Burma killings: Think before you point fingers

Published: July 17, 2012
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In 2001, these feelings of hatred started going out of control and today after a decade and more, it is reaching sad and unfortunate proportions. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

I have always thought of Buddhists as being the wisest, most religious and peace loving of all people. Hence, their recent atrocities in Burma were shocking on many levels. Burmese Buddhists are carrying out a ‘cleansing’ and have (reportedly) killed many Muslims over the past two months. 

To answer the ‘why’, let’s examine a bit of history first for that is where most of the answers lie.

Burma/Myanmar is situated next to Bangladesh and Muslims started arriving there in the early 20th Century. Memons and Shias also migrated in large numbers – that is also the origin of ‘Khao Suey’ we so enjoy today especially in Karachi. You may know of elders in the community who once enjoyed businesses there in the 20s, 30s and 40s. Burma was under the British rule (like us) and the Indian Muslims who came to Burma enjoyed a better status given their subservience to the British. With the ‘business men Muslims’ also came the ‘worker Muslims’ who also took over jobs from the Burmese. This ‘increased’ the hatred for the Muslims.

Now, why did they harbour anti-Muslim feelings in the first place? Because history had taught the Buddhist Burmese that forced conversions of Buddhists had taken place during the Mughal rule! Hence, this coupled with migration of Indian-Muslims to Burma only aggravated their feelings.

The 40s was a time of ‘independence’ in the region – so when the British were withdrawing from all over the world, Burma too demanded a “Burma for the Burmese” and just like there was bigoted violence between Hindus and Muslims in India, the same was happening between Burmese and Muslims. It all ended (for a while) when Burma too got its independence in 1948. The rich Muslims slowly moved out leaving the poorer Muslims to bear the brunt of racism.

Just like Pakistan, Burma has had an intense military rule – of more than 40 years! And since the past 60 years, Muslims (and even Hindus) have faced slow persecution by the Burmese. They can’t build or repair mosques, they can’t congregate, can’t become Burmese citizens, can’t travel etc. These feelings of hatred started going out of control in 2001 and today after 12 years, it is reaching sad proportions.

I do not know why the media is quiet and I do not wish to reflect on it either. What I do want us to collectively learn are the lessons these conflicts hold for us.

1. Humans have an in-human tendency to oppress the poor. Think about all the prejudices you hold against Pathans, Mohajirs, Sindhis, Deobandis, Shias, Christians and so on.

2. Ignoring the poor and not sharing your compassion and wealth is as inhumane as oppressing them. Since our state of Pakistan has been headed by unwise, non compassionate people since the 70s we are now seeing a lot of problems that have the potential to turn into Burma-like atrocities.

3. To all my immigrating friends, beware of the feelings of hatred you fan because you are only thinking about you and your community. You need to understand that Pakistani/Desi/Muslim is ‘not’ your only community – you owe more to the people and the country hosting you so you need to put their interests before yours otherwise your children and grandchildren can suffer.

4. Make your child un-learn prejudices of the past so knitted into our education and social system.

“All people are good till circumstances force them to become otherwise” – how difficult a lesson is that? We adults need to learn to think of the ‘circumstances’ that force people to become ‘otherwise’. It will lead us to many answers.

5. Before getting all riled up against the Buddhists, wait and examine your role as a Muslim and a Pakistani first. Have you done anything for the Biharis who are in Bangladesh? They cannot become Bangladeshi citizens and are living in appalling conditions and that too in a Muslim country.

Before we blame the Buddhist of being racist and violent and insensitive to others, I suggest you look under your own collar first.

6. Did you know that Bangladesh is not hosting a single Muslim refugee from Burma? If people of my religion (Muslims) are this discriminate, then shouldn’t I think twice before blatantly pointing fingers at the Buddhists in Burma?

7. Did you know that we Pakistanis promised to take all Biharis to Pakistan (who happen to be in large numbers of 30,000 or so) and we only brought 300 of them to Pakistan to date? What about the rest of the 29,700 Biharis waiting for the promise to be fulfilled?

This is not meant to be a pro-Bihari article from any angle or pro- anything in fact– it’s just one on perspectives about things that we tend to lose most of the times. We fail to realise that our individual actions have far reaching consequences because we have surrounded ourselves with an oblivion we chose to live in.

It doesn’t take long to start observing our own actions that we employ in our daily lives and what they actually will procure later.

So when you hire someone from your own religion or community instead of basing the decision on merit, you have sowed the seed of hatred and racism. When you talk in a prejudiced manner in front of your children whether in jest or otherwise, you are sowing the seeds of hatred. When you are not giving yourself an alternative perspective on your own history, you are sowing the seeds of hatred. When you are not going out of your way to actually ‘do’ something selflessly in the country you live in, you are sowing the seeds of hatred. When you are not sharing your wealth and success or helping others climb up the economic ladder, you are sowing the seeds of hatred then as well.

This hatred is bound to chase you, your children and grandchildren right back; you just need to decide which dead body in the pile of a massacre you are responsible for.

Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that 20,000 Muslims have been killed. This has been changed. 

Shehlah.Zahiruddin

Shehlah Zahiruddin

An enterpreneur with a keen interest in the world around her.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Noor Muhammad (Pamiri)

    Burmese Buddhists are carrying out a ‘cleansing’ and have (reportedly) killed more than 20,000 Muslims in the past 2 months.

    are these statistics correct, in the first? What is the source? Recommend

  • sana fatima

    Whatever you are pointing out is not that bad what is happening in Burma so u better first research that what cruelest circumstances burmese muslims are facing since far behind 2001 n then pick up a pen for writing even a line!!!!
    poor article,writer needs a lot of research!!!!Recommend

  • Awans

    You talked about Prejudice against Deobandis ??. Deobandis are ruling Pakistan and they are most Protected and Ruler class of Pakistan and they are at all out war with Sufis and others and you are talking about prejudice against them. Also again you forgot to mention the name of Ahmedi as Liberal Class of Pakistan is actually biased in their views against Persecution of Ahmedis. What Burmese are doing with Muslims the same thing is actually a part of our constitution where there are no equal rights for everyone.Recommend

  • Awais

    A very nicely written article.!! Its well said “As you sow, so you shall reap” and here are the repercussions of what a few “Muslim Communities” have themselves done by blatantly discriminating against others!!Recommend

  • manish

    Burmese Buddhists are carrying out a ‘cleansing’ and have (reportedly) killed more than 20,000 Muslims in the past 2 months.

    better refrence needed……

    this killing of muslims at the hands of ‘peaceful’ buddhists has a long history, going back to the times of CHENGIZ KHAN, AND HALAKU KHAN…..

    and buddhists are peaceful not only because their religion says so, but it is a kind of KALAMA in their religion…
    the only unfortunate thing is that they do not take their religion as seriously as muslims do….Recommend

  • KKK

    violence started because these so called “peaceful” rohingyas raped and murdered a buddhist girl.we dont want rohingya,they dont belong to myanmar,they can go to bangladesh or india which is their land of originRecommend

  • Asad

    @KKK so as per your twisted logic all of the rohingyas community is guilty and should be persecuted because of that? Hillary was there recently not a single word from her on this Ang Sang Sui Kyi the democratic puppet has been installed so anything goes.Recommend

  • Mj

    @Noor Muhammad (Pamiri):
    These figures are highly exaggerated and are only to be found on muslim blogs and images macros spread through facebook. Most independent observers put the death toll at around 100-170 with the official figure of 78. Even a single killing is regrettable but it is clearly not on the scale being purported.Recommend

  • manish

    @KKK:
    plz do not even mention india…we already have 3 million illegal bangladesis living in our country…
    and we certanil can’ tolerae even one more….Recommend

  • Shocking

    Behold the apologist! It is convenient to say that ‘Muslim countries’ are not letting felow muslims in to escape the opression. The fist point of fact is that these are not ‘muslim countries’ these are secular countirs. The constitution, governance system, social system (large chunks), economic system and the judicial system are anything but Islamic. If shariah is not being followied then why call these countries muslim if merely muslims reside in the areas. So blame for this bigotry should lie where it is due i.e. to secularist regimes and systems of these oppresive countries. As for forced conversions eartlier, obviously there are black sheeps in every community, but this was by no was the norm in the subcontinent. If it was then under a millenium of muslim rule you wouldn’t a single non muslim in the subcontinent if there were forced conversions sponsored by the state. So I would say man up and call a spade a spade!Recommend

  • manish

    @ asad:

    what do you think about AHMADIS?

    they have the same ethnic, linguistic, cultural background, yet people in your country are not able to tolerate………….and you expect burmese to behave better with the muslims, who are linguistically, etnhically and culturally different from them..

    you can give them benefit of doubt, if you choose to turn your eyes to the plight of ahmadisRecommend

  • Mujhay hay hukm e Azaan

    @Awans:
    Please note our president is ShiaRecommend

  • ovais khan

    sorry to but u all may observed that the same behaviour is seen from taliban and alqaida to other followers or even with other sects so why to squall when they behave the same behaviour Recommend

  • kryon

    this article seems to be the pinnacle of misinformation.Bangladesh already has 30k registered and 300k unregistered Muslim rohingas in the crowded small country.today young generation of bihari descendants hv
    options of becoming citizens.
    @kkk we also hv rakhain population who came frm Burma living for decades.bt we want thm to stay bc tht brings diversity to our country.Recommend

  • manish

    @Shocking:

    MILLINEA, really. do you consider the 711 AD moment, beginig of slavery of entire india…even tamil nadu, and assam……well, from what i have learned till 870 ad, even kabul was under hindu rulers….
    KABUL SHAHIS……
    And you certainly never read about battle of rajasthan, when arabs were defeated in sindh….
    neither about the battle of bahraich when descendents of mahmud ghajni who ventured india to convert to islam were put to death by RAJPUT kings…let alone reading that the writ of delhi sultunate sometimes did not extend beyond delhi itself.

    well, the first muslim king to completely subjugate india, was alauddin khilji. in 1300…but his descendents were too weak to even hold onto the empire…so, after fall of every king their son had to go out scouting for more blood one more time….
    it was only AKBAR that entire india was finally brought firmly under control….but he too ruled with hindu kings as his vassal….also since he was a murtad…i doubt you would claim his success as sucess of muslims..

    AURANGZEB did try to accomplish the above dreams, but died a sad old man, who lost deccan to marathas, and within years the entire mughal empire was no more…..
    PS.. i do not want to start a debate about hindu-muslim, but do feel that among all the places where muslims once ruled, only two countries extricated themselves…..one spain and other india(though in truncated form)…
    so chill brother…hinduism, however, imperfect, survived….buddhists are however, a thing of past now….in afghanistan, central asia, xinxiang. and various other places they once were in majority…Recommend

  • manish

    @Mujhay hay hukm e Azaan:

    even india’s vice president and chief election commisioner are muslims, and out of 70 posts, at the upper echleons of bureaucracy, 15% are muslims….so, in india, muslims are the most well-respected minority, according to your logic…Recommend

  • manish

    @Mujhay hay hukm e Azaan:
    sorry, just couldn’t understand your cryptic response to awans….
    infact you give the same response, that i wanted..
    sorry, once again. Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @Shocking:
    You guys need to wake up and smell the coffee – and re-examine what you have been taught. It is true that there were large muslim empires in India between AD 1200 – 1700; 1200 AD is when Ghori conquered Lahore before which Ghazni’s empire did include Punjab but there was no permanent presence there; shortly after in AD 1206, the Delhi Sultanate was formed. During the various empires of the Delhi Sultanate, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Malwa, Deccan (and further South), and Bengal (and further East) were never part of this kingdom. Around the same time, the Bahmani Sultanate came up in the Deccan, from AD 1347 until AD 1490 when they split into 5 separate kingdoms, which were then gobbled up by the Mughals in the next 150+ years. However, they worked together till AD 1565 when they defeated the Vijayanagar Empire, which was the dominant power in South India till then (Vijayanagar still survived till AD 1646). So as you can see, we are talking of around 8 states of present-day India under Muslim rule (separate kingdoms) for 350 years until the Mughals arrived – who then proceeded to unify these kingdoms and also conquer Rajasthan, Malwa, Gujarat, Bengal etc. So the 1000 year rule is a myth, it was a 500-year rule over certain parts, and a 150-year rule (just like the British) over the most part (this still did not include states like Travancore and Mysore). At the height of the Maratha empire (before the 3rd battle of Panipat), they held sway over most of what is now India – just to define the latter point of Muslim rule for your easy reference. During the same period, the Sikh empire also ruled large parts of present-day Pakistan – so even Pakistan cannot claim 1000-year rule – except for some parts of Balochistan and Sindh possibly. Because these were all separate muslim kingdoms that were also fighting amongst eachother, they did not have the time and energy to devote to converting the Hindus who were too large a majority to manage that way – it made more sense to tax them heavily (jiziya) and force them to convert as a way out of their misery. It would never have been possibly to force everyone to convert – there just too many; the muslim rulers then were probably smarter than you are and they figured that our fairly quickly.Recommend

  • Mohammad Abbas

    @Mujhay hay hukm e Azaan: Please note that our president is NOT shia. Recommend

  • 1. Humans have an in-human tendency to oppress the poor. Think about all the prejudices you hold against Pathans, Mohajirs, Sindhis, Deobandis, Shias, Christians and so on.

    What makes you say they are all poor?Recommend

  • Muhammad Ali

    Why blame the media of not reporting it? It is not reporting the killings of shia as well. Maybe the issue is not too important or media can not gain ratings out of this. Recommend

  • Hina Suleman Shah

    Well written! but reading the comments I think ppl have missed the point completely… have a large forgiving heart and a wise head on your shoulders! Recommend

  • Hina Suleman Shah

    @sana fatima: read the couple of paras…. u missed the point completely dint you? :)Recommend

  • Farooq

    our founder was also shia and most of his campanions were also shiaRecommend

  • Shariz

    @ Mujhey Hay Hukm e Azaan
    .

    First you need to correct your informations about mr zardari he is not Shia Muslim secondly I wish if he was shia muslim so the genocide killing of shias in quetta hazaras., karachi, parachanar , baltistan and other cities wouldnt have happened including doctors, lawyers, engineers and other shias ulmas.Recommend

  • Hashmi

    The article points to a valid problem. But do not try to validate or explain the genocide being carried out.. different races are co-existing throughout the world nothing gives the right to anyone to kill..Recommend

  • aleeza khan

    our founder was a shia and also most of his companions were shia but what is happening in our country is not less then burma.Recommend

  • G. Din

    @BlackJack:
    You are talking to a people who have plugged their ears! No lessons of history will “rob” them of their delusions of fake superlative qualities. History that you quote is to them a huge conspiracy to belittle Islam and Muslims!Recommend

  • Donku

    @BlackJack

    looks like you feel humiliated about History of India and want to escape it. There is no doubt many states were ruled by Hindu Rajas, but they were under protection of Muslim Kings, acting as their proxies. and then they did the same for British. BTW, i think Aurangzeb was the strongest among Mughals not Akbar.Recommend

  • ali sindhi

    well i would like to say i totally agree to what you said we as Sindhi suffer the most this so called land of pure for us my motherland come first it doesn’t matter where my ancestors come from or what language i speak and what religion i practiced but love for my land (sindh)come first i don’t give a damn if he/she is Sikh Ahmedi christian or Hindo he has to be proud that he is son of soil and die for it. unfortunately the rest of Pakistan think only in one direction religion that we disagree. if you live in a land who gave you shelter respect living, and you feel ashes-med to call your self son of soil… burma is a place for you long live sindh long live BaluchistanRecommend

  • Hashmi

    In addition to everything they were forcefully converting also.. minorities to Budhism..Recommend

  • Sane

    @Writer
    Thanks for raising issue of these forgotten Muslims. No one raises voice against atrocities against Muslims either Bosnia, Palestine, Philippines, Kashmir and now the recent Burmese Muslims.Recommend

  • Ali tanoli

    @Black jack,
    India never been a one country in the history.Recommend

  • Ghuraba

    Interesting article but it is paramount to remember that one actor’s bad doing does not exempt another actor who is just as bad. Put much more elequently by Brother Malcolm X, “wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.”Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @Donku:
    The coffee isn’t working yet. Pls enlighten me with the facts.Recommend

  • Dr Mustafa

    wt a nonsense articleRecommend

  • manish

    @Donku:
    well, aurangzeb was so strong that he couldn’t protect his empire after fighting for last 27 years of his life…and at the end left humiliated…..

    i know why are you saying this because akbar left islam, while aurangzeb was hell-bent on islam….
    also akbar build the empire from scratch, while aurangzeb and destroyed a strong empire and left it so weak, that it crumbled in even during his lifetime…..

    also in TAJMAHAL what lies buried is not mumtaj and shahjahan only, but the roots of mughal empire….the exorbitant spending certainly exhausted royal treasury…and the fights in deccan precipitated it’s decline….Recommend

  • humanity

    zardari is a shia muslim and bhutto’s too. M A jinnah was a khoja( khojas dont believe in shia doctrine, they have their own) later jinnah converted to sunni islam in court in 1930,s. (source: jinnah of pakistan by stanley walport)Recommend

  • manish

    @ ali tanoli:
    maybe you are true…but it is abhramanic perception to consider only that part of land under it’s rule, which obeys it’s theology and religious scripture…hindus trace the cultural contunity, which is a better indicator of a civilization’s longevity, and not to some cynical or charasmatic ruler. and till today the perennial current of hindu culture flows down the indus…….
    however, ashoka and gupta empire were quite close to current day india, in their territorial limits….
    but as i said it is less about land and more about culture….

    @Donku: yes, we do feel humiliated, but not to the extent of calling invaders as our forefathers and heros, and then praising them..which you certainly do..Recommend

  • mohd

    its very sad wats happening in burmaRecommend

  • mohd

    very sadRecommend

  • Ozymandias

    @manish:
    Chengiz and Hulegu were NOT buddhistsRecommend

  • hassan khan

    Taliban killed 35000 pakistanis ….first worry about your own country then for others.Recommend

  • MAT

    Well i personally think its a good article…..and just seeeinng the comments u can judge the muslim community, the bigotry they have for each other….Instead of talking something positive, they have started asking for facts, stats………..Prejudices about Deobandis is rite or not…… bla bla…….For GOD sake please come out it and do something positive for the society…….Recommend

  • http://www.zaidzamanhamid.wordpress.com Zaid Hamid

    Strange is that most of the muslim blogs and facebook pages are exaggerating the numbers and circulating 2003-4 Thailand protests/riots and 2010 China earthquake photos as Burmese buddhists killing muslim.

    This is why this figure of 20000 is sincerely doubtful. And by the way, since when Muslims are peaceful?Recommend

  • khan

    More than 20000 Muslims have been decimated and displaced by the extremist Buddhists in Burma. It is also one of the most appalling incident of arsenals in the recent times. The world’s liberal conscience and human right groups went vitriolic when the Taliban gutted down Buddhist statutes in Afghanistan. No one can either defend what Taliban did. But I want to ask a simple question from Pakistan’s so-called liberal and pro-western sections of society: where is there liberal conscience?

    The NGOS and private sector human right organizations, which anchor themselves on European liberalism and financial grants, went berserk on the Kohistan Girls killing which turned out to be a canard. When Muslims reacted violently, and wrongly, against the caricatures published in the tolerant Scandinavia, and when the Facebook was temporarily blocked the liberals of Pakistan went out of their dens to tear apart the orthodox and fundamentalist elements. I wonder why the liberals’ conscience remains sleeping when Muslims are subject to torture and genocide. Even Pakistan’s public and social media’s response is very lackadaisical.Recommend

  • alicia

    Can we do anything for those people in Burma?

    The article is not written in the best taste. It’s very good but not appropriate. Yes what we did to Bihari’s was disgusting, Yes we do prejudice against everyone who is different but how does that validate what happened in Burma?

    It’s the same logic that Pakistani men use when someone tells them that rape cases have increased in Pakistan and they quote rape statistics from America and England.Recommend

  • Umer

    @manish:

    the only unfortunate thing is that they do not take their religion as seriously as muslims do….

    Are you referring to Gojra massacre of Christians?Recommend

  • Critical

    @Ali tanoli:
    I hope u know abt an emperor called Ashoka?

    Maybe ur history textbooks havent taught about himRecommend

  • Critical

    Though the author’s points should be taken under consideration,you seem to be from the same flock who were dancing in streets to celebrate the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina on USA.
    I agree USA may have caused problems to Pakistan and muslims in general,but you cannot rejoice the suffering of a common american for the policies of US govt.

    Though,I hate the intolerance and prejudice shown by muslims shown against minorities,that doesnt mean the violence against Rohingya muslims or Bosnian is justified.
    Also,Bangladesh’s refusal to accept refugees is totally inhuman.

    But I do agree the point that muslims should now go on a carnage mode against buddhists and try to destroy the remaining buddhist relics in Pakistan and torture the buddhist minorities(if any).Also,the clerics shouldnt start preaching about the atrocities against muslims in friday prayers and further radicalise the masses.

    Pakistan may reach UN to intervene on humanitarian grounds and volunteer to help.I think thats the best they can do or they should do rather than exporting suicide vest strapped mujahideen brothers.

    Furthermore,muslims should start raising voice against the atrocities committed on non-muslims too.Just shouting for your brothers and ignoring others in plain hypocrisyRecommend

  • Inder K.

    Hahahahah. That looks like the retaliation of Non-Moslems being killed in Pakistan against the so-called blasphemy act. After all human kills human since Adam’s time. Whatsoever the reason be.Recommend

  • Khurram

    “Think before you point fingers”.
    Unfortunately thinking before pointing fingers is quite alien to us Muslims because we are the best with no faults whatsoever our own and this kind of thinking is the very root cause of tragic consequences.Recommend

  • manish

    @Umer:

    no, i was just referring to buddhists who should be guided by AHIMSA, but more often they forget the virtue, and go for indiscriminate killing, like the one witnessed in srilanka…

    and muslims, though proclaim that ISLAM, is a religion of peace, have been unable to convince the world of it’s authenticity, through their actions..

    ie. things have deteriorated so much that a buddhist indulging in violence is looked down upon, for deviating from the foundation of his religion, whereas if islamists do so, it seems to look normal, and is being considered as a normal part of contemporary islam…

    @Ozymandias: ok, my bad…..they were SHAMANISTS, who were influenced by chinese buddhism…..
    but for long shamanism has been influenced by buddhist philosophy…. Recommend

  • http://bigsaf.newsvine.com bigsaf

    @humanity:

    M A jinnah was a khoja( khojas dont believe in shia doctrine, they have their own) later jinnah converted to sunni islam in court in 1930,s. (source: jinnah of pakistan by stanley walport)

    Walport?! Not sure who or what you’re quoting, but Stanley Wolpert never claimed Jinnah converted to Sunni Islam and has maintained that he became a Shia Twelver, as repeated by Khaled Ahmed and Vali Nasr, despite dubious revisionist and distorted claims.

    Likewise you’re confusing doctrines and branches. Khojas were originally mainly Ismaili, which is considered smaller sect/sub-sect of the Shia branch. A large bloc would later become Shia Twelver, the largest Shia sect and doctrine of the Shia branch. Few would convert to Sunni Islam.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jinnah#IllnessanddeathRecommend

  • http://bigsaf.newsvine.com bigsaf

    @Mohammad Abbas:
    @Shariz:
    @Mujhay hay hukm e Azaan:

    No point in denying Zardari’s minority Shia sectarian background. It’s the very basis the bigoted Saudis had strained relations initially. Though it be a bit ridiculous and prejudiced to assume his corrupt actions are reflective of the community. That’s like claiming corrupt Nawaz Sharif is representative of all Pakistani Sunnis.

    Still majority and hegemonic sectarian narrative belongs to the Sunni Deoband class, especially after the Wahhabification in the 80’s.

    Just because Obama is President, doesn’t mean the African American community became as privileged as a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant. Recommend

  • hasan
  • G. Din

    “all Biharis to Pakistan (who happen to be in large numbers of 30,000 or so)”
    Actual number was 300,000, not 30,000, that were abandoned by Pakistan in Bangla Desh. In the beginning Pakistan made an excuse for its inability to repatriate those wretched Biharis as being due to the expense involved. This bluff was called by Aga Khan who offered to foot the entire bill but no dice.
    Another correction. Bangla Desh did offer citizenship to them but their heart was always in Pakistan. They refused to take the offer. So, there they are, seemingly stateless, rotting in refugee camps in an alien land where they don’t want to be and where they are unwanted and bitterly spurned! What a tragedy!Recommend

  • Reddy

    @Ali tanoli:obviously we need to laud your historical cognition , sheer brilliance of ignorance and collectively induced self inflicted coma could be the better definition of a Pakistan history….gutas fallowed by ashoka are the only people ever ruled the entire bay of Bengal to hindu kush mountains…era of knowledge and prosperity demolished ,annihilated, decimated and reduced to sickest place on earth…ali’s and pak’s idols and icons are the drivers of that extravaganzaRecommend

  • manish

    @ ET:
    i think the moderaters shift has changed……earlier even the most demeaning and controversial one passed on this article……but now even the innocuous one’s are being TRASHED…Phew!Recommend

  • manish

    @hasan:

    that was so kind of you, hasan…..
    that tells the real agenda of extremists……
    thanks once again, for telling tribune readers of the realityRecommend

  • Reddy

    @hasan: kudos for exposing the senile swarmsRecommend

  • Irum Salim

    Simple, this world is going to face the disaster soon, If we really are muslims then we should act like muslims, May Allah give us strength n direction to walk on straight n true path which goes towards Him..Ameen. besides about muslims who r getting killed,.. take religion on one side n jus think about HUMANITY… then things would get more clear… n if it was about raping some buddhist girl n taking revenge from muslims, so it is the worst ever act in the history.. culprit is one, but everybody in the circle is getting punished. huh! y? if it was about the revenge then muslims should hav taken revenge from those bloody Indian cops who hav been rapped muslims girls in Kashmir in order to get Kashmir. How cheapest!!!
    Anyways no more comments!
    Thanks!Recommend

  • Sherry
  • Paul Maxis

    Shame on the writer and Tribune. How can Tribune allow articles supporting killing of hundreds thousands innocent people?Recommend

  • PyiChitMyoChit

    @khan:
    The figure of 20, 000! Where do you get this from? That is why many people don’t believe Muslims’ Cry. Are there any genuine reports giving names and identity of those Rohingya who were killed in recent disturbances in Myanmar? We believe the Arakanese people are the victims of atrocious Rohnigya crowd who started burning the homes of locals who are the minority in these riot areas. Even local non-Rohingya Muslims are afraid of Rohingya in Arakan State. Watch Youtube videos for true reports from the Front Line areas. Buddhists do not kill others unless their lives and properties are threatened.Recommend

  • Jason

    Great article, be please consider this update, Biharis of Bangladesh can gain citizenship now, but it’s the youth of the Bihari camps who citizenship it while the elders still dream to go to Pakistan even today or they don’t know their rights to gain citizenship.Recommend

  • Ali

    @Mujhay hay hukm e Azaan:
    President has no religion. Just the way Saudi royal family doesn’t have any. If anything, their religion is wealth & power.Recommend

  • amjad

    @BlackJack: I don’t know what you want to gain by giving some convoluted explanation to the rule of various Muslim rulers over most of South Asia over the last 1000 years. This article is about how Pakistanis should not be judgmental towards the treatment that Buddhists in Burma are meting out to Muslims. Indians like you need to stop being so obsessive about Pakistan and focus on your own issues such as caste inequality between low and high castes in India instead of wasting your time on debates in Pakistan.Recommend

  • amjad

    @G. Din: The Biharis are not Pakistanis but Bangladeshi nationals who have never ever been to Pakistan.Pakistan needs to take care of its own people instead of worrying about Indian Muslims living in Bangladesh or Muslims living in other countries. By importing Biharis who look different to native Pakistanis will only cause more tension and poverty for no reason. If the Aga Khan wants to help them, he can help them immigrate to East Africa where he has a large following of Indian Gujrati followers.Recommend

  • Rania

    First of all that was a poorly written article, very incoherent , and repetitive. Stop and think!!! Do 2 wrongs make a right? In what religion is it okay to kill ? How can you justify children being burnt alive? IS THIS HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF? why does the world watch as people suffer? What is the difference between the Buddhist exterminating the Muslims, and HITLER exterminating the Jews????……. Its sad that you think that you can justify slaughter…. has history taught us nothing, how many people must die before the government does something….. when hitler was exterminating the jews, the world knew about it and did nothing to stop it immediately , innocent people died before hitler was brought down…. It isn’t right for people to kill people, just because they are different” ex: race, color, or religion”… I am surprised that buddhist, those who believe you cant hurt a fly, have chosen to be violent… although I cant judge all of them for what a select few have done…. but rest assured that nothing passes from God’s eyes and every sin will be accounted for in the end, in the end justice will be brought to this earth….. My brothers, have we forgotten the ten commandments :( thy shall not kill!!!!Recommend

  • Rania

    Stop and think!!! Do 2 wrongs make a right? In what religion is it okay to kill ? How can you justify children being burnt alive? IS THIS HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF? why does the world watch as people suffer? What is the difference between the Buddhist exterminating the Muslims, and HITLER exterminating the Jews????……. Its sad that you think that you can justify slaughter…. has history taught us nothing, how many people must die before the government does something….. when hitler was exterminating the jews, the world knew about it and did nothing to stop it immediately , innocent people died before hitler was brought down…. It isn’t right for people to kill people, just because they are different” ex: race, color, or religion”… I am surprised that buddhist, those who believe you cant hurt a fly, have chosen to be violent… although I cant judge all of them for what a select few have done…. but rest assured that nothing passes from God’s eyes and every sin will be accounted for in the end, in the end justice will be brought to this earth….. My brothers, have we forgotten the ten commandments :( thy shall not kill!!!!Recommend

  • Ali

    Before talking about killings of Muslims we must think of Biharis and our prejudice about xyz and bla bla bla
    But where the hell is rest of the world, UNO and so called International Human Rights NGOs ? Recommend

  • http://bigsaf.newsvine.com bigsaf

    @amjad:
    Incredible revisionism. Bangladesh used to be part of East Pakistan, pre-71, which took independence from India just like West Pakistan in ’47, and hence they were Pakistani citizens, some of whom who still have loyalty and relatives in West Pakistan.

    It’s a rather racist view claiming ‘they look different’, especially when you have a large native Bihari Pakistani population in Karachi, when they are no different than any other dark or light brown skinned Karachite, Sindhi or Punjabi fellow. But clearly speaks volumes of the deep seated prejudice.

    The entire concept of Pakistan is clearly undone, which was suppose to be a Muslim nation of the Indian subcontinent. Considering Jinnah himself was a Gujarati/Khoja, wonder if you would have wanted the founder of Pak to migrate to East Africa too? Tension and poverty? I agree. But not because of the migrants, but due to the incompetent, irresponsible and ideologically failed bigoted state and ‘native’ nation.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ali

    This article lacks detailed information on how this conflict started. No body is interested in knowing the background of those killed in this conflict, but why and how it initiated.

    secondly, how can atrocities, committed by Burmese army or mobs or whoever is doing, is comparable to the present situation in Pakistan. Pakistan is in a war and it is known fact that countries who engaged in war always have difficulties in managing other head of accounts than military expenditures.

    Whatever MQM is doing with Pathans is not backed by Muhajir Community (May be some hardcore supporters of MQM endorse such actions but not Muhajir community as whole)

    Whatever Mullah is doing, is not supported by stakeholders in Khyber pakhtunkhwa.

    There are number of baloch leaders who do not support the BLA stance.

    I liked the suggestions given by columnist in this article, but they are wrongly placed. this article should have given insight details on Myanmar rather than telling Pakistanis not to hate each other.Recommend

  • Raazi

    @ Shehlah

    Very well said in terms of all that we should consider our own acts before critisizing others.

    Tell me one thing clearly .. Does your whole justification theory justifies the killling in Burma?? It sumthing out of humanity.

    Its realy hurting but true that whole media is silent on such massive cruelty. Recommend

  • shahzad

    @manish:
    sorry buddy but AHMADIS are safe and sound in Pakistan . Its just propaganda .More sunni Muslim are killed in Pakistan than any other religious minority . Its just all propaganda . Recommend

  • shahzad

    ALL of u miss one point that in burma Muslims are being slaughtered plz atleast u sud condemn it . Pakistanis are not killing shias or Ahmadis its certain ppl who are against this country .Who can kill any one so u sud call them criminals …. government is un able to save any one not shia not sunni . not pathans not mahajars .
    So just becoz shias and few minorities are killed here it doent justify killings of Burmas Muslims . Recommend

  • http://n/a Saif

    the topic is so sensitive and very difficult to say any thing, but what ever the conditions appeared in the past that could be created by ourself. It does make any difference what you have done , the thing is no one agree to correct ourself. all wants every thing in this world but all things not for all in this world how many of you have to understand this sense of humour, very few may be you, but the thing is how you will promote this view across all communities. when people become crazy no one can stop unless he will settle himself. this is human nature, what you think Burmese do not realise this, they know they will have to give answer one day and do suffer as well.my dear fellow All said well above, all having heartache.we do hold hands together and do condemn, its not right with the Burmese Muslims please stop this killing and give respect to each other.Recommend

  • Zoon

    Even though I somewhat disagree with your analysis, and that certain groups simply by default of being minorities are in fact ‘marginalized’. I don’t think Deobandis, Muhajirs are suffering per se. A narrative that begs sympathy, like the Jewish narrative, is often assumed by communities that are less blessed in terms of numbers. But more than the head count it is the money and collective loyalty of community members to a common cause, and dedication, that count.
    Secondly, I used to believe staying in Pakistan is the ultimate show of patriotism. But look at Indians, they have found places in American government because Indian citizens went and aspired for the best. Similarly the Jewish community with its control over media dictates what issues are to be raised and what must be ignored. Dear Writer, it is this lack of control over ‘international instruments’, that has left the Burmese issue unnoticed.
    Most importantly, in your article you have divided us into sects and once again the readers of the ‘pity parties’ that you have explicitly named go back to the mindset we need to get them out of. Clearly you are a die hard Ayub Khan fan, because in your article you have blamed post 1970s for all of Pakistan’s problems. Firstly Ayub was great for the economy but the diplomatic blunders he made have had sever repercussions for us. He was the first to bow down to the US.
    Also, It is this very mindset of blaming the leaders alone that influences our state of being. Why can’t we bridge ethnic barriers? Why can’t we accept diversity and unite?
    Firstly because we are reminded of these barriers even by those who supposedly aim to erase them (this article is a perfect example)
    Secondly, we take no responsibility as a society.
    Unfortunately we have buried our faces in the mud, refusing to observe the footsteps of those who have succeeded. (with reference to your advice on staying back in Pakistan as the ultimate service for the country).
    With that said, we need more people to raise these issues, and realize that Syria, Iran and Balochistan are not the World’s biggest problems. There is a lot more suffering that the ‘international institutions’ have turned a blind eye towards. And the awareness of that is the first step towards a more just World. Recommend

  • Sherjan

    @sana fatima:
    One who worships anyone other than the Almighty Allah cannot be termed as wisest people. If someone who don’t even know who is the master and creator of this world and who were his messengers are all lost in a dark room. How can someone term them as wisest people.

    One thing is for sure, that the Muslims will rise, don’t know when but we know that it will happen. I hope we Muslims could do something for our Burmese Muslim brothers and I hope one day a person like me can actually contribute rather than just commenting on the issues.Recommend

  • GhostRider

    @humanity:
    can you show the document of Jinnah’s conversion? on the other hand khoja are indeed shias…dont comment on somebody’s religion only on heresayRecommend

  • Yusuf

    In Burma the Muslims contributed by building secular schools, madressa with formal education, industries and businesses hired Burmese, and built free dispensiries for general public. The industries and businesses as well as wealth concentrated in the in the hands of Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis as well as British Multinationals. All thse communities contributed for industrialization as well as social activities. In early sixties General Ne Win reversed progress by Nationalization program and introduced Burmese Socialist programs. Virtually democracy was destroyed overnight, difficulties created to carry on livelihood, local businessman persecuted by the military government, and hate against ownership by ” Foregin Origin,” was practiced intensively. And so began the Diaspora of many living communities to India, Pakistan, England and Chinese communities to Asian countries.The introduction of Burma for Burmese program helped outsted foregin origin communities. The economic decline of Burmese economy was steep as well as world comity of nations shunned Burma. Today America is helping to introduce democracy again in Burma. Myanmar is the new name for colonial Burma. Hate will dissappear slowly with introduction of democracy under leadeship of Aung San Suu Kyi. Recommend

  • Shadab

    Please check your statement that Bangladesh is not hosting any Burmese refugee, because it is hosting more than 300,000 of them placed there by UNHRC.Recommend

  • Jasbir Singh

    Good article sister, good people think like you. It does not mean we are not seeking justice for the victims but it is regarding forgeting our duty. Prophets/Gurus/Budhas have preached such philosophies of love, which is becoming more and more absent from our lives. Let us pray to almighty waheguru(wonderful lord) to bless us with khidmat of humanity, so that we should rise above prejudices and fight for justice. Once again your article is of great significance for the manknid.Recommend

  • manish

    @shahzad:

    i will not counter your statements….let your own countrymen demolish the facade of equality of shias and ahamdis in your country…..
    also, killing of sunni muslims, is a different issue, for they are killed for various secular crimes they commit, not because they are sunnis, which unfortunately is the case with shias and ahmadis….Recommend

  • Wajahat

    Pointless article really! Two wrongs don’t make one right. Killings in Burma should be condemned and those involved must be punished. This has to stop. It’s just like Indian soldiers killing innocent people in Kashmir for years.Recommend

  • Wajahat

    It’s funny really how Indians are pretending that what is taught in their history books is correct. Lol! Ignorance is such a bliss!Recommend

  • shashankbhat

    muslims must stop conversion of other religion.
    please mulims know the value of a hindu in pakisthan & bangladesh.
    all over the world mainly illegal activities are carried by muslims.
    today we can say all muslims are not terrorists but all terrorists are muslims that to all over the world.

    muslims just see the history & u will come to know who is really like peace.
    think in all way and wisely. Recommend

  • SAYED

    Lets stop talking about ourselves and issues sorrounding us for a while. There are muslim brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and even children in need of help.

    They are being burnt alive, 5000 muslim women sexually assaulted, beaten broken and cruelly killed.
    There are some pictures upload on the internet, please see some of them to raise up our sleeping CONSCIENCE

    I don’t know what to do. Media and west is not interested in protecting poor muslim people. Its upto us to show our unity, brotherhood and humanity. Recommend

  • http://tribune.com.pk Abbas

    Dear Indian fellows, (black jack, manish, Din etc) i have seen your names in all most all articles where you only poke you nose to humiliate Muslims, seems you are employed only to comment being “vailas” its stupidity to expect some sanity from your comments…Recommend

  • humanity

    @ bigsaf
    @ ghostrider
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3AMuhammadAliJinnah/Archive_2

    http://www.rediff.com/news/1998/may/09jinnah.htm

    http://www.knowledgerush.com/kr/encyclopedia/MuhammedAliJinnah/

    and JINNAH PAPERS also.

    secondly if you give through reading to shia islam you will be amazed that it is divided into more than 50 sects. a few sects do not cosider each other as muslims.

    well humanity is important rather than religion. in british library you will even found the authentic documents & correspondence which show that jinnah was british agent. what is true only Allah knows.Recommend

  • Harry

    ‘Humans have an in-human tendency to oppress the poor. Think about all the prejudices you hold against Pathans, Mohajirs, Sindhis, Deobandis, Shias, Christians and so on.’

    Dear Author

    Please read your statement again as it seems very far from reality with a Sindhi President, Deobandi religious elite, a Mohajir party as part of the ruling coalition etc etc etc. Pathans have strong representation (and sometimes dominance) in the military and public sector entities. Shias are victims of sectarianism which has no support in the general populace and is mostly done purposefully by the ‘establishment and foreign agencies’ to achieve its (nefarious) objectives. Barring a few isolated incidents, same goes to the Christian minority in Pakistan.

    There is only one prejudice in Pakistan. Its Rich vs Poor. The ruling elite versus the masses. Please do not twist the facts to present a picture of Pakistan that is segmented. We are a culturally diverse society, with inter marriages between Sunnis and Shias, Pathans and Punjabis, Muhajirs and Sindhis… your article points in the right direction but unfortunately is not factually correct! Recommend

  • Akshay

    Since Pakistan was created for Muslims it should take in all the Rohinta Muslims. Secondly, the author is correct when Pakistanis did not care for their Hindu, Chrisitian, Sikh, Shia minorities they should not raise fingers at Burma.Recommend

  • http://www.bukisa.com/join/140098 cynical

    lol..Recommend

  • Critical

    A lot of people have commented that the victims are muslim brothers and sisters and they need to help them.

    May I know why noone is commenting about the Chinese govt slaughtering of Uiyghur Muslims where unverified sources claim it to be around 15,000???

    Arent they your brothers and sisters?? Why your ummah doesnt apply to them??

    Is it because China has a friendship with you which is higher than Himalayas and deeper than Indian OceanRecommend

  • Gemoncide

    After taking everything into consideration, I have come to the following conclusion. Whether or not one agrees to me, this is the bitter truth!!!!!!!!!

    As of today, many Burmese societies will be willing to accept a Mongolian or a Korean as one of their citizens because they look like them. It doesn’t really matter for them for how long they have been living in Myanmar (1 months, 2 months, 3 months or one year). If he or she is a Buddhist, the more chances he or she has to be accepted as Burmese citizen.
    But South-Asian descends like Rohingyas will not be accepted as their citizens no matter how long they have been living there (50 years, a century, 2 centuries and so on). Because they look different to them. As of today, to be a Burmese citizen, one must look like them or to be from Mongoloid race. Worse, Rohingyas practice a different religion. So, there is no chance for them to be accepted as its citizens.
    I agree to the statement of Mr. Mark Farmaner’s from Free Burma Campaign “Anti-Muslim prejudice is endemic in Burmese society and derogatory comments about Muslims are so commonplace. It is quite shocking.” They believe in racial purification like Nazis did. I have seen in some of their comments that they even demand to check the DNAs of Rohingyas to be able to decide whether they are Burmese citizens or not, exactly like what Nazis did to confirm whether one was of Aryan race or not. What has DNA to do with citizenship? I wonder how these same people can come to Europe, US, Canada etc and shamelessly demand asylums or citizenship within three to four years at a time when they don’t want recognize a people as their citizens, who have been living there at least for a century (here I don’t refer to all Burmese but those Xenophobic Burmese)!!!!Recommend

  • http://bigsaf.newsvine.com bigsaf

    @humanity:

    Please read the ‘talk page’ carefully and not selectively, where it’s debated. Claims by communist Akhter, inheritance disputer Walji Ganji and uncredible political opportunist Pirzada are dubious, compounded by a sectarian prejudiced revisionist atmosphere. Regardless, Stanley Wolpert DID NOT say what you claimed.

    Yes, already know about branches, sects and sub-sects, I pointed it out to you. Its even true to Sunni Islam. I’m amazed, that you’re amazed. No matter what sects think of each other, we should be accurate.

    documents & correspondence which show that jinnah was british agent. what is true only Allah knows.

    I may not be a fan of Jinnah’s nationhood, but see little reason to continue the discussion.

    @author

    Think it was unfair or unnecessary to exploit the plight of Rohingyas and other Burma ethnic/sectarian minorities to preach or lecture Pakistanis of their own hypocrisy.

    Opening up way too many unnecessary fronts or arguing points in one article, which should have been 2 separate parts. The comments are confusingly all over the place. It could have been much more refined. Recommend

  • Behzad

    WE MUST Stop Stop This Brutal MASACRE of OUR Muslim Brothers and Sisters.

    The Double Standars of US and West is Clearly Seen on this Case.

    Down With the American and European governments, Shame on them, Shame on their Hypocracy.
    What rediculus Words they always talk about!:
    Human Rights!
    Democracy, …

    An Iranian MuslimRecommend

  • lycan

    sorry to say but this is a poorly written article in terms of issue addressing… killings in burma is one thing and what pakistan did with biharis and we should correct ourselfs first is an entirely different domain.. before attempting something like this one should be 100 percent sure about which issue he / she wants to raise.. here u have mixed 2Recommend

  • Dr. Abdul Wahab

    In my understanding, media is puppet for dollars. they are more intrested in making dollars. There is a breaking news on every channel if a cat is stuck on a tree or a dog is hit by electricity or any stupid thing you can think of. But the humans killed, raped and forced out of their homes, children burnt alive are not worth mentioning.

    I dont blame pakistan entirely, as we are the only country who gave assylum to biharis. Regarding the figur 300 is entirely incorrect as there are more than 2-3 thousand living near my village. And also pakistan issued passport to all the burmans living abroad even without confirmation of their identity. Where is united nations now?

    Regarding the number of persons who died, i think if you had seen the burning child shown on TV and being shot afterwards, the numbers will not matter to you anymore.

    Its not religion we need, but humanity before anything.Recommend