Chechnya and Azerbaijan react
Photo: REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
Two massive rallies in defense of the Rohingya people occured in Russia last week. Why such a sudden interest in the fate of the Muslim minority?
The story of the Rohingya people
They are often described as the most persecuted minority in the world. The Rohingya is an Islamic ethnic group numbering 11 million, aspiring to move illegally to their historic lands in mostly Buddhist Myanmar (former Burma) from neighboring Bangladesh.
The Myanmar military regime deny them citizenship, consider them illegal migrants and exert unprecedented pressure on the Rohingya.
In the last three weeks more than 90 000 had to flee to refugee camps on the Bangladesh border as a result of Myanmar military attacks. The Telegraph reported that 400 to 1000 and more have been killed.
Human rights activists call the attacks genocide.
Who defended the Rohingya in Russia
Several hundred people took part in the unsanctioned rally in Moscow, and a million came to the rally that was organized in Grozny.
According to The Caucasian Knot, participants in Grozny were pressured to come to the rally.
The Russian media explained that the sudden interest in the fate of the Rohingya was caused by the Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov`s stand.
He is trying to present himself as the chief Muslim defendant in Russia. It is also a demonstration of force by Kadyrov, who needs to remind the Kremlin of his potential regarding the situation of the ongoing economic crisis and lack of financial aid from Moscow, on which his republic heavily depends.
Kadyrov demanded in his Instagram page that Russia speaks out for the Rohingya, threatening otherwise to disagree with Russian policies.
For years Russia and China have been blocking the UN Security Council’s resolutions criticizing the Myanmar regime’s actions against the Rohingya.
The Rohingya defend ants in Azerbaijan
There is neither a Myanmar embassy nor a Buddhist community in Azerbaijan, which is why the reaction was mainly followed in social media.
Most of the users spoke in support of the Rohingya. With Islamic solidarity posing as the obvious reason, some point to fact that the Myanmar regime is being supported by Russia abusing it`s veto right in the Security Council.
Only a few spoke of the necessity to take both sides’ interests into account, and not to forget the separatist calls from the Rohingya leaders. Those who speak of the victims among the Buddhists find themselves in the minority and face criticism.