Rohingya Muslims Genocide-What Happened to Never Again?
Did we really mean “Never Again” after the holocaust? After the World War II, the civilized nations made a commitment to never allow another genocide to happen again. Unfortunately, we have been witnessing another genocide against the Rohingyan people. Yet the world is mostly silent, specially the world leaders, barring a few. When there is systematic “ethnic cleansing”, why is it not viewed as genocide? At the very least, there are serious human right violations. Yet the world leaders remain silent on this human tragedy. At the annual dinner of my Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County last week, we had one of the Rohingyan teenage girls, Tasmin, make a heartfelt appeal to support her community. She is a foster child of one of the members of the local interfaith women circle. After moving through various countries, she ended up in the USA about a year ago. She is the only one from her family who was able to escape. Her parents and other members are still trapped in Myanmar and facing persecution. Hearing her personal story gave a human face to this genocide.
Definition of Genocide:
The Article II of the international Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide states: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a na- (a) .illing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Rohingya Muslims Genocide
Rohingyans are Indo- Aryan community from Rakhine, Myanmar (formerly named Burma). They are predominantly Muslims, though some are Hindus. They have been living in Burma since the 8th century. They have faced ethnic cleansing for many decades. The current crackdown by the Myanmar military started couple of years ago. They have been facing persecution, discrimination, rape, murder, torture and forced migration, that has escalated to a human rights crisis in the last two years or so. The U.N. reported over 600, 000 have fled to the neighboring Bangladesh. Others have a higher estimate, totalling up to a million ref- ugees. Their women have been raped, men tortured, kidnapped (“disappeared”) and murdered. According to the Burma Task Force, 140,000 Rohingyans are internally displaced and entrapped in the internment camps. Access to education, healthcare and food has been restricted.
• The UN in 2013 described them as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.
• Human Rights Watch and the British Prime minister have termed it ‘ethnic cleansing’.
• Yale Law school study called this a genocide.
• Nicholas Kristof of NY Times termed their plight as “an appalling apartheid” in 2014. (The situation has only worsened since.) • Archbishop Desmond Titu calls it the “slow genocide against Rohingya”. The government of Myanmar has sought to absolve itself of responsibility for the conflict between the Rakhine and the Rohingya, projecting it as sectarian or communal violence. I would be more inclined to heed the warnings of eminent scholars and researchers including Amartya Sen, the Nobel laureate in economics, who say this is a deliberately false narrative to camouflage the slow genocide being committed against the Rohingya people. There’s evidence, they say, that anti-Rohingya sentiment has been carefully cultivated by the government itself.
Ejaz Naqvi, MD Amazon Bestselling Author ofThe Three Abrahamic Testaments AndThe Quran: With or Against the Bible? www.drejaz.com