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World Silence Towards the Continuous Genocide Against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

By Firoz Mahboob Kamal

Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, November 20, 2017 


The Rohingya Genocide: Why Independent Arakan So Crucial?

 The liberty in genocide

The genocidal cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims -the stipulated key objective of the Myanmar government, has received a huge success. No other Army in the world could cause such a quick and massive eviction of the centuries-old settled people on earth. The Army could cleanse more than six hundred thousand people from their own homes in less than three weeks. They could also evict more than another four hundred thousand people in previous years. The Army have burnt about half of the Muslim villages in Arakan and made them completely empty for government take-over. The government needs such empty lands for building two deep sea ports: one for China and another for India. India needs that port to connect its eastern seven provinces. China needs that port to get quick access to outside markets from its southern part. This is why, both China and India have huge vested interest to support the ongoing ethnic cleansing in Arakan. Both China and India consider such cleansing of the Muslims population quite essential for safe passage of their trucks, buses, oil pipeline and cargo ships. In the beautiful sea shore of Arakan, the government also need huge area of Muslim-free land for building Army barracks, government offices, residential blocks for the Buddhist mainlanders and special economic zones for the foreign investors. Now, the ultranationalist ruling elite, the racist Army and the Muslim bashing Buddhist monks have enough reasons to celebrate such a spectacular success in ethnic cleansing.
The Myanmar Army could attain such a huge success only by committing horrific war crimes against the unarmed local civilians. Although the Rohingya Muslims are denied even the survival right in Myanmar, the Army enjoy unfettered liberty to commit even the worst form of war crimes. Because of such liberty in genocide, the genocidal crimes like mass killing, mass rape, mass eviction, mass torture, burning down of villages and other devices of ethnic cleansing could operate openly not for months or years, but for decades. The UN offices, the foreign embassies, and the human rights organisations that are stationed in Myanmar were fully aware of that. But their policy of silence, inaction and even appeasement give ample evidence that the Muslims life seldom matter to them. This is why, the Myanmar government and its Army didn’t face any condemnation for such a worst genocide on earth -neither from the UN Security Council, nor from any world power. On the contrary, the Myanmar government receives full support cum endorsement from countries like China, Russia, India and Japan. The countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia also maintain tongue-tied silence. Pakistan sells fighter planes and other weapons to Myanmar and Saudi Arabia takes its oil pipe lines to China. This shows how the economic interest overwrites basic morality, humanity and the survival rights of the defenceless people. It also exposes how badly the world is hostage to the worst form of economic cum political animals. 
Now, it is obvious that the Myanmar Army’s huge success in meeting its war objective has left no political, social, educational, economic, and not even any survival space for the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Therefore, for saving life, they are left with no other option but to make desperate move to a safe haven in Bangladesh. For such a move, the hardships are huge; sometimes unbearable. In Arakan, there exists no road or boat route to make the journey easier. The old, the sick, the children, and the disabled had to travel hundreds of mile on bare foot through slippery mud of the paddy fields to reach the Bangladesh border. Many pregnant women gave birth to their baby on the way; and again they had to walk a long way. They even use flimsy raft made of plastic cans to cross a big river like Naf at the border. In such desperate moves, hundreds of men, women and children are already drowned. But the world leaders opted only to be the silent observers of the crime scene. So the genocide continues.
The pathology of genocide

Genocidal cleansing of a population never happens with the brutality of any man-eating animals. It is the premeditated war crime of the humans who proved again and again far beastlier than any wild animal. This is the work of the people who can build gas chambers, drop nuclear bombs, and can turn cities and villages into rubbles. They are the people who live with virulent political ideologies that want to expand their imperialistic dominance over others. Colonialism, imperialism, racism, fascism, ethnic cleansing, World Wars, gas chambers and war of occupation are the few historical facets of such ideological extremism cum terrorism. Terrorising people with nuclear bombs, chemical bombs, cluster bombs, missiles, and drones is their usual tool of domination over others.
The followers of these virulent ideological extremism quickly and very easily turn into the worst form of genocidal war criminals. Hence catalogue of their crimes is huge. Because of such war criminals, more than 75 million people had to die in two World Wars, and more than a hundred thousand people were burnt to death in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And in recent years, because of them, horrendous era of deaths and destruction landed on Gaza, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Iraq, Syria, and now in Yemen. Because of them, more than three hundred thousand Syrians had to die and more than 6 million Syrians had to leave their homes. And millions of Palestinians have to live in camps for more than 65 years.  Because of the same war criminals, cities like Gaza in Palestine, Grozny in Chechnya, Mosul, Ramadi, Tikrit, and Fallujah in Iraq, and Raqqa, Homs, Hama, Deira Zur and many other cities in Syria have been flattened to the ground.
The Myanmar government and its Army have taken the same route of terrible genocidal crimes. The ongoing non-stop war crimes in Iraq and Syria by the US and Russian Air Forces and the anti-Muslim rhetoric of the US President Doland Trump and killing of Muslims in Kashmir by the Indian Prime Minister Norendro Modi have heavily encouraged the Burmese war criminals to add more ferocity and atrocities to their ongoing campaign of genocidal cleansing. Therefore, killing, gang rape, torture, and setting fire to the Muslim properties and eviction of the Rohingya Muslims from their homes could be deployed as the war tactics against the civilians. Adolf Hitler wasn’t the lone criminal to commit all the genocidal crimes; millions of the Germans and non-Germans also joined as the partner in his war crime. Likewise, the Burmese Army are not alone. Aung Sun Suu Kyi and her party “League for Democracy”, the whole civil and political institutions of Myanmar, the Buddhist monks and the Myanmar media are directly and indirectly are the part of the same war crimes. They have also international partners; China, India, and Russia stand firmly behind these killers, rapists and arsonists. Because of their political sponsorship, these worst war criminals couldn’t be condemned in any international forum including the UN Security Council, let alone stopping them. As a result, awful miseries of the “most persecuted minorities on earth” continue unabated. 
Crime always breeds other crimes; sometimes it becomes more robust and horrendous than the original crime. This has exactly happened in Myanmar. The crime of the Myanmar government against the Rohingya Muslims started with the annulment of their citizenship in 1982. But such a crime of inhuman and unprecedented cancellation of the birth right of a people didn’t end there. It proved to be the beginning of a bigger crime. The crime has become terribly genocidal. Now, the cruellest crimes like mass killing, gang rape, arson, torture and mass eviction of the innocent people from their own home have turned horribly wild. And, for continuation of such pure evil, the Myanmar Army has planted land mines along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border to kill the innocent returning refugees. The world leaders too, are showing their own crime. They are overwhelmed by the criminal silence.
The western leaders think that keeping silence or a blind eye on Myanmar government’s atrocities is necessary to help Aung Sun Suu Kyi’s newly elected government to get strength. They think that this way they are strengthening democracy in Myanmar. In reality, they are doing the opposite. In fact, their policy has helped aggravate the ongoing genocide. They have also failed to understand Aung Sun Suu Kyi’s partnership in the crime. Aung Sun Suu Kyi, in her solo visit to Rakhine state, couldn’t call these horrendous crime more than a quarrel between the local Muslim and Buddhist communities. Such a statement indeed gives a clear account of her own moral problem. By giving such a statement, she tried to hide the horrific crime of the Army and stood as a false witness to the world. Hence, her role didn’t look different than a self-assigned collaborator to the Army. And to play the role of a collaborator to the crime, she continues to deny all the visible brutal atrocities of the Army. She even called the rape of the Rohingya women as fake.   
The pretext of genocide

Like any crime, the genocidal crime in Arakan also started with a mammoth lie. To fit into the strategy of genocidal ethnic cleansing, the Myanmar government has fabricated the whole history of Rohingya Muslims. Colossal lies are now the main staple of their story. They hide the fact that the history of Arakan as well as the history of the Rohingya Muslims didn’t start with the military rule in Myanmar, nor with the country’s independence in 1948. There exists a long and huge Islamic legacy in the whole region. Because of its long coastal borders, the state of Arakan, like Chittagong of Bangladesh, was an important hub for the Arab traders and the Islamic missionaries for more than a thousand years. Before the initiation of current ethnic cleansing, the Rohingya Muslims were in majority. They also hide the fact that prior to the Burmese invasion in eighteenth century, the forefathers of these Rohingya Muslims had a Muslim sultanate there. The state even extended to the south-eastern part of Bangladesh. In fifteenth and sixteenth century AD, the Bengali language got a huge boost in the royal palaces of Arakan. Most of the noted medieval Bengali poets were related to the court. They do not tell the truth that in the whole history of Arakan, even in the history of Myanmar, there doesn’t exist a single mention that the Rohingya Muslims were the foreign intruders. On the contrary, the Burmese Buddhists -known as the Rakhine minority in Arakan, are the immigrants from the central Buddhist heart land.
The whole pretext of the ongoing genocide against the Rohingya Muslims is based on motivated false propaganda. They ignore the annals of history that raising borders or barrier on ethnic line is a very recent phenomenon. Such barrier didn’t exist in South Asia even 100 years ago. Therefore, a man from Yangon in Myanmar could easily travel to Peshawar in Pakistan or Dhaka in Bangladesh without any hindrance; and could build a house or open a business there. It was also true for a man making journey in the opposite direction to Myanmar. Hence, one can easily find ethnic, linguistic or religious linkage or continuity spread all over the south Asian countries. And Myanmar is not an exception. Bangladesh itself is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country with millions of people having ethnic and religious linkage with the people of various states of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, central Asia, Arab, Turkey and Myanmar. Hence, one can easily discover trans-border ethnic, linguistic or religious continuity spread over Bangladesh and its neighbours. Such linkage is also true for the people living in Myanmar. It is a process of slow social diffusion that takes place through ages. It is indeed the part of the human history that caused such a social mix-up of people of different race, language and religions through centuries. Only the people with extreme racism and pathological hatred against people of other religion or race can deny such natural sociological process. Awfully, the ultranationalist civil and military elite of Myanmar show the visible symptoms of such moral disease. Otherwise, how can they use the ethnic or religious linkage to commit crimes like “push-in”, forced eviction or genocide against the Rohingya Muslim? True pathology of genocide in Myanmar indeed lies here in this moral disease. 
Because of extreme form of hatred against the Muslims, the Myanmar government, the Buddhist monks and the ultra-nationalist political elites want to roll back the whole march of the history in Arakan. They want to give a fabricated narrative to the Rohingya issue with their sick ultranationalist motive. For that, not only they invent new lies, but also commit inexcusable crimes. They want to destroy all elements of Islamic history, legacies, icons and the Muslim institutions in Arakan. They want to give Arakan a new identity. They want to make it a land exclusively for the Buddhist Rakhine tribe. Therefore, genocidal cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims is so fundamental to their political objective. To start the process more decisively, they needed to put a new name for the old state of Arakan. Therefore, they named it as the Rakhine state after the name of the minority Buddhist Rakhine tribe. Now, the next step is the full Bhuddhistisation of Muslim Arakan. To attain that goal, they deem it necessary to have a genocidal cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims. This is why, along with dismantling the mosques and the Islamic schools in Arakan, ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims became the central piece of their military operation.  
The incurable incompatibility & the liberation from captivity

Any political, social or economic problem can be amicably solved through negotiation. But what is happening in Myanmar is an awful moral problem; it is filled with extreme anti-Muslim hatred. Such a moral disease of the ultranationalist Buddhist extremists is incurable; no amount of talk around a negotiation table can’t cure it. Such moral disease has caused incurable incompatibility between two communities. Because of such moral disease, they think of a Rohingya woman only as a suitable object of gang rape. They consider a Rohingya Muslim of any age or any sex a target of butchering, throwing to fire or forced eviction to Bangladesh. Moreover, the Myanmar Government, the Army, the political elite and the Buddhist monks have shown no sign of moral health that can recognise even horrific crime like murder, arson and rape as crime, let alone condemn it. Even Aung Sun Suu Kyi didn’t prove different. This is why, she could describe genocidal cleansing of the Rohingya Muslim as a quarrel between two communities. And crime of rape appeared to her as fake rape. Hence, how a Rohingya Muslim can feel secure in their midst in Myanmar.
Moreover, the Myanmar government, the Army, the Buddhist monks and the nationalist Buddhist politicians have made it clear that they do not want the Rohingya Muslims back in their midst. It implies that they could also understand the issue of incurable incompatibility between two communities. The Rohingya Muslims too, are not ignorant of the issue either. Hence, they also do not want any Burmese Buddhists as a neighbour in Arakan. Wolf and hen can’t live peacefully in the same premise. In such a situation, politics of reconciliation doesn’t work. Then, separation is the only option. Hundreds of independent states have been created on earth because of such mutual incompatibility. Hence, like many other states in Asia, Africa and Europe, there needs another independent state in the land of Arakan. The Myanmar Army, the Buddhist monks and the ultranationalist politician can’t blame others for dividing the country. By their own policy of genocidal ethnic cleansing, they have indeed made the necessary ground work for such a division by their own hand.
The regional and the international leaders must understand such basic and the unavoidable consequences of a genocidal war. Now, an independent state of Arakan for the Rohingya Muslims is the only way forward. If the Myanmar government is compelled by the international pressure to take them back, there remains little emotional, conceptual and ideological element left in the Rohingya Muslims to accept such an option. It is indeed tantamount to returning back to the same social, political and emotional captivity and humiliation that forced them to become the refugees. They will rather prefer to die in the relief camps in Bangladesh than surrender to such subjugation. The time of political reconciliation with the Buddhist ultranationalists has indeed elapsed long ago. Genocidal war of ethnic cleansing kills such a possibility very badly and quickly.
If the international community fails to understand the socio-political outcome of genocide and do not create a Kosovo like safe haven for the Rohingya Muslims, the consequence will be earth-shaking. The Rohingya Muslims will take their destiny in their own hand. Definitely, they will not spend generation after generation in the relief camps in Bangladesh, rather will make war for an independent Arakan themselves. In such a situation, all the civilised countries of the world will feel bound morally, ethically and constitutionally to support these worst victims of the genocide to establish their safe haven. The people of East Timor and South Sudan didn’t face such ethnic cleansing. Still, they received lot of support from many countries. But, the suffering of Rohingya Muslims has crossed all limits of imagination. So, the support for the Rohingya Muslims will massive. Since Islam makes it a religious obligation to help such victims, it will work as immense magnets to attract people from all over the Muslim World to their help.
It is also true that geographically Arakan is larger than more than 10 per cent member states of the UN. Its population is larger than Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Vatican, Luxemburg, and many more countries. Because of its huge off-shore gas and oil reserve, it has the economic worth to become another oil reach country. However, ideological, spiritual, cultural, political and educational reasons for an Independent Arakan is much more crucial than any economic reason. For the same reason, the Bosnia and the Kosovan Muslims had to fight for independence from Serbian rule. For the same reason, the Kashmiri Muslims have taken the path of independence from India. For the Rohingya Muslims, there exist no different route either. Therefore, forcing the Rohingya Muslims against their wish to live under the Myanmar rule would be another crime in the annals of human history. Can any people with minimum self-esteem opt for that?  
Independent Arakan: the only way-forward

The psychic trauma of a genocidal war is huge. It never heals. In the fields of politics, social cohesion, religious tolerance and state building, it is more disruptive than any volcanic eruption or any violent political revolution. Genocidal massacre, gang rape and the whole sale destruction of a community make people with various ethnic, linguistic and religious dissimilarities fully incompatible. It kills all opportunities of political reconciliation to make them reunite within the existing geopolitical premise. Then, a new geopolitical map to accommodate the dislocated people becomes an urgent necessity. This is why, a genocidal war immensely differ from a non-genocidal common war. This is why, India’s all efforts are failing in Kashmir to keep the Kashmiri Muslims within Hindu-dominated India.

For the same reason, the Jews had to make mass-scale migration from the genocidal continent of Europe. If Hitler had been the sole perpetrator to run the gas chamber, it would have been easily resolved. But, he had millions of German and non-German war criminals with the same ideological venom in their mind. So, the Jews felt fully incompatible in their midst. And now, the products of the European genocide are volcanizing the whole geopolitics of the Middle East. On a similar backdrop of genocide and with the similar sense of incompatibility, the Bosnian and the Kosovan Muslims had to establish independent state separated from the genocidal Serbians. Now, the Rohingya Muslims too, are forced to take the similar political roadmap. Because, their incompatibility with the Muslim bashing Burmese Buddhists is huge and incurable. The mater of security is the most important issue in selecting a place of living and socialising. How can a Rohingya Muslim think of living amidst rapists, killers and arsonists? Even if they manage somehow to physically survive in Buddhist Myanmar, how can they ensure that their children will grow up as true Muslim there?

A genocidal crime always causes incurable scar in the psyche of the victims. It reminds every day and night the painful sharp memory of being humiliated, gang raped and brutally tortured. Such pain survives till death. Not only it shapes peoples’ perception on life, faith, philosophy and politics, but also shakes the geopolitical map of the region. Therefore, the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims will not end in refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh; it will also impact the political philosophy, ideology and map of the region. No amount of political negotiation, relief goods, shelters and health care would remove the ugly experience from their traumatised psyche. How a Rohingya woman and her family can ever forgive and forget the pain of being raped by the Burmese sex predators. These worst war criminals must be punished in the International Criminal Court.

Moderation, accommodation, and pacification with these genocidal extremists will be considered by any morally sound man or woman as another despicable crime. This is why, a genocidal crime always generate long war. Unfortunately, instead of bringing the criminals to the justice, the UN bosses and the other world leaders are rubbing shoulders with these genocidal extremists. They are also trying to make their crimes palatable to the victims. They are applying only a policy of palliation towards the Rohingya Muslims. Hence, providing tents, relief goods, some health care and finally negotiating to send them back to Myanmar appear the only roadmap of the UN and other leading countries. The same plan of palliation was applied in 1978, 1991-92, 2012, 2013 and 2015, but didn’t work to cure the original disease. The crisis can only be solved by establishing an Independent Arakan.  All other steps will only help continue the crisis.


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