Seventy-eight for one: The Rohingya Ruckus
“Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule,” said
The social media has spearheaded the campaign against the ethnic strife and the apparent massacre of
Humans, however, are rational beings. Burma’s ethnic violence didn’t sprout up suddenly, like a stray dog at your front porch. It was ignited by the rape and
But should an entire community – with innocents such as young children, liberal minds, secular-minded families – suffer because of the act of a few? Should 78 people – who are leading normal lives miles away – die because of the rape and murder of one person? Should 400 000 people move to another nation just because less than 1% of those people have committed a cardinal sin? The majority cannot suffer for the acts of a miniscule minority.
But that is a very base explanation. The ethnic strife that has stirred up in Burma isn’t your everyday protest march. It is an intense, long-lasting religious war – which may have been impulsively sparked by a rape, but has far deep-rooted causes that we have to trace back to the history of the Burmese and the Rohingya.
The national reaction to the Rohingya killings has been shocking – the media has supported the expulsion of Muslims from the country, the apparently peaceful monks have called for suspension of humanitarian aid to the Rohingya community and even the President has asked for a ridiculous resettlement of over 1 million Muslims to a third country.
The edifice of the
But again, aren’t human beings rational creatures? How does an excessively large Buddhist community expect to be dominated by a tiny group of Muslims-a community which has been ostracized all these years? The road of casual diplomacy has been replaced by the path of physical aggression and that’s the point where we start to question the sanity of these anarchists.
The Pakistani reaction has been intense and social networks have been flooded with the most vehement criticism of Aung San Suu Kyi’s silence along with absurd solutions to suppress the violence.
“Pakistan should send its troops to Burma and protect the Muslims,” tweeted a Pakistani. Amusingly, the sending of troops is a violation of a country’s sovereignty, which will only serve to aggravate the issue. A country cannot take such unilateral action, something that few emotionally enflamed Pakistanis understand. The solution has to come from within Burma, potentially from
A Twitter group, No Rohingya, described them as ‘unwanted guests from the east’ and ‘invaders and infiltrators’. An insincere demand was put forth, ‘No Rohignya in Arakan or Burma. They are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh’. The word ‘unwanted’ clearly hints towards a sentiment of intolerance and resentment towards the community. Their demand is shallow, oversimplified and impractical. The Rohingya migrated to Burma in 1947, and were accepted by the government – a government who promised to care for them and safeguard them from oppression. Illegal immigration is a valid concern, but the solution needs to come from stronger border patrolling and fair citizenship laws rather than mass subjugation.
An anti-Rohingya blog on the internet labels itself as ‘anti-terrorist’. Ironically, the oppressors of the Rohingya community seem to be the ones creating the terror and turmoil. Rape is an act of terror but two wrongs (with one wrong clearly greater than the other) do not make a right.
The pro-Rohingya, or the true anti-terror blogs have made some sensible remarks.
“Note: the much extolled Sui Ky hasn’t protested the hideous slaughter of Rohingya Muslims.”
“Some idiots post tsunami/earthquake victims’ pictures as the “Rohingya massacre”. The Muslims need support, spreading lies won’t help.”
“Rohingya Muslims of Arakan: No country to live. No place to hide. No soil to die.”
“Message to all humans: save these people in Burma not because they are Muslims but only because they are humans just like you!”
This side of the debate asks several relevant questions about the dismaying silence of Aung San Suu Kyi, about the efficacy of lies and dishonesty in gaining support for the Rohingya, and about the humanity that unites us all, regardless of our religions.
We don’t know whether 78 or 6000 have been massacred in Burma, but we do know that an entire community should not endure the punishment of the crimes of a few. Pakistan can help, but it has to do it through diplomatic pressure rather than imprudent external intervention, just like Iran has suggested. The rapists should be brought to justice, and action needs to be taken to educate, empower and enlighten the deprived Rohingya community to ensure that such crimes are significantly reduced in the future. Border monitoring is also pivotal. The public opinion needs to become more liberal and only Aung San Suu Kyi can bring this psychological revolution. The Burmese must not only accept diversity, but understand, embrace and promote it.
The racist slayers of the Rohingya have lost all rationality- their judgment, morals, principles and values have all been clouded by a mist of an ingrained prejudice. And since humans are rational creatures, I do not believe these murderers are human beings at all.
1 Comment + Add Comment
Keep the discussions clean and productive.
- Natasha Khalid on Double Standards
- Atiya Khalid on Never Look Back
- Batul on Confessions, Confessions, Everywhere
- Linkin Khemesh ThAkur on Quratulain Balouch – The mystical folk charm from Coke Studio, Season 4
- Noor on Song for Zula