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Myanmar's Reward for Ethnic Cleansing of RohingyaTim King Special to Salem-News.com
ISIL threatens Asian country with retaliation for its brutal treatment and extermination of Rohingya Muslims.
(SALEM, Ore.) - Myanmar's problems with ISIS are a microcosm of the worldwide picture, literally a snapshot of what is to come from years of nations persecuting people for being Muslim when political leaders themselves do not possess even the smallest understanding of Islam or the people who comprise the world's newest monotheistic religion.
Now the government of Myanmar is threatened by one of the world's largest terrorist networks due to its reprehensible treatment of the country's ethnic Rohingya Muslim minority and few who know the facts could disagree that this is an unsurprising, even warranted reaction from the Islamic State.
Like Sri Lanka, these Buddhists are often far from peaceful, in fact segments of the population are murderous. Sri Lanka's Sinhalese Buddhist government murdered more than 160,000 Hindu/Christian Tamils in 2009. Myanmar's ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims didn't go as succinctly as Sri Lanka's and it is bringing a much-feared backlash.
Myanmar, or Burma, is a Rakhine Buddhist country in Asia that was colonized by the British, then spent decades under a military "junta" or dictatorship. It's most famous citizen is Aung San Suu Kyi, who is supposedly a beacon of light in this strange place. She has done absolutely nothing for the Rohingya, totally refusing to speak out on their behalf when she is regarded as a figure of repressed democracy.
The focus of this Buddhist hatred in Myanmar, the Rohingya Muslims, are a stateless people who the United Nations deemed were the most persecuted people on the face of the earth.
While religious bigotry and hatred has always been an aspect of Myanmar's Buddhists, it came to a head in 2012 when Rohingya Muslims were accused of raping and murdering a Buddhist woman.
Photos of a woman's dead body were splashed across newspapers and within 24 hours, a dozen Muslim men, not Rohingya, were pulled from a bus and killed in the streets by a mob in supposed retaliation, many hours from where the alleged rape/murder even took place. So began the Genocide of Rohingya in Burma at the hands of Rakhine Buddhists.
The United States on the other hand, used the events of 9/11 to boost and further hatred of Muslim people even though the alleged hijackers hailed from Saudi Arabia, a US ally.
Along with its lapdog the United Kingdom and a handful of other sheepish allies, Americans attacked and razed large parts of Afghanistan in retaliation for the attacks, even though the Taliban had not the slightest thing to do with the events of 11 Sept. 2001. Then came the annihilation of 1.5 million Iraqi people in a war based on possession of weapons of mass destruction, which we all now know never existed.
That wasn't enough of course for the Western military powers led by the US; the next target was Libya, a nation where people had free education and über cheap gas, and then Syria, a country that fell under tremendous bloodshed due to the region's most radical Daesh (ISIL) combatants being funded by American assets.
Partially through online media and partly due to the accusations of US President elect Donald Trump in the 2016 US election, the US support of ISIL found its way to the forefront of the nightly news, leaving most Americans scratching their heads, totally unclear of their own nation's alliances or motives.
Then of course there is the famous Obama quote, called a "flub" by the US President's advocates, "But the fall of Ramadi has galvanized the Iraqi government. So, with the additional steps I ordered last month, we’re speeding up training of ISIL forces, including volunteers from Sunni tribes in Anbar Province."
Many of us predicted the outcome long ago... there are radical segments of Islam that would like to see the US fall off the map, and they hail from two aspects of Sunni Islam: Wahhabi and Salafi.
They define the ultra conservative aspects of Islam with the very worst practices and have little if anything to do with the goals of less radical Islamic nations such as Iran, which has not attacked a country outside of its borders for more than 300 years.
The crimes against Rohingya people in Myanmar are heavily documented. As I covered the conflict through email and social media correspondence, I worked with people who had been on the ground in Burma.
Mosque after mosque was razed, sometimes with children inside. Entire Rohingya villages were burned and destroyed along with their inhabitants. One of the most striking images of the thousands documenting the attempted extinction of the Rohingya people, shows Buddhists riding on mopeds with machetes in their hands, with Rohingya blood dripping from the blades.
I also documented flagrant sex abuse and torture, both of which are repression and murder techniques in Burma.
Militant Buddhists in this Asian nation actually wear shirts with swastikas to represent Buddhist superiority, and these symbols are not to be confused with more innocent versions of the swastika connected to India, these are actual Nazi swastikas.
The gut wrenching, torturous years of Myanmar's presumably sanctioned attacks against the peaceful Rohingya are coming home to roost as ISIL now, simultaneously recruits from the Rohingya, and threatens the government of Myanmar over its persecution of Rohingya, which it denies in spite of the endless documentation of what has taken place.
In fact Myanmar's persecution of Rohingya is defined by it's President Thein Sein's defense of the idolized Buddhist militant leader Wirathu, whose organized hatred of Rohingya has greatly emboldened the problems facing these battered people.
His brand of terrorism toward Muslims and Christians is so overwhelming and negative that he was placed on the cover of Time Magazine in all of its regional editions except the USA.
Time's July 2013 magazine placed Wirathu's face of the cover with the title, "The Face of Buddhist Terror" while the US version had an image of three people painting a wall titled, "How Service Can Save Us".
I see this as one of the single most blatant examples of American media's "dumbing down" process in modern history. People in the USA live in sheer ignorance due to this very practice. ISIL is coming to Myanmar and in this case, they are serving in an entirely different role.
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