Saturday Jul 14, 201209:34 AM GMT
World absent without leave on Myanmar Muslims' plight: Analyst
Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:21AM
Interview with author and Islamic studies expert, Kevin Barrett
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The international community has been absent without leave. They’ve been looking the other way and in fact the international community led by the West and led by the United States of America has been pouring more and more investment into Myanmar even as this horrific ethnic cleansing unfolds and gets worse and worse by the day."

If other nations were to follow Myanmar’s lead in practicing ethnic and religious cleansing, the whole world would collapse into an “orgy of bloodshed, violence and genocide”, says an analyst.

The comment comes as Myanmar’s President Thein Sein has said that Rohingya Muslims must be expelled from the country and sent to refugee camps run by the United Nations.

The former junta general said on Thursday that the "only solution" was to send nearly a million Rohingya Muslims - one of the world's most persecuted minorities -- to refugee camps run by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

"We will send them away if any third country would accept them," he added. "This is what we are thinking is the solution to the issue."

The UN refugee agency has snubbed the idea of setting up refugee camps to accommodate the Rohingyas.

The UN says decades of discrimination have left the Rohingyas stateless, with Myanmar implementing restrictions on their movement and withholding land rights, education and public services.

Over the past two years, waves of ethnic Muslims have attempted to flee by boats in the face of systematic oppression by the Myanmar government.

The government of Myanmar refuses to recognize them. They say the Rohingyas are not native and classify them as illegal migrants, although they have lived in Myanmar for generations.

Press TV has conducted an interview with author and Islamic Studies expert, Kevin Barrett, to further discuss the issue.

The video also offers the opinions of two additional guests: proffesor at the Shahid Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology, Ghulam Taqqi Bangash, and spokesman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, Raza Kazim.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Kevin Barret, it’s alarming on two fronts what our guest there said. Basically that A this has been going on for quite some time and B it has escalated to a point that has been called an ethnic cleansing. It brings about the immediate question where has the international community been and the respective international organizations?

Barret: Well, the unfortunate answer is that the international community has been absent without leave. They’ve been looking the other way and in fact the international community led by the West and led by the United States of America has been pouring more and more investment into Myanmar even as this horrific ethnic cleansing unfolds and gets worse and worse by the day.

What’s being done to these people is essentially the same thing that Nazi Germans did to Jews and gypsies, the same thing that the Zionists did to the Palestinians, the same thing that was being done to the Bosnians in the 1990s. This is ethnic cleansing- arguably genocide.

These people have nowhere else to go and the idea that a modern government today can say that people who have been living in that country for centuries are not citizens because they have the wrong religion or the wrong ethnicity is a catastrophe.

If that’s allowed to stand and if other countries begin trying to throw out groups of people who’ve been living in their countries for centuries because they’re the wrong religion or ethnicity, the whole planet would collapse into an orgy of bloodshed and violence and ethnic cleansing and genocide and that cannot be allowed to happen.

So we need to wake up the world to the situation and we need to get the human rights groups involved and we need to get the Islamic world involved because these are our Muslim brothers and sisters who are being ruthlessly prosecuted.

There have been thousands killed; there have been dozens and dozens of mosques burned down; there have been many thousands of houses burned down and corpses are washing up in the river at the border of Bangladesh every day and yet the world does nothing.

Press TV: Kevin Barret, you mentioned the United States, other guests also mentioned it. The agenda by the United States here is kind of odd, isn’t it? Secretary [Hillary] Clinton from what I have understood has not made any references to this but a lot of hype about Wall Street, companies, investing in Myanmar. IMF is going to set up an office there. What is going on here? Why is there not a mention on this?

Barret: Well, that’s a great question. As the other guest said this problem has been going on for centuries but it hasn’t happened before that the president has stood up and said that these people are not citizens, never can be citizens. That’s an outrageous statement.

It’s an unacceptable statement and one would think that the leaders of all nations that claim to care about human rights would stand up and say that’s unacceptable, you can’t do that. We’re going to put on sanctions if you’re going to be running your country that way and unfortunately it doesn’t sound like there has been any such message delivered to Myanmar.

On the contrary the American authorities led by Hillary Clinton, these folks are just running around the globe trying to be bigger and bigger hypocrites every day it seems, preaching about human rights out of one side of their mouths and then when it’s inconvenient to their geostrategic goals or their pocket books keeping quiet in situations that are vastly worse than the places that they’re preaching about.

So it’s a very sad situation and I think it really shows the need for Muslims to take the lead in human rights. Muslims are being- we’re in the lead in being prosecuted all over the world.

As [influential American political scientist] Samuel Huntington said the Islamic world has bloody borders and that’s because the non-Muslim world on the borders of the Muslim world is pillaging the Muslim world because the Muslim world is so weak and in that situation we need to get our act together in communications and journalism and human rights and wage jihad by the tongue for all human rights not only human rights for persecuted Muslims but we should be taking the human rights lead in all areas of human rights because the Western powers are forfeiting that and we may as well move into the vacuum.

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