As the Muslims around the world cheerfully get prepared for the holy month of Ramadan, the Rohingy Muslims of Myanmar are painfully subject to the barbaric and appalling atrocities of the extremist Buddhists, finding their life in a constant state of trepidation and suffering.
The political and social developments of Myanmar during the past two years have further attracted both the world and regional public opinion. The military and the opposition have seen a period of ups and downs.
The most prominent party which has acted for years as the opposition is the National League under the leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi. The Sheans, Carens and Kachins are considered as the most suppressed groups and races during the rule of the military. With a population of around one million Myanmar's Muslims have always been discriminated. They have been under oppression since 1962. Political stale-mate and unlimited power of the ruling military never granted the opportunity of political, economic and cultural activities to parties, people and ethnic groups.
Any party, race, and religion which were not in compliance with the ideas and policy of the military were harshly suppressed.
The conditions of the Cold War era and post-Cold War were to the benefit of Myanmar's military, too. During the Cold War, Myanmar military enjoyed political, military and economic supports of the Communist China and after the cold war both Myanmar and the ruling military made use of India's support for geographical and security reasons. Indeed, Myanmar turned into a linking chain between China and India; hence it was less exposed to world pressures.
Concurrent with these developments and China's support for Myanmar, the US regime as a boisterous claimant of human rights imposed economic sanction on Myanmar government because of what it called “widespread violation of human rights and ignorance of civil and political rights of Myanmar's citizens”. The US called on some European states, Canada and Australia to accompany Washington in more sanctions on Myanmar.
As a result of US pressures and economic sanctions, Myanmar was isolated in Southeast of Asia.
Since the ruling military in Myanmar failed to continue the policy of suppression as per the requirements of the post-Cold War era, it decided to renew its strategies only to survive. Choosing the name of Peace and Development Council is among the military tactics merely to ameliorate the image of this pariah country. In early 1980s, by choosing this name for the country's political system, General Than Shwe managed to somehow attain repute and draw the attention of the regional public opinion. The political system of Myanmar under the title of Peace and Development Council tried to separate itself from history and the despotic past. The military succeeded to some extent; because in the first years of the 1990s Myanmar became a member of the Association of South East Asian Nations ASEAN. Myanmar's membership in ASEAN not only didn’t give a ray of hope to parties, ethnicities, religions and sects which were captivated by military policies but it added to the union's responsibility.
Although the policies of Myanmar government changed to some extent and Myanmar agreed with signing UN Human Rights Charter, the US and some European regimes avoided calling off Myanmar sanctions. Without doubt, the sanctions have not much impact on the army's stances and some US and European officials announced as long as the Communist China supports Myanmar, no sign of flexibility will be seen among Myanmar's military officials. But this time, ASEAN chose a path which was not contradictory to maintenance of security and political stability of the member states. Establishment of democracy in Myanmar ushered in the army's downfall. November 9, 2010 parliamentary election which was held after 20 years caused nation-wide developments. With the coming to power of civilian government, pessimism was replaced by optimism to some extent. Nonetheless, Myanmar officials, who have lost the position of junta and have adopted political method, tried to put into effect controlled reforms in Myanmar. The main question is that, despite some political reforms in Myanmar, why has the government kept silent towards the inhuman acts against Myanmar Muslims in Rakhine state? The government which puts controlled political reforms on its agenda, is duty bound to severely confront any measure which basically questions the government and its performance.
The new crisis in Muslim-inhabited regions of Myanmar broke out after killing 11 innocent Muslims by Myanmar army in May, 2012 and with the attack of a Buddhist group on the bus carrying Muslims and the killing of a Buddhist in retaliation to the attack. Following the outbreak of clashes in western Myanmar, by attacking the Muslim-populated regions, Buddhists set fire to over 2000 houses and displaced over one hundred thousand people and this was the climax of the crisis.
After the taking refuge of the homeless Muslims in Myanmar and Bangladesh borders, many of them were assaulted and brutally massacred by ruthless Buddhists.
It is necessary to remind that the settlement of Buddhists in the Muslim inhabited land of Arakan is another step to carry out the sinister plan of uprooting Myanmar Muslims in their land.
Doing this, the army was seeking to change the ethnic, religious and racial ratio. Following this policy, Myanmar government and army officers voiced their support for construction of Buddhist monasteries opposite mosques. This was taken by the army just to insult and humiliate Muslims. In many cases, Myanmar Muslims were denied the right of citizenship and were exposed to detention and illusive charges like treason and illegal immigration.
Meanwhile, the extremist nationalist military personnel imposed strict security measures on all Muslims from different races.
Myanmar Muslims tried to preserve their entity in this far-off land since 900. It was after Muslims' resistance that Myanmar army put on the agenda to fight Muslims till their utter annihilation. This claim can be confirmed by the asymmetrical Anglo-Burmese battle in which Muslims showed to the enemies that they are still alive and they can defend their soul and Islamic identity.
Nonetheless many pundits and observers of Muslim issues deem Britain responsible for the crises in every Muslim region of Asia. They believe that Britain views discord among Muslims to its interest.
Aung San Suu Kyi, daughter of general Aung San, who played a great role in Myanmar independence and release from the long-time hegemony of Britain in 1948, stresses democracy and freedom of Myanmar citizens. Suu Kyi always supported the rights of Myanmar citizens regardless of their race and religion.
But once Suu Kyi was given the title of lady of peace by western circles, she keeps tacit against cold-blood killing of Muslims by Buddhists and extremists. She easily says that she wonders if Muslims are Myanmar citizens or not. The public opinion of Myanmar and Southeast Asia expect Suu Kyi to at least recognize the rights of about one million Myanmar Muslims. She is also expected not to act selectively for reaching so-called democracy.
History is repeated once again. If one time the Abbasid caliphs were known for mutilating people now Myanmar Buddhists have gained notoriety for burning and charring Muslims bodies. Photos of charred bodies of innocent Myanmar Muslims are horrible and there is no doubt that anyone who sees these photos admits that Myanmar Muslims live in a real hell.
What exacerbates the condition for Muslims in Myanmar is the silence of many world bodies, influential figures and leaders of different countries.
Islamic countries, the Islamic parties, human rights institutions and the NGOs have shown no reaction yet to the heinous killing of Myanmar Muslims. Indonesia and Malaysia as the two Muslim and old members of the ASEAN are expected to show serious reaction towards the killing of innocent Myanmar Muslims.
Soon or late Myanmar regime and perpetrators of massacre of Myanmar Muslims will realize that religion is an influential social phenomenon among humans. Even a number of countries which were founded on the basis of atheism admit that religion plays a basic role in the progress of a society.
The secretary of India's Majlis-e-Ulama Mowlana Seyyed Jafar Naqawi condemned the killing of Myanmar Muslims.
He termed the killing of Myanmar Muslims in Rakhine state as genocide and crime against humanity and called on the international communities and officials of Islamic states to make efforts for ending massacre of Muslims in Myanmar.
Mowlana Naqawi criticized the indifference of the western claimants of human right and democracy against the horrific crimes.
There is no doubt that soon or late, Myanmar government, extremist Buddhists, the parties claiming democracy in Myanmar, organs and many human rights associations will be severely criticized and blamed by the world Muslims due to indolence and reticence against oppression and repression against Myanmar Muslims; and one day Myanmar Muslims will witness the firm resolve of their religious brethren to end the misery imposed by ill-wishers and enemies of Islam.
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