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Op-Ed: Does ISIS stand behind Rohingya militants?

Shipan Kumar Basu explains the present plight of the Hindus in Myanmar and how they have been mistreated by Islamist groups. He discusses the dire situation of the Rohingya Hindu refugees in Bangladesh and who is to blame for their suffering.
Myanmar's Rohingya people in Bangladesh Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The Rohingya issue has become an international crisis. The issue has spread over two neighboring countries, India and Bangladesh. There is a call from every nation to stop the violence in Myanmar. But what has actually happened is that the Rohingya Muslims have acquired arms from outside sources and initiated a violent confrontation against the Myanmar Army. The international community has widely condemned how the Myanmar Army responded to this act of aggression but does not condemn as loudly the crimes against humanity implemented by the Rohingya Islamist groups.

The question is, where did they acquire arms from? Who is behind them and helping them to revolt against the Myanmar nation? A recent report from the Indian intelligence pointed out that the Rohingya rebels have links with terrorist organizations like ISIS, Al Qaeda and the Lashkar e-Toiba terror group in Pakistan that stood behind the Mumbai terror attacks. Nevertheless, despite this, the Rohingya Muslim rebels continue to obtain sympathy from across the world including from the ruling Awami League Party in Bangladesh.

As a Bangladeshi, I ask, why is Sheik Hasina showing so much interest in the Rohingya issue? Why has she turned so soft-hearted regarding Rohingya refugee suffering? No other country has heeded the call that they will take these refugees into their nation. There are many richer nations other than Bangladesh. She is doing it because she knows she is governing the country illegally following the last sham elections in 2014, as I said before many times. The British media has recently said that she is the mother of humanity. But, I would like to ask the British media to ask her, why is she shedding crocodile tears for only 400,000 Rohingya refugees, whereas more than 70 million Hindus have just vanished from her country?

Since 1971, the Hindu population in Bangladesh has dwindled from 30% to a meager 8%, which is an adverse statistic given the Bangladesh population growth ratio. What happened to the Hindu community of the country? Reports say approximately 60 million have escaped the country due to torture and other crimes implemented by the Muslim Bangladeshi population, which include killings, rape and land grabbing. Will not the international community ask Sheikh Hasina what happened to the Hindus in her country? Did Sheikh Hasina ever shed a drop of tears for them? Her father Sheikh Majibur Reheman did not even want a separate Bangladesh. According to a book written by G.W. Chowdhury titled “The Last Days of United Pakistan,” he wanted Bangladesh not to be liberated at all and wanted to protect Pakistan and to meet the certain demands of his followers.

So, it is very much evident that the ideology of the Awami League was not to be secular at all. And they always followed a communal line among the party insiders. The Rohingya Hindus that have come to Bangladesh have been treated horribly and are not being provided for properly by the Bangladeshi government. However, it is critical to note that not all of the Rohingya Muslims are bad and everyone should not be penalized for the misdeeds of certain rogues, who are seen clad in black from top to bottom and are carrying sophisticated arms. These Islamist rebels have links with an offshoot of the ruling Awami League Party in Bangladesh and the ISI in Pakistan. The killing of the Rohingya Hindus is the handiwork of these people but the Bangladeshi government is taking no action against them for their crimes against Hindu people. I would like to ask the Sheikh Hasina government to take appropriate action against those who are found guilty and don’t comply with the law of the land.  

The Hindu festival of the Durga Goddess is just around the corner. On this occasion, I heartily wish greetings to all of the world’s religions. My greetings also extend to the Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and all of the respected world leaders. But my heart also bleeds for the hundreds of Durga idols that are broken every night and the prayer areas that are being destroyed by the majority in Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina is not able to protect the minorities on the eve of a major festival. How can she be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize?



JOL Blogger | Shipan Kumer Basu

Shipan Kumer Basu is the President of the Hindu Struggle Committee, Bangladesh.


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