"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Firoz_Kamal
Full Name: Firoz Kamal
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Reign of Pure Immorality in Myanmar:

Does Rohnigya Life Matter?


Dr Firoz Mahboob Kamal



The immorality & the calamities

Commission of a crime never owes to any physical disability of the perpetrator. It is an evil expression of his or her wicked immorality. In presence of extreme immorality, such crime turns terribly barbaric and genocidal. The genocidal ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar is indeed a sure diagnostic marker of such moral ill-health. The man-eating animals do not possess any moral compass; hence, killing humans isn’t considered a crime in the animal kingdom. So, no animal gets condemned for that. The same norm of animal kingdom overwhelms a country’s politics, religion, culture and warfare if the people with moral deprivation become ruler, religious leader or commander of the Army. Then, arson, rape, torture, murder and forceful eviction become the parts of politics, religion and culture. That has exactly happened in Myanmar. As a result, in last 3 months, more than six hundred thousand Rohingya Muslims have been evicted, more than three thousands have been killed, hundreds of Rohingya women are raped and more than half of the Muslim villages are torched down to ashes.


No court or prosecution team operates in a jungle to put an animal on trial. In Myanmar too, no court or prosecution team has been set to put a criminal on trial for committing rape, murder, torture and setting homes on fire. Animals have powerful eyes; but can’t see any crimes or immorality. For seeing crimes, one needs moral insight. Hence, those who have died a moral death, can find out foods, drinks and money, but can’t see any crimes even if happen in front of them a robust form. This is the ultimate calamity of moral death. This is why, the ruling elites of Myanmar, the Buddhist monks, the Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar Army and the Nobel-laurate Aung Sun Suu Kyi could consistently deny that such crimes have ever been committed against the Rohingya Muslims. For the same reason, the Army Chief could even tell the visiting Pope Francis that there exists no hatred in Myanmar against the people of other faith. As if, more than a million Rohingya men, women and children that are currently living in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar are on a pleasure trip to Bangladesh! As if, they are tortured, killed and raped and their houses are burnt by the Burmese Buddhists out of love! As if, the horrendous images of Rohingya men, women, and children that appear in the TV screen are taken from another planet! 



No country on the planet belongs to a single race, religion or language. And, not a single country is mono-ethnic or mono-linguistic. Almost the whole humankind has already crossed the mono-lithic stage of tribalism more than a thousand years ago. But the ruling elites of Myanmar have positioned themselves among the exceptional few. The country still upholds the primitive tribal legacy by denying the Rohingya Muslims a survival space in their midst. Whereas, it is an indispensable entitlement of every man and woman living in a country to have a fair share in its blessed endowment. Excluding people from such entitlement on the basis of race, religion and language is indeed the definitive markers of an arrested growth of human values and civilisation. Such exclusion policy thrives on racism, nationalism, and other forms of inhumanity; and subsequently generates genocidal ethnic cleansing. In Nazi Germany, the fascist forces implemented such a policy against the Jews. In 1971, the Bengali nationalists turned their gun against the non-Bengalis. And in Myanmar, the same brand of evil forces have turned their venoms against the Rohingya Muslims. These evil forces are indeed the ideological cousins all over the world.



A civilised state needs to be cosmopolitan; bigotry based on race, language or religion can’t be a part of it. The Muslim civilisation set the best example of such multi-ethnic, multi-religion and multi-linguistic state 14 hundred years ago. Ethnicity-based division of mankind is forbidden in Islam. As a result, in the vast land of Umaiya, Abbasia and Osmania khelafa, the Arabs, the Turks, the Persians, the Kurds, the Moors, and hundreds of other ethnic, religious and linguistic groups could co-exist in the same geopolitical entity for about 13 hundred years. The Jews enjoyed their best days in the history not in Europe, but in Muslim-ruled Spain or in Istanbul, Damascus, Beirut and other Muslim cities under the Osmania khilafa. More than 15 per cent of the population in Islam’s heart lands like Iraq, Syria, and Egypt were the non-Muslims. During more than six hundred years of Muslim rule in India, Spain, and East Europe, the majority people preferred to remain as the non-believer; but the policy of ethnic cleansing has never been deployed against them. The multi-ethnic composition of the khelafa collapsed only after the military occupation of the Muslim lands by the European colonial powers. And, because of the military and ideological occupation of the west, the western evil ideologies like nationalism, racism and secularism could quickly infect the Muslim World.  As a result, divisive walls were raised on ethnic fault lines –which was unknown in the Muslim history. Because of the same ideological tolerance, the Muslim minorities also practised a policy of peaceful co-existence with the fellow non-Muslim majority. Hence, the Muslims in Myanmar never created a problem for the Buddhist majority.





The toxic ideologies & the fallout


The people do not become genocidal on their own. Even a multi-ethnic, multi-language or multi-religion construct of a state doesn’t turn itself into a breeding ground for genocidal ethnic cleansing. It needs highly toxic ideologies to make people war-ready for such genocidal cleansing. And, it needs leaders with full moral death to lead the people towards that end. The same pathology is true for Myanmar. Here, the cause of genocidal ethnic cleansing is ideological, cultural and conceptual; and not it’s multi-ethnic or multi-religion composition. The pathology always guides the treatment. Hence, for cure of the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, it needs total de-construction of ultra-nationalist vile ideology and its ramification in politics, administration, the Army, the Buddhist monastery and the media. This is why, in last three decades, mere political or diplomatic negotiations couldn’t solve the problem. Such political negotiations –especially between Myanmar and Bangladesh, couldn’t bring conceptual cum ideological shift in people’s mind.



On the contrary, the people in power, the Army and the Buddhist monks showed strong resistance to any paradigm shift towards morality, humanity and higher values. As a result, the life of the Rohingya Muslims doesn’t matter to them; rather, deemed fit only for rape, gang rape, torture and genocidal cleansing. Although the Rohingya Muslims are born in Myanmar like other Burmese citizens, the law does not provide protection to them. They are not given access to education, job and health care. Now, such moral deprivation has taken a robust epidemic form. As a result, the people sitting in the driving seat show total loss of the moral immunity even against the most horrendous crime on earth. So, they can go to any length to commit even the ugliest crime. This is why, the genocidal cleansing of the Rohyngya Muslims could become so easily the staple of their day to day politics.

It is more awful that such a dire deficiency of moral immunity has affected not only the Burmese Army, the Buddhist monks or the ruling ultranationalists; the disease has devastated moral element of many global players. As a result, a coalition in committing crime has emerged on the global stage. This why, military occupation, eviction, mass-scale killing, and wholesale destruction is no more the work of a single country. It has become joint enterprise. Hence, in the occupation and destruction of Afghanistan and Iraq the US was not alone; more than 40 countries joined its rank. And in destroying the Syrian cities, the Russian missile and planes have joined the US bombers. And in the genocidal cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims, the Myanmar government is not alone either. China, India and Russia have stood strongly and voluntarily in support of the Myanmar government. The life of the Rohingya Muslims does not matter to them. What really matters is the business cum geopolitical interest. Because of similar anti-Muslim agenda and animosity, these partners in crime could commit similar atrocities inside their own countries. This is why the Indian barbarity in Kashmir, the Chinese atrocities against the Uighurs in Xinxiang and the Russian destruction in Syria resemble so closely the Burmese atrocities against the Rohingya Muslims.





Genocide as a state policy


The mankind have shown remarkable successes in fighting killer diseases like cholera, malaria, plague, polio, small pox and many others. But they have failed utterly to reduce the fatality of the moral disease. As a result, the genocidal ethnic cleansing, the holocaust, the apartheid state policy and other inhumanities still cause huge havoc in the modern world. Death of 75 million people in two World Wars, use of nuclear bombs, turning the Syrian and the Iraqi cities into rubbles and many other barbarities indeed owe to such failure. In Myanmar, the disease has engulfed the country’s political elites, the religious leaders, the civil and military officers, the intellectuals and millions common people. Hence, the toll is catastrophic.  In fact, promoting the moral disease and its worst symptom like genocide has been the part of the state policy.



Amnesty International could find visible evidences that the genocidal ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya Muslims has not been the work of a few thugs; it is being conducted as a part of the state policy. A broad coalition of the government officials, the Army personnel, the Buddhist monks, and the political cadres is deeply involved in it. Similar evidences came from a 2 year-long fact finding research by the School of Law of London’s Queen Mary University. The outcome of the research was published in 2015 with the caption “Countdown to Annihilation: Genocide in Myanmar”. However, the acts of mass-scale killings, gang rape, torture, deprivation of food and health care, torching villages to ashes, and mass eviction are so robust that it needs little research to see the visible evidences of the crime. Open eyes and open minds are enough to identify those horrific crimes. Some heart-breaking horrific images of such genocidal ethnic cleansing become visible on Sky News on 13th November, 2017. The images were recorded from inside Rakhine state by a team of its field reporters under the night cover. It exposed a catalogue of vitriolic war crimes against the innocent Rohingya men, women and children. Thousands of Rohingya people with visible marks of atrocities and malnutrition were found stranded for more than a month in a jungle on a desperate move to Bangladesh.




The deliberate omission and the cowardice

The horrific crimes against the Rohnigya Muslims are being committed not for weeks or months, but for more than three decades. Awfully, the published reports and evidences on such barbaric atrocities never mattered to those who decide the policy of the international bodies like the UN, the International Criminal Court, the World Bank and others. The same people kept tongue-tied silence when the citizenship of about 1.5 million Rohingya Muslims were annulled by a stroke of a pen by the autocratic military ruler of Myanmar. Whereas, every person on earth has a birth right to be a citizen of a country. Deprivation of such a right is indeed the violation of the basic human rights. If such a violation had happened against Christians, Jews or Hindus, the scenario on the international stage would have been totally different. This shows how little it matters the life of the Rohingya Muslims to these so-called world leaders.


During his recent to Myanmar, even Pope Francis didn’t show his courage to tell the truth to the Myanmar government. His visible cowardice and surrender to the lies of the Myanmar government even stopped him to call the Rohigya as Rohingya in public. Because of such silence and inaction of the world leaders, the government of Myanmar could make the Muslim state of Arakan –now named Rakhine, a no-go area for foreign journalists, foreign diplomats and human rights activists for decades. It is no less shocking that the members of the UN’s fact finding mission in Myanmar didn’t show any visible passion to explore the nature of the crimes either. The failure of the embassies of the Muslim countries in Myanmar is no less disappointing either. They showed no interest to know the horrific crimes done against the fellow Muslims. Thus, they proved to be totally insensitive to Muslims’ pain. Some even tried to appease the perpetrators to promote their business interest. In fact, such a policy of deliberate omission and appeasement has exacerbated the situation to reach such a terrible stage today. If the people at the policy level of the UN and other international bodies had exercised the minimum human sense, morality and responsibility, thousands of men, women and children could have been saved from death, rape, eviction, torture and other forms of horrific atrocities.



Rape as a weapon

Rape is being used by the Army and the Burmese ultra-nationalists as the most powerful frightening tool to drive away the Muslims from Myanmar. It has caused so much panic among the Rohingya men and women that they became ready to take any risk to get rid of these rapist predators. Taking small babies and children in their lap, they even walked days after days and miles after miles through jungle, mud, ditches and inundated long cultivated lands. They even used rickety rafts made of plastic cans to cross rivers. In fact, they were ready to take any risk to reach anywhere on the planet, but not to stay in Myanmar . Saving life and chastity has become their only concern. In such desperate moves for a safe haven, thousands of Rohingya men, women and children died on the way. This shows how they preferred dying in rough sea than getting raped or brutally killed by the racist Army personnel or thugs. For them, the situation has been so dreadful that they prefer to take a journey on a totally unknown route even for thousand miles to reach a safe place in Malaysia, Thailand or Indonesia.




The deceptive memorandum

On 23rd November, the government of Bangladesh and the government of Myanmar have signed a memorandum of understanding to send back the Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh to Rakhine state. So far, no details of the memorandum has been published; hence no one can make any credible guess how the two parties have understood the problem and have planned to solve it. It is the issue of safe return of not only more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims that are pushed out in last three months, but also the repatriation of another more than 400, 000 Rohingya people who were evicted from Arakan in previous years and have been in the refugee camps in Bangladesh for more than a decade. Without full repatriation of all these refugees, how can one think of any meaningful resolution of the crisis? But nobody knows the position of Myanmar government on that.


It is easily understandable that the Myanmar government has an urgency to deflate the strong world opinion against its genocidal policy. Therefore, signing of the memorandum with Bangladesh government to take back the refugees may be a political trick to diffuse the unhappy mood of the world leaders. Such a trickery of the Myanmar government is not new. They signed similar memorandum in the past only to buy some time to pacify the international audience. Later on, they returned back to their original agenda and showed little intention to fulfil the promise. Moreover, since the countries like China, Russia and India stand as the staunch supporter; the Myanmar government will enjoy enough courage to ignore the memorandum. In such situation, these patronising countries will still discover enough other reasons to support the crimes of the Myanmar government. These countries have already shown their own moral deprivation by supporting the genocidal ethnic cleansing. Moreover, the Myanmar government didn’t clarify the most pivotal issue of the whole crisis. It still remains quite unclear whether these Rohingya refugees will be given the citizenship of Myanmar or not. Therefore, the question arises, how this crisis can be settled without solving the citizenship issue.


The Myanmar government has also kept total silence on the number of refugees that they are ready to take back. Neither did say anything vis-à-vis where these refugee are going to restart their life. Now it has been published in the press that they will not be taken back to their original place of living but to be kept in so-called modern villages. It is told that the repatriation will start 2 months later; and will take only 300 people per day. Hence, it will take more than a decade to complete the repatriation. The Myanmar government didn’t tell anything about the so-called modern villages. The question arises, why not settling in the same homesteads where they lived for centuries. Hence, it smells fishy. It may be a sinister ploy to grab their farm lands, homesteads, and business premises in the guise of evicting them to new villages.


Moreover, there exist enough reasons to believe in the government’s hideous ploy for land grabbing. This is indeed the core part of the government’s anti-Rohingya ethnic cleansing policy. Arakan has a huge reserve of oil, gas and cultivatable lands. The Myanmar government wants to use these resources only for the benefit of the Buddhists. Therefore, to deprive the local Rohingya Muslims from local resources constitutes the key part of the government strategy. And, such a strategy can be fulfilled only by ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims. This is why, genocidal ethnic cleansing of the local Muslims is so close to their heart.


Moreover, the government needs thousands of hectors of land in Arakan to build seaports, army barracks, industrial areas for the foreign investors, government offices and residential areas for the immigrant Buddhist population from the central main land. Since the Rohingya Muslims are deprived of their citizenship right, the government can invent a convenient pretext to abrogate their land right. The so-called modern villages may be the new generation of concentration camps for the Rohingya Muslims. Thousands of them already live in such camps since the previous episodes of forced eviction. Literally, these are the open air prisons.



Why peace so distant?

By pushing more than a million refugees into Bangladesh, the Myanmar government has committed a horrific crime not only against the Rohingya Muslims or the people of Bangladesh but also against the whole humanity. So, it is not a bilateral issue, rather purely international on all counts. It is a terrible human rights violation. The UN and its member states have a primary responsibility to stand against such terrible violation of the human rights. If the UN and other big countries do not stand against this horrendous crime, Bangladesh will not be able to solve it on its own –especially when China, Russia and India stand in support of Myanmar. The Myanmar government and its cronies in China, Russia and India fully understand the weakness of Bangladesh; hence it is their declared policy to limit the issue only between Bangladesh and Myanmar. After signing of the memorandum of understanding, it appears that the friends of Myanmar have succeeded to achieve their stipulated objective.


The memorandum has already done the damage. The bilateral memorandum without endorsement of the UN has indeed isolated Bangladesh from other Muslim and non-Muslim countries. As a result. Bangladesh now stands alone face to face with Myanmar and its powerful cronies like China, Russia and India. The memorandum signed in 1992 did the same; it was instrumental to bury the Rohingya issue and failed to send 400, 000 stranded refugees back to Myanmar. Since Bangladesh has accepted it as a bilateral issues, has closed the doors for other to show any concern. 


On Rohingya issue, the moral deprivation of China, Russia and India is so abysmal that they couldn’t find any moral ground to stand against the genocidal cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims when it started in September. The Russian ambassador to Myanmar has recently stated that calling the crisis as an ethnic cleansing is not helpful. He also expressed his government’s viewpoint that an independent inquiry of the crimes is not acceptable. On the other hand, Prime Minister Modi of India not only announced his government’s full support for Myanmar, but also announced its plan of deportation of about forty thousand Rohingya refugees from India. China has shown its own face, too; it has stood as a bulwark against any condemnation of Myanmar government in the UN and other international forums. Therefore, how these intimate supporters of the crime can be the trustworthy mediator in any crisis? They can be complicit only in crime. Their collective bombing campaign on Muslim cities in Iraq and Syria and anti-Muslim atrocities in Kashmir, Chechnya and Xinxiang have proven that. Therefore, in Arakan, the challenge is huge. The enemies of peace are not only the genocidal regime in Myanmar; other powerful enemies are showing their faces in the field, too. This is why peace looks so distant for the Rohingya Muslims. 03/12/2017


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