Myanmar’s Muslims continue to suffer as the world stays silent



Recently I had a thought-provoking conversation with one of the Rohingya Muslims in Qatar who had recently fled Myanmar to escape the ongoing turmoil. He told me stories of members of his community being tortured and burnt to death by extremist Buddhist factions. Depressingly, the situation in Myanmar has been worsening in recent months.

In January, it was reported that 48 Rohingya Muslims had been brutally murdered in Rakhine State. As with many previous incidents, the government turned a blind eye towards this outrageous attack.

For Muslims in Rohingya, killings, tortures and starvation have became a horrific reality. The situation has been exacerbated by the recent order made by the Myanmar government to expel several aid groups including Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which had offered medical assistance to nearly 700,000 individuals in Rakhine State. MSF, which had been working in Myanmar for close to two decades, is no longer able to offer help to thousands of desperate Muslims in the country. According to Tom Andrews of United to End Genocide, a US-based activist group, the brutalities that have been taking place in Myanmar are now threatening to become the world’s next genocide.

Myanmar has a reputation as one of the most uncompromising states. Mr Andrews argues that not only has the army failed to safeguard a large number of already persecuted individuals, it has been associated with the use of torture and rape against Myanmar’s minorities.

The army is alleged to have frequently forced Muslim villagers, including children, into unpaid work, even though the International Labour Organization, a UN agency, has repeatedly issued condemnations against such acts. Several reports suggest that many Rohingya women are forced to work as prostitutes by Myanmar’s state forces.

Appropriation of lands owned by Muslims reportedly still persists, particularly farmland in several areas targeted for new villages and Buddhist settlers.

According to the UN refugee Agency, these land appropriations, along with the aggregate impacts of the discriminatory regulations on employment, movement, and educational opportunity, have caused tremendous adversity, heightened poverty and widespread malnutrition among Rohingya communities in Myanmar.

At the same time, it is reported that nearly 140,000 Muslims in Rohingya live in conditions of complete fear, discomfort and seclusion in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.

These people have limited access to food, shelter, water and medical assistance.

Even though there are many aid organisations that are ready to offer assistance, the government prevents them from doing so.

The sectarian violence has displaced thousands from their homes. Some have fled to Bangladesh while many have migrated to Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. But none of these countries have welcomed these displaced people with open arms. As a result, a large number eventually go back to Myanmar to face the atrocities.

A frightening increase in religious and ethnic divisions and systematic human rights violations are being inflamed by well-funded anti-Muslim hate campaigns led by Buddhist extremists.

It cannot be ignored that the government has failed to put an end to the atrocities and is, instead, aggressively pursuing more coercive legislation against the Muslim communities.

Moreover, the international community has largely maintained its silence on the situation. Myanmar made several public promises during Barack Obama’s diplomatic visit to Rangoon in 2012. Only a few have become a reality.

Yet, as Mr Andrews puts it, Washington is “doing business as usual” with Myanmar.

In addition, although several human rights groups have called on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to press Myanmar to end its inhumane practices, it has barely paid lip service to these requests.

Muslims in Myanmar need real, genuine and serious efforts by both the Myanmar government and the world community to end this ongoing misery.

It is difficult to see when all of this is going to end, but one thing has to be made clear: if all of us remain silent, Myanmar’s Muslims will continue to pay a heavy price.

Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat is a freelance writer based in Qatar

Disturbing facts and figures

51% of parents in the UAE feel like they are failing within the first year of parenthood

57% vs 43% is the number of mothers versus the number of fathers who feel they’re failing

28% of parents believe social media adds to the pressure they feel to be perfect

55% of parents cannot relate to parenting images on social media

67% of parents wish there were more honest representations of parenting on social media

53% of parents admit they put on a brave face rather than being honest due to fear of judgment

Source: YouGov

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  • Always check the weather forecast before setting off
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  • Set off early to avoid sudden weather changes in the afternoon
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
  • Take your litter home with you
Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

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COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

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SPEC SHEET: NOTHING PHONE (2A)

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In the box: Nothing Phone (2a), USB-C-to-USB-C cable, pre-applied screen protector, Sim tray ejector tool

Price (UAE): Dh1,199 (8GB/128GB) / Dh1,399 (12GB/256GB)

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

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Name: Tabby
Founded: August 2019; platform went live in February 2020
Founder/CEO: Hosam Arab, co-founder: Daniil Barkalov
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Sector: Payments
Size: 40-50 employees
Stage: Series A
Investors: Arbor Ventures, Mubadala Capital, Wamda Capital, STV, Raed Ventures, Global Founders Capital, JIMCO, Global Ventures, Venture Souq, Outliers VC, MSA Capital, HOF and AB Accelerator.

Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022

First match: November 20
Final 16 round: December 3 to 6
Quarter-finals: December 9 and 10
Semi-finals: December 13 and 14
Final: December 18

RESULT

Aston Villa 1
Samatta (41')
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Aguero (20')
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Where to buy and try:

Nutritional yeast

DesertCart

Organic Foods & Café

Bulletproof coffee

Wild & The Moon

Amasake

Comptoir 102

DesertCart

Organic Foods & Café

Charcoal drinks and dishes

Various juice bars, including Comptoir 102

Bridgewater Tavern

3 Fils

Jackfruit

Supermarkets across the UAE

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Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

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Family reunited

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was born and raised in Tehran and studied English literature before working as a translator in the relief effort for the Japanese International Co-operation Agency in 2003.+

She moved to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies before moving to the World Health Organisation as a communications officer.

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Dates for the diary

To mark Bodytree’s 10th anniversary, the coming season will be filled with celebratory activities:

  • September 21 Anyone interested in becoming a certified yoga instructor can sign up for a 250-hour course in Yoga Teacher Training with Jacquelene Sadek. It begins on September 21 and will take place over the course of six weekends.
  • October 18 to 21 International yoga instructor, Yogi Nora, will be visiting Bodytree and offering classes.
  • October 26 to November 4 International pilates instructor Courtney Miller will be on hand at the studio, offering classes.
  • November 9 Bodytree is hosting a party to celebrate turning 10, and everyone is invited. Expect a day full of free classes on the grounds of the studio.
  • December 11 Yogeswari, an advanced certified Jivamukti teacher, will be visiting the studio.
  • February 2, 2018 Bodytree will host its 4th annual yoga market.
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FIVE TRENDS THAT WILL SHAPE UAE BANKING

• The digitisation of financial services will continue

• Managing and using data effectively will become a competitive advantage

• Digitisation will require continued adjustment of operating models

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• The structure of the sector will change

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Long read
SERIE A FIXTURES

Saturday (All UAE kick-off times)

Cagliari v AC Milan (6pm)

Lazio v Napoli (9pm)

Inter Milan v Atalanta (11.45pm)

Sunday

Udinese v Sassuolo (3.30pm)

Sampdoria v Brescia (6pm)

Fiorentina v SPAL (6pm)

Torino v Bologna (6pm)

Verona v Genoa (9pm)

Roma V Juventus (11.45pm)

Parma v Lecce (11.45pm)

 

 

Emergency phone numbers in the UAE

Estijaba – 8001717 –  number to call to request coronavirus testing

Ministry of Health and Prevention – 80011111

Dubai Health Authority – 800342 – The number to book a free video or voice consultation with a doctor or connect to a local health centre

Emirates airline – 600555555

Etihad Airways – 600555666

Ambulance – 998

Knowledge and Human Development Authority – 8005432 ext. 4 for Covid-19 queries

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Rating: 3/5

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Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

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Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Electric scooters: some rules to remember
  • Riders must be 14-years-old or over
  • Wear a protective helmet
  • Park the electric scooter in designated parking lots (if any)
  • Do not leave electric scooter in locations that obstruct traffic or pedestrians
  • Solo riders only, no passengers allowed
  • Do not drive outside designated lanes
COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others


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