Dr Muhammad Khan
Recep Tayyip Erdoðan, the Turkish President is the only international leader, who dared to raise voice against the Rohingya’s genocide at the hands of Myanmar security forces. Following the recent organised attacks (starting from August 25, 2017) by country’s powerful military on the Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state of Myanmar, President Eradogan said in a speech in Istanbul, that, “There is a genocide there.” While pointing towards oblivious international community, he further said that, “Those who close their eyes to this genocide perpetuated under the cover of democracy are its collaborators.” It was not just a condemnation of the Muslims’ genocide by Myanmar’s so-called democracy, but indeed, he exposed the reality of those who preach peace, secularism and a free world for all and above all, those who were given Nobel Peace Prize for democracy.
The eye witnesses say, Myanmar ‘security forces and vigilantes attacked and burned villages, shooting civilians and causing others to flee. Contrary to Government claims that, only 400 Rohingyas have been killed, the fact is that, thousands of Muslims (Rohingyas) have been killed, injured, brutalised and women folk were gang raped. Only few incidents have been reported on social media as evidence. After the massive killings of Rohingya Muslims, there was a brief and vague statement of UN Secretary General, who said, “The current situation underlines the urgency of seeking holistic approaches to addressing the complex root causes of violence.” It indicates a statement of a helpless man. UN Special rapporteur on the human rights however feels, “that many thousands of people are increasingly at risk of grave violations of their human rights.” Human Rights Watch emphasised the Myanmar Government to “stop this offensive” and allow ‘humanitarian assistance’ and neutral journalists to know the facts.
The Washington Post feels that, in Myanmar ‘democracy dies in darkness’. While Aung San Suu Kyi, the current leader of democratic Myanmar was receiving the Nobel Peace Prize (which she won in 1991) at a Nobel ceremony at Oslo’s City Hall on June 16, 2012, a formal genocide campaign had already started against the Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state. Upon a question over the killing of Rohingya of Muslims by Buddhist state, this Nobel laureate even did not condemn the act, which clearly indicates her biases and future plans. Indeed, a democratic Myanmar (Burma) has proved to be darker than the Burma under Military Junta.
‘The New York Times’ in its September 9, 2017 opinion writes, “For the last three weeks, Buddhist-majority Myanmar has systematically slaughtered civilians belonging to the Rohingya Muslim minority, forcing 270,000 to flee to neighboring Bangladesh — with Myanmar soldiers shooting at them even as they cross the border.” This prestigious newspaper considers this as an “ethnic cleansing”. A prior report; “Yale study” carried out much earlier than the current wave of violence had ‘suggested that the brutality toward the Rohingya might qualify as genocide.’ Many international peace prize winners have joined the movement, asking Aung San Suu Kyi to return the Nobel Peace Prize.
Although there is a general silence among the nation states (both democracies and autocracies) over this organised genocide of Rohingyas, there are people with conscious, who feel their moral responsibilities to raise their voices against the brutalities under a Nobel peace laureate. So far over 400,000 people had signed a petition, demanding the Award Committee to withdraw the Nobel Peace Prize from Aung San Suu Kyi. People like George Monbiot, a Guardian columnist emphasised the world to sign more on the petition “Why? Because we now contemplate an extraordinary situation: a Nobel peace laureate complicit in crimes against humanity.” This columnist is not a Muslim, but a promoter of peace and humanity. On its part, the Muslim world is as insensitive as rest of the world, the modern democracies.
In 2012, on the eve of receiving Nobel Peace Prize, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi said, “Ultimately our aim should be to create a world free from the displaced, the homeless and the hopeless, a world of which each and every corner is a true sanctuary where the inhabitants will have the freedom and the capacity to live in peace.” Today she is the architect and mastermind of the Muslims’ genocide of Rohingya Muslims and doing all reverses. The international media clearly revealed; “During the crackdown, government troops were accused of an array of human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killing, rape and arson.” How can Aung San Suu Kyi deny these undeniable ground realities, which have been filmed by neutral observers?
Seeing the recent precedence of liberal intervention by US and West in countries like Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan, should not there be an imposition of sanctions against Myanmar over the massive human rights violations or a demand for a separate state for the Rohingyas on the pattern of East Timor or South Sudan. Population of East Timor is 1.269 million, whereas, population of Rohingyas in Rakhine state is 1.3 million with another 1.5 million as diaspora.
A recent UN Security Council meeting remained inconclusive over this genocide and earlier in March 2017, Russia and China blocked a resolution over the issue, which led the current massive human rights violation against Rohingyas in Myanmar. In summary, the harsh realities of global politics is; there are no human rights for the Muslims anywhere in the world and international politics is essentially interests based, where major power decide the issues according to their strategic and economic interests, rather for the grieved communities. Should an indolent Muslim world, an inert OIC and acquisitive Muslim elites learn a lesson now?
— The writer, Professor of Politics and International Relations, is based in Islamabad.
Dr Muhammad Khan