Buddhists, Hindus, and Tribals in Rakhine fear Bengali Muslim objectives in Myanmar
Murad Makhmudov, Chika Mori, and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The historical legacy of Islamic invasions, Muslim land grabs, Western colonialism – and other twin realities related to the two Abrahamic faiths in South and Southeast Asia – remains firmly within the mindset of Buddhists and Hindus throughout a vast space of Asia. Hence, many Buddhist monks and Hindu priests have been in the vanguard of reawakening the indigenous faiths in this part of Asia. Therefore, from the Hindu dominated government of India to Buddhist monks being on the frontline in Rakhine and Southern Thailand, a new force is growing that seeks to preserve the older faiths that are entrenched throughout the region.
In Myanmar, Buddhists have only to look at events in the Chittagong Hill Tracts where the mainly Buddhist Tribals (some are Christian and Hindu) face the Bengali Muslim land grab – and Islamization by stealth. Similarly, in Southern Thailand, the armed forces need to protect Buddhist monks and Buddhist temples from the Islamic insurgency.
Unsurprisingly, Hindus fear the same reality because while the percentage of Muslims remain constant in India – and growing in other parts of the country – the Hindu percentage in Pakistan is now irrelevant. Similarly, vast numbers of Hindus were slaughtered during the independence struggle that created Bangladesh. Therefore, the percentage of Hindus in Bangladesh is equally in decline – and in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, the demographic change in favor of Islam based on Bengali Muslim migration is also clear for all to see.
Indeed, the same Bengali Muslim militancy in the Chittagong Hill Tracts against the indigenous mainly Buddhist Tribal groups, is replicated by the aspirations of the same land grab in Rakhine and in parts of India. The result of this is a sense of past history repeating itself. For example, Buddhism and Hinduism – and other non-Muslim faiths including Zoroastrianism – graced Afghanistan and large parts of Asia. Yet, the sword of Islam destroyed the old world based on forced conversions, slavery, the destruction of temples, a Sharia legal system that deems Buddhists and Hindus to be infidels, and other realities that completely annihilated other non-Muslim faiths in Afghanistan and further afield.
Turning back to Rakhine, Islamic terrorists belonging to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) have broken any hope of a relatively peaceful coexistence in this part of Myanmar. Of course, tensions existed well before the latest terrorist incursion into Rakhine but now the dye seems cast. After all, how can Buddhists, Hindus, and tribal groups trust the objectives of Bengali Muslim militancy that manifests itself clearly in ARSA?
In a past article, Modern Tokyo Times stated, “Despite the utter bias of the majority of the Western and Islamic press, the stark truth is that ARSA set the chain of events in motion last year. This was followed by the same media agencies – and so-called human rights organizations – glossing over many Islamist massacres of Buddhists, Hindus, and tribal groups in Rakhine. Equally, if the issue was about Bengali Muslims clashing with the armed forces of Myanmar, then why did they kill Bengali Hindus, the Mro, and other small minorities in Rakhine?”
Of course, the international pressure being put on Myanmar is enormous and friends of this nation are trying to help in Rakhine. Yet, the various non-Bengali Muslim communities fear Islamization by stealth. This is based on demographics, the gradual growth of Sharia, exhausting central forces, controlling local power mechanisms, shops focusing on halal, preachers espousing the supremacy of Islam, and other realities that are collectively aimed at weakening the indigenous. Therefore, if Myanmar is take-back some Bengali Muslims based on specific criteria, it is essential that demographics and all the excesses of Islamization don’t threaten the indigenous by stealth.
Equally, the education of young children must be in the hands of the nation-state and not religious madrasas that teach hatred. It must be stated, even Muslim nations are finding it difficult to stem the growing rise of Islamist militancy – after all, in neighboring Bangladesh, many secular writers and bloggers have been butchered. Similarly, ISIS (Islamic State) not only butchered the Shia and Yazidis – and others – they even killed Sunni Muslim clerics who opposed their Takfiri approach. Hence, all children in Rakhine need to be taught the natural binding traits of Myanmar – this notably applies to the Buddhist faith.
Overall, the government of Myanmar can’t afford to alienate the indigenous in Rakhine, irrespective of international pressure. However, the government can set genuine criteria that enable some give and take. This will placate the friends of Myanmar. Thereby protecting the interest of the nation-state and preventing the Bengali Muslim land grab. Therefore, pressure needs to be put on Bangladesh to accept its part in the crisis based on tolerating mass immigration to Rakhine and parts of India respectively – just like the terrible consequences of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. After all, if important criteria aren’t put in place then another fresh Bengali Muslim attack will merely unravel once more – and this will only favor the anti-Myanmar objective of certain nations.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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