Take the Rohingya, for instance, a Muslim people that primarily lived
in Myanmar, while, like most invading and conquering Muslims, not being
indigenous to Myanmar. There they have been severely persecuted by the
indigenous Buddhists of that nation. While the Rohingya are regularly
presented as victims—aspects of which is no doubt true—historically and
precipitating their current status, whenever they had the chance, they
were the ones quick to victimize others.
In fact, and not unlike the Muslim minorities of other nations, the Rohingya have been committing the same sort of anti-infidel mayhem,
violence, terrorism, and rape that one is accustomed to associating
with “radical Islam”—though news of it seldom reaches the West. The
main difference is that, unlike, say, the West, Myanmar has responded
with uncompromising ruthlessness.
Consider the words
of Wirathu, the leading anti-Muslim Buddhist monk in Burma: “If we are
weak, our land will become Muslim.” The theme song of his party speaks
of a people who “live in our land, drink our water, and are ungrateful
to us”—a reference to the Rohingya—which “we will build a fence with our
bones if necessary” to keep out. His pamphlets say “Myanmar is
currently facing a most dangerous and fearful poison that is severe
enough to eradicate all civilization.”
Relatedly, consider the words of Fr. Daniel Byantoro, a Muslim convert to Orthodox Christianity:
For thousands of years my country (Indonesia) was a Hindu
Buddhist kingdom. The last Hindu king was kind enough to give a tax
exempt property for the first Muslim missionary to live and to preach
his religion. Slowly the followers of the new religion were growing, and
after they became so strong the kingdom was attacked, those who refused
to become Muslims had to flee for their life to the neighboring island
of Bali or to a high mountain of Tengger, where they have been able to
keep their religion until now. Slowly from the Hindu Buddhist Kingdom,
Indonesia became the largest Islamic country in the world. If there is
any lesson to be learnt by Americans at all, the history of my country
is worth pondering upon. We are not hate mongering, bigoted people;
rather, we are freedom loving, democracy loving and human loving people.
We just don’t want this freedom and democracy to be taken away from us
by our ignorance and misguided “political correctness”, and the
pretension of tolerance. (Source: Facing Islam, endorsement section).
But surely all of this is history? Surely having been at the
receiving end of persecution, the Rohingya have come to learn how it
feels, and, accordingly, come to deplore the idea of victimizing others
simply because they are different? Unfortunately that does not seem to
be the case.
For example, in January of 2020, Muslim Rohingya in a Bangladeshi refugee camp savagely beat
a dozen Christians in their midst. “[They] attacked us, the
Christians. They looted our houses, and beat up many Christian members.
At least 12 Christians have been undergoing treatment at different
hospitals and clinics,” a Christian reported,
before adding, “We came under attack due to our faith…. On May 10, 11,
and 13 last year, this same group of terrorists attacked us. They want
us to leave this camp. They have been attacking us systematically.”