Jay R. Crook Ph.D. Salem-News.com
New song brings to light the slaughter of Rohingya people.
Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub (Saladin) Image courtesy: badassoftheweek.com
(TUCSON / BOSTON / SACRAMENTO) – The dissolution of the British Empire after the Second World War left a number of problems that still fester, several in the Muslim World. The most notorious, of course, is Palestine, a problem that now preoccupies its successor, the American Empire. There is the unresolved question of Kashmir that endangers the peace of the Indo-Pak subcontinent. There is also the British legacy of the Northwest Frontier in which the 19th-century British colonialists created an ad hoc border that divides the Pashto-speaking people in Afghanistan and Pakistan on both sides of it, a guaranteed recipe for
And then there is another legacy, especially in Southeast Asia, not the result so much of imperial conquest and as of colonial enterprise.
During the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, hundreds of thousands of workers were imported from India to work the plantations and fields of Malaysia and parts of Burma. Many were encouraged to settle there to make colonial Burma, for example, a fruitful model of the economic benefits of British imperialism.
Hence the presence of the Rohingyas in modern Burma, the descendants of the Bengali Muslims who were attracted to the empty spaces of Arakan and adjacent regions in colonial times. During WW II, when Burma was occupied by the Japanese, the Rohingya fought on the Allied side against the occupiers. A few years after the war ended, like India and Pakistan, Burma became an independent nation. The debt to the Rohingyas was quickly forgotten. Burma soon slid into totalitarian and military rule, a rule which is just ending now. With the coming of “democracy,” old scores are being settled and the Rohingyas are beginning to suffer horribly.
What will the world do? With the United Nations reduced to the status of an expensive debating society, while the “super powers” decide on priorities with their vetoes, one may expect the usual temporizing from that quarter. Look at Palestine! Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries on Earth, is not interested in adding its distressed cousins to their own burden. Other Muslim countries? There is a lot of talk about the Muslim Commonwealth, but not much action when national interests are involved.
The outlook is bleak. Saladin, where are you?
—Jay R. Crook, Ph.D.
(Editor’s note: The song and video presentation below is possibly the first example of modern western music that celebrates and recognizes both the Rohingya people, and their struggle against the militant government of Burma which is decidedly pro-Rakhine Buddhist and anti-Rohingya Muslim. Even their citizenship is denied. Tim King asked Agron Belica if he could please put his musical talents to work by writing and producing a song about the Rohingyas, it took almost no time and the final version is now here)
Published on Oct 30, 2012 by ACE Kinolar
BURMA: Ethnic Cleansing & Genocide/CCTJP Movement
Journalists: Tim King, Siraj Davis, and Agron Belica
Aldin Entertainment Music Group
Music Produced by Sinma Co-Produced by Jamal Belica
Video Production by CCTJP Movement
Commissioned by Salem-News.com