A boat carrying hundreds of Rohingya refugees was recently turned away from Malaysia, with the government citing fears over coronavirus.
Dozens died in the journey, and it’s believed that hundreds of more people are still stuck at sea. (BBC)
The Bangladesh government has refused to allow some 500 Rohingya refugees stranded on board two fishing trawlers in the Bay of Bengal to come ashore. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told Al Jazeera on Saturday that the Rohingya refugees, who are believed to have been at sea for weeks, are “not Bangladesh’s responsibility.”
The two trawlers – carrying an estimated 500 Rohingya women, men and children – are in the Bay of Bengal after being rejected by Malaysia, which has imposed restrictions on all boats in light of the coronavirus pandemic. (Al-Jazeera)
The world has witnessed the plight of the oppressed Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar over the past few years, with increased hostility towards them, with the region’s leaders denying responsibility to help them. Their dire situation occasionally got a mention in the mainstream media but is more often than not ignored.
Now that the coronavirus is the main topic of conversation, and blaming foreigners has become a popular trend for these failed rulers, they have used it as an excuse to justify their callous inhumane treatment of the desperate migrants.
It is truly shameful that governments in Muslim lands should refuse entry to any desperate migrant, particularly Muslim women and children, preferring them to die at sea than be offered safety onshore. Their excuse of them potentially spreading the virus is no more than a red herring, as it is not difficult to quarantine new arrivals.
The growing disease of nationalism in Europe and America has no doubt encouraged the weak agent governments in Muslim lands to follow their masters’ lead. Britain, Italy, Greece and America did not need the excuse preventing the spread of disease to deny entry of migrants in boats; as selfishness unwillingness to share their resources with “others” has always been a popular sentiment for the politicians to tap into.
Muslims, on the other hand, have not traditionally been divided along arbitrary borders, nor have they viewed people from other lands as a threat to their own supplies. However, since the colonialists came to divide up our lands, imposing their nationalist identities upon us and impoverishing our people, our leaders, whom they appointed to rule over us, have adopted and promoter the same unIslamic ideas, to keep us divided and in service of the colonial masters of the West.
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by Yahya Nisbet