Sunday, June 25, 2017

M15 agent confessed killing Princess Diana

Here is the link to a very interesting news on the death or alleged assassination of princess Diana.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Why Saudi Arabia hates Al Jazeera so much?

To read the Washington Post article, click here.

Teen brutally killed in attack on train in India

The news below filed by Vidhi Doshi is very disturbing and shows how cheap Muslim life has become in Modi's India. It is heartbreaking and simply shocking!
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DELHI — It was going to be a weekend of celebrations. Sixteen-year-old Junaid had just earned the esteemed title of “hafiz,” given to Muslims who memorize the entire Koran. Junaid would need a new suit for the festivities, so his parents sent him to the Indian capital, New Delhi, with his brothers, and 1,500 rupees ($23) in his pocket.
Junaid would never wear the suit. Nor will he have the honor of reciting the Koran in the mosque ever again.
The teenager was brutally killed Thursday evening by a mob on his way home from the city. They slashed his ribs and stabbed him in the chest and then threw him off the train. They called him “mullah,” mocking his religion. They accused him of being a beef-eater, an anti-national, a Pakistani.
A video shows Junaid being cradled by his brother at the platform of a train station just after the attack, with a crowd of people looking on. Junaid's brothers told NDTV that the attackers threw their skullcaps to the floor and pulled their beards.
The family's last name has not been released by authorities or reported by the media.
Junaid's slaying was the latest in a string of anti-Muslim attacks during the holy Islamic period of Ramadan, known in India as Ramazan.
“He was a child. He was just 16. How could they hate us so much to have killed him so brutally?” Junaid's father, Jallaluddin, told the Hindustan Times. “When I reached the spot, my son Hashim was sitting on the station with Junaid’s body soaked in blood in his lap,” he said.
Hashim, Junaid's brother, said the teenager was pinned to the ground by three men as others stabbed him. “Three men held me when I tried to intervene and stabbed me thrice in the back and shoulder. One of us even tried to pull the chain to stop the train, but it was not working,” he told the Hindustan Times.

Onlookers on the train, Hashim said, refused to intervene as the mob closed in on the Muslim passengers. “Instead, they asked those men to finish us all,” he said.
Police are saying the deadly altercation started over a seat space on the train. “There are also allegations that some words which hurt religious sentiments were also said after which things got out of hand,” a police spokesman told NDTV. At least one man has been arrested.
Violence has surged since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist government introduced new rules in May, restricting the sale of cattle for slaughter. The move was widely interpreted as an effort to stop people eating the meat of cows, considered sacred by Hindus. It enraged Muslims, who often sacrifice cows on Eid-al-Fitr to mark the end of a period of austerity and fasting during Ramadan. Some have protested; others have just kept their heads down.
Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is known to have close ideological ties with a far-right organization called the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which has long advocated banning the sale of beef in India. Such efforts during Modi's reign have pitted beef-eating Muslims and low-caste Dalits against the Hindu majority and invigorated young vigilante Hindu bands, who launch attacks on anyone they suspect is a beef-eater. The BJP has often been criticized for failing to rein in such attacks.
Modi has tried to distance himself from cow-related violence. In a speech in 2016, he said such vigilantism was the work of “antisocial elements.”
Eid al-Fitr — marking an end to the month Muslims believe the Koran was revealed by God to the prophet Muhammad — is supposed to be a time of peace and atonement for Muslims. In India, the holiday has become prime season for anti-Muslim violence, as it is also a time when animals are sacrificed to God, a ritual considered immoral by many Hindus. In 2015, a man named Mohammad Akhlaq was dragged from bed and lynched to death by a mob after he was accused of keeping beef in his fridge.
Islam is the second-largest religion in India. Muslims make up 14.2 percent of the nation's population. Tensions between the majority Hindus and Muslims have remained high since the fall of the British Raj in 1947. A Muslim-majority portion of the subcontinent was split off from India, creating the state of Pakistan that same year. In the partition, millions of people were displaced, adding to the ill will.
Muslims in other Indian provinces have pressed for independence. In the northern conflict-torn state of Kashmir, where sectarian violence usually slows down during Ramadan, recent years have seen an uptick of attacks on either side of the separationist divide. This week, a police officer, Mohammed Ayub Pandith, was lynched to death by a mob at the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, where a sermon supporting al-Qaeda leader Zakir Musa was apparently being held. The details of the incident are unclear, but reports suggest that the plainclothes officer was attacked because he was shooting video at the mosque or because he fired into the crowd. According to the Hindustan Times, Pandith was one of 43 people killed in violent attacks during this year's Ramadan.
For Junaid's family, the tensions struck home. His mother, Saira, only learned about her son's death on the day of his funeral. “I got to know only when his body returned home this morning,” she said Friday. “When he did not reach home last night, I kept asking his father about his whereabouts, but no one answered me. ... No one ever told me that he was no more. How could they hide it from me?” she said.
She will never celebrate Eid again. “This time it was special,” she said. “My son became the hafiz — the preserver [of the Koran]. And a day later I lost him. How can this be justified?”

Thoughts on this year’s Eid-ul-Fitr

This Sunday Muslims in the North America are going to celebrate their Eid-ul-Fitr after a month of fasting. Many parts of the world will celebrate the Eid later based on local citing of the crescent moon.

This Ramadan, like some other previous ones in recent years, has not been trouble-free for many Muslims, esp. for those living in war ravaged countries. They had to run for their lives away from harm’s way, and many are living in refugee camps as they fled from war. The lives of ordinary Muslims, esp. the Rohingya, in Buddhist-majority Myanmar have not improved an iota despite overwhelming worldwide condemnation of Suu Kyi and her government’s handling of on-going genocidal activities against them.

Just hear a 11-year old Rohingya Muslim girl’s story as told to Ilona Alexander of the United Nations. “Her father went into hiding from the military and took her two older sisters with him so that they would be safe. He left the girl at home with her mother and two little brothers because he thought the military wouldn’t hurt children. The military came back to their house twice. The first time, the military came and removed her clothing and kicked her. After the clothing was removed and the girl was beaten, the military suddenly left. The next day they returned with seven soldiers and removed the mother from the house. The soldiers locked themselves in a room with the girl and gang raped her.

The girl told me that she doesn’t even know how many of them raped her because she fell unconscious at times and awoke bleeding and injured after.”


More than half of Rohingya refugee women who were interviewed by the UN reported being raped. The actual numbers are higher. Think of how many nameless 11-year-olds are silently living with this trauma with no access to health and psychological care. Their plight doesn’t end there, they are still vulnerable to exploitation in the refugee camps, where 80% of refugees are women and children.
The Rohingyas continue to face extinction while Suu Kyi denies any charges. What a joke the Nobel peace prize has become because of moral depravity of people like Suu Kyi!

The criminal outfit Daesh (IS) is still active in Iraq and Syria, trying to hold on to their rapidly shrinking territories. Some of their supporters, comprised of the ‘losers’ in both the worlds (here in this world and the hereafter), living in the western countries have tried to kill and/or get killed in their nihilistic attacks. [As can be seen, here, I agree with President Trump in calling these ragtag fighters for the cause of Daesh as losers because nothing can describe them better. Before joining the Daesh and/or purporting to be its brain-washed foot-soldiers they have been mostly losers in life with no direction. They did neither know Islam nor cared about its do’s and don’ts.] To them, anyone who did not agree with their nihilistic goals is a fair game. To them, the vast corpus of hadith literature and Qur’anic dictums forbidding committing fitnah and fasad, let alone suicide attacks, have no meanings. With powerful messaging and videos, nonetheless, they continue to recruit many brain-dead individuals to their nihilistic causes. Thus, the lives of many people – Muslims and non-Muslims alike – have been threatened by these losers.

We are told by the Saudi Interior Ministry that a terrorist network intended to violate the security of the Grand Mosque, the holiest place on Earth. Security authorities confirmed that the attacker blew himself up when surrounded by security men. They also confirmed that before the incident, security men, on Friday morning, had arrested a wanted criminal at a house in Al-Asilah neighborhood in east Makkah. The criminal led authorities to the location of the terrorist in Ajyad Al-Masafi neighborhood, behind Al-Safwa Hotel. Another terrorist was arrested in Jeddah. Last July, a terrorist blew himself up near the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. Suicide attacks also occurred in Jeddah and Qatif that month.

Just imagine their audacity and the criminal intent! Which Muslim would ever dare to commit such a grievous crime in either Makkah or Madinah that house two of the most visited mosques in our planet? Still these criminals try to sell their identity as Islamic! What a perversion of faith in the hands of extremists and what a joke!

Equally problematic has been the emergence of non-Muslim vigilantes and terrorist outfits that are trying to kill anyone who looks like a Muslim. Muslims have been stabbed, shot at and mowed over by speeding vehicles. In London, the attacker who killed a Muslim and injured many near a mosque — identified as Darren Osborne, a white 47-year-old man — was said to have screamed “I want to kill more Muslims” before being confronted and handed over unharmed by Muslim bystanders to the police.

President Trump who has been rushing messages when groups like the Daesh are suspected to be involved is regrettably silent when Muslims are victims. Don't forget that early in his tenure, Trump was publicly quiet after a white supremacist shot up a mosque in Quebec City. Such double standards from Trump should not surprise anyone.

As recently noted in the Washington Post by Ishaan Tharoor, “Trump campaigned on anti-Muslim demagoguery and has since sought to implement edicts that many analysts (and some federal courts) consider discriminatory toward Muslims. His administration enlisted senior advisers who don't see Islam as a real religion.”

This year, bucking an annual tradition that stretches back to 1996 — and by other accounts, more than two centuries — the White House did not host an iftar dinner to commemorate Ramadan. “The absence of such an event now speaks volumes — louder, perhaps, than Trump's supposed overtures to the Muslim world while visiting Saudi Arabia last month. Even then, Trump made no mention of the millions of Muslims in his own country and avoided talk of the rich achievements of Islamic empires when extolling the greatness of the Middle East's history. The inference one is compelled to make is that the president has a callous disinterest in the successes of Muslims and is almost exclusively animated by their perceived misdeeds,” Tharoor writes.

Attacks on Muslims in the West does not and did not occur in vacuum. Years of anti-Muslim headlines in tabloid newspapers and Fox TV channels (many owned by Rupert Murdoch), combined with toxic Islamophobia that Muslims are here to impose Shariah and force western women to wear burqa – preached by hate groups like Jihad Watch, Stop Islamization of Europe, Stop Islamization of America – had prepared the groundwork for not only fundamentally dehumanizing Muslim communities living in the West but also providing the necessary ammunitions needed for committing terrorist crimes – against Muslims. [Of course, such heinous crimes are depicted here as only hate crimes and not terrorism (as if the terrorism is synonymous with Muslims).] The Trump White House even includes some of the hateful, anti-Muslim provocateurs.

Trump’s trip to the Middle East has also divided the GCC (seen more as a Gulf Coercive or Conspiracy, and not a Cooperative, Council today) and the Arab world; such a fissure is bound to enrich all those connected with the military industrial complex. Relations with the progressive Qatar by its regressive Arab neighbors have been severed, who have demanded (among 13 outrageous, sovereignty-threatening demands) that Qatar stop Al Jazeera TV network from operating, severe ties with Iran and close the Turkish military base inside Qatar.

Free press has been a threat everywhere to despotic rulers. The latter see it as a mortal challenge to their unbridled authoritarianism. Even in the ‘liberal’ western democracies like the USA, Trump administration has been very hostile to the free press, calling it (all but the Fox News) the ‘fake news’ outlets. So, when it comes to countries that are not even ‘illiberal’ (forget about being liberal) democracies and are, instead, ruled by despots, autocrats, kings and monarchs, one can understand why they want to see Al-Jazeera – the most trusted news media in the world (and not just the Middle East) - shut down.

Thanks to the generous seed money provided by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, Al Jazeera has been a Godsend bringing to the fore the dirty secrets, excesses and abuses of the unpopular regimes and images of depravation and suffering of the ordinary Arabs in that part of the world. Its reporting from the besieged Gaza and bombed-out, mass-murdering fields and streets inside Afghanistan and Iraq during the Bush II era have made it an unsubdued foe of the apartheid state of Israel and its powerful patron - the USA government. [No wonder that the American air raids repeatedly targeted Al Jazeera stations in war-torn countries, even jailing (and inducing such in client or friendly states) its reporters on false charges. In 2003, an Al Jazeera staff member was killed and three other employees were wounded by an American airstrike during the U.S. push into Baghdad. Donald Rumsfeld did not like Al Jazeera coverage on high casualty figures of civilians.] Its real-time coverages of the Arab Spring gave voice to criticisms of autocratic governments in a region where such talk was largely out of bounds. [The network's coverage of the anti-military popular movement in Egypt quickly drew the attention of the new usurper government of El-Sisi, which in 2014 arrested three journalists working for the outlet's English-language division. Its journalist Mahmoud Hussein remains detained since December 20, 2016 after traveling to Cairo for a holiday.]  

All those unpopular, criminal regimes obviously prefer Al Jazeera to simply disappear. They love the status quo; no toppling of their hated regimes, no revolutions that could kill them!

In our time when no opinion of a pundit is 100% unbiased, Al Jazeera, to its credit, has remained reasonably neutral and objective, thus enjoying much admiration all over the globe. So, we can understand why Saudi Arabia and its Gulf partners – all patrons of the extremist Wahabi brand of Islam that morphed monsters like the Daesh – want moderately Salafi state of Qatar to close the only free press in that part of the world.

We can also understand why the US President Donald Trump has taken a tough stance on Qatar, accusing it falsely of being a "high level" sponsor of terrorism. He obviously wants to kill more than one bird with that crisis!

Turkey has backed, and rightfully so, Qatar during the three-week-old crisis. It sent its first ship carrying food aid to Qatar and dispatched a small contingent of soldiers and armoured vehicles there on Thursday, while President Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Saudi Arabia's leaders on calming tension in the region.

We surely live in a difficult time where state despotism is becoming a new normal almost everywhere where the ruling class feels that they can do whatever they like, whether those ruled like it or not; they are there to stay forever. They are a remorseless bunch totally oblivious of their accountability before God on the Day of Resurrection.

The ultimate objective of fasting during the month of Ramadan is to create that God-consciousness (taqwa), which elevates a person to become a real human being that is mindful of its deeds and accountability. If this Ramadan has failed in awakening that nourishing spirit, the coming days will only be more painful. May Allah help us all to be conscious of Him in everything we do!

Eid Mubarak!

 

Friday, June 23, 2017

On-going persecution of Rohingyas


In Suu Kyi's Myanmar nothing has improved for the Rohingya and other minorities who face extinction. As a matter of fact, in some areas, they face more danger than anytime before.
According to Rohingya Vision: Burmese Authorities arrested 10 innocent Rohingyas and released them after torturing and  extorting money in Daibbaingsara (Saufarag) village of, Buthidaung on 16th May 2016, explains a suffering local.
In the incidence 10 of the innocent Rohingyas were driven away from their houses to the BGP camps, where they were inhumanely tortured and abused. “Every night BGP comes and tortures us by taking men and women separately, where they even molest our women and girls” says a suffering local.
Along with arrests, they also looted household goods and ornaments and tortured Rohingyas severely. Later arrestees were released after extorting 3 – 5 lakhs from every person. Among the victims 8 are identified and other 2 remains unidentified.
Identified victims are:
  1. Haroon S\O Ali Bashir, 35
  2. Rashid S\O Ali Hussain, 35
  3. Amir Hakim, S\O Khalu, 25
  4. Abdul hakim S\O Ali Ahmed, 50
  5. Mv Sayed Alam, 30
  6. Muhammed Sadeq S/O Khalu, 19
  7. Abdul Kalek, S/O Ali Ahmed, 50
  8. Muhammed Salim S/O Khalu
Authorities’ arrests, torture and abuses in the region every night have left Rohingyas in extreme fear even to live in their own houses. And even in the month of Ramadan (the  holy month of fasting for Muslims) Rohingyas are unable to fast due to the fear of torture and unrest in the region.

Dr Maung Zarni on Myanmar

The interview below was conducted by Adil Zaman and can be seen in its original form by clicking here.
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Dr. Maung Zarni, an exiled dissident from Myanmar, is a scholar and activist based in the United Kingdom. He is co-author (with Alice Cowley) of The Slow Burning Genocide of Myanmar’s Rohingya and a grassroots activist who coordinated the international consumer boycott of Myanmar in support of the National League for Democracy from 1995-2004, was the founder of the Free Burma Coalition and has been with the London School of Economics as well as Harvard University. Zarni, himself a Buddhist, has been a vocal voice on human rights globally and was interviewed by ADIL ZAMAN for The Citizen. Excerpts:

Q.What is your response to Aung San Suu Kyi government’s denial of a UN probe into the widespread allegations of killings, rapes and torture by security forces against Rohingya Muslims?

As a Burmese activist, who had supported Aung San Suu Kyi as the hope of Burma for 15 years, I am deeply troubled by her government – and the Nobel laureate herself – dismissing and denying all the credible allegations of ethnic cleansing and even a genocide.

My own 3-year-study (Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal, 2014) conducted with my wife and colleague Alice, was the first comprehensive academic publication on the persecution of the Rohingya. We were persuaded by our findings that my country has long triggered the process of a slow genocide, with periodic waves of large scale violence against this peaceful, vulnerable Muslim community, with a historical claim over their own region of Northern Rakhine. Other studies and reports from Yale Law Clinic, Queen Mary U. of London Law School, etc. have arrived at the same conclusion, further reinforcing our findings.

So, I find it unconscionable that Aung San Suu Kyi herself and virtually all her advisers, officials and spokespersons have been dismissing these numerous reports and studies as “fake rape” “exaggeration” “Muslim-on-Muslim violence” or primarily “centuries-old sectarian conflict” “poverty-induced conflict” between Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya communities in the region, an unfortunate by-product or side effect of multi-ethnic country opening up. The evidence – that the persecution is state-orchestrated and predates Burma’s opening by nearly 30 years – since 1978) – is irrefutable.

Q. More than 75,000 Myanmar Rohingyas have fled to the Bangladesh Border since October, 2016, who is responsible , who will help them ?

Unlike the 2012 waves of violence in June and October where local Rakhines led the mass killings and mass destruction of Rohingyas – with a blanket impunity, the October 2016 violence, displacement, and destruction was carried out by the Burmese security forces including the Burmese police forces.

Although the security forces are not under Suu Kyi-government’s control, the police are under NLD-government, as Aung San Suu Kyi herself admitted in her Channel News Asia interview in early December last year. The Burmese military leadership ordered these ‘security clearance’ operation as a response to the killing of 9 Burmese police men manning two border posts.

Based on my own research -including interviews with Rohingyas, the Burmese military invented its own pretext to launch a large scale “security clearance operations” by setting this up “honey-trap” where the young, angry, militant Rohingyas men were lured into attacking the border posts, in a region that is dotted with Burmese military and police intelligence units and check-points.

The military leaders are directly responsible for the exodus of 75,000 Rohingyas and Aung San Suu Kyi government whitewashes, covers up, denies and dismisses the military’s international human rights crimes against Rohingyas. You know denial is always a part of a genocidal process, from the Nazi genocide to Rwanda – and now to Myanmar genocide of Rohingyas. When a sovereign government, whatever its form or nature, fails to discharge its responsibility to look after humans inhabiting on its soul then it is the responsibility of the international community to intervene, in any possible and conceivable way, to protect and help the victim community. The region’s giant neighbours such as India and China, as well as the regional bloc such as South Asian and South East Asia regional blocs are primarily responsible for taking care of the region.

Q. Has the international community proved ineffective in dealing with Rohingya Crisis?

Yes, absolutely ineffectual. UN High Commission on Refugees based in Geneva has been involved in addressing the needs of period waves of Rohingya refugees since spring of 1978 – (the first wave saw 278,000 Rohingyas fleeing Burma’s terror campaign disguised as “immigration checks”, that was followed by 1991/92 wave with similar number of refugees. Rohingya issue hit the world’s headlines only after the country opened up in 2011.

Since the two bouts of violence in 2012 and now the latest one in 2016, another quarter million Rohingyas have fled the country, according to the UN reports). One reason the international community has been ineffective in addressing the Rohingya Crisis is because it fails to confront the root cause of massive human sufferings of Rohingya as a collective ethnic community, naming the state-led genocidal process.

You know ending genocide may be a moral imperative for communities and circles of ordinary humans like you and me, but it does not advance strategic interests of external, powerful players in international politics. The ugly truth is this: the world revolves around national and corporate interests and nasty struggles over these interests. Rohingya crisis is yet another inconvenient case of international crimes against the faceless, vulnerable, commercially useless human community. The failure of the international community, so-called, to end Rohingya genocide, and other atrocities in places like Sudan or Burundi, is an affront to all the decent humans around the world.

Q. Former UN secretary General Kofi Anan few months ago said “ He would not describe Violence being committed against Myanmar's Rohingya minority as "genocide". Your Comments?

It is utterly pathetic and arrogant that Kofi Annan would weigh in on the Rohingya issue, without having studied the persecution in any appreciable ways, against the backdrop of studies that call Burma’s persecution of Rohingya by its legal name.

Professionally speaking, Annan spent less than a total of 7 days in his whirlwind trips to Rakhine region, speaks no local language, has never been involved in Myanmar political issues, in any appreciable ways. How could someone with zero expertise on local or national issues.

Look. When it comes to dealing with cases involving genocide and ethnic cleansing, Kofi Annan is the last person whose words I would take at face value. As the head of UN Peacekeeping Force based in New York headquarters, this careerist bureaucrat sat on his hands when the head of the Peacekeepers in Rwanda was sending unequivocal messages of an imminent genocidal killings in 1994, simply because the most powerful post-Cold War Masters of the UN – the Americans – didn’t want to hear the “G” word. Annan simply let 800,000 Rwandan Tutsi be slaughtered in a span of a few months. When he was made head of UN, he did nothing, as Sec-Gen., significant to protest the illegal and immoral invasion against Saddam’s Iraq, the legacy of which the Middle East – and the world – are still reeling from.

Q. What is the 969 group ? What makes them neo-Nazis and why are they targeting Muslims?

969 is just a name, a reference to a mixed group of Bama nationalists, both laymen (and -women) and nuns and monks. The group’s name has changed from 969 to Ma Ba Tha and others. But the core players – funders, lay supporters, protectors within the military, propagandists in the Burmese language media, etc. – remain the same.

What makes them Nazi-sh is their core belief that Muslims – all Muslims – and Islam – are a major threat to the world in general and to Burma as the predominantly Buddhist country.

It’s like Hitler and Nazi ideology that scapegoated the Jewish peoples as the source of all evils – the Russian Revolution, the international banking system, etc. It is this extreme-racist ideology that compels the Burmese anti-Muslim racists organized themselves as 969, Ma Ba Tha, Patriotic Monks Association, Wunthanu Philanthropy - that’s the latest banner of 969, after its name is declared “illegal” by the national governing body of monks a month ago – to target all Muslim communities.

The crucial point I want to emphasise here is the role of the military-controlled government and governmental institutions in propping up these racist groups. The most powerful generals including the Commander in Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, and still influentially networked ex-Chief of Intelligence and ex-General Khin Nyunt are known patrons of individual leaders of these neo-Nazi groups such as Sitagu monk and Wirathu monk.

Q.What are the threats to ethnic minorities in this region or according to you in the Buddhist Triangle( Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand) – How did it originate ?

Of the three Theravada Buddhist countries, Sri Lanka and Myanmar are former British colonies. The threat they have posed to ethnic and religious minorities – in the case of Sri Lanka, the autonomy-seeking Eelam Tamils and Muslims and Christians – stems from the fact that the countries’ post-colonial governments, their respective ideologies, and constitutive institutions have enshrined “Buddhist racism” – an oxymoron – towards non-believers.

Over the last 50 years at least, these two states have crystalized unitary state structures that rest on this majoritarian Buddhist racism. In a warped way, although the Buddhists in these two countries are the majorities, they seem themselves in global terms – Buddhists are minorities in the sea of 1.7 billion Muslims in 57 Muslim countries. They look at the history of the spread Islam in places like the Malay World, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia, etc. - through the Sword, in the historical understanding or misunderstanding in these predominantly Buddhist societies. They look at the violence that has engulfed the Middle East and terrorist attacks in USA and Europe and conclude that Islam is “a virus of violence” and Muslims are “carriers”.

The popular Burmese discourses in the social media – and in face to face conversations – are informed by this fear and perception of Muslims as an existential threat to Buddhists and other non-Muslims. In the case of Thailand, the Thai kingdom has never been colonized by a Christian European power. So, the Thai state has been the patron of Buddhism and Buddhist clergy.

Q. Your forthcoming book on Burma is going to be published this year. Any details you could share?

My book is a commissioned work by Yale University Press. It is a history and analysis of my own society, where I deviate from the typical court- or state-centred narrative. In other words, I am writing a mini-version of a “people’s history” of Burma, marginalizing the century-old elite voices. I am in fact struggling with it in terms of time. I am an activist through and through. I can’t sit down and simply focus on writing this long form of analysis and story-telling. I feel I need to respond to the deeply disturbing developments “at home” – like the rise of violence, the lies of Aung San Suu Kyi and the generals, the popularization of Islamophobia.



Greg Constantine - the exiled photographer

Photographer Greg Constantine has dedicated a decade of his life to exposing the tragedy of statelessness. His photos capture the trauma and hopelessness that afflict the millions of people who are not citizens of any country, including the million Rohingyas who were born in and rejected by Myanmar.
Last November, Constantine was blocked by the Myanmar government from entering the country to attend his exhibition Nowhere People in Yangon, which heavily covers the plight of the Rohingya.
To roughly coincide with World Refugee Day, which was June 20, the photographer released the seven-minute video “Exiled To Nowhere-Burma’s Rohingya“, which includes footage from his 12 visits over nine years to Rohingya communities in Bangladesh and Myanmar.

“Today, millions of stateless people around the world continue to struggle to secure their right to equality, access to justice, and recognition in the places they call home. Discrimination, racism, intolerance, and the failure of governments and the international community continue to fuel and perpetuate the statelessness of so many men, woman, children, and entire communities around the world, including the Rohingya in Burma,” the photographer wrote in a Facebook post accompanying the video.
The video contains scenes of squalor in displaced persons’ camps and scenes of tension as police loom over the Rohingyas’ open-air prisons, as well as the quotidian labor of fishermen, trishaw drivers, and parents, all trying to make a life despite their political paralysis. It also shows the rage and intolerance of the Myanmar public, which helps keeps the Rohingya in these conditions.
The video also includes audio recordings Constantine recorded over those nine years.
In the video description, he writes: “It hopefully presents a view of how their situation continues to worsen and how little has been accomplished by those inside Burma and internationally to end the ongoing destruction of this community.”
The video is a doleful reminder of the privileges of citizenship and the cruelty of the powers that confer it. We hope you check it out below: 

Video:Exiled To Nowhere-Burma's Rohingya on Vimeo