Creek Speak October 2017 - Page 17

Rohingya Muslims: The Most Persecuted Minority in the World

By Amy Dente

Recently it has come to the attention of many people that there is a genocide occurring in the country of Burma, located in Southeast Asia. The Rohingya people of Burma are an ethnic group that mainly consists of Muslims who have lived for centuries in the Buddhist dominated country. As of now this group is considered ‘the world’s most persecuted minority’ due to the ongoing mass murder from the Buddhists towards them. The children and civilians of this ethnic group have been beheaded and burned alive by the Burmese military and paramilitary forces in the country’s western Rakhine state. There is an estimate of around 582,000 refugees that are fleeing across the border and into Bangladesh seeking shelter and safety. More recent refugees have said they were being starved in an effort to make them leave the country. Activists have now accused Burmese forces of using starvation as a new way to drive remaining populations of the Rohingya Muslims out of Rakhine, Burma. Many outside viewers such as British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson and Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have called for the genocide to stop and declared Burma is ruining its reputation.

The UN (United Nations) has tried to help the refugees with humanitarian actions by attending a one-day visit organized by Burmese authorities along with aid groups. After half a million refugees fled to Bangladesh, the Burmese minister has proposed to take back hundreds of thousands of the Rohingya Muslims. On Monday of October 2 he told reporters, “Myanmar (Burma) has made a proposal to take back the Rohingya refugees...” Although the minister made this statement, the Burmese government will only allow “verified” refugees to re-enter the country according to criteria agreed in 1993, when tens of thousands of the Rohingya were repatriated. As for the other 300,000 refugees that will not be accepted back into the country, no one knows what will come of these people as they are considered illegal immigrants by both Bangladesh and Burma. The fate of Rohingya Muslims now rests in the hands of those willing to send aid.