anthropology, Censorship, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Ethnic Minorities, Europe, Freedom, Genocide, Islam, Islamophobia, Journalism, Muslims, Politics, Refugees, Religion, Riots, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Sunni

Burma, ethno-Buddhism, racism and religious persecution

I have written before about Burma (Myanmar) and its persecuted Rohingya population as well as the lack of interest both in the ASEAN countries as well as in the western mass media (see The other, invisible suffering of Burma, Rohingya Odyssey: a silent cultural genocide?, Rohingya Muslims and injustice: a security issue, Rohingyas: not solely a political problem, Selling lives: Rohingyas face deportation from Bangladesh). Since June, Burma and its Rohingya Muslim population have attracted a wider mass media presence. On May 28, in a village in the central part of Rakhine State, three Muslim members of the Rohingya ethnic group allegedly raped and killed a Buddhist woman. Retaliation did not take long and on June 3, a group of Arakan attacked a bus carrying Rohingya in southern Rakhine and 10 people were killed. Continue reading

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anthropology, Gender, Islam, Muslim family, Muslims, Politics, Research, sociology, South Asia, Sunni

When piety kills: power, religious performance and inhumanity, the case of Hena Akhter

That body is of 14-year-old Bangladeshi girl, Hena Akhter. Her story has distracted the western mass media from the still very confused situation in Libya. Hena Akhter was sentenced to receive 101 lashes to be delivered with extreme force after a village court implemented the fatwa of the local imam, whom decided that she had committed fornication with her much older married cousin. She died a week later from the injuries. The story is a script seen too many times in rural Bangladesh, at least since 1991 when Bangladeshi villages increased these extra-juridical sentences (Riaz 2005). Continue reading

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anthropology, Democracy and Justice, Ethnic Minorities, Freedom, Islam, Islamophobia, Muslims, Politics, Refugees, Religion, sociology, Southeast Asia

Selling lives: Rohingyas face deportation from Bangladesh

In any course of sociological theory we will meet Marx. Certainly his theory of society and economy seems, today, part of history. Yet Marx’s analysis of ‘commodity’ has still some interesting aspects worth of thinking over. This is even truer in the case when instead of objects, the commodities are actually people; or better a people. I have written before about the forgotten Rohingya, highlighting their inhuman condition in Burma (Myanmar) and Bangladesh,  as well as their status of  the “gypsies” of Asia. Continue reading

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Academia, anthropology, Democracy and Justice, Ethnic Minorities, Freedom, Genocide, Immigration, Islam, Muslims, Politics, Refugees, Research, sociology, South Asia

Rohingya Odyssey: a silent cultural genocide?

I have discussed and provided some information about the quite unknown tragedy of Rohingya Muslims elsewhere in this blog. Normally, Rohingya Muslims make news only when there is a dearth of other stories. Today, more people know who the Rohingya are because of shocking reports in which some tourists in Thailand have  witnessed and documented the severe mistreatment of refugees by the Thai army on Thai beaches. The UN has asked access to the refugees, some of whom have been expelled, and an investigation into the alleged mistreatment.  Rohingya Muslims are virtually stateless, and to define them as ‘economic migrants’, as the new Thai government has attempted to, is unrealistic no less than the full probe they have promised, which however is to be conducted by the same Thai army involved in the international scandal. Continue reading

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