Hypocrisy unlimited over Rohingyas

Hypocrisy unlimited over Rohingyas

By THE SUNDAY GUARDIAN | 10 September, 2017

There has been a rising crescendo of abuse directed against Myanmar’s first elected government in decades over its refusal to freely permit Rohingyas to settle down in the country, especially in Rakhine, a province where an insurgency conducted by Wahhabi fighters is raging to convert it into a version of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. In those parts of Myanmar where such elements are in control, there is no room or quarter given even to moderate Muslims. Either the inhabitants accept the Wahhabi interpretation of theology or they are hounded and harassed. After suffering humiliation and in several instances grievous bodily harm even amounting to death, such individuals are flushed out of territory controlled by Wahhabi extremists. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of the ranks of such fanatics comprise Rohingyas. Hence the concern expressed by Nobel Peace Prize winner Daw Aung San Suu Kyi over the possibility that unrestrained entry of a community that seems to have its origins in Bangladesh would complicate Myanmar’s already fragile security situation in a manner that may reduce it to the status of a failed state. However, the Rohingya community has found a long-term champion of Wahhabism in the form of the United States and its allies such as the European Union, Australia and Canada. These are vociferous in decrying the Myanmar government and in particular Suu Kyi as being intolerant and even fascist. Shadowy agencies and individuals associated with them have been among those who have launched online campaigns to strip the Myanmar leader of the Nobel Peace Prize. Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan, whose closeness to Wahhabism has not been kept a secret by him, is even muttering about using the armed forces of Turkey to overawe Myanmar and force it to accept as many Rohingyas as seek to enter its borders. A much better way of solving the problem would be for Erdogan to throw open the doors of his own country to the Rohingyas. He can send wide body jets of Turkish Airlines to Bangladesh, India and Myanmar, the three countries that have the highest concentration of Rohingyas in the world. In the case of India, the Hurriyat Conference seems to have mistaken the Rohingyas for Kashmiris, as there has not been any protest from that Pakistan front to the manner in which a large number of Rohingyas has settled in Jammu, although not in Srinagar. India has, for unfathomable reasons (perhaps related to its consistent desire to win the favour of the US and the EU), allowed large numbers of Rohingyas to settle in this country without any vetting whatsoever. 

The government of Myammar has been more careful than its counterpart in India. Aware that the Jamaat-I-Islami Bangladesh is a hardline Wahhabi organisation, which has sought to inculcate a hardline mindset amongst its millions of members, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has thus far refused to listen to the taunts from the US and its allies or the threats from Turkey, Iran and some other countries. She needs to ask why the Donald Trump administration, or the governments headed by Angela Merkel and Theresa May, have refused to allow the Rohingyas to settle down in their own countries, but lecture Myanmar shrilly about its “obligation” to permit the Rohingyas to flood the country. Presumably, contingency plans have already been made to establish diplomatic ties with what would surely become a Talibanised state, were Myanmar to let down its guard against radical elements. After all, these are the very countries that even today call for talks with the Taliban and want that organisation to participate in the Afghan government. By throwing such a deadly bone to these Wahhabi zealots, London, Berlin and Washington apparently calculate that the militia will leave their troops alone. In fact, the attacks on NATO will be the fiercer after the Taliban get rejuvenated through a share in power in Kabul. What the US, the UK, Canada and other countries crying copiously over the plight of the Rohingyas should do is to welcome them into the US, Canada and the EU. They would only then have the moral and ethical standing to ask Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to do the same. By themselves refusing to take in the Rohingya and yet demanding that Myanmar do so in unlimited quantities, these critics of Myanmar are only displaying their hypocrisy. 

As for India, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval (who is among the best police brains in the world) needs to relook India’s UPA-era openness towards the Rohingya and take steps to vet every individual from that group that is already in the country, deporting those that are a security risk. A beginning has already been made in this direction, but much more needs to be done. If necessary, India can arrange to fly out the Rohingyas within its boundaries to New York, London, Montreal, Sydney, Berlin and other cities, where movements are ongoing which demand that Su Kyi should step in where they themselves refuse to do.

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