The Islamic Post Blog

The Disregarded Muslims of Myanmar by ipinfo2
March 25, 2009, 6:08 am
Filed under: March Volume 2009, World | Tags:

By Abdul Wali Johnson
Islamic Post Staff Writer

“Myanmar must immediately stop the systematic persecution of the Rohingya [Muslim] minority,” said Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director, Sam Zarifi, in a recent open letter to the Myanmar government. The letter was also sent to surrounding governments with a request to assist Rohinyas. The flight of Muslims from Myanmar reached a “critical stage over the last two months,” according to Mr Zafiri, after the Thai military “forcibly expelled approximately 1,000 Rohingyas arriving in southwest Thailand by boat.”
The Rohingyah, a mostly Muslim ethnic group, are descendants of dark skinned Arab sailors, from Southern Arabia and Iran, who visited the South East Asian coastal cities of Burma (now Myanmar) from as early as the 8th century and the local inhabitants. Their offspring were called Cula, which literally translates as “black”. They migrated to Arakan (now called Rakhine State), in the north, around 957AD when Burma was invaded by the Mongoloids.
Through their history, they were persecuted by the leaders of Burma because they were considered to be “untouchables” and they are still, to this day, forced to perform free labor at the behest of the governing junta.
The slavish history of the Rohingya began with the annexation of Arkan with Burma in 1784. Since 1937, when Burma was separated from British India, they have been victims of bloody genocidal operations in 1942, 1978, and 1991/92, causing large migrations to Bangladesh.
In the pogrom of 1942, two hundred thousand Rohingya men, women and children were massacred. All the Rohingyas of 36 villages were slaughtered.
However, the atrocities are still continuing; the suffering enduring from generation to generation. While the Indian and Indonesian authorities have rescued hundreds of Rohingyas fleeing Myanmar by sea, nobody knows when the stories of their blood and tears will come to an end. Amnesty International also called on Bangladesh and Malaysia, as well as the other governments of nations surrounding Myanmar, to help provide search and rescue for the hundreds missing and feared drowned and to prevent more loss of life.


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