the Rohingya issue told us that working with the brokers was now regarded as the "natural" solution.

With the Rohingya denied Burmese citizenship, deportation is fraught with difficulties.


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Re: Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:22 pm

Fear stalks Yangon's Muslims after Buddhist-led killings

YANGON (Reuters) - An ultra-nationalist Buddhist creed is becoming more visible in Myanmar's commercial capital, Yangon, after monks from the apartheid-like movement helped stoke a wave of anti-Muslim violence in the central heartlands.

Many Muslims in the city say they are living in fear after dozens of members of their faith were killed in March by Buddhist mobs whipped up by monks from the "969" movement, a name that refers to attributes of the Buddha, his teachings and the monkhood

A Reuters examination of the violence showed it was well-organised, abetted at times by police turning a blind eye.

Fears simmer after 13 boys died in a fire in an Islamic school on April 2. Officials blamed faulty electrical equipment but many Muslims believe the fire was started deliberately.

"At night-time nobody sleeps," said Mohamed Irshad on his way home from midday prayers at a mosque in Mingalar Taung Nyunt, a mostly Muslim neighbourhood. "We have a guard, because some time they might come to attack."

Some of the radical "969" monks have spoken in Yangon in recent weeks and recordings of their speeches are widely available.

Among the best selling speakers is Wirathu, who was jailed for inciting anti-Muslim riots in 2003 and released last year when the government freed hundreds of political prisoners.

Kyi Lwin, who sells DVDs in central Yangon, said the movement was not anti-Muslim but meant to "build a fence" around Buddhism and discourage Buddhists from interacting with Muslims who may try to convert them. The speeches convinced him not to buy goods from Muslims or eat at their restaurants, he said

At least 110 people were killed in attacks on Rohingya Muslims in two bouts of violence in Rakhine State in the west in 2012, according to the government. Tens of thousands of Rohingya, who are denied citizenship by Myanmar and are stateless, are now effectively segregated in camps.

http://in.news.yahoo.com/fear-stalks-ya ... 24599.html

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Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Fri May 03, 2013 4:11 pm

Why are Buddhist monks attacking Muslims?

Buddhist teachings were handed down orally and not written until centuries after the Buddha's lifetime. The principle of non-violence is intrinsic to the doctrine, as stressed in the Dhammapada, a collection of sayings attributed to the Buddha.

Its first verse teaches that a person is made up of the sum of his thoughts: "If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage."

The most basic principles of Buddhist morality are expressed in five precepts, which monks are obliged - and laymen encouraged - to follow. The first is to abstain from killing living creatures.

One objective of Buddhist meditation is to produce a state of "loving kindness" for all beings.

Verse five of the Dhammapada tells us that: "Hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an eternal rule."

Of all the moral precepts instilled in Buddhist monks the promise not to kill comes first, and the principle of non-violence is arguably more central to Buddhism than any other major religion. So why have monks been using hate speech against Muslims and joining mobs that have left dozens dead?

This is happening in two countries separated by well over 1,000 miles of Indian Ocean - Burma and Sri Lanka. It is puzzling because neither country is facing an Islamist militant threat. Muslims in both places are a generally peaceable and small minority.

In Sri Lanka, the issue of halal slaughter has been a flashpoint. Led by monks, members of the Bodu Bala Sena - the Buddhist Brigade - hold rallies, call for direct action and the boycotting of Muslim businesses, and rail against the size of Muslim families.

While no Muslims have been killed in Sri Lanka, the Burmese situation is far more serious. Here the antagonism is spearheaded by the 969 group, led by a monk, Ashin Wirathu, who was jailed in 2003 for inciting religious hatred. Released in 2012, he has referred to himself bizarrely as "the Burmese Bin Laden".

March saw an outbreak of mob violence directed against Muslims in the town of Meiktila, in central Burma, which left at least 40 dead.

Tellingly, the violence began in a gold shop. The movements in both countries exploit a sense of economic grievance - a religious minority is used as the scapegoat for the frustrated aspirations of the majority.

On Tuesday, Buddhist mobs attacked mosques and burned more than 70 homes in Oakkan, north of Rangoon, after a Muslim girl on a bicycle collided with a monk. One person died and nine were injured.

But aren't Buddhist monks meant to be the good guys of religion?

Aggressive thoughts are inimical to all Buddhist teachings. Buddhism even comes equipped with a practical way to eliminate them. Through meditation the distinction between your feelings and those of others should begin to dissolve, while your compassion for all living things grows.

Of course, there is a strong strain of pacifism in Christian teachings too: "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," were the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.

But however any religion starts out, sooner or later it enters into a Faustian pact with state power. Buddhist monks looked to kings, the ultimate wielders of violence, for the support, patronage and order that only they could provide. Kings looked to monks to provide the popular legitimacy that only such a high moral vision can confer.

The result can seem ironic. If you have a strong sense of the overriding moral superiority of your worldview, then the need to protect and advance it can seem the most important duty of all.

Christian crusaders, Islamist militants, or the leaders of "freedom-loving nations", all justify what they see as necessary violence in the name of a higher good. Buddhist rulers and monks have been no exception.

So, historically, Buddhism has been no more a religion of peace than Christianity.

One of the most famous kings in Sri Lankan history is Dutugamanu, whose unification of the island in the 2nd Century BC is related in an important chronicle, the Mahavamsa.

It says that he placed a Buddhist relic in his spear and took 500 monks with him along to war against a non-Buddhist king.

He destroyed his opponents. After the bloodshed, some enlightened ones consoled him: "The slain were like animals; you will make the Buddha's faith shine."

Burmese rulers, known as "kings of righteousness", justified wars in the name of what they called true Buddhist doctrine.

In Japan, many samurai were devotees of Zen Buddhism and various arguments sustained them - killing a man about to commit a dreadful crime was an act of compassion, for example. Such reasoning surfaced again when Japan mobilised for World War II.

Buddhism took a leading role in the nationalist movements that emerged as Burma and Sri Lanka sought to throw off the yoke of the British Empire. Occasionally this spilled out into violence. In 1930s Rangoon, amid resorts to direct action, monks knifed four Europeans.

More importantly, many came to feel Buddhism was integral to their national identity - and the position of minorities in these newly independent nations was an uncomfortable one.

In 1983, Sri Lanka's ethnic tensions broke out into civil war. Following anti-Tamil pogroms, separatist Tamil groups in the north and east of the island sought to break away from the Sinhalese majority government.

During the war, the worst violence against Sri Lankan Muslims came at the hands of the Tamil rebels. But after the fighting came to a bloody end with the defeat of the rebels in 2009, it seems that majority communal passions have found a new target in the Muslim minority.

In Burma, monks wielded their moral authority to challenge the military junta and argue for democracy in the Saffron Revolution of 2007. Peaceful protest was the main weapon of choice this time, and monks paid with their lives.

Now some monks are using their moral authority to serve a quite different end. They may be a minority, but the 500,000-strong monkhood, which includes many deposited in monasteries as children to escape poverty or as orphans, certainly has its fair share of angry young men.

The exact nature of the relationship between the Buddhist extremists and the ruling parties in both countries is unclear.

Sri Lanka's powerful Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was guest of honour at the opening of a Buddhist Brigade training school, and referred to the monks as those who "protect our country, religion and race".

But the anti-Muslim message seems to have struck a chord with parts of the population.

Even though they form a majority in both countries, many Buddhists share a sense that their nations must be unified and that their religion is under threat.

The global climate is crucial. People believe radical Islam to be at the centre of the many of the most violent conflicts around the world. They feel they are at the receiving end of conversion drives by the much more evangelical monotheistic faiths. And they feel that if other religions are going to get tough, they had better follow suit.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-2235 ... ontinues_1

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Re: Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Sun May 26, 2013 5:59 pm

One Region in Myanmar Limits Births of Muslims

YANGON, Myanmar — The local authorities in the western state of Rakhine in Myanmar have imposed a two-child limit for Muslim Rohingya families, a policy that does not apply to Buddhists in the area and comes amid accusations of ethnic cleansing during earlier sectarian violence.

Officials said Saturday that the new measure would be applied to two Rakhine townships that border Bangladesh and that have the highest Muslim populations in the state.

The unusual order makes Myanmar perhaps the only country in the world to impose such a restriction on a religious group, and it is likely to fuel further criticism that Muslims are being discriminated against in the Buddhist-majority country.

In a recent meeting with President Thein Sein, President Obama mixed praise for the country’s rapid pace toward democracy with a warning that violence against Muslims “needs to stop.”

It was unclear how the local government would enforce the rule, and the announcement could be as much about playing to the country’s Buddhist majority as about actual policy. It was also unclear what effect the new limits would have; there have already been restrictions on Rohingyas marrying, which analysts said were meant to decrease the birthrate.

A spokesman for Rakhine State, Win Myaing, said the new program was meant to stem rapid population growth in the Muslim community, which a government-appointed commission identified as one of the causes of the sectarian violence.

A new wave of sectarian violence in Myanmar first flared nearly a year ago in Rakhine State between the region’s Rakhine Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya. Mobs of Buddhists armed with machetes razed thousands of Muslim homes, leaving hundreds of people dead and forcing 125,000 to flee, mostly Muslims.

Human Rights Watch has accused the authorities in Rakhine of fomenting an organized campaign of “ethnic cleansing” against the Rohingya.

Since then, violence against Muslims has erupted in a few other parts of the country. Containing the strife has posed a serious challenge to Mr. Thein Sein’s government as it tries to make democratic reforms. It has also tarnished the image of opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been criticized for failing to speak out strongly in defense of Muslims.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/world ... il0=y&_r=0

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Re: Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Fri May 31, 2013 5:57 pm

Violence against Myanmar Muslims has many causes

LASHIO, Myanmar (AP) — When a huge mob of Buddhist thugs crawled on the roof of Ma Sansar Soe's shop, doused it with gasoline and set it ablaze, the Buddhist businesswoman didn't blame them for burning it to the ground despite seeing it happen with her own eyes.

Instead, her wrath was reserved for minority Muslims she accused of igniting Myanmar's latest round of sectarian unrest.

"This happened because of the Muslims," she declared, sifting through charred CDs in the ruins of her recording studio.

As Myanmar grapples with its transition to democracy, its Muslim minority is experiencing its perils in vivid, bloody fashion. Hundreds have died since last year as victims of sectarian strife.

In Myanmar's latest round of Buddhist-Muslim violence, swarms of Buddhist men roamed Lashio's crumbling streets this week, armed with rocks and sticks and machetes. Before police and army troops stepped in, anarchic crowds had torched scores of Muslim-owned shops, sending plumes of black smoke into the sky. By the time it all ended, at least one person was dead and the town's Muslim community cowered in their homes in fear.

Ma Sansar Soe's studio fell victim because it sat in the shadow of the mob's main target — Lashio's mosque. As orange flames leapt from the ashes, she explained her rationale for pointing the finger at Muslims: The Buddhist mob was provoked by reports that a Muslim man from out of town tried to burn a Buddhist woman alive. The woman survived, badly burned, and the man was arrested.

But the roots of anti-Muslim sentiment in Myanmar, also called Burma, are far deeper and more complex than any single incident in any single town.

"There is a deep, underlying prejudice there. Even when Buddhists say they have Muslim friends, they call them 'kalar' and other derogatory terms," said Mark Farmaner of London-based Burma Campaign UK, a democracy promotion group. "That prejudice is easily exploited, and it's a cancer that is now spreading."

"Successive military regimes have implanted the dislike of Muslims in the mind of the general public and enacted ad hoc and de facto discriminatory restrictions," said Sai Latt, a doctoral candidate at Canada's Simon Fraser University who has written extensively on Muslims in Myanmar.

Myanmar society has been in a state of flux since a nominally democratic government came to power in 2011 after almost five decades of harsh military rule. A liberalized economy has accompanied the political changes. And the advent of democracy has enabled hate speech to flourish.

"There are so few sanctions now on those who provide contrarian or critical or indeed radical ideas about how society should be structured," said Nicholas Farrelly, a research fellow at Australian National University. "There is this awakening of different sentiments; some of those are very progressive and democratic, in other cases they are profoundly reactionary and or authoritarian in spirit."

Into the breach has stepped a phalanx of well-organized Buddhist monks. Aside from their religious standing, their credibility derives from historically playing a vanguard rule in politics — once upon a time against British colonial rule, in more recent decades against military dictatorship.

Describing themselves as nationalists, their sermons no longer target the powerful, but instead play on deep-seated fears of the darker-skinned outsiders, Muslims of South Asian heritage who allegedly pose a threat to racial purity and national security.

Preaching all over the country, even in areas with no discernible Muslim populations, monks belonging to the radical Buddhist movement called 969 urge Buddhists to boycott Muslim businesses and not to marry, sell property to or hire Muslims. They accuse Muslims of rape, terrorism and other depredations. The group's graffiti, T-shirts and stickers are seen everywhere — including Lashio.

"Many within the government and those close to the government share anti-Muslim sentiments and fears," said Sai Latt. "Many believe 969 is only an economic nationalist movement. They don't seem to see that 969's economic nationalism is actually a crime — spreading hate messages — that is implanting hate that prompts deadly clashes."

Some suggest the anti-Muslim campaign has covert official backing, perhaps from hard-liners seeking to weaken President Thein Sein and his reform agenda.

"The violence is well-organized and appears to be a continuous campaign to spark fires across the country, creating instability, which would suggest it has the backing of political forces," said Benedict Rogers of London-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide, which promotes religious tolerance.

"However, conspiracy theories must not be used as an excuse to ignore the deeper issues within society," he said. "If there was no prejudice within society, it would be much harder to orchestrate this violence."

Muslims are not major power brokers in Myanmar, but in any given town, some strike high commercial profiles, and they are often seen by many Buddhists as members of a wealthy merchant class. One of Lashio's most prominent hotels, for example, a six-story building that sits on a hilltop, is owned by a Muslim businessman who also runs cinemas and other shops that were ransacked this week by mobs.

The violence against Muslims first erupted a year ago on the distant southwestern coast, but it has since spread to the country's central heartland, to the outskirts of the largest city, Yangon, and now, with the riots in Lashio, to the hilly northeast along the Chinese border.

Not all monks have taken part in 969, and some say it is only a small and extremist element that doesn't represent Buddhist religion as a whole. Some prominent monks, including Gambira — who helped lead the so-called Saffron uprising against the military in 2007 — have also openly criticized the movement.

In Lashio, where more than 1,200 displaced Muslims are taking shelter in one of the city's main Buddhist monasteries, monk Pannya Sar Mi says the mobs who attacked Muslim shops this week were "terrorists."

"What happened here isn't about Buddhists or Muslims," he says. "It's about bad people doing bad things."

However, Pannya Sar Mi pointedly refused to criticize 969, saying he doesn't know much about it.

Thein Sein's administration has been heavily criticized for not doing enough to protect Muslims, but in Lashio the army's intervention appears to have stemmed further violence, indicating authorities may have learned from past riots. They deployed trucks of troops throughout the city and security forces cracked down hard on mobs. At least 25 men were arrested, one of whom was dragged from a checkpoint by his hair.

Muslims here have been shocked that the attack on one Buddhist woman by a Muslim man from out of town could spark such violence. The government issued a statement saying the assault was not religiously motivated, and there is some evidence suggesting the man suffered from mental disturbances.

Nu Nu, a 19-year-old Muslim woman who was helping her brother load salvaged television sets from their charred electronics shop, said the hatred was hard to comprehend since there had been no open animosity before.

"Most of this violence is against Muslims," she said. "But we don't understand it. We didn't do anything to them."

A 29-year-old sister of the woman who was burned said she felt horrible that the attack on her sibling spurred citywide unrest. She declined to be identified for safety reasons.

"I feel sorry for them," she said of Lashio's Muslim population. "Only the criminals should be punished. There should be no more victims. I don't want any of the good Muslims to be hurt."

But, like Ma Sansar Soe, she said she understood the Buddhist outrage.

As smoke rose from the wreckage of an entire corner of downtown, including the blackened hulk of a three-story building just a few steps from the surgical ward where her sister was recovering with severe burns across her face and body, she said, "In our country, the problems are always started by the Muslims."

http://news.yahoo.com/violence-against- ... 00536.html

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Re: Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:50 pm

Extremism Rises Among Myanmar Buddhists

After a ritual prayer atoning for past sins, Ashin Wirathu, a Buddhist monk with a rock-star following in Myanmar, sat before an overflowing crowd of thousands of devotees and launched into a rant against what he called “the enemy” — the country’s Muslim minority.

“You can be full of kindness and love, but you cannot sleep next to a mad dog,” Ashin Wirathu said, referring to Muslims.

“I call them troublemakers, because they are troublemakers,” Ashin Wirathu told a reporter after his two-hour sermon. “I am proud to be called a radical Buddhist.”

The world has grown accustomed to a gentle image of Buddhism defined by the self-effacing words of the Dalai Lama, the global popularity of Buddhist-inspired meditation and postcard-perfect scenes from Southeast Asia and beyond of crimson-robed, barefoot monks receiving alms from villagers at dawn.

But over the past year, images of rampaging Burmese Buddhists carrying swords and the vituperative sermons of monks like Ashin Wirathu have underlined the rise of extreme Buddhism in Myanmar — and revealed a darker side of the country’s greater freedoms after decades of military rule. Buddhist lynch mobs have killed more than 200 Muslims and forced more than 150,000 people, mostly Muslims, from their homes.

Ashin Wirathu denies any role in the riots. But his critics say that at the very least his anti-Muslim preaching is helping to inspire the violence.

What began last year on the fringes of Burmese society has grown into a nationwide movement whose agenda now includes boycotts of Muslim-made goods. Its message is spreading through regular sermons across the country that draw thousands of people and through widely distributed DVDs of those talks. Buddhist monasteries associated with the movement are also opening community centers and a Sunday school program for 60,000 Buddhist children nationwide.

In his recent sermon, he described the reported massacre of schoolchildren and other Muslim inhabitants in the central city of Meiktila in March, documented by a human rights group, as a show of strength.

“If we are weak,” he said, “our land will become Muslim.”

Buddhism would seem to have a secure place in Myanmar. Nine in 10 people are Buddhist, as are nearly all the top leaders in the business world, the government, the military and the police. Estimates of the Muslim minority range from 4 percent to 8 percent of Myanmar’s roughly 55 million people while the rest are mostly Christian or Hindu.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/21/world ... wanted=all&

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Re: Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar


Unread post by think » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:31 pm

In central yangon there is a bohra mosque ,a bhaisaheb and bohra's numbering about 50 thals. What is the kothar doing to safeguard life and property of these bohras who have been constantly paying wajebaats to the bhaisaheb.

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Re: Why Are Buddhist Monks Attacking Muslims ?


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:52 pm

Islamophobia is killing Myanmar’s Rohingya, but the Muslim world can help

Radical Buddhists? Violent monks? Ethnic cleansing? Concentration camps? And now, mass graves? What’s happening in Myanmar is terrible, but it should be impossible. At least, so far as Islamophobes would have it.

The genocidal campaign for the elimination of a people, the Rohingya, has been gathering steam in Myanmar since 2011, but counter to common stereotype, the victims are Muslims, and their attackers include Buddhist monks.

The extremist movement behind some of the worst violence, “969,” claims the Rohingya are outbreeding the majority, attempting to conquer and subjugate Myanmar’s Buddhists. If that language sounds familiar, it should.

It’s a rehash of Islamophobia’s favorite talking points: Creeping Shari’ah! Demographic time bombs! (Asian) Eurabia! While Bill Maher and friends insist Islamophobia is just made up—even as they are guilty of it—969’s words and deeds are not idle exercises in televised talking points, jokes at the expense of Muslims, merely designed to earn laughs.

Many of the most trite and common arguments deployed by anti-Muslim bigots are used in Myanmar to encourage, justify, and accelerate ethnic cleansing. The Intercept found that recently some Rohingya have been arrested for membership in a terrorist movement, the “Myanmar Muslim Army,” which doesn’t even exist. Last year, the New York Times revealed Muslim concentration camps, the intention of which should be obvious.

As the violence escalates, Rohingya have begun to flee, paying thousands of dollars to flee on leaky boats. Of the country’s approximately 1 million Rohingya (numbers vary, in part because the government’s censuses permit no such identification), some 100,000 have already fled, and nearly 140,000 are displaced.

The unluckiest are sold to human traffickers, who extort their families back home for more money. They seem to be the source of mass graves found near the Thai border. Thousands more are stranded at sea. David Pilling called the Rohingya the “Jews of Asia”. The Economist said the Rohingya may be “the most persecuted people in the world.”

They are painful evidence Islamophobia is real, and can be lethal. But it’s also a means to understand just how sloppy, inaccurate and dangerous Islamophobia can be. Just try turning things around.

Is it Buddhophobia, or the ugly truth?

What would happen if people started using Myanmar as a jumping off point for discussing Buddhists and Buddhism, just as anti-Muslim bigots like Bill Maher use instances of extremism to indict an entire religion and civilization?

You could do the same to Buddhism, which we often consider a far more pacific religion, which suggests just how contrived and artificial many Islamophobic arguments really are.

After all, many Buddhist-majority countries have long refused democracy (Vietnam, Myanmar), been plagued by genocidal violence (Laos, Cambodia), or brutalized by discrimination against religious minorities (Sri Lanka against Hindus, Myanmar against Muslims and Christians). This pattern extends to countries influenced by Buddhism, which have been at war with the West (Japan, Vietnam, North Korea, China) and suffered harsh authoritarian rule, including China, Vietnam and North Korea, sometimes considered the world’s most tyrannical regime.

With generous amounts of selectivity, ahistoricity and blindness to what’s happening elsewhere in the world, not involving Buddhists, a bigot would conclude it’s all Buddhism’s fault, and suggest any evidence of pacific Buddhism is merely a lie, some kind of nefarious dissimulation by which to hide the nasty truth.

We could have a whole industry devoted to everything that was wrong with Buddhism. Based merely on where Buddhism flourishes, one might conclude that Buddhism appears to be a profoundly undemocratic and despotic religion.

This is of course the kind of reductionist rhetoric all extremists use. And it’s exactly the kind of rhetoric that Islamophobes use to describe Islam (as well as Islamic extremists use to describe other groups.) Good reason to avoid it.

The plight of the Rohingya illustrates how Islamophobia works. But it also illuminates how extremism—including Islamic extremism—functions, and what we can do about it.

Islamophobia is real. So is Islamic extremism.

As I see it, Islamic extremism is not the real cause of many of the Muslim world’s problems, so much as it is an effect of it.

People, especially youth, become disillusioned, especially when they see conflicts in which it appears Muslims are exclusively or primarily the victims, and that not only can they do nothing about it, but their leaders and institutions refuse to do anything about it, too.

Tired of seeing Muslims only as victims, some turn to violence. (Remember, extremists view the world selectively, and don’t see their own aggression as violence—they believe they’re acting in self-defense.)

The Rohingya seem to be the same old story all over again. A Muslim people are persecuted, marginalized, or attacked. The international community can’t or won’t help them, and neither does the Muslim community offer much assistance. Radicalism takes root, and sells itself as the only route to real change. Will the same thing happen here? Will Islamophobia lead to Islamic extremism?

So far, there are reasons to believe this time might be different. On May 27 and 28, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) convened Foreign Ministers from across the Muslim world in Kuwait—some 57 countries were represented—and the Rohingya were at the top of the agenda. The OIC’s Secretary-General, Iyad Ameen Madani, has said “the plight of the Rohingyas” cannot be addressed without “international cooperation.” The meeting concluded with a vow to work with the Arakan Rohingya Union, which represents the world’s Rohingya.

Indonesia and Malaysia have changed their initial stance towards Rohingya refugees, offering temporary asylum for 7,000, while Turkey has donated $1 million in relief assistance. One OIC member state, Gambia, has announced that, should transportation for the Rohingya be provided, it is a “sacred duty” to resettle all Rohingya refugees in its territory. But because Gambia lacks the money and resources to transport them, it would require partners, which one hopes the OIC is able to provide. Hopefully the OIC can bring resources together, and provide options.

It may well be that the Rohingya will be driven out of Myanmar. But that does not mean they will have nowhere to go.

Perhaps the plight of the Rohingya will stir the Muslim world, as well as Muslim communities, to more sophisticated cooperation and action. Muslim countries and communities could leverage their resources to assist a population in need, showing young Muslims they can effect change by working with existing institutions, and not outside or against them. They could show that radicals are the ones harming Muslims, and that the mainstream can provide real assistance and rescue.

Out of this persecution, then, we might not only begin to see how dangerous Islamophobia is, how its language is fundamentally the same kind of language all extremists use—speaking in broad generalizations, lumping in very different kinds of people, and assuming the worst in order to justify the worst. But we might also have a chance for Muslims themselves to show their own institutions, organizations and nation-states can work together to provide peaceful assistance on a truly dramatic scale, which is not only good for Rohingya, or for Muslims, but for the world.

http://qz.com/416101/islamophobia-is-ki ... -can-help/

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Re: Why Are Buddhist Monks Attacking Muslims ?


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:49 pm

Aung San Suu Kyi's party excludes Muslim candidates

There was a time when Aung San Suu Kyi was seen as Asia's Nelson Mandela. To her more ardent fans, she was more than that. An icon, almost a saint. So why is the Nobel Peace Prize winner's political party excluding Muslims from its list of candidates for November's general election?

Sources both within the NLD and outside told us that none of their 1,151 candidates standing in regional and national elections, is Muslim.

It's hard to prove a policy of discrimination, but one thing is clear - leading Muslims in both Yangon and Mandalay, who expected to be given constituencies to fight, were overlooked.

"I don't know," was the answer of U Tin Oo, one of the party's founders, when we challenged him to name a Muslim NLD candidate.

The exact number of Muslims in Myanmar is considered so sensitive that last year's census results are being suppressed. It's generally thought they represent somewhere between 4 and 10% of the population.

Ever since she was elected to parliament in a by-election in 2012, Ms Suu Kyi has gone out of her way not to offend the country's hard-line monks, also known as the Ma Ba Tha.

That's meant disappointing Western human rights groups and choosing her words very carefully in relations to the country's Rohingya - widely discriminated against in Myanmar.

Earlier this year, pragmatism trumped principle again when she refused to speak up in defence of UN envoy Yanghee Lee when she was verbally abused by prominent monk Ashin Wirathu.

The ultra-nationalist leader called Ms Lee a "bitch" and a "whore".

This decision to not to run Muslim candidates should be seen in that context. Already facing what will almost certainly be bruising negotiations with the army in the post-election period, the NLD has decided not to pick a fight with any of the monks.

"It is kind of an irony that she wrote Freedom from Fear [a collection of her essays] and now she fears something," says Myat Thu, a Muslim activist who came close to joining the NLD. "I think she has lost her courage".

It's a wounding criticism for a woman whose bravery in the face of the country's generals in the 1990s and early 2000s is beyond doubt.

"There are many Muslims who have worked for the NLD and been loyal to them for many years. The voice of the minority is important in parliament."


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Re: Why Are Buddhist Monks Attacking Muslims ?


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:53 pm

Ending the Horror of Myanmar’s Abuse of Muslims

The government of Myanmar’s departing president, Thein Sein, oversaw the systematic persecution of the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority — a human rights debacle that one study has described as genocide. Mr. Thein Sein also signed four bills into law last year regulating interfaith marriage, birth spacing and religious conversion that clearly targeted Myanmar’s Muslim minority.

By the hundreds of thousands, Muslims in Myanmar have been stripped of their citizenship, sent to concentration camps where they are deprived of basic medical care, jobs and even food, and held prisoners in villages they are not allowed to leave. Thousands more have fled the camps by risking their lives at the hands of criminal syndicates that traffic them to Malaysia and Bangladesh or force them into servitude on fishing boats

The question now is what Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will do to ease their plight. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, the revered winner of the Nobel Peace Prize whose National League for Democracy party won a majority of seats in Parliament in November, was herself persecuted and held under house arrest. But during the campaign she remained stubbornly silent on the fate of the Rohingya, clearly a political calculation in a country where anti-Muslim sentiment had been whipped to a fever pitch.

Now that her party has won, as Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken pointed out at a meeting with leaders in Myanmar on Jan. 18, there is an urgent need to make sure the new government respects the human rights of all people when it takes power in March. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi is already taking action to end festering conflicts between Myanmar’s military and armed ethnic groups, and promises to strengthen fragile democratic institutions and bring economic opportunity to Myanmar’s people.

But, as Nicholas Kristof recently pointed out in a column in The Times, these are political challenges, while what has been done to the Rohingya is “a crime against humanity.”

As soon as the political transition is complete, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi and her party must move swiftly to redress discrimination against Myanmar’s Muslims and to end the Rohingya’s terrible plight. This means overturning Mr. Thein Sein’s egregiously discriminatory laws targeting Muslims, restoring citizenship to the Rohingya and other Muslims, allowing the Rohingya to leave the squalid camps to return to their homes and businesses and to travel, and outlawing hate crimes and hate speech toward religious minorities.

Some of the American economic sanctions originally aimed at forcing the military regime to end abuses, loosen its grip and move toward democracy remain in place, prohibiting American companies from doing business with corporations and individuals tied to the generals. They should remain in effect until the new government makes tangible progress on all human rights fronts.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/25/opini ... .html?_r=0

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Re: Why Are Buddhist Monks Attacking Muslims ?


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Wed May 11, 2016 6:51 pm

Aung San Suu Kyi’s Cowardly Stance on the Rohingya

The Rohingya are a Muslim minority in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar that has been systematically denied the most elemental rights: citizenship, freedom of worship, education, marriage and travel. Tens of thousands of the Rohingya were driven from their homes by violence in 2012; last year many tried to flee persecution and deprivation in desperate sea voyages.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi — Myanmar’s leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate — does not want to call them Rohingya, the name they use, because nationalist Buddhists want to perpetuate the myth that they are “Bengalis” who don’t belong in Myanmar. She has also asked the United States ambassador not to use the term. Her advice is wrong and deeply disappointing. The Rohingya are every bit as Burmese as she is.

There are many possible reasons Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi — whose 15 years under house arrest made her one of the world’s best known and most respected political prisoners — might be reluctant to publicly embrace the Rohingya cause. It has been barely a month since she became leader of Myanmar’s first democratically elected government since 1962, with the title of state counselor, and she no doubt fears antagonizing the Buddhist nationalists who angrily demonstrated outside the United States Embassy in late April after the embassy referred to the “Rohingya community” in a letter of condolence for Rohingya victims of a boat sinking.

Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi may fear that publicly calling these people by their name would upset the national reconciliation process, as a Foreign Ministry official said, or worse: that it would rekindle the terrible violence that erupted in 2012 between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in western Rakhine State.

There is no question that Rakhine State, one of the poorest in Myanmar, is a complex tinderbox of sectarian resentments that requires the most cautious of political approaches. But these simply cannot be based on a perpetuation of the systematic persecution and marginalization of the Rohingya in Myanmar’s social and political life. They certainly cannot be based on denying the Rohingya even their name.

In the end, the reason Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi doesn’t want the Americans to say “Rohingya” doesn’t really matter. What matters is that a woman whose name has been synonymous with human rights for a generation, a woman who showed unflinching courage in the face of despotism, has continued an utterly unacceptable policy of the military rulers she succeeded.

Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi would be wise to reconsider her stance immediately. Her halo has been a central factor in Myanmar’s reacceptance into the world community after decades of ostracism, but already there are calls by human rights groups in the United States for President Obama to renew sanctions against the country before they expire on May 20.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/09/opini ... egion&_r=2

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Re: Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar


Unread post by qutub_mamajiwala » Thu Jun 16, 2016 4:50 am

Migration fears as Bangla zealots go after Hindus

Ganguly was hacked to death in a small village in southwestern Bangladesh on June 7. Two days later, another Hindu religious worker Nityananda Panday (60) was killed in almost the same manner early morning in front of a mental hospital.

"Earlier, they would rape Hindu girls or torch our temples and houses, forcing Hindus to abandon their properties and migrate to India. It was mostly about grabbing Hindu land and property. But now they are slaughtering ordinary landless poor Hindus with no social or economic standing and the message is entirely different," he adds. A fresh wave of migration of Hindus out of Bangladesh, he fears, will start quietly.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/worl ... 772620.cms

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Re: Why Are Buddhist Monks Attacking Muslims ?


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:36 pm

Burma’s Million-Strong Rohingya Population Faces ‘Final Stages of Genocide,’ Says Report

The long-persecuted ethnicity is on the verge of "mass annihilation," say experts, with new evidence indicating government complicity

Despite the U.S.-led rolling back of economic sanctions and internationally backed national elections taking place early next month, more than a million people in Burma are facing state-sponsored genocide, according to a new report.

The Rohingya Muslim community of the military-dominated Southeast Asian nation, which is now officially known as Myanmar, has been systematically persecuted and expunged from the national narrative — often at the behest of powerful extremist groups from the country’s majority Buddhist population and even government authorities — to the point where complete extermination is a possibility, according to a damning new study by the International State Crime Initiative (ISCI) at the Queen Mary University of London.

“The Rohingya face the final stages of genocide,” concludes the report

The report enumerates how the Rohingya have undergone the first four stages — stigmatization and dehumanization; harassment, violence and terror; isolation and segregation; systematic weakening — and are on the verge of “mass annihilation.” The sixth stage, which involves the “removal of the victim group from collective history,” is already under way in many respects, the report says.

Stricken from Burma’s 135 officially recognized ethnicities in 1982, the Rohingya have undergone decades of discrimination and disenfranchisement, albeit never to the degree they currently face. The Burmese government’s official position is that the Rohingya are interlopers from neighboring Bangladesh, despite many having lived in the country for generations, and it refuses to even acknowledge their collective name, preferring the loaded term “Bengali.” The report documents a systematic deterioration of the Rohingya’s situation since communal violence broke out in June 2012 in Burma’s Rakhine (formerly Arakan) state.

Although the Burmese government has painted the strife — which saw hundreds of people, mainly Muslims, slaughtered during two main waves of violence that June and October — as a spontaneous outbreak of long-mounting religious tensions following the reported rape of a Buddhist woman, the ISCI report presents compelling evidence that the attacks were premeditated and possibly even organized by local authorities.

Interviews with some of the perpetrators — none of whom have been prosecuted because of a supposed lack of concrete evidence — reveal that they were bused into Rakhine state’s capital city Sittwe from nearby villages, provided two free meals a day and told it was their “duty as Rakhine to participate in an attack on the Muslim population.”

There are also strong indications that the government not only allowed the violence to take place unabated for almost a week, but that police, military and other state security forces participated in the attacks themselves, the report says.

Since then, close to 140,000 Rohingya have been sequestered in squalid camps outside the state’s capital, heavily guarded and prevented from leaving by security forces. The 4,500 that remain in Sittwe reside in a run-down ghetto with similar restrictions on movement. A majority of the Rohingya, numbering about 800,000, are spread out across two townships in northern Rakhine state — another region completely blocked off from the outside world by the military.

A lot of the food rations sent by international aid organizations never make it to the Rohingya camps, and denial of access to adequate health care have turned them into hotbeds for malnutrition and disease. As a result of the apartheid-like conditions, the inhabitants of these camps are also largely prevented from receiving an education and earning any sort of livelihood.

“The abuses that the Rohingya are experiencing are at a level and scale that we have not seen elsewhere in Southeast Asia,”

“The Rohingya don’t have to be annihilated for someone to be held responsible for the crime of genocide,” he says. “They [Burmese authorities] are creating conditions of life for over a million people that are designed to be destructive.”

There are more than just physical aspects to the Rohingya’s plight — they have been stripped of their citizenship, with their children no longer being issued birth certificates and laws restricting their marriage and birth rate. The government also excluded the community from the 2014 census unless they registered as “Bengali.”

They have also been denied the right to participate in the upcoming Nov. 8 general elections, a complete reversal from the last election in 2010 when Rohingya voted in large numbers and some were elected to the legislature, as the military-backed government yoked their animosity to the Rakhine to see of the challenge of ethnic parties aligned with the latter.

No political party has countered the Islamophobic national narrative, with even the liberal National League for Democracy (NLD) of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi going to the polls without a single Muslim candidate, and the Rohingya’s deplorable situation will likely endure no matter the election’s result.

In the absence of a light at the end of the tunnel, there is a growing likelihood that Rohingya will take to the seas en masse in order to flee their country — like thousands did earlier this year — in the coming months, falling pray to people-smugglers with often deadly consequences.

The previous exodus, which reached its height this June, was not only enabled and encouraged but also enforced by government authorities, “They said, ‘You are Muslim and you are not allowed to live in Rakhine state. Get on the boat and flee wherever you want,’”

Such attitudes do not bode well for the Rohingya, whose plight is grimly summed up by a woman living in one of the camps interviewed by ISCI.

“If the international community can’t help us, please drop a bomb on us and kill all of us,” she says.


http://time.com/4089276/burma-rohingya- ... d=tcoshare

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Re: Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar


Unread post by qutub_mamajiwala » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:54 am

https://www.speakingtree.in/article/roh ... ims/m-lite

MAULANA WAHIDUDDIN KHAN walks us through the story of the Rohingya Muslims, who are fleeing Myanmar, in search of safe refuge

From the ninth century,onwards, Arab and other traders have visited the Rakhine state, formerly Arakan, on the western coast of Burma (Myanmar), and in the early days, a group of them settled there.As a result of interaction with the local population, Islam gradually spread,until a large part of the Rakhine state became Muslim. For centuries, the Muslims of Arakan lived peacefully with the rest of Burma and had no separatist tendencies. However, when East Pakistan was formed in 1947, certain emotional Muslim leaders tried to make a separate Muslim state out of the region where the Rohingya people lived.They described their efforts as ‘self-determination’. This movement picked up pace and many extremist Muslims took an active part in it.The Myanmar central government saw these actions as revolt, as in essence,it was a movement for separation from Myanmar. Prior to the insurgency, Rohingya Muslims had lived peacefully alongside the other people of Myanmar.But emotional speeches made by separatist leaders kindled separatism in the Rohingya. To curb their activities, the Myanmar government took tough action and stern measures against them,which,according to Rohingya leaders, were an act of ‘oppression’.The government’s response was designed to bring discipline to their country. In 1971, when Bangladesh was formed,it gave a kind of political boost to the Rohingya leaders, who further intensified their separatist activities,due to which the Myanmar government reacted more stringently than before.This is the story of the Rohingya Muslims in brief.

When I was in Lucknow — perhaps in 1966 — one day, a Muslim scholar came to me and said he was going to Burma, and asked if I would accompany him.When I asked why, he replied that a movement for the formation of a Muslim state was going on in Myanmar and that we, too, should lend our full support to it. I strongly disagreed with his suggestion. I explained to him that people who thought like him might be trying to form a state in the name of Islam, but that such an act would only lead to strife. I told him that I disapproved of their method of proceeding, as a movement that took shape in such a manner was not truly Islamic, and could only lead to conflict and dispute. I made it clear that I could not endorse such a cause.He became angry and left. Since 1966,my opinion on the Rohingyas is only one and that is:The case of the Rohingya Muslims is not one of ‘oppression’, but rather, it is the outcome of ill-judged political activities instigated by unwise leaders.If the whole picture were to be seen, one would arrive at the conclusion that the Rohingya Muslims are not victims of oppression, but are rather paying the price for their own unrealistic actions carried out under the influence of misguided leaders. Such a separatist movement would be unacceptable to any country,even if it were given the euphemistic name of ‘self-determinism’. The solution to the problem of the Rohingya Muslims is only one — that is, they must disavow their insurgency and militant activities.They should make it known that they are a larger part of the Myanmar nation.

They should rid their hearts of separatist tendencies. I am sure that the Myanmar government would then accept them, and the whole issue would be peacefully resolved. The separatist movement has only caused a deterioration of the condition of the Rohingyas to the point of ruination, although prior to this they were living prosperously in Myanmar. Indeed, the best interests of the Rohingya Muslims lie not in wanting a separate land, but rather, in living as part of the state of Myanmar. This is true both in the religious and secular sense. In 1934, I took admission in the Madrasah al-Islah, an Arabic seminary in Azamgarh, for my religious education. I had only one friend in this seminary, one Abdul Rashid Rangooni (he was from Burma). He was a very decent person and had a very good opinion about the Burma of his time. Judging by the impressions I received from him about the Burmese people, I would say that the blame for the later actions which were taken against the Rohingya Muslims lies not entirely with the Burmese administration, but with the unwise Rohingya leaders who fuelled violent activities in the region. In the course of this militancy, outside leaders also participated, aggravating the situation.But I personally know that the Burmese are very good people and will certainly reaccept the Rohingya Muslims wholeheartedly, provided the Rohingyas acknowledge that they were misled by separatist leaders and have now resolved to remain faithful citizens of Myanmar. Rohingya Muslims should know that, in this world, friendship and enmity are both relative terms. If you offer friendship to another person,he,too, will definitely accept you as a friend. This natural law has been stated thus in the Quran:“Do good deed in return for bad deed and you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.” (41:34)

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