Killings of Myanmar Muslims Go Unnoticed
“A genocidal massacre is taking place in Myanmar these days, in the heart of Asia,” wrote columnist Hussein Shabakshi in yesterday’s edition of the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al Awsat.
World powers were quick to embrace Myanmar as soon as the reclusive, resource-rich country announced structural reforms earlier this year. Now, however, it appears that those world powers are too slow and too shy in condemning the Myanmar government for conducting unlawful killings of dozens of Muslims since June, he said.
According to conflicting reports, the death toll is anywhere between 80 and 200.
Formerly known as Burma, Myanmar had been a prosperous and stable country after its independence from Britain in 1948 until it was taken over by an iron-fisted junta in 1962.
The persecution of the Muslim minority in the country, poorly covered by the media as it is, has a history. For instance, about 25,000 Muslims were killed by extremist Buddhists in 1962. In 2009, about 1,500 members of the country’s Muslim minority were displaced and fled to Thailand.
Unfortunately, even the reaction of the Burmese rights activist-turned politician, Aung San Suu, was lukewarm, the columnist said. The words she used were “more like sign language” and fell way short of “unequivocal condemnation” of her country’s government.