Historical account of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

29th Jun 2018
Historical account of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

The Rohingya Crisis, A People Facing Extinction. By Muhammad Abdul Bari. Kube Publishing 2018. Pb 74pp. £4.99

The book is a concise, well researched, easily readable and passioned book on the history and plight of the Rohingya people in Myanmar.

The book argues that what is happening to the Rohingya Muslims is a genocide and devotes a chapter to the subject.

The plight of the Muslim minority came to the public domain in August 2017 when over 600,000 Rohingya refugees poured into Bangladesh and the atrocities committed against them came to light.

Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, a prominent British Muslim leader and activist, takes us through the history of the Rohingya people, their contributions and their suffering for decades under various regimes in Myanmar. As the columnist and author, Peter Oborne writes in the Forward, ‘Future generations will look back at the genocide of the Rohingya people and feel disbelief that it was ever allowed to happen. Yet all the warning signs were there well in advance.’ (p xiii)

Dr Bari has carefully documented the historical and current atrocities carried out on the Rohingyas. They have been discriminated against and persecuted for decades. Even though they have been in Myanmar for hundreds of years, they are still not been recognised as Myanmar citizens.

The author concludes that through the UN, Rohingya Muslims must be repatriated to their homes in Rakhine state with full citizenship rights and dignity. However, no resolution against the Myanmar Government can be passed in the UN Security Council without the support of veto powers Russia and China.

For China, Rakhine state is strategic. ‘It is vitally important to China’s land link with the Indian Ocean. China’s strategic interest in Rakhine, on the coast of Bay of Bengal to the east of the Indian Ocean, is huge.’ (p44)

Ahmed J Versi

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