Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Multi award winning anti-militancy journalist

Rohingya, the rise of a jihadist monster

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, did not defend Myanmar’s Rohingya populace or condemn the genocide on them, which had forced over one million Muslim Rohingyas in fleeing the country and take refuge in Bangladesh, India and many other countries. The possible reason behind Suu Kyi’s silence on atrocities on the Rohingya community was, she did not wish to annoy her Buddhist supporters or majority of the Myanmar’s population. But of course, she or the Myanmar military junta had no right of pushing over one million Rohingyas into Bangladesh, India and other countries, as they were fully aware, aggrieved Rohingyas would resort to terrorism and pose serious security threats to those nations which would shelter them as refugees. After several years of Rohingyas being driven-out of Myanmar, we are witnessing the alarming rise of Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), which not only poses gravest threat to Bangladesh and India, but it also poses equal threats to regional and global peace and security.

While Myanmar’s military junta created the Rohingya refugee crisis especially in 2017, it has also started persecuting the ethnic population in its Kayah State (previously known as Karenni State). Kayah State is bounded on the north by Shan State, on the east by Thailand’s Mae Hong Son Province, and on the south and west by Kayin Shate. It is inhabited primarily by the Karenni ethnic group, also known as Red Karen or Kayah, a Sino-Tibetan people.

According to the 2014 Myanmar Census, Buddhists, who make up 49.9 percent of Kayah State’s population, form the largest religious community there. Minority religious communities include Christian (45.8 percent), Muslims (1.1 percent), Hindus (0.1 percent), and animists (1.9 percent), who collectively comprise the remainder of Kayah State’s population. Statistics say, 1.2 percent of the population listed no religion, other religious, or were other not enumerated.

By driving-out mainly Christians, Muslims and Hindus from the Kayah State, Myanmar authorities are possibly letting majority of the Kayas resort to terrorism and separatist activities. In this case, the driven-out Kayah populace would initially pose serious security threat to Thailand and other neighboring countries.

Meaning, Myanmar authorities are responsible for the rise of Rohingya militancy and would be equally responsible for Kayah terrorism or separatist activities. In plain words, Myanmar authorities are fully responsible for terrorizing most of its neighboring nations, including Bangladesh, India and Thailand by pushing Myanmar’s own citizen towards militancy, terrorism and separatist activities. But this will eventually pose serious threat to Myanmar’s key ally – China, as Rohingya jihadists may establish connections with terrorists in China’s Xinjiang Province and export terrorism through Sino-Myanmar bordering areas.

As to Rohingya issue, why did Aung San Suu Kyi remain tight-lipped on the 2017 genocide on this ethnic minority group? According to some analysts, Suu Kyi’s failure to condemn her fellow Buddhist outright, because she knew their complicated, not one-sided, history of conflict with the Rohingya, including that 1942 massacre, and the repeated attempts of the Rohingyas to join the Northern Rakhine State to Pakistan. Rohingyas even had approached Pakistani leader Mohammed Ali Jinnah, much before 1947 partition of India with the proposal of including Rakhine State as part of Pakistan. But Jinnah could not accommodate this Rohingya proposal as that would further complicate his desire of creating a Muslim Pakistan by dividing India. But, Rohingyas ambition of transforming Rakhine State into another Islamic republic is the main problem.

As we know, Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army or ARSA has been silently growing in size and capacities with the help of several terror-patron nations, including Pakistani spy agency Inter Service Intelligence (ISI). At the same time, ARSA has aligned itself with a number of militancy outfits including Al Qaeda, Islamic State, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Meaning, a child jihadist entity ARSA is gradually growing into a real monster. But the most alarming fact here is, Myanmar’s military junta, which controls those yaba production factories have allowed ARSA and Rohingyas to inclusively deal into this drug. Meaning, ARSA can generate millions of dollars from the illegal yaba trade and subsequently spend major portion of the profit towards buying weapons and explosives. Now the question is, why the Myanmar junta are helping ARSA in growing into monster, when it knows, this terrorist entity would challenge the sovereignty of Myanmar by proclaiming Arakan or Rakhine State as a caliphate? The reply is, while Rohingyas are looking for returning to Myanmar, leaders of ARSA have a different agenda, as because, they have secretly joined hands with Myanmar’s military establishment. The leaders of ARSA would look for creating caliphate inside Bangladesh and some parts of India, and even may be Thailand in the near future. According to media reports, Rohingyas have already found their allies in Trinamool Congress in West Bengal as well as a number of anti-Hindu political forces in the northeastern states in India.

We need to worried.

About the Author
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is a multi award winning anti-militancy pro-Israel journalist and editor of Weekly Blitz. Choudhury served rigorous imprisonment for 7 years for the "crimes" of confronting radical Islam and militancy; for denouncing anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial; for promoting interfaith harmony; and for advocating relations between Israel and Bangladesh. In 2005, Shoaib Choudhury received 'Freedom to Write' award from PEN USA, in 2006 prestigious 'Moral Courage Award' from American Jewish Committee, in 2007 'Monaco Media Award' from Prince Albert II, amongst many other awards and recognitions.
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