In recent weeks, when news of the gruesome massacre of Rohingya Muslims horribly killed by Myanmar soldiers becomes public via the social media platform with gory images, Muslims worldwide and Nigerians in particular showed their concern. Majority of people were in disbelief that such cruelty and man’s inhumanity to fellow man can happen right under our nose.
But pictures don’t lie, most importantly videos can’t be disputed.
As usual with what has been happening to Muslims the world over, the mainstream media of the western world turned a blind eye to the unquantifiable suffering of the Muslim minorities in Myanmar. However as the social media became awash with the disturbing news and images together with videos, the mainstream media joined in giving the unfortunate news the coverage it deserves.
It has been reported that Myanmar government soldiers are the perpetrators of all the killings of Muslims in Rakhine state of that country, just like what happened to Muslim members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria in December, 2015 in Zaria. The Myanmar soldiers, like their Nigerian counterparts did not spare children in their killing spree. They openly and brazenly torched Muslim buildings, just like the Nigerian army did in burning down several houses in Zaria. Women and the elderly were killed by the Myanmar army, just like the Nigerian soldiers killed innocent women and the elderly in Zaria. In fact the atrocities committed by the soldiers in Myanmar is no different from the one committed by the Nigerian soldiers in Zaria both in execution and style.
As if to confirm that tyranny and injustice has the same face everywhere, the way the national government of Myanmar went about denying the undeniable fact of the gruesome murders carried out by its soldiers is similar the way the Buhari administration has been treating the genocide carried out by its army in Zaria. It is an incontrovertible fact that the two incidents have the Zionist hand all over them, enjoying the backing of Western imperialists. In fact the way the country’s president, Aung San Suu Kyi took a deafening silence on the issue is akin to Buhari’s silence on the Zaria killings. If at all there is something different about the two genocides that of Rakhine state in Myanmar and Kaduna state in Nigeria, is that the latter was conducted within only 48 hours with even greater brutality and casualty figures of those killed.
Therefore it will be hypocrisy of the highest order for one to condemn the genocide in Myanmar without condemning the one in Nigeria. It will be insane for a Nigerian to condemn President Aung over the killings and wanton destruction of properties in Myanmar without condemning President Buhari over Zaria killings of December 2015. The way people of conscience felt for the helpless Muslims of Rakhine state in Myanmar, especially their brothers in faith, is the way they should have felt when Zaria massacre occurred. Alas the two were given different treatment by majority of Muslims here in Nigeria. No sign of remorse and concern was shown to Zaria tragedy, with some even applauding the savage killings carried out by the Army.
However we will not be coerced into silence on injustice meted to our leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, his family and followers by the Buhari administration. We will keep on demanding for our right to justice and fair play, the cardinal principles of any democratic settings. We call on all and sundry to come out and join us in the struggle for justice not only in Kaduna state but the nation in general.
As the Islamic Movement in Nigeria join many others in condemning the massacre carried out by soldiers in Myanmar and call for justice to be done for the victims, we hereby call on the federal government to do the necessary on the Zaria massacre. Our leader should be released from the illegal incarceration he has been put to for almost two years now. We demand his immediate freedom, his wife and other hundreds of members of the Islamic Movement clamped into detention centres. We also demand for the corpses of our massacred brothers and sisters for proper Islamic burials.
SHEIKH ABDULHAMID BELLO