Press TV has conducted an interview with Jahngir Mohammad, director of the Center for Muslim Affairs from Manchester, to get his take on the situation of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and a new birth control law in the country which, analysts say, targets the Muslim community there.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: As far as this population control bill goes, how much of this is actually focused against the Muslim population and how much of this is just speculation over here?
Mohammad: Well, we know that the Myanmar state is a Buddhist regime. [It] has been targeting Muslims for a long time. They are still not considered citizens of the country. They have no rights to citizenship, they have no rights to vote, and there has always been some sort of controls on this population and this latest measure has quite clearly [been] designed to control the growth in the population of Muslim community there. Just as the aggression and the targeting of mosques and the Rohingya Muslims for the last few years have been directly aimed at cleansing Myanmar of this Muslim population and of the Rohingyas and creating a pure Buddhist state. So we know what this regime has been doing …. Everybody knows who they are targeting. The sad fact is that the international community chooses to do nothing about this. This is including no rights whatsoever, and yet nobody cares.
Press TV: Right, Mr. Mohammad, I’m curious about your take on this as you’ve just pointed out that the Myanmarese government does not recognize the Rohingyas as citizens. When the government itself is not giving these people the right to citizenship, does it have the right to tell them how to live their lives and does these laws and regulations apply to this population then?
Mohammad: Those that live there clearly are subject to the laws and the repression of the state against them, which is why they are fleeing in boats to neighboring countries. So, they will be subject to the laws. We don’t know how they are going to apply this policy of controlling the population and forcing them, and I only imagine that it would be through repression and identification, hospitals and all kinds of other extreme policies against the Rohigya. So, although they are not citizens and they haven’t been given citizenships, they are residents in that state. In fact, the Muslims have been in Myanmar since the 14th, 15the and 16the centuries. So it’s quite odd that they don’t recognize the rights of Muslims there and the Rohingyas in particular and target them. And as I said before there is no pressure from the United Nations. None of the United Nations’ laws on the protection of minorities within states applies to these people. They are not forced to apply them. And the United States in particular doesn’t seem to care much. It wants to deal with Myanmar and exploit its resources and seize it as a country in transition to what it calls democracy…. And then in that scenario, the Rohingya Muslims and their lives and their rights do no matter at all.