Showing posts from May, 2015

"If Muslim rulers had forced religious conversion, India would not have a single Hindu remaining", says Prof. Sheldon Pollock of Columbia University

Over the last four centuries while interacting with some Indian friends, classmates or acquaintances, I have sometimes come across people who allege that Hindus were forced to convert to Islam during the Muslim-rule of India. How true are such allegations? Professor Sheldon Pollock is a scholar of Sanskrit , American intellectual and literary history, and comparative intellectual history. He is currently the Arvind Raghunathan Professor of South Asian Studies at the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University . He was general editor of the Clay Sanskrit Library and is founding editor of the Murty Classical Library of India . Pollock has received the Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award and the Government of India's Padma Sri . Prof. Pollock was asked the same question when he was visiting India in February 2015. [You can also find the  link  here.]  He replied, “If Muslim rulers had forced religious conversion, this countr

SHOCKING VIDEO! YOU WILL LOSE FAITH IN HUMANITY (Call for the Genocide of the Rohingya people)

Here is a link to a shocking video posted by Michael Porter that shows a Burmese racist provoking fellow Buddhists to kill Rohingyas of Myanmar. As I have noted many times, genocide against the Rohingyas of Myanmar has become a national project enjoying widespread support at all levels of the racist Buddhist society. Still, sadly, the world chooses to shut its eyes to their plight. How long can our generation ignore their plight as if nothing is going wrong?

Assad's latest war crimes

There are not too many governments in our time that massacres its own people just to stay in power. Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria is one such criminal government – outside those of Myanmar and China – that has not learned to alter its hideous means that have served it quite well to hang on to power by hook or crook. To add to its already long list of crimes against the Sunni majority, Bashar al-Assad’s murderous sectarian (Nusayri) regime has dropped barrel bombs on Saturday in the northern city of al-Bab in the province of Aleppo, killing some 72 civilians. These bombs were dropped in the busy market from government helicopters. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which gathers information through a network of activists in Syria, called it one of the worst massacres perpetrated by the government so far this year. Activists report barrel bombs being dropped from government helicopters every day in different parts of the country. They consist of steel drums packed

What's next in Sisi's Egypt - another incident of mockery of the judicial system?

In Sisi's Egypt, the judicial system has become a laughing stock. No wonder, one after another Mubarak era criminals, let alone Sisi-era neo-tyrants and state criminals, are released from serving prison terms for their gruesome crimes against ordinary civilians. We have already seen how all the criminal charges against the previous dictator Mubarak were dropped while the popularly elected President Morsi - first in Egyptian history - has been charged with death penalty. If you thought that you have already seen enough of such caricature of justice, wait a moment. Here is another shameful episode which has just unfolded. Major Abdel Rahman al-Shemi was a former State Security major. He was convicted to 15 years in 2012 for torturing a suspect to death in the months leading to the ousting of Hosni Mubarak. The accusations of brutality fueled anger among regime opponents. Now like other Mubarak era government officials who has a history of torture and murder, he, too  has been

Burma’s boatpeople ‘faced choice of annihilation or risking their lives at sea’

The Guardian newspaper of UK has recently posted a good article analyzing the choices or rather the lack of it for the Rohingyas of Myanmar, who are facing genocide in their ancestral home. You can read the entire piece by clicking here .

Jews in 1939, Rohingya in 2015 - Will the world repeat the crimes of not sheltering victims of genocide?

"The international community's apathy toward the plight of the Muslim-Burmese refugees stranded at sea mimics the indifference that saw many Jews sent to their death. Will countries of conscience remain silent?" - asks Ben Samuels who is an editor at You can read his article below:   The persecution of the Muslim Rohingya minority in Burma has been among the world's greatest human rights disasters over the past century. However, this tragedy has only recently emerged as a hot-button international issue after the Rohingya have opted for drastic means to escape the sordid conditions faced at home.  Largely based out of Burma’s Rakhine state and neighboring Bangladesh, the Rohingya have been persecuted for decades on the grounds that they are illegal immigrants, or the descendants of illegal immigrants. Since a 1982 citizenship law effectively rendered the Rohingya stateless, the Burmese government has barred freedom of movement while formally withhold

Seven Nobel Peace Laureates Call the Persecution of Rohingyas in Myanmar a Genocide

Seven Nobel Peace Laureates Call the Persecution of Rohingyas in Myanmar a Genocide, as Oslo Conference Ends. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire, Jody Williams, Tawakkol Karman, Shirin Ibadi, Leymah Gbowee, and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel were the seven Nobel Peace Laureates who joined the Conference Communique in asserting that "what Rohingyas are facing is a textbook case of genocide."  In addition, George Soros pre-recorded a message for the conference in which he drew parallels between the suffering of the Rohingya people in Burmese camps with the Jewish ghettos in Nazi-occupied Hungary of his childhood. The Dalai Lama is the latest voice to join the above 7 asking for ending genocidal activities of the Myanmar government and its Buddhist people against the Rohingya people. As Thailand prepares to hosts a 17-nation conference on the plight of Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar, global criticism is mounting over the passivity of Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San

Two national service training camps in Kedah state of Malaysia opened for Rohingya boat people

Two national service training camps in Kedah have been identified as temporary shelter for the Rohingya migrants who have landed in Malaysia, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein. These were the Rimba Taqwa Camp in Sik and the Youth Recreation Camp in Baling, he told reporters after watching a demonstration of the Malaysian Armed Forces' firepower at the Syed Sirajuddin Camp here. Also present was Chief of Defence Forces Gen Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin. Hishammuddin said, however, that these camps, each of which could accommodate 400 people, were only a short-term measure until a permanent solution could be found for the Rohingya migrants. "For the long-term solution, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia have to find a way to share the accommodation of the migrants. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees must also help out. "The UNHCR champions human rights but if no other country wants to accept the Rohingya migrants, Malaysia cannot be lef

CNN News on the Rohingyas of Myanmar

Recently CNN has published on the plight of the Rohingyas of Myanmar who have come to replace the Vietnamese Boat People of the 1970s and 1980s. It is estimated that in the last 3 months alone some 25,000 Rohingya people may have taken the sea voyage to leave their homeland in Myanmar where they face unfathomable cruelty. Many suspected that their migration was all about ethnic cleansing drives by Buddhist terrorists, but not known before was the fact that many of them were forced by racist Rakhine Buddhists to take the trip. Here below is a full report on their plight: Advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has alleged that some of the thousands of displaced boat people -- many of whom are still stranded at sea -- were forcibly removed from their homes and put on migrant ships. The agency has collated witness reports from Rohingya Muslims -- a minority which endures persecution in Myanmar -- who say they were forced to leave the country by groups of men armed with knives and gu

List of High Ranking Government officials in Bangladesh once again disproves the claims of Hindutvadi forces

 Since August of 1947 when British India was split up, Hindutvadi forces have not given up on their dream for an united Hindu Rashtra that spans from Afghanistan in the west to Bangladesh in the east in which only Hindu religion will dominate as the code of law of the country and the faithful believers of other religions will be subdued to embrace the mythic Hindu way of life. As part of a very organized campaign, they claim that Hindu minorities are discriminated and face persecution inside Bangladesh. In recent months I have written some articles in which I showed that the Hindu minorities in Bangladesh are much better placed than majority Muslims in the government sector of Bangladesh. This is a very well known fact. Nonetheless, in the midst of political ascendancy of the fascist Hindutvadi forces in the next-door India, some Hindu fanatics have often tried to smear the image of Bangladesh saying that Hindus are not getting their share and/or are discriminated. There is no truth

HRW report: Accounts from Rohingya Boat People - Denial of Rights in Burma, Bangladesh Lead to Trafficking and Dangerous Sea Voyages

The Human Rights Watch has published interviews of the Rohingya boat people in its website. Here is a report on the interview: May 27, 2015 (Bangkok) – Rohingya and other survivors of dangerous boat voyages from Burma and Bangladesh describe horrific treatment by unscrupulous smugglers and traffickers in Burma, and abuse and neglect aboard ships, Human Rights Watch said today. A regional meeting scheduled on May 29, 2015, in Bangkok must find solutions to the so-called boat people exodus. Rohingya explained to Human Rights Watch how they endured two months at sea, packed below decks in cramped conditions with limited food and water and very poor sanitation. Boats carrying approximately 100 mostly Rohingya men and women each abandoned passengers at an undisclosed location along Thailand ’s coast, leaving them to fend for themselves until they were found by the Thai authorities. According to international agencies, 3,000 to 4,000 people may still be aboard ships at sea. “Survivo

Speeches from the Oslo Conference to stop persecution of the Rohingyas of Myanmar

Here below are some of the speeches, courtesy of Dr. Maung Zarni's website: May 26, 2015 Oslo, Norway Special Address on the Rohingya issue for Oslo Conferene by OIC Special Envoy to Myanmar, Dr. Syed Hamid Albar        Ladies and Gentlemen, First and foremost, I would like to express my gratitude to the organizer of the conference for giving me an opportunity to represent OIC and talk about the Rohingya issue. After undertaking the responsibility as the OIC Special Envoy for Myanmar then I realized how complex and daunting the task is. InshaAllah, with Allah SWT guidance and continuous support from all parties, I am confident there is light at the end of the tunnel. The Rohingya issue especially the crisis at the sea in South East Asia is so urgent that more must be said, more thought must be given and most importantly, short, mid and long term actions are taken and formulated.  Those I have interacted or engaged with agree that the situat