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Myanmar Buddhists and Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims

August 19, 2015

By Abdellatif Zaki | MOROCCO WORLD NEWS


Rabat – A few months ago, I wrote a note on the savagery with which minority Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar are treated at the hands of their countrymen and countrywomen. What I did not address at the time was the manipulation of the Buddhist religious institution and its monks as part of the cleansing operation so as not to jeopardize ongoing peaceful but ineffective attempts to ameliorate the situation



During this time, the whole world has been watching. Footage and pictures smuggled from the site of the slaughter did not make it into major media to raise awareness among the international community at all, much less to the extent that a lost pet in some chic neighborhood of a small town in France, the UK, the USA, or Saudi Arabia would have.


I have to admit that I know next to nothing about Buddhism and Buddhists and I have to add that I have seen so much over-generalization, amalgamation, and misinterpretation of religions around the world that I refrain from committing those blunders. I have, however, seen and heard individual monks, who are so obviously well respected and followed in their country, inviting their followers to attack and chase their Muslim countrymen and countrywomen out of their land, that I can but be convinced that hatred is being created and crimes against humanity are being committed while no one lifts a finger to help.


I also have to admit that while I do understand fully the rage inside me at the unconditional support of the international community for the State of Israel and the way they condone Israel’s crimes against humanity and unlawful occupation of the lands of others, I fail to understand why this same international community has been deaf to the cries and calls of the Rohingya Muslims. Why are the oldest and mightiest democracies of this international community — which never stop reminding the smallest ones of human rights and who reserve the harshest punishments for those who ill-treat animals and trees — pretend that nothing is happening. What they are afraid of, and what kind of deal they are protecting I have no idea. No, that’s not true. Actually, I have a pretty good picture but I am afraid the aperture of my lens might be not wide and slow enough to capture all the factors involved.


The reports and the pictures relayed about the continuing massacre are so painful and savage that one can think of them as the worst humanity has suffered since the European crusades and the Spanish inquisition. A whole population a Muslim minority, is being decimated and neither the Muslims of the world nor any one else is moving in to put an end to the crime. The only hope that remains is an appeal to civil society. People should stand up, denounce the atrocities, raise consciousness, and press their governments to take appropriate actions. For less than this, people have called for much more: economic measures, no-fly zones, diplomatic pressure, etc. We should let them know that the  Rohingya Muslims are humans too.



Abdellatif Zaki

Abdellatif Zaki is a professor of Languages and Communication at Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II, Rabat, Morocco. He has taught introductory courses to the study of the Koran and Islam as well as courses on various intercultural issues. He has published books in the areas of political communication, socio-professional communication, intercultural communication, the reform of the Arab and Islamic mind, and on the formation of perceptions, attitudes and stereotypes. He has also published articles in the area of education, language education, language planning in Morocco and translation. He has edited and co-edited the proceedings of several conferences on language education and translation. He has co-authored and revised several multilingual scientific dictionaries. He is co-founder and current Vice President of Moroccan Symposium for Terminology and Translation.