Why does Pakistan not accept Rohingya Muslims

Comment: The Muslim hypocrisy towards the Rohingya

From Turkey to Pakistan, almost all countries with predominantly Muslim populations have denounced the killings of members of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar and condemned the military operation in Rakhine State. At the same time, Islamist groups in Indonesia and Pakistan are holding mass demonstrations against Myanmar's Buddhists, the government and the de facto head of government, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San SuuKyi. The calls for the award to be withdrawn are also getting louder.

DW editor Shamil Shams

It is indeed shameful what is happening in Southeast Asia right now. Just as reprehensible is the reaction of the Muslim countries to the suffering of the Rohingya. When dealing with religious or sectarian minorities, countries with a Muslim majority have a devastating record. In Pakistan, the state's discrimination against Hindus, Christians and Ahmadis has been increasing for decades. With their anti-blasphemy laws, the predominantly Islamic countries have forced religious minorities into a life of permanent fear. Christian residential areas were torched, Hindus threatened to be lynched for allegedly "insulting Islam" or the Prophet.

Jihadist slogans do not help the Rohingya

The rise of political Islam in Indonesia and Malaysia threatens the cultural pluralism of these countries. It is downright ironic when Islamic hardliners in Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan protest against the suppression of the Rohingya in Myanmar.

This does not justify the fact that the Rohingya are among the most oppressed minorities in the world. The stateless Rohingya have lived in Myanmar for decades. But neighboring Bangladesh - a Muslim country - does not want to accept them either. It is a great, incomprehensible human tragedy. But to give them religious symbols would do the sufferings of an oppressed community injustice.

This is not about a fight between Buddhism and Islam. In fact, it was Western governments, institutions and activists who raised their voices for the Rohingya when violence flared up in Rakhine in 2012. The international aid agencies help the Rohingya in Myanmar and the refugee camps in Bangladesh more than jihadists chanting slogans, Turkish President Erdogan or Pakistan's Prime Minister Abbassi.

Islamization of the conflict

The Muslim condemnation of the Rohingya massacre is one-sided and distorted. And it instrumentalizes human suffering for religious purposes. The conflict in Rakhine was never between Islam and Buddhism. It is an economic and political dispute that has had the region under control for years. The jihadist element, on the other hand, was fed in retrospectively. And the fact that the Rohingya’s predicament has now become military due to the Islamization of the Rakhine conflict, the Rohingya are once again paying the price.

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