Myanmar Plans To Eradicate Rohingya Identity

Authorities sealed off villages in Myanmar’s only Muslim-majority region and in some cases beat and arrested people who refused to register with immigration officials, in what may be the most aggressive effort yet to force Rohingya to indicate they are illegal migrants from neighboring Bangladesh.

Immigration officials, border guards and members of the illegal-alien task force in the northern tip of Rakhine state — home to 90 percent of the country’s 1.3 million Rohingya — this year, in addition to questions about marriages, deaths and births, people were classified by ethnicity.

Residents said those who refused to take part suffered the consequences.

“We are trapped,” Khin Maung Win said last week. He said authorities started setting up police checkpoints outside his village, Kyee Kan Pyin, in mid-September, preventing people from leaving even to shop for food in local markets, work in surrounding paddies or take children to school.

“If we don’t have letters and paperwork showing we took part — that we are Bengali — we can’t leave,” he said.
Chris Lewa of the Arakan Project, which has been advocating on behalf of the Rohingya for more than a decade, said residents reported incidents of violence and abuse in at least 30 village tracts from June to late September.
Most worrying to many, the government has largely stood by as Buddhist extremists have targeted Rohingya, sometimes with machetes and bamboo clubs, saying they pose a threat to the country’s culture and traditions.
Denied citizenship by national law, members of the religious minority are effectively stateless. They feel they are being systematically erased.
Almost all Rohingya were excluded from a U.N.-funded nationwide census earlier this year, the first in three decades, because they did not want to register as Bengalis. And Thein Sein is considering a“Rakhine Action Plan” that would make people who identify themselves as Rohingya not only ineligible for citizenship but candidates for detainment and possible deportation.
Most Rohingya have lived under apartheid-like conditions in northern Rakhine for decades, with limited access to adequate health care, education and jobs, as well as restrictions on travel and the right to practice their faith.
In 2012, Buddhist extremists killed up to 280 people and displaced tens of thousands of others. About 140,000 people of those forced from their homes continue to languish in crowded displacement camps further south, outside Sittwe, the Rakhine state capital.
Many villages were placed under lockdown, with police checkpoints set up to make sure only those who have cooperated could leave, more than a dozen residents confirmed in telephone interviews with The Associated Press.

In other villages, the names of influential residents were posted on community boards with verbal warnings that they face up to two years in jail if they fail to convince others to take part in the registration process, Lewa said. Other Rohingya say officials forced them to sign the papers at gunpoint, or threatened that they would end up in camps like those outside Sittwe if they didn’t comply, she said. In some cases residents say authorities have shown up after midnight and broken down doors to catch residents by surprise and pressure them to hand over family lists.

Villagers also have been kicked and beaten with clubs and arrested for refusing to take part, according to Lewa and residents interviewed by the AP.

Rohingya said they didn’t want to register family members because they worry the information might be used to deny them citizenship.

As international pressure mounts to end abuses against Rohingya, the government has agreed to provide citizenship to anyone who qualifies. But many Rohingya say they cannot meet the requirements, which include submitting documents proving that their families have been in Myanmar for at least three generations. And under the plan Thein Sein is considering, even that would not be enough for people who insist on calling themselves Rohingya rather than Bengali.

The Muslims Of The Central African Republic

This man is from Central Africa. Whenever his mosque gets attacked, he would gather all the Quran pages to save them.

He was killed by a mob armed with knives earlier this year, simply for being Muslim. May Allah give him Jannah.

Please pray for the Muslims in the Central African Republic.

For those of you who are interested in keeping abreast of the crimes against humanity that is being perpetrated against our Muslim brothers and sisters in the Central African Republic (CAR) >>>

This is their FaceBook page: Cries Of CAR

This is their twitter account: Cries Of CAR

لأولئك الذين يرغبون في مواكبة الجرائم ضد الإنسانية التي ترتكب ضد إخواننا وأخواتنا المسلمين في جمهورية أفريقيا الوسطى (CAR)

هذه هي صفحة الفيسبوك الخاصة بهم
Cries Of CAR

هذا هو حساب على تويتر 
Cries Of CAR

Israeli Sniper Kills Wounded Civilian

The Israeli Sniper Shoots The Palestinian Civilian Once and Wounds Him, Then Shoots Him A Second Time While He’s On The Rubble In Pain, Then With A Third Shot, The Israeli Murders The Palestinian Civilian.

When You Find Your Missing Son Getting Murdered On Camera

By Jehan Alfarra

While tweeting about a friend who lost his entire family yesterday, I saw repeated and persistent tweets sent by a dear friend, Mohammed Alqattawi, to Joe Catron, asking him to respond as a matter of urgency.
Feeling restless and uneasy, I asked Mohammed in a private message what was so urgent and if there was anything I could do, but he only asked for Joe’s number. I gave him the phone number. “We’ve been looking for my cousin from Sheja`yea for 2 days now,” Mohammed messaged me back a few minutes later. “We just watched a video that Joe tweeted of an injured Palestinian shot by an Israeli sniper while searching for his family. It is my cousin.”
Having watched that video earlier in the day, hearing that just took it to a whole new level for me. The nameless, wounded, innocent soul taken so outrageously by an Israeli sniper on camera, in front of the rescue team, and during the hours of a humanitarian ceasefire, belongs to my friend’s cousin. “I clicked on the link to watch the video, and his mom and sister swiftly recognised him by his voice,” Mohammed continued, “and his dad came running and watched his son get shot and say the shehada.”
My body went numb as I read these lines. Already up though the night mourning a friend of mine, now I am mourning another. Salem Shamaly and his family got split while evacuating Shejai`yea neighbourhood in light of Israel’s latest massacre in the area. And ever since the rest of the family made it to Mohammed’s home, him and his uncle have been looking for Salem everywhere. They spent all of yesterday searching Al Shefa hospital and asking around, but to no avail.
Senseless loss, however, is not a strange notion to Gaza and its people. Submerged in grief, Mohammed’s uncle got up to pray and read some Quran, hoping God will grant him some sort of sublime patience he needs in order to calm his wailing daughters. Salem was only 20 years old, the only son to his father and the only brother to his 7 sisters. To the international community in general and the western world in particular, which seems to be overlooking Israeli war crimes and violations of the International Humanitarian Law over and over again, Salem is but another number added to an already overflowing toll of Palestinian deaths. To his friends and family, Salem will always be the precious gem he has always been.

China’s Hanification Of Xinjiang Is Failing

Ethnic riots do not occur in vacuum. So the questions are what is fueling the separatist movement in Xinjiang, a region which until recently had appeared like a black hole in the Asian landmass? Why have some young Uyghurs, a minority group comprising roughly half the population of Xinjiang province, lost trust in the state and its institutions? What causes have contributed to the anti-Chinese campaign – both violent and non-violent – by young Uyghurs? Has the Uyghur unrest anything to do with radicalization along religious line, the al-Qaeda variety that we have noticed in some parts of the Muslim world in the post-9/11 era?

To understand the reason, the history of the region can be our starting point. Just as Soviet Union had been formed from the heterogeneous territories of the Russian Czarist Empire, what we call People’s Republic of China (PRC) today is similarly inherited lands conquered by the Manchu Qing dynasty before its collapse in 1911. Only in the 1760s the Qing generals were able to conquer East Turkestan incorporating it as Xinjiang (meaning: New Dominion), reflecting the imperial perspective; but their rule was repeatedly broken. They lost the region to Ya’qub Beg (Bek) in the 19th century. General Zou’s re-conquest did not survive the collapse of the imperial court at the beginning of the 20th century, and full control passed on to the Chinese only in 1949.

Despite a harsh landscape and climate, “Xinjiang has a rich past: sand-buried cities, painted cave shrines, rare creatures, and wonderfully preserved mummies of European appearance. Their descendants, the Uyghurs, still farm the tranquil oases that ring the dreaded Taklamakan, the world’s second largest sand desert, and the Kazakh and Kirghiz herdsmen still roam the mountains,” writes Christian Tyler.

The PRC calls it Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) because of its Uyghur population. Mao tried to sell the Marxist-Leninist thought to the ethnic problem. Not only did the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) fail but Mao’s social engineering of the Turkis (Uyghurs) was highly destructive and led to the widespread discrimination and segregation prevalent today. The Communists developed it as a penal colony, as a nuclear testing ground and dumping ground for radioactive wastes (that is responsible for unusually high birth defects and mortality rate amongst the inhabitants) and as a buffer against invasion, and as a supplier of raw materials and living space for an overpopulated country.

Determined to end the push and pull of centuries, Mao’s successors have resorted to Sinicization (i.e., Hanification) of the region. They have changed the demography of the region by settling Han Chinese from other parts. They have curtailed the region’s millennium-plus-years old rich Muslim culture and are practicing widespread religious repression against the ethnic Uyghurs. They have conducted forced abortion on Uyghur women. They have closed down Qur’anic and Uyghur language schools to cut down their Islamic and cultural ties with other Muslims. Because of the Mandarin-based educational policy of the state, the Uyghurs can’t pass and find jobs in their own land. The party-state has institutionalized discrimination based on Uyghur’s distinct religion, habitus, physiognomy, language culture and socioeconomic status. In so doing, they have only widened the gap between the settlers and the indigenous inhabitants.

Consequently, what the PRC sees as its property, the Uyghurs regard as theft by an alien occupier. In its revisionist attempt, the Chinese government has tried to falsify history and portray the Uyghurs as part of the great family of the Chinese nations and asserts that Xinjiang has been an integral part of Chinese national territory since the ancient times. Uyghurs reject such a mischaracterization of both their people and their homeland maintaining that they are a distinct ethnic group with its distinct history, geography, language, culture and tradition. They have neither accepted Chinese occupation nor their incorporation into the Chinese nation-state.

Uyghurs have no political representation in the PRC government. Top CCP party officials at all levels in Xinjiang have been overwhelmingly Han Chinese. The text books present a very slanted history of the region. Recorded expressions of dissent, criticism or discontent are thwarted. All mass media, including electronic, are censored. Every poem, song, short story, essay and novel must pass through a battery of censors before being published, which can be banned later if deemed ‘harmful’ to the state. Uyghur intellectuals face constant surveillance and imprisonment. On January 15 of this year Professor Ilham Tohti, a Uyghur scholar who has taught at Beijing’s Minzu University was taken away by police on unspecified charges. He was one of the few Chinese citizens willing to openly criticize the government policies he said were alienating young Uyghurs: religious restrictions, education policies that favor Mandarin over the Uyghur language and economic development that disproportionately benefits newly arrived Han migrants. In 2009 Professor Tohti was held for around six weeks without charge during a flare-up of violence in Xinjiang. Last year, he was barred from boarding a plane in Beijing to accept a teaching position at Indiana University in an episode that was criticized by the U.S. government and others.

In the last few decades Beijing’s concerted Hanification efforts (i.e., to Sinicize Xinjiang) have only planted unfathomed mistrust and widened the animosity between the Uyghurs and the Han settlers. Tension has led to violence and brutal reprisals.

The result is further militarization of the Xinjiang region and establishment of aggressive global network against the Uyghur separatists. In the mid-1990s, there were frequent security searches and low-level operations named as the “Strike Hard” campaigns by the Chinese security forces, aiming at arresting known, suspected or potential violent separatists- a pattern that would be repeated well into the next decade. Many of the Uyghurs were caught up in these security campaigns. These operations did not make life easier for many innocent Uyghurs, and instead radicalized them to vent their anger against the Han Chinese settlers. Chinese intelligence agents are also suspected in the mysterious death of many exiled Uyghurs.

In the post-9/11 period, the CCP leadership tried to (1) associate the Uyghur separatist struggle for self-determination as terrorism both to its Chinese people and global audience, and (2) pressure the US to view the movement as an al-Qaeda linked terrorist organization in its global war on terror. It was able to fool some but not all.

In his well-researched book – The Uyghurs: Strangers in Their Own Land – Gardner Bovingdon has shown that Uyghur resistance to Chinese rule is prompted by nationalism and not Islam. China’s Nation-building experiment has succeeded in her core province but not in peripheral regions that were annexed and had very little in common with China. Simply put: in spite of decades of programming, China’s nation-building project has miserably failed in China’s far west – Xinjiang and Tibet. As much as the Chinese government is trying to construct its aggressive nation-building the Uyghurs and Tibetans are trying to deconstruct that myth through their resistance movement and in so doing raising new claims of nationhood of their peoples.

Uyghurs will not be satisfied with anything less than a substantial expansion of autonomy in Xinjiang, which allows them to get educated in their own language and find jobs that are meaningful to support their families, and allows them a bigger share of the regional administration and economy. Sadly, China’s leaders show no sign of compromise, and in fact, appear to do just the opposite further marginalizing the Uyghurs in their own land in every respect. This Chinese policy is suicidal and absurd.

The world recognizes that if the people of one nation do not want to co-habit in the same polity because of widespread persecution, repression and discrimination, then partition should not be automatically neglected as a viable solution. This might be one way to manage the Uyghurs’ (who are a nation by any definition) legitimate demands for political space. But the road is still wide open for a political solution: either separation or consociation. The latter can be a good model for China, if the Chinese leadership has the wisdom, sincerity of intent and purpose.

Xinjiang desperately needs inter-ethnic peace because there has already been too much blood shedding. The longer the global community keeps silent on the question of the Uyghurs without adopting any measures to seek justice for them, the stronger the polarizations would happen along ethnic and religious fault-lines, particularly among the poor Uyghurs – who already find them relegated in all aspects, and the nastier may be the consequences for global peace and regional security, because such a global indifference and/or impotence may persuade some Uyghurs to further radicalize along powerful Islamic symbols, further swelling the links, which have hitherto been weak, with transnational Muslim radicals who are not afraid of death.

The Uyghurs currently lack military or organizational resources that would facilitate their legitimate struggles for self-determination. The Chinese control appears complete and has succeeded in denying all those tools and resources to reaching the Uyghur separatists. They are also trying to strip Uyghurs of rhetorical weapons. Such an all-out policy to squelching dissidence completely may prove imprudent and inane in our time when nationalistic feelings are proving to be important.

Only time would tell how long China’s coercion policy will succeed to stem nationalistic feelings of the Uyghur people. If PRC is serious about nation-building it must change its failed strategy, which relies on strong arm tactics of coercion and not on integration where Uyghurs and other nationalities feel equal and welcome in this multi-national, -religious, -ethnic country that refuses to learn from the Soviet and Balkan experience.

Dr. Siddiqui is an author of 13 books and a human rights and peace activist. Dr. Imtiyaz teaches Chinese politics and ethnic conflict in the Asian Studies/Political Science Department at Temple University, Philadelphia, USA.

The Hidden Genocide Of Rohingya Muslims

An OIC (Organization of Islamic Countries) delegation, which included foreign ministers and senior officials from its member states Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Djibouti, and Bangladesh recently visited Myanmar. It was led by the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu. The OIC delegation pressed for unhindered access of humanitarian aid to all affected people and communities, including Rakhine (Arakan) State, without any discrimination. They also stressed the need for clarifying misconceptions and misunderstandings on both sides and for building mutual trust and interfaith community harmony.

As has become the norm in this mostly Buddhist country that has come to signify the den of intolerance and hatred of our time, the OIC delegation was, however, met by angry demonstrators, esp. in the Rakhine state, which has seen more than its share of ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minorities. Some 3,000 protesters, led by Buddhist monks, staged their demonstrations in Rakhine’s capital Sittwe (formerly called Akyab) as they toured camps housing mostly displaced Rohingya refugees as well as some ethnic Rakhines and met local officials. The delegation’s visit to Myanmar’s commercial capital Yangon on Friday also saw nearly 1,000 people, carrying “No OIC” placards.

The protests of this kind – organized by the members of the central government and local administration, Buddhist politicians and monks – are nothing new. These are a show of defiance against everything noble and humane. These dark, hideous and savage forces of Theravada Buddhism want to hide their monumental crimes against humanity and want to starve to death the remnants of the Muslim minority who mostly now live in abject poverty as Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in squalid camps.

Last year, the Buddhist government similarly did not allow the fact finding missions from international agencies, including the OIC, to tour the ethnically cleansed territories. It also did not allow opening up an OIC office in the Rakhine state. In the midst of government-sponsored protest demonstrations, the OIC had to pack up and leave, which only emboldened the savage regime and its supporters within the apartheid state to repeat their crimes against the Rohingya – who, according to the UN, are the most persecuted people on earth – and other Muslim minorities.

So the plight of the Rohingya and other Muslim minorities continues unabated inside apartheid Myanmar. In ethnic cleansing drives in this country, the victims are usually the Rohingyas and yet they end up in the prisons (and not the Buddhist marauders) overwhelmingly. A peaceful demonstration may cost them their lives in this Mogher Mulluk.

The same security forces which did nothing to stop lynching of Muslim victims have no moral qualms in killing them unprovoked for staging a peaceful demonstration.

As has been noted by the Associated Press on November 24, 600 Rohingya Muslim men were recently thrown in jail in this remote corner of Myanmar during a ruthless security crackdown that followed sectarian violence, and among one in 10 who didn’t make it out alive.

An eyewitness described that when she visited the jail, the cells were crammed with men, hands chained behind their backs, several stripped naked. Many showed signs of torture. Her husband, Mohammad Yasim, was doubled over, vomiting blood, his hip bone shattered. “We were all crying so loudly the walls of the prison could have collapsed,” the 40-year-old widow said. “They killed him soon after that,” she said of her husband. Her account was corroborated by her father, her 10-year-old son and a neighbor. “Other prisoners told us soldiers took his corpse and threw it in the forest.” “We didn’t even have a chance to see his body,” she said.

In early November, three Rohingyas were killed. One Rohingya man was murdered by Rakhine villagers when collecting firewood in the forest. Another two were killed and four wounded after riot police opened fire during clashes. In Pauktaw Township the situation remained tense with many of the remaining Rohingya villagers being forced into an IDP camp allegedly for their own security by army and police.

Many are afraid because the camp, funded by an international aid group, is very close to a village with only Buddhist Rakhines.

Buddhist security forces have been allowed to operate with impunity. As a result of such brutality, unfathomed discrimination by state authorities and their obvious collusion with the Rakhine (Magh) extremists towards never-ending pogroms life has only gotten worse for Rohingya.

They see no way out but to board rickety boats for Bangladesh, or make the perilous journey to Malaysia. Many have already drowned trying when their boats capsized.

In spite of Myanmar’s Government’s zealous efforts to hide its complicity and crimes against humanity, truth has been leaking out. Consider, for instance, the testimony of Mr. Thomas H. Andrews, President and CEO of United to End Genocide on September 19, 2013 in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs,

Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. In that, he provided his first-hand account of visits made in Burma. He travelled to Rakhine State in the west where he visited eight IDP camps and spoke with dozens of desperate IDPs. He also travelled to the central and northern area of Mandalay and the city of Meiktila where he visited neighborhoods and met with many people and families who continue to live in fear and desperation. He also came across Muslims in Rangoon whose fear and intimidation was on the rise in Myanmar.

During his trip, Mr. Andrews was blocked by security forces at roadside checkpoints from visiting IDP camps. The reason was clear. They did not want him to hear what had happened to the Muslim community inside Myanmar.

Nevertheless, the signs of destruction were everywhere and he was able to see burnt out buildings and destroyed Mosques, meet with those who had to literally run for their lives after watching their homes and everything that they had worked for destroyed. They were living in abject poverty in makeshift camps wanting desperately to return and rebuild their village but also utterly terrified by the Buddhist mobs, Myanmar security forces and police even more.

Throughout his travels, Mr. Andrews heard stories of systematic discrimination, isolation and blanket oppression where every aspect of life of members of the Muslim minority was controlled.

People described living in constant fear of violence within their communities and intimidation by authorities. The right to move from one village – or even one street – to another, the right to earn a living, to get married, to have more than two children and even the right to live with one’s own family was often dependent on the permission of authorities and most often only after the payment of bribes.

He found that hate speech – a precursor of genocide – was prevalent in Burma. Fueling it was a systematic, well organized and well funded campaign of hatred and bigotry known as “969”. It followed a well established pattern:

1) Campaign organizers arrive in a village, distributing DVDs, pamphlets and stickers that warn Buddhists that their religion and their country were in peril as Muslims seek to eliminate both and establish a Muslim caliphate;

2) Villages are invited to a special community event to hear a message from venerable Buddhist monks about how they can protect their families, nation and religion;

3) Radical nationalist monks arrive at the designated time and deliver fiery hate-filled speeches warning that Muslims are plotting to destroy Buddhism and take control of the nation. Villages are encouraged to support the movement by signing petitions, and displaying “969” stickers on their homes and businesses. They are encouraged to only patronize those who displayed the stickers and boycott any Muslim owned or operated business.

As I have documented earlier, the hateful rhetoric of these radical Rakhine monks and the “969” campaign is ominously reminiscent of the hateful propaganda directed at the Tutsi population and their sympathizers in the lead up and during the Rwandan genocide, let alone the Nazi-led Holocaust more than half a century earlier.

Demanding the expulsion of all Rohingya from Burma, these monks urge the local population to sever all relations with not only the Rohingya, but also with what are described as their “sympathizers”. Labeled as national traitors, those Buddhists who associate with Rohingya Muslims also face intimidation and the threat of violence.

Gregory Stenton, President of Genocide Watch, documented eight stages of genocide – Classification,

Symbolization, Dehumanization, Organization, Polarization, Preparation, Extermination and Denial. Human rights watchers have long concluded that the Rohingyas are facing genocide in Myanmar, and this crime must be stopped.

Last week (Tuesday, November 19) the U.N. General Assembly’s human rights committee passed a resolution urging Myanmar to give the stateless Rohingya minority equal access to citizenship and to crack down on Buddhist violence against them and other Muslims.

In its response, an official of the Myanmar government said that it will not allow itself to be pressured by a U.N. resolution. Presidential spokesman Ye Htut insisted in a posting on his Facebook page that the government does not recognize that there is a group called Rohingya, referring to them instead as Bengalis.

As I have noted above, such defiance by the rogue Myanmar regime is not new and unless checked vehemently it will continue to defy the world community.

The elimination of Muslims there has become a national project enjoying widespread support from Nobel disgrace Suu Kyi to president Thein Sein.

Thus, the UN has to go beyond passing soft resolutions that don’t bite the rogue regime.

A reading of history shows that genocide succeeds when state sovereignty blocks international responsibility to protect its persecuted group. It continues due to lack of authoritative international institutions to predict it and call it as such. It happens due to lack of ready rapid response forces to stop it and lack of political will to peacefully prevent it and to forcefully intervene to stop it.

Since founding of the UN, at least 45 genocides and politicides have taken place in our world resulting in deaths of some 70 million people. It is a shameful record that needs to be improved.

The time for soft talk with Myanmar is over. It is high time for the UN Security Council to authorize armed intervention in Myanmar by a UN force under Chapter Seven of the UN Charter.

The Mandate must include protection of Rohingya civilians and humanitarian workers and a No Fly Zone over the Rakhine state. The Rules of Engagement must be robust and include aggressive prevention of killing. The major military powers (e.g., the USA, Russia and the UK) must provide leadership, logistics, airlift, communications, and financing.

If Myanmar will not permit entry, its UN membership should be suspended. Myanmar’s leaders should be tried in an international criminal court for committing and aiding crimes against humanity. Nothing short of these will be able to stop these savage criminals. Sooner the better!


Dr Habib Siddiqui has authored 10 books. His latest book – Devotional Stories – is now available from A.S. Noordeen, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.