Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hi guys!

Today I'm back with a tragic topic. I'm actually in class right now but feel so compelled to write a little something about it. I'm not totally familiar with the entire subject, but expertise is not necessary to acknowledge the current events. It is the persecution and genocide of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim population. According to a CNN article published yesterday morning- 18,500 Rohingya have fled Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) in the last FIVE days.

Basically, this population is a minority in majority Buddhist Myanmar. The common sentiment of the majority is that they are illegal immigrants from nearby Bangladesh. That is not the case as they have been in the region for generations. On top of just the general "sentiment" the Burmese government denies them citizenship rendering them stateless. All players are saying "no they are your people and don't belong here" back and forth. They have literally no one on their side. There is also brutal violence. The Rohingya people are immensely vulnerable- as we are seeing. And it's not a *now* thing, it has been going on for decades but it erupts and subdues.

My understanding of the latest escalation in the Rakhine state (Rohingya's home state in Western Myanmar, bordering Bangladesh) is that there is a Rohingya military insurgent group that committed an attack on Myanmar's military. In response, the military has gone into widespread frenzy trying to crack down on the insurgent group. But they are killing indiscriminately and they are committing grave acts against civilians and their homes. There is much much more than my three sentences on this conflict, but let's just say I'm more of a Malcom X kinda girl. . . .

But now, like what am I to do other than write a useless post a few people will read? I just really don't see anything about this ethnic cleansing (bc ok lets talk about it how it is) in my mainstream media. Even if I search on the Rohingya tag on Instagram, which I know doesn't say much but I do think it's a small indication of the general public's concerns, there is little to nothing written in English. There is no outrage, there is no knowledge.

I don't want to paint a false picture since I don't remember exactly if they were Rohingya or not, and I can't find it now, but there was a photo of literally a huge cage made out of wood, packed with men, and 3/4ths under water. I think I saw it a few months ago, but oh my god. I really want to cry, your dignity, your humanity just stripped away from you. When that's probably all you have left. It was truly disgusting. (and that's a nice photo I posted above... after a rescue, I will not publish the more gruesome)

And again, I don't want to insert my useless tears, but I just. . . where do you go? what do you do? there's not even a proper chance to a "normal" life. Living in fear of persecution where you consider home or make a dangerous attempt to flee to another country where you will be living undocumented and also in fear.

To donate: Islamic Relief USA
Petition: Stop Burmese Genocide

Washington Post:
Aid workers have told horror stories of desperate refugees staggering to safety despite bullet wounds and burn injuries. Others report rapes and beatings carried out by the Burmese army, which has reportedly set fire to thousands of Rohingya homes as it seeks to flush out the militants.
Analyzing satellite imagery, Human Rights Watch documented at least ten areas over a 100 km stretch of land in Rakhine where massive fires are blazing. It noted a similar phenomenon from October to November 2016, the last time major violence flared in the region, triggering an exodus of some 87,000 Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh. A U.N. official at the time described government reprisals as acts tantamount to ethnic cleansing.
Burmese authorities attribute the fires to the work of “extremist terrorists.” Others are less convinced. “Shuffling all the blame on insurgents doesn’t spare the Burmese government from its international obligations to stop abuses and investigate alleged violations,” said Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch’s Asia director, in a statement.
*cries remembering the displacement of people globally* *cries thinking about the worldwide violations of human rights* *cries for all those suffering due to all the current natural disasters*

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