ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Cry for Humanity

Islamophobia or resource constraints cannot excuse inaction in the Rohingya crisis.

It has become a cliché to assert that in much of the world today, Islam has come to be stigmatised as a religion of terror. Buddhism, on the other hand, is projected as peaceful, rational, and scientific, eminently suitable for a modern way of life. The persecution of Rohingyas, a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority in Myanmar, at the hands of Buddhist extremists with active support of the military establishment, is just one case in the recent history of ethnic violence in South and South-east Asia that disrupts this narrative. Yet, official responses to this humanitarian crisis from many countries, including India, have been characteristically insensitive and Islamophobic.

The recent wave of violence began when militants affiliated to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army attacked police posts and an army base in the Rakhine state of Myanmar on 25 August 2017. This prompted an immediate military crackdown and renewed ethnic violence, killing and uprooting thousands of ordinary Rohingyas. More than 90,000 of them have reportedly arrived in Bangladesh as refugees since August, with another estimated 20,000 waiting to cross the Myanmar–Bangladesh border. Myanmar has prevented United Nations (UN) aid agencies to reach out to Rohingya survivors within its borders; it has enforced a media black-out, leaving little doubt that the world is now witness to yet another state-sponsored genocide. Despite this, Myanmar’s neighbouring countries have been unwilling to provide shelter to Rohingya refugees. The Indian government has gone so far as to describe them as a potential threat to India’s internal security.

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Updated On : 23rd Sep, 2017

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