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The God Wars
Buddhist Burmese Won't Count Muslim Minority in Census

Census takers in predominately Buddhist Burma are reportedly turning their backs on members of the country’s Muslim Rohingya minority. The Burmese government is conducting its first census since 1983, under the auspices of the UN’s Population Fund, which has contributed much of the estimated $74 million in funding along with other international donors. The Guardian reports:

“In the violence-scarred state of Rakhine, census workers were asking households to identify their ethnicity. When the answer was “Rohingya,” they reportedly said thank you, turned around, and walked away. […]

The UN agency said it had received assurances from the government that everyone in the country would be allowed to self-identify their ethnicity.

On the eve of the census, however, the presidential spokesman Ye Htut announced that anyone who called themselves Rohingya would not be counted. Though many members of the religious minority were born in Burma to families who arrived generations ago, the government considers them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.”

Though Burma has seen recent democratic and economic reforms, the Rohingya still suffer persecution. They have no legal status and are denied recognition and citizenship by the Burmese state. According to The Guardian, 280 Rohingya have been killed during the past two years, and 140,000 have fled their homes. Even Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has been silent about their plight. Perhaps this new international controversy will help lead to a redress of wrongs for the Rohingya.

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  • Rajdeep Sardesai

    Non arab muslims are not provided any opportunity to become permanent residents of most arab states. They cannot marry arab ladies. They cannot work or own property in any arab lands.

    The koran states that all muslims are equal and are brothers. This makes saudi immigration law against the tenets of islam. And this means that non arab muslims are effectively second class muslims. And all these non arab muslims want first class treatment everywhere else. This is a big joke.

    The treatment the rohingyas are getting in burma is no different from the treatment they would have got in saudi arabia. The cancer of fundamentalist islam needs to be killed before human rights can be discussed.

    • Grigalem

      And how do you propose we do that?

      • Rajdeep Sardesai

        First step: bankrupt and then break up saudi arabia.

        • Grigalem

          And how do you propose we do that?

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