The Escalating Rohingya Crisis and Consequent Muslim Countries’ Response
The humanitarian crisis, erupted on 25 August, in northwestern Rakhine State in Myanmar, has outraged the entire Muslim community scattered across the globe.
The simmering Rohingya crisis has claimed more than 400 lives and forced 379,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh in what came to be known as “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.
In his remarkable address delivered on 11 September to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein condemned the “brutal security operation” against the helpless, destitute and most persecuted stateless Rohingya.
Many world leaders have denounced the disproportionate force being wielded by the Burmese authorities to root out Rohingya from the country.
The ethnic Rohingya, who constitute roughly 1.1 million populations, are the worst persecuted Muslim minority groups in the world who are decades-old victims of state-supported brutal repression and collective Buddhist hatred. The ethnic Rohingya live a miserable, persecuted and sub human life in physically segregated internment camps with stringent restrictions on their freedom of mobility and are denied access to basic amenities including critical basic primary health care. Besides, they are subjected to arbitrary restrictions on their freedom of religion, on business and education, and often go through unrestrained sexual violence and arbitrary arrest.
The Rohingya are branded by many in Myanmar as illegal immigrants and denied citizenship rights in accordance with Myanmar’s 1982 Citizenship Law. The entrenched ethnic divides and systematic discrimination against the Rohingya have put the Myanmar into a spotlight and drew a collective Muslim indignation and a huge outcry from the West-based Rights Groups who fear mass atrocities on the Rohingya may amount to “ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya” and their genocide.
How is the World Responding to the Crisis?
Majority of the world is denouncing in several forms the brutal violence carried out by Burmese military against the hapless Rohingya and are praying to the Almighty to immediately crush the state repression and help the victims. Besides, the Muslims are demanding their governments to actively intervene and take necessary steps to put an end to the Rohingya persecution, their organized pogrom and gang rape of their women.
The OIC Condemnation
The Independent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has registered its protest in very strong words and appealed to all OIC member states to exhort Myanmar to uphold its international obligations of protecting the human rights of the Rohingya. The Commission has also urged all its 56 member countries to express their concerns at all appropriate international forums.[i]
Besides, the Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals Association (ICMI) has called on the Indonesian government to initiate a conflict resolution process for Myanmar in ASEAN. They have asked the ASEAN nations to intervene on humanitarian ground.[ii]
Malaysia summoned Myanmar’s Ambassador to Malaysia, U Sein Oo to voice Malaysia’s displeasure on the latest bout of violence in the Rakhine State.[iii]
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin condemned the ongoing cruel violence against the Rohingya during a meeting of the two leaders on the sidelines of recently concluded BRICS summit in Xiamen in China.[iv]
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that the Islamic countries should take “practical steps” to end the “inhuman violence” against the minority Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.[v]
Taking a step further, “The Maldives took a bold step and said that it was deeply concerned by the ongoing violence in Rakhine state. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives said in a press release that the island nation has decided to cease all trade ties with Myanmar, until the Government of Myanmar takes appropriate measures to halt the atrocities being committed against Rohingya Muslims.[vi]
Apart from Muslim majority countries, some individuals have also raised their disappointment with the Burmese state. For instance, Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistan based Noble Laureate took to Twitter to take a jibe at Suu Kyi urging her to speak out about the plight of the Rohingya. Apart from Malala, many other Nobel Prize winners have bemoaned the inaction and apathetic attitude of the Myanmar’s de facto ruler Ms. Suu Kyi. Many have appealed to Noble Prize Committee to introduce provisions to revoke former honors in case their recipients failed to uphold international obligations and violate human rights of other people.
In Chechnya, tens of thousands poured into the streets in a government-sanctioned protest against what the country’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, called Myanmar’s “genocide” against the persecuted Rohingya minority.[vii]
The Role of Turkey in the Crisis
Turkey has played a dominant role so far in condemning and proving relief material to the violence-hit poor Rohinga. The Turkish First lady and a delegation led by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu are on their official tour of Bangladesh. And the aim is noble– to disburse the aid material among 100,000 Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh.
On 6 September, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had announced that Turkey would increase its existing aid of 1,000 tons to 10,000 tons to be disbursed among the Rohingya refugees living in overcrowded and squalid camps in Bangladesh.
During Last Ramadan, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) was the only foreign aid agency providing relief material to the Rohingya, claimed the Turkish President. He further added that the TİKA’s humanitarian activities in the region will continue and will extend from food material to medicines and medical supplies. [viii]
Apart from providing humanitarian aid, the Turkish President vowed to raise the Rohingya issue during the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Kazakh capital Astana, scheduled to take place between September 7-11, and during the U.N. General Assembly slated for September 20 in New York. The Turkish President further stated that he discussed the Rohingya crisis in Rakhine with nearly 30 world leaders, especially of Islamic countries.[ix]
The international community cutting across various barriers of regions and religions should feel the pain of the persecuted people. The global fraternity should find ways to overcome this inhuman and cruel crisis. If the collective efforts fail, it will lead to radicalization of the Rohingya and their recruitment to terror agencies.
The writer is a postgraduate in Political Science and currently working in the Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan, New Delhi-India
[ix] https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2017/09/06/turkey-to-deliver-10000-tons-of-humanitarian-aid-to-rohingya-in-2nd-batch-erdogan-sayshttps://www.sacreddaleel.org/escalating-rohingya-crisis-consequent-muslim-countries-response/https://i0.wp.com/www.sacreddaleel.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/the-escalating-rohingya-crisis-and-consequent-muslim-countries-response.jpg?fit=620%2C465&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/www.sacreddaleel.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/the-escalating-rohingya-crisis-and-consequent-muslim-countries-response.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Featured (Current Affairs)OpinionsRohingya CrisisThe humanitarian crisis, erupted on 25 August, in northwestern Rakhine State in Myanmar, has outraged the entire Muslim community scattered across the globe. The simmering Rohingya crisis has claimed more than 400 lives and forced 379,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh in what came to be known as “textbook example...nafees firstname.lastname@example.orgAuthorSacred Daleel