Earlier this year, the U.S. government declared Myanmar’s mass killing of the Rohingya Muslim population to be a “genocide”. This designation comes 6 years after the first incidence of mass violence was carried out by Myanmar’s military against the long-persecuted and marginalized community. The two phases of Myanmar military’s operations in 2016 and 2017 involved the burning hundreds of villages, mass rape of Rohingya girls and women, and the brutal murder of tens of thousands of individuals. The UN described the persecution as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” As a result of the deadly violence, there was a mass exodus of more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims from the Buddhist-majority Myanmar to refugee camps in Bangladesh, where they largely remain today.
In this presentation moderated by Dr. John L. Esposito, Dr. Ronan Lee, author of Myanmar’s Rohingya Genocide: Identity, History, and Hate Speech, provides a historical overview of the Rohingya and the systematic discrimination they’ve faced for decades at the hands of the Myanmar authorities, and Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, founder of Justice for All, talks about the role of Islamophobia in the dehumanization and the ongoing persecution of the community.