The plight of Rohingya Muslims


By Syed Qamar Rizvi.


The Currently held OIC moot in Malaysia has shown a touchy concern about the sufferings of Myanmar’s Muslims. The international community has acted as silent spectator since 2015, by watching the agony of the Rohingya Muslims at the hands of the Buddhist government in Myanmar. There are speculations too that such tyranny is being implied at the behest or the due to the corroboration of some neighboring states. It is only some days before that the newly elected UN chief has taken a diluted notice by deploying a special UN representative. Communal violence is not a new phenomenon, specially in this part of the world. Myanmar is a Buddhist majority country and the Muslim minority in Myanmar are the descendants of the Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh, China (Yunnan Province).

The irony of the fact is that the Rohingya persons are also denied their right of citizenship which depicts the incapacity of the Myanmar government to ascertain the veracity of the citizenship claims. In this way, the Rohingya Muslims are becoming the targets of the state persecution as the government has miserably failed to check the human rights abuses including crimes against women and children.

In order to avoid such distress and fearing increase in torments, influx has started to pour in the neighboring countries which has further resulted into disastrous news of sinking the boats of the refugees and the disappearance of the migrant’s boats. In retaliation to such a level of persecution the The Rohingya Muslims are not far behind to retaliate this by skirmishes in the severely affected areas. The Western state of Rakhine has been the epicenter of this deepening crisis.

The situation was chiseled by the reports that the army is also involved in severe torture against the Muslims in the form of rape and child abuse.  As per the reports of the Human Rights Watch more than 400 buildings have been devastated as a well- planned and organized procedure is being adopted to seek this ethnic cleansing from the territory of Myanmar. Even in the Rakhine state, the Rohingya Muslims are living in terrible state in the refugee camps, deprived of basic health and sanitation facilities.

With the Myanmar military preventing independent investigators from documenting the events taking place in northern Rakhine State, even after several commitments to open the area, there remains an ‘information black hole’. The most effective way for human rights groups to verify and document claims of abuses has been to compare photos, videos and personal accounts from the conflict zone to changes in the landscape using remote sensing analysis.

Such kind of communal tensions do take place in such a society, however the magnitude of the souring problem literally goes out of control where state protection is not available to the minorities. The Rakhine Buddhists protected by the government have remained indifferent in this regard, rather have been instigating the tortures against the Rohingya Muslims. Rohingya groups said the killing in village of Duchiridan, locally known as Kilaidaung, was unlawful. Rohingya Vision TV reported that Myanmar Border Guard Police shot the man after their search for methamphetamine tablets in his home came up empty-handed.“The group of the BGP didn’t find out any illegal materials at the residence of U Hamid (55). Yet the BGP commander simply dragged him out and shot him at his back at a point-blank range”, an eyewitness told Rohingya Vision TV on the condition of anonymity.

The most intricate issue in this regard is that the Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi can play a pivotal role in justifying her stature but the constitution of the country hampers her to do so. Another alarming situation is that militant groups which are well trained in the gruella tactics and have been funded from the outside countries like  Harakah al-Yaqin (Faith Movement, HaY), is justifying its existence only due to the idle handling of this multifarious problem by the government in addition to the supporting go ahead signals given by the clergy from outside the country.

MEHROM( A Malaysian Human Rights NGO) has been echoing voice against human rights violations in Myanmar. Addressing a 5,000-strong rally in Kuala Lumpur, Najib Razak, Malaysian Prime minister said the Myanmar government must stop the bloody crackdown in its far west that has sent thousands of Rohingya fleeing, many with stories of rape, torture and murder.”What’s the use of Aung San Suu Kyi having a Nobel prize?” Najib asked a raucous crowd. While Aung San Suu Kyi sweet talked the nine other ASEAN foreign ministers about her government’s military operations in Rakhine State on Monday morning, a photo (graphic) of the bloodied body of a man killed in southern Maungdaw Township began circulating on social media.

Now this situation is again being taken by the government as a plea to keep the cleansing operation going as the insurgents or terrorists have to be eliminated in any case, as they challenge the writ of the state. The government denies that any incidents of rape or torture or child abuse have taken place in this regard, (though the human rights organizations and their reporters or workers have been banned to visit the troubled areas to discover the probity of the facts.

Discerning the facts without prejudice, it may rightly be concluded that it is not only the persecution which is the main problem, rather there is a multidimensional approach to calculate the agony; the denial of political and civil rights remains at the top which the Rohingya Muslims are suffering from. If such a situation continues for a long while, this crisis which involves human element in itself, would certainly result in screeching consequences, particularly in giving rise to Muslim insurrection.  


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