New York Times - Myanmar Policy’s Message to Muslims: Get Out
It sounds like Islamophobia isn’t just a problem in the west. The Rohingya, a group of Muslims that live in the majority Buddhist nation of Myanmar are being severally persecuted. They are being denied basic human rights, and government is even planning to take away their right to vote, and ban marriages between Muslims and Buddhists. Things are only getting worse as violence and persecution increases. Make no mistake about it, our “counter jihad” loves this sad state of affairs.
Jane Perlez reports,
SITTWE, Myanmar — The Myanmar government has given the estimated one million Rohingya people in this coastal region of the country a dispiriting choice: Prove your family has lived here for more than 60 years and qualify for second-class citizenship, or be placed in camps and face deportation.
The policy, accompanied by a wave of decrees and legislation, has made life for the Rohingya, a long-persecuted Muslim minority, ever more desperate, spurring the biggest flow of Rohingya refugees since a major exodus two years ago.
In the last three weeks alone, 14,500 Rohingya have sailed from the beaches of Rakhine State to Thailand, with the ultimate goal of reaching Malaysia, according to the Arakan Project, a group that monitors Rohingya refugees.
The crisis has become an embarrassment to the White House ahead of a scheduled visit by President Obama to Myanmar next week. The administration considers Myanmar a foreign-policy success story in Asia but is worried that renewed conflict between Buddhist extremists, who are given a free hand by the government, and the Rohingya could derail the already rocky transition from military rule to democratic reform.