US backs Burma in persecuting Rohingya Muslims
Press TV has conducted an interview with Liaqat Ali Khan, author and Professor of Law at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, to get his take on the situation of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: The fact that so many are braving these dangerous seas to get to a better life in Thailand or beyond goes to show the type of repression that still continuing in Myanmar. Why has not the plight of Rohingyas taken the center stage in international discourse?
Khan: I think part of the reason is that they are not in the Middle East, which is occupying the world attention, and relatively their numbers are small and they don’t have any spokesperson who can voice their grievances. And I think it’s a shame that the Organization of Islamic Conference which is the organization of 57 Muslim states, they have done nothing to alleviate these horrible conditions of these people who are fleeing persecution and then who are transported by human traffickers.
So, it is a lot of things which have come together. First, they have been persecuted, then the traffickers, international human traffickers they get hold of them and they take money from them in order to transport them to Malaysia and Indonesia. Many are killed in Burma and then some die on the sea. And I think it’s about time that Islamic countries, particularly the Organization of Islamic Conference, they should come forward and help their Muslim brothers and sisters. I mean, this is most shameless attitude of Muslim countries that they have done nothing and they expect the Western Europeans and Americans to help these people. I think Muslims they can help these people.
Press TV: Well, professor Khan, also you spoke of the West and how the world needs to stop looking at the West to take initiatives; however, when the West, particularly the US, gives incentives for the Myanmarese government to continue on the policy path that it is in return for economic deals and economic development; why would the Myanmarese government want to change anything when it comes to the plight of Rohingyas?
Khan: I think the Muslim countries, 57 Muslim countries, remember these are the Rohingyas, these are the people who migrated from the Middle East to Burma 1,000 years ago. So, these are not newly found people in Burma. So, these are Arabs, these are Pakistanis, these are Iranians, I mean, and their descendants who are Rohingyas and therefore, it makes sense for these countries to come forward and help them.
Even if Burma is persecuting them and even if the United States and other Western countries are helping in their persecution, I think it puts graver burden on the Muslim countries to help these people. And they are not in millions, I mean, Iran and Pakistan help millions of Afghan refugees. I think Jordan has helped Syrians, but it is about time that Muslim countries in addition to Indonesia and Malaysia they help Rohingyas, because the condition is terrible, they are poor, they don’t have any political clout and therefore they are the most helpless Muslims on this planet.