Speaking to media today, Aung San Suu Kyi likened the crisis of Rohingya Muslims to India’s problem with Kashmir. She said there was a need to differentiate between terrorists & innocent civilians & that India was “very well versed” in that since they’ve been tackling it in Kashmir. She’s worth quoting since there’s no mistaking her association of Muslims with terrorism, commonly called Islamophobia:
“You in India will be very well versed in this. Because there is a large Muslim community in India & in places like Kashmir, you had this trouble of sorting out the terrorists from the innocent citizens & all those who are not involved in the terrorist movement at all. So we have the same problem.”
Of course the way both India & Burma do that differentiating of terrorists from civilians is to make no distinction at all between them. That’s why Burma is torching entire villages to the ground & forcing tens of thousands to flee for their lives just to sift out a small band of possibly imaginary guerrillas. That’s why India occupies Kashmir with 700,000 soldiers which is the highest ratio of soldiers to civilians in the world & also why the majority of deaths are civilians, including small children & elderly.
Actually Kashmiris have long been on to the affinities between the Rohingya & Kashmir. Just in the past several days, there have been solidarity rallies against the Rohingya genocide & even during the military crackdown in Kashmir last year, protesters held up signs at more than one rally in solidarity with the Rohingya. It’s just that that Kashmiri terrorist-cum-civilians don’t see the affinities the same way as Modi & Suu Kyi, the terrorists-cum-butchers.
Photo is a Kashmiri medical student at a rally last December whilst the crackdown was still in force. That did not stop him from standing in solidarity with the Rohingya people who were facing a brutal crackdown in Arakan that forced the flight of 89,000 people since October 2016.
We stand in solidarity with Kashmir & with the Rohingya.
(Photo from Rising Kashmir)
In the midst of genocide, things look very grim indeed because the scope of so much human suffering is overwhelming. But bear in mind that during the 2012 genocidal siege in Arakan when tens of thousands of Rohingya were fleeing, they pleaded for their lives as they were turned away by Bangladesh; Thailand took their rickety boats out to sea & abandoned them. Aung San Suu Kyi gave a stirring speech about human rights when she picked up her Nobel Peace Prize & traveled to several countries to be feted with other human rights awards without ever being asked about the genocide back home. There wasn’t a single protest anywhere in the world in their defense & as a matter of fact, most of us had never heard of the Rohingya.
There is a long, long way to go but the phalanxes of international solidarity are assembling. When people ask “where are the Muslim countries?” the answer is “today, despite their government’s indifference & even opposition, Muslims around the world are out in the streets by the thousands in solidarity with the Rohingya people.”
Here a Rohingya child crosses the border with his family. He may grow up to be part of the freedom struggle. He may possibly come of age in a time when Rohingya Muslims have achieved their freedom because they are no longer alone in their struggle for justice.
Stand with the Rohingya people against genocide.
(Photo by Bernat Armangue/AP)
If you want to know why the media is playing all equivocal with genocide versus communal violence, it’s because many countries have billions & billions of dollars invested in Burma’s neoliberal economic programs. The Burmese military is indistinguishable from the capitalists & controls the economy & the government. By creating ambiguities about genocide, other governments stand a better chance of not facing demands to place sanctions on Burma.
When Muslims say Allahu Akbar “It just means ‘God is great’ or ‘greatest’, not ‘we’re gonna bomb you in your living rooms as you sit there watching us shout it on your TVs.”
–Syed Saqlain Alvi
“It’s not unthinkable to imagine a future UK that prosecutes the practice of Islam as a thought crime.”
(CJ Werleman @cjwerleman)
“It is the era of the new Spanish inquisition against Muslims. That’s why they make a big deal of anyone saying Allahu Akbar.”
(Rizzo. A. @rizzoo)
The UN Security Council has not spoken publicly about the Rohingya genocide–not even the naughty finger, let alone a condemnation–because China & Russia use their veto power to prevent that. Now do you see why Assad supporters are vilifying the Rohingya as Al-Qaeda & ISIS jihadis?
The Guardian-UK reported today that 160,000 Rohingya have crossed the border into Bangladesh. The BBC just reported it was 164,000. The UN anticipates that up to 300,000 could be forced to flee Burma.
Stand with the Rohingya against genocide.
Photo is refugees on the border; these lines go on for miles.
(Photo by Mohammad Ponir Hossain)
In an otherwise important article on the junta massacre at Tula Toli in Arakan, the Guardian-UK actually said: “Accounts of cruel sectarian attacks by Rohingya militants on Hindus & Buddhists in Rakhine have also surfaced. Around 26,000 non-Muslims have been displaced in the violence.” Such equivocations, as are present in most media, are part of turning genocide into communal violence & are outright lies. They know damn well that a genocide is going on. What about showing a little investigative integrity & asking “By whose accounts”? The juntas? If they don’t know how many Rohingya have died, how the hell do they know how many Hindus & Buddhists have? Is the situation so bad that Hindus & Buddhists are also fleeing for their lives?
Photo is Rohingya refugees on the border between Burma & Bangladesh which the Burmese military has laid landmines.
Stop the genocide of the Rohingya people. Full solidarity with their struggle for human, democratic, civil, & refugee rights.
(Photo by K.m. Asad/AFP/Getty Images)
According to Aung San Suu Kyi & the junta, the Rohingya are torching their own homes & villages. And yup, Assad supporters are repeating that all over social media because they know that only Al-Qaeda & ISIS oppose war, occupation, & genocide. When socialists can’t distinguish their politics from fascists, it might be time to admit you are really a libertarian redneck.
My mother was a deeply political person & just as deeply conservative until the day she died at 87. She took to the McCarthy witch-hunt with a vengeance, seeing pinkos & reds everywhere, even in the weather reporter. She was by no means a stupid woman; she was well informed from a rightwing point of view. But behind her views was a rock-solid edifice of misanthropy. She liked people–she wasn’t a hater–but was disappointed in the human race.
Misanthropy, distrust, disappointment, & paranoia are so evident when you read the stuff pumped out by Islamophobes, anti-Semites, libertarians, Assad & Putin supporters, rightwing nationalists, fascists. It’s the very basis of white supremacism, racism, misogyny. You can’t build movements for social justice if you don’t believe in the human race, if you don’t think humanity is worth fighting for & with. If your commitment falters, keep your eyes on the kids & you won’t go wrong.