ABA Holds Panel On The Plight of Myanmar’s Muslims

imgres410px-American_Bar_Association.svgI am a notorious news junky who prides himself on keeping abreast of news and issues around the world, particularly stories dealing with free speech and human rights. It was therefore with some shame that I listened to presentations yesterday at the ABA’s program on the horrific treatment of Myanmar’s Muslims.  I was asked to moderate a panel on Rohingya by the Hon. Delissa A. Ridgway, Judge of the United States Court of International Trade, who remains one of the most influential figures globally in bringing together legal, political, and academic figures to discuss pressing problems in our world. Judge Ridgway is not just a friend but an inspiration for her tireless work for the rule of law around the world.  You do not say no to Delissa Ridgway if you want to have any shot at the afterlife.  However, I was not prepared for the heart wrenching account of the killings, rapes, and beatings of Muslims by extremist Buddhists in Myanmar.  It is an on-going crime against humanity being committed on a daily basis in plain sight.  The panel entitled “While the World Stands Idly By: Myanmar and the Threat of 21st Century Genocide” met at the Capital Hilton and was sponsored by the ABA Section on International Law.  Below is a videotape on their worsening conditions in government camps.

Despite the introduction of democratic process in the country and the 2015 victory of Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party, Buddhists continue to abuse this small religious and social minority.  The Rohingya have lived in Myanmar for centuries but continue to be denied citizenship and forced to live in squalid camps by the government.  A UN Special Rapporteur condemned as “crimes against humanity.” The Pope has called for action to protect the Rohingya and their treatment has been described as genocidal in its scope and intent.

I was honored to moderate a panel of human rights activists who have been waging this fight for the Rohingya.

John Sifton 
Acting Deputy Washington Director 
Asia Advocacy Director 
Human Rights Watch 

Jillian Tuck 
Senior Program Officer – Rights at Risk 
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee 

Professor James Silk 
Co-Author, Report, “Persecution of the Rohingya Muslims” (2015) 
Yale Law School 

Tasnim Motala 
Co-Author, Report, Persecution of the Rohingya Muslims” (2015) 
Clifford Chance

I cannot thank the panel enough for the honor in moderating this event and highlighting their important work.  I hope that you will watch this videotape and educate others about the plight of this Muslim population in Myanmar.

Here is the program of this extraordinary event: ABA Section of International Law — Rohingya  

28 thoughts on “ABA Holds Panel On The Plight of Myanmar’s Muslims”

  1. Perhaps the Buddhists got sick of the Muslim terrorists and decided to get Medieval on their butts?

  2. This story is accurate. It is unfortunate that these people routinely face death and rape. Still I cannot overlook the fact that near every war on earth is based on Muslims refusing to live in peace with their neighbors. In todays world Other Faiths and people rarely persecute Muslims

  3. Islam 2017 is a cancer at worse and a potential nuisance at best. Seeking world pluralism in every cubbyhole is a fools errand. I support oppressed punk rockers in Islamic Indonesia. Is my fool’s errand gonna save-the-world.

  4. Yes, Jon Turley, you are so humane, so beneficent, so kind, so loving, and so compassionate. We should all look to your splendid example, and seek to protect the oppressed and downtrodden Nazis, Islamoterrorists, and KKK members from the vile, heinous mistreatment of them by the Naziphobes, the Islamophobes, and the KKKaphobes. Thanks for the reminder. We tend to forget that they are humans too and need our compassion and protection.

  5. It seems as if the entire world is in a headlong flight into bigotry, self-segregation, mutual persecution and tyranny. Are we all going mad?

    1. Jay S:
      No, just another reversion to the state of nature which we see, taste and ultimately realize is self-denuding — then we pull back.

  6. This is what happens when you teach a culture that there are no natural rights. You end up with a majority ruling over a minority without a safety net for the minority. It doesn’t matter if the majority determines rights are based on religious doctrine or some other system of belief, if there is a belief within the majority that they determine what is lawful, what is right, then people will fight to the death to be in the majority.

  7. I prefer to avoid getting involved in other country’s civil wars. We don’t know the facts, the history or the truth of what is going on. Like neighbors listening to a marriage squabble we hear only part of the story through the closed door.

  8. Professor Turley, SO glad you put this out there as Burma flies under the radar in most of the press. I have long had a fascination with Burma – and followed Kyi’s plight when she was under house arrest for many years. So it was horrid to learn that she does nothing to protect the Royhinga. Apparently absolute power does corrupt – or mabe she’s “free” but the military junta is really pulling the strings. The fact that it is the Buddhists who are attacking the Royhinga seems shocking, but less so when one realizes that it is a tribal issue rather than religious.

    If anyone is interested in a Burmese perspective I recommend “In the Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey” by Pascal Khoo Thwe Thwe came from a tribe and incredibly wound up studying at Cambridge. Literally, his hunger for literature shaped his destiny.

  9. It would be a good thing to have a panel on the serious threat religion and theocracies pose to the lives of human beings. .

        1. Yeah, and the Jews, and Yazidi, and Christians, have lived in Iraq and Syria for two thousand years.

          Where is the world while genocide is being perpetrated by muslims on these people?

        2. Funny, the rule Pol Pot, Kim, Mao, Castro, Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, Ghengis Khan, and a host of others, come to mind.

          Funny how those slipped your mind while using whatever was at hand to bash Christianity.

    1. Nope, Squeek methinks you are wrong on this one – the “muzzies” as you call them are not the ones doing / advocating violence. It reminds me of of the LA riots when Korean store owners had their shops burned down. Key is finding out who is benefitting from this? Cause they folks have lived peaceably for a long time. Is there oil? minerals?.

      1. Obviously Squeek is an avid reader of world news.
        We all wonder what could have driven peaceful Buddhist to try to drive out the ‘religion of peace’?
        Maybe this dead atheist student’s family would have our answer?

        1. Ter Ber….
          I know very little about Buddism, but I question how “peaceful” Buddists are, at least in some nations.
          You might be interested in the 1966 Buddist uprising in South Vietnam.
          After the Catholic Diem was overthrown in 1963, it was hoped/ expected that the Buddists would not oppose the new Buddist leadership.
          The Buddists seemed determined to undermine ever subsequent government.
          By 1966, Premier Ky, himself a Buddist, threatened to kill every Buddist leader if there were another coup attempt.

        2. That was in Pakistan which is full of radicals. Nothing at all to do with the Royhingas.

  10. Whatever those thugs choose to calling themselves they are in fact not Buddhist. Just thugs.

    1. Exactly DBB – they are thugs and not true buddhists. It’s a tribal thang.

  11. Buddhists picking on Muslims? That’s rather hard to believe. Regardless, the government should allow them to leave. They can join their fellow ‘religion of peace’ compatriots in Germany or Sweden; these guys look like they could use the lifelong, generous welfare benefits.

      1. Yeah, and the Jews, and Yazidi, and Christians, have lived in Iraq and Syria for two thousand years.

        Where is the world while genocide is being perpetrated by muslims on these people?

  12. “The Muslims have been killing and driving out the Christians and Jews from the M.E. Would you sit on a panel for that?”

    Glad you asked. Let’s be clear. We oppose killing and ethnic cleansing of any group by any group.

    1. bfm – I appreciate your stand, however who are the WE you speak of? 😉

  13. The Muslims have been killing and driving out the Christians and Jews from the M.E. Would you sit on a panel for that?

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