Ro­hingya Mus­lims Geno­cide-What Hap­pened to Never Again?

The Miracle - - Middle East - By Ejaz Naqvi, MD tional, eth­ni­cal, racial or re­li­gious group, as such:

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.dre­

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