These days, social media in the country is inundated with graphic images and videos depicting the inhumane acts of violent persecution against the helpless Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state of Burma (Myanmar). One certainly can’t find the words to exactly describe the miseries and sufferings of Burmese Rohingyas who have become the unfortunate victims of unprecedented barbarism. Most of these videos and pictures show the burnt houses, and the beheaded, chopped and burnt dead bodies of Rohingya men, women and children. At present, Burmese security forces, along with the Buddhist militias, are carrying out the full-fledged ethnic cleansing against the Rohingyas in Burma. While doing this, Burmese security forces have visibly outshined the IS barbarians in the Middle East, who at least show some clemency towards women and children.

Led by Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar government has blocked all UN aid agencies from delivering food and medicine to desperate Rohingyas at the heart of current humanitarian crisis in the country. Since independent media and observers have been denied access to the conflict-hit northern Rakhine State, no exact statistics of property damage and casualties in the recent Rohingya crisis are available. According to official Burmese sources, some 400 hundred Rohingyas have been killed while more than 18 thousand people have fled to Bangladesh. However, independent estimates fear much more damage and casualties. According to the latest UN estimates, some 123,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar during the last two weeks. Satellite images also show a large scale of burning of villages and houses in the Rakhine state.

Rohingyas received international public attention in the wake of 2012 Rakhine state riots. Following theses riots, Rohingya people fled to ghettos and makeshift refugee camps near the border of neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Thailand. Later, in order to escape systematic persecution from both the Myanmar government and Buddhist majority, thousands of Rohingyas fled Myanmar to seek shelter in other Southeast Asian countries in small rickety boats through the Strait of Malacca and the Andaman Sea. During 2015 Rohingya refugee crisis, the world community just observed the plight of these ‘boat people’. The Rohingya crisis further intensified as soon as the Myanmar military lunched a massive crackdown on these unfortunate people in October last year. A senior UN official has accused Myanmar of carrying out ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Rohingya Muslims by killing them or forcing them to flee to Bangladesh.

International law strictly prohibits sovereign states from arbitrarily depriving individuals from their citizenship. The recognised rules of denaturalisation in the contemporary world don’t recommend taking away right of citizenship from a person unless he illegally acquires the citizenship of a foreign country. There is no legal or moral justification for instantly rendering a segment of population status-less and stateless through enacting arbitrary and retrospective laws as did the Burmese government in 1982. Strangely, despite living in Burma for generations, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people were made aliens in their own country under the 1982 Burmese citizenship law in sheer violation of international law and universally-recognised rules of natural justice.

One of the most agonizing aspects of current Rohingya crisis has been the indifferent and apathetic attitude of the world community and the international mass media towards the plight of hapless Burmese Rohingya population. A large section of the media in the world is currently toeing the official line of Burmese government by portraying this crisis mere a civil strife rather than an all out genocide and ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas. Similarly, despite considering the Rohingyas ‘the most persecuted minority in the world’, the UN has yet done nothing significant beyond paying a lip service to this crisis. It has wasted much time in ascertaining the situation through forming a fact-finding commission. All the permanent five members of UN Security Council have just turned a blind eye to the unabated persecution against Burmese Rohingya population.

China is an important major power in the region, and with its power can react to inhumane atrocities committed right in its neighbourhood. However, so far, its role in solving the current Rohingya crisis is simply deplorable. In March this year, China, backed by Russia, blocked a brief UNSC statement when the 15-member body met to discuss the situation in the troubled Rakhine state. China enjoys close relations with Myanmar. It has vital economic and strategic interests in Myanmar. Therefore, while the Burmese security forces are mercilessly perishing the Rohingya population, China has extended unqualified support to Myanmar, with whom it also shares a common religious ideology. Now the proposed One Belt One Road (OBOR) project in Myanmar is perhaps more significant to China than that of the blood of hapless Burmese Rohingyas.

At the request of the US, the UN Security Council recently convened an emergency meeting as soon as North Korea denoted a ‘ hydrogen bomb’. However, the US and its western allies never seriously tried to address the Rohingya issue in same region. Similarly, the so-called Muslim world also looks disinterested and disinclined in minimising the woes of oppressed and stranded Rohingyas. So far, no Muslim leader except Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned the Rohingya persecution in Myanmar in strong terms. On the other hand, Pope Francis has actively been raising his voice for Rohingya rights. Now he is also planning to visit Myanmar for this single purpose.

On last Sunday, while speaking to the pilgrims at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican City, Pope Francis appealed for an end to violent persecution of Rohingya population in Burma. Exactly three days ago, Imam-e-Kaaba, in his Hajj sermon in the holy city of Mecca, urged the believers to keep fearing Allah and adopt piety for salvation in this world and hereafter. But sadly, he did not say anything about the plight of Muslims living in the troubled areas like Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir and Burma. This practice essentially shows a significant disconnection between the political Islam and the Islamic theology, making the Muslim polity sink in the dark abyss. Presently a large number of Muslim countries have readily formed an ‘Islamic Military Alliance’ primarily to protect the endangered House of Saud. Regrettably, they have yet not joined hands to rescue the helpless Burmese Muslims.

Comprising Pakistan, Turkey, Bangladesh, Iran, Indonesia Malaysia, Egypt and Nigeria; D8 is an alliance of important Muslim counties which possess the economic and military muscle in the Muslim world. Since the OIC has become a dysfunctional and toothless body, D8 countries should play a proactive role in resolving the current Rohingyas crisis. First of all, they should unite and organise all other Muslim countries for this crucial cause. Secondly, they should forcefully raise this matter at the UN general assembly. Thirdly, they should also mount maximum pressure on the permanent UNSC members to make the Security Council enforce coercive measures against the anti-Rohingay Myanmar under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. They should also offer to contribute troops for the intended peacekeeping operations in Myanmar under the UN umbrella. These countries can also consider the option of collectively severing their diplomat ties with Myanmar. And finally, at this stage, some prompt and immediate measures are also needed to rescue and help the Rohingya refugees in other countries, particularly Bangladesh.

The ongoing Rohingya persecution in Myanmar has become an instant source of rage, displeasure and discontent in the Muslim word. It has already sparked massive public demonstrations in many countries across the world. If these atrocities continue unabated, these sentiments would soon take a violent expression. It will also likely to fuel extremism and Jihadist tendencies in Muslim countries. A large number of individuals may join hands for the ‘Burmese Jihad’, marking this troubled region more volatile and destabilised. Therefore, before things get worse, the world community must promptly act to solve the Rohingya question.