Contrary to what one may expect in Myanmar, it is not always a story of a clash between Buddhists and Muslims or other religious groups, all though powerful forces would want it to be that way.
Back at the end of March, Tin Maung Than, secretary of Islamic Religious Affairs Council Myanmar, offered the over 1,000 mosques, the many Muslim religious schools, as well as hotels, businesses, and apartments owned by Muslim businessmen, to be used as quarantine facilities in the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
“The council also requested local Muslim community to help those returnees in self-quarantine in their respective places,” then said.
“This is time we have to join hand. With unity, we can overcome this situation,” he went on to say.
This is the kind of thing naturally that should be sought in Myanmar, but there are forces outside the country, that seek to keep the Rohingya conflict going and for there to never be an end to clashes in Rakhine state.
Without question, Rohingyas have faced a lot of violence and vicious persecution, there are Rohingya groups that are drenched in the blood of innocent civilians as well.
The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) is a Saudi Arabia based Rohingya terrorist group who has been waging a violent insurgency in Rakhine state, targeting not just the military forces, but also innocent Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, and non Wahhabi Muslims. The leadership are all Rohingyas who reside in Saudi Arabia and are very violent and extremist.
Amnesty International detailed how this group has been responsible for massacres of large numbers of Hindus as well as kidnappings, rape, and forced conversions. These kinds of atrocities are common against all of those who aren’t of this vicious violent Wahhabi sect.
The group has been declared as a terrorist organization not just by Myanmar but also by the Muslim majority nation of Malaysia, including when, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad was leading the country. Dr. Mahathir has been as vocal as anyone can be about the plight of the Rohingyas.
In an interview with Russian state-run TV channel Zvezda, Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces, Min Aung Hlaing, stated that powerful forces have been supporting the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army and other groups.
Sophisticated weapons including surface-to-air missiles have been given to these groups and an overwhelming majority of the funding is said to have come from China.
This is not the first time where China have been giving weapons to armed groups in Myanmar, in 2019, Myanmar security forces have seized large stashes of Chinese weapons from the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, a group with a long record of extortion of locals including shooting innocent people.
Wahhabism will not serve the interests of anyone, especially the long suffering Rohingya people. As Myanmar seeks international help to deal with these increasingly violent terrorist forces, it would be a good thing if foreign countries agreed as long as a safe return is provided for the displaced Rohingya people.
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