Why is the West Silent on Myanmar Carnage?

The mutilation happened in an isolated corner in Myanmar. A Buddhist mob have recently hacked more than a dozen Muslim women and children with knives, a horrendous crime which the activists in the country put a lid on.

The carnage of the Muslims has been going on for years now with the international community gradually waking up to the horror of the human tragedy.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana, has called on the country’s authorities to investigate and clarify reports about violent clashes between security forces and Rohinyga Muslim residents in Du Chee Yar Tan village in Maungdaw, Rakhine State.

“I urge the Government to clarify what has happened. Quick and transparent action can help to prevent further violence,” Mr. Ojea Quintana said. “If deaths and injuries have occurred, the Myanmar Government must, under international law, conduct a prompt, effective and impartial investigation and hold the perpetrators of any human rights violations to account.”

Chris Lewa of the Arakan Project, which has been documenting abuses against members of the Rohinyga Muslim minority for more than a decade, has said the violence took place on Tuesday in Du Char Yar Tan, a village in western Rakhine state.

It is quite clear that what is happening in Myanmar to the Rohingya Muslims is nothing but genocide and to call it by any other names is like veneering a crime to all intents and purposes.

By definition, genocide is “the successful attempt of a dominant group to reduce by coercion and lethal violence the number of a minority group whose extermination is held desirable”. (Professor Vahakn Dadrian)

According to a UN report, there are eight phases for any genocide:

1)  Classification: People are classified into “us” and “other”, the first stage towards sociocide and colonization. In Myanmar, Muslims are seen as the ‘other’ and therefore inferior.

2)  Symbolizations: People are given names or symbols in order that others may tell them apart. This stage is not, per se, dangerous unless it turns into dehumanization.

3)  Dehumanization: In this stage, one group refuses to acknowledge the humanity of the other group. In other words, one group reduces another group to a subhuman. This is exactly what is happening to the Rohinyga Muslims in Myanmar.

4)  Organization: Genocide is backed up by the government or government-related bodies. A genocidal act is carried out through an intermediary such as terrorist groups or punks in order that the government can exonerate itself from any blame whatsoever. In Myanmar, the government has frequently repeated that the carnage is conducted by mobs.

5)  Polarization: Hate groups forbid some of the very fundamental rights of the browbeaten group. For instance, in Myanmar, Rohinyga couples should secure permission to marry. If they marry unofficially, they may be arrested and incarcerated. Muslim men ought to shave their beard so that they may be given permission for marriage. They are not allowed to build new mosques or seminaries nor are they allowed to renovate the old mosques.

6)  Preparation: In this stage, the victim groups are identified and made to wear badges which distinguish them from others. Further to that, they are selected for the death row or marked for death. The selection may be random or systematic. For instance, in March 2013, over 40 houses and a mosque were burned and at least 32 people were killed in Myanmar.

7)  Extermination: In this stage, the extermination of the downtrodden group starts at the hand of the hate group. The term signifies that the hate group who functions like a killing machine refuses to believe that the people they are killing are indeed human beings with human feelings and worthy of living in this world.

8)  Denial: It is the last stage and a routine with any genocide. In the recent attack and mutilation of women and children, the government denied that a Buddhist mob rampaged through a town and mutilated Muslim women and children while witnesses and a rights group said more than a dozen people may have been killed, and that hundreds have fled their homes.

“We have had no information about killings,” Deputy Information Minister Ye Htut told reporters on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Nations Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Myanmar’s ancient city of Bagan.

Given the fact the genocide in Myanmar has been going on for years now, the international community has not unfortunately made any conceivable endeavors to put an end to this heart-wrenching calamity.

According to Islam, human life is sacred and the sanctity of human life is accorded due attention in Islamic teachings. The Holy Qur’an says that killing one single person is tantamount to killing an entire community and saving a single person is tantamount to saving an entire community.

“…if anyone kills a person– unless in retribution for murder or spreading corruption in the land– it is as if he kills all mankind while if any saves a life it is as if he saves the lives of all mankind..” The Holy Qur’an 5:32

Rohinyga Muslims are living in times of terror and ultimate troubles and if no swift and concrete steps are taken on the part of the Muslims and the Muslim leaders soon, there is serious concern they may all be exterminated or repelled form the land in the long run. Yes, they are mutilating Muslim women and children in Myanmar and before it is too late, the Muslim community should join hands and cut off the hands of tyranny.

Dr. Ismail Salami is an Iranian journalist, political analyst and lexicographer. A former editor in chief of the Tehran Times Daily, he is currently professor of English literature at the University of Tehran. Read other articles by Ismail.