First, they butcher the name "Rohingya", then they slaughter real humans - on the Eve of Eid

Burma-concerned individuals who are utterly ignorant of factual history - if not downright racist - accuse others who emphatically use the term Rohingya in reference to, yes, the Rohingya as "politicizing" a non-ethnic label.    

That includes just about every member of ruling and counter-elites - from President Thein Sein, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, NLD co-founders -- ex-General Tin Oo and veteran journalist U Win Tin -- 88 Generation activists such as Ko Ko Gyi, Myo Yan Naung Thein, etc.

In media circles, policy makers and influential Burmese are engaged in mutually stupid and ill-informed conversations about whether or not the term "Rohingya" should be used as a matter of (truthful) editorial policy or not.  

To its credit, Washington-based Radio Free Asia has adopted a policy of using the term "Rohingya" in reference to, well, the Rohingya.  

Myanmar Muslim members and their Rakhine counterparts on the Presidential Rakhine-Rohingya Riot Inquiry Commission argued bitterly for two hours whether the persecuted - now ethnically cleansed - Rohingya of Arakan State should be called Rohingya or "Bangali Muslim".

Not a single known member of Burmese intelligentsia - journalists, artists, academics, teachers, doctors, etc. - who is him or herself not a Rohingya has come out in pointing out the un-erasable facts - that the Rohingya were a nationally and officially recognized ethnic community.

In some Burmese media circles, there have been internal debates as to how 'those people' should be referred to in their media stories!  None in the position of influence has acknowledged deep-seated and popular racism of the bulk of the population who are NOT Muslims or of Indian sub-continent ancestry.  

Ignorance, deliberate lies, Bama-eat-Bama mentality, absence of compassion, and missing humanistic vision  are primary products of half-century of generals' despotic, incompetent and acorrupt rule.  

They continue to pervade all segments of society, from top to bottom, east and west, north and south, civilians and soldiers, western educated and monastically schooled.   

Indeed popular racism of a neo-Fascist strain which has led to the unfolding Rohingya cleansing reign in Myanmar under the reformist duo of President Thein Sein and Aung San Suu Kyi.

Myanmar's toxic racism is not confined to the 'natives' and their communities.  They have infested Western academics, or more accurately, reinforced the Made-in-the-West Orientalist Islamophia.  

A dangerous case in point is  the ex-Christian missionary-cum-academic - named Jaques P. Leider, the head of the French School of Asian Studies in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  Leider has been going around the world telling different audiences that the term "Rohingya" is not an ethnic concept or idea. 
A founding member of post-colonial studies Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak reportedly characterized Leider's views towards the Rohingya "toxic".

Here is a must-read article from New Mandala for anyone concerned about the systematic attempt to erase a Muslim ethnic community literally and in terms of its own ethnic identity.

Judge for yourself who is lying, who is politicizing the ethnic label, and who is flirting with neo-Fascist ideals of the 'origin' and 'blood' of a people (s).


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