A group of expatriate Rohingya human rights activists have described the current situation in the country as similar to the horrific conditions prevalent in Nazi Germany during the pre war years.
Khairul Amin, chairman of European Rohingya Council said that while Nazi Germany persecuted all their opponents or anyone who did not fit in their definition of the prefect Aryan, the government of Myanmar and their allies have targeted a specific group- the Muslims.
“If we search for the root cause of our problem, is it down to economics or is it because of an inherited hatred that exists among the Rakhine [Arakan] Buddhists?” he asks in an interview with Anadolu Agency.
“No; it’s down to the Burmese [Myanmar] governments, who have manipulated the Rakhine people into hating us to divide us and rule us.”
“Just as the Nazis had targeted the Gypsies, Jews and homosexuals, among others, the government is targeting the Muslims,” Amin told Anadolu Agency.
Dr Ambia Perveen, the secretary for advocacy of the Europeran Rohingya Council told Anadolu Agency that since the last few years, the situation has deteriorated and assumed the character of genocide.
“It is no different from what happened in Sarajevo or Rwanda… There are restrictions on marriage, on having children, education… We cannot marry without permits, practice Islam, speak our own language, or move freely. In 1950, our population was 2.2 million. With the biological clock, we should have multiplied by numbers, but today we are less than one million people,” she told Anadolu Agency.
Pressing on his opinion that the strife in Arakan has been created for economic reasons, Amin goes on to say, “”They will never let Rakhine people run this state; they will never let Rohingya run the state. They will always try and divide us by keeping us apart.”
Amin describes how popular hatred stirred by firebrand ‘Buddhist’ hate preachers such as U Wirathu has made it impssoble for anyone to speak out for the Rohingyas as this would invoke public fury. Even the legendary heroine of democratic resistance, Aung Saan Suu Kyi has shied away from supporting the beleaguered Muslim community. “To maintain her (Suu Kyi) high popularity, she’s had to remain silent when it came to the Rohingya case. She does not want to lose support,” says Amin.
Contrary to the views of many Rohingyas, Peveen hopes that Suu Kyi will come out for the Rohingyas and western countries would also pressurise her. By contrast, she slams ASEAN countries alleging the bloc is controlled by China.
“They do not care. China [Myanmar’s biggest trade partner, followed by Thailand, and Singapore] does not care about Islam, it cares about money. They see us as Muslims, not human beings,” she says.
While the suffering of the Rohingyas is seen by many as an Islamic issue, but she says it is also a human rights issue. “This issue is not a Muslim issue; it’s a human issue, an issue for anyone who believes in justice,” she says.