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Genocide and the ongoing persecution of Rohingya Muslims
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.

In 2016 and 2017, Myanmar’s military carried out what it described as clearance operations aimed at rebel groups in the Rakhine state. The military has often framed the Rohingya Muslims as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, denying them access to citizenship and rendering the community stateless. The two phases of the 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.

Today, the very military responsible for these crimes is now ruling Myanmar, having overthrown the democratically-elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in February 2021. Today, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims remain in overcrowded and poverty-stricken refugee camps in Bangladesh, while hundreds have taken perilous journeys on the sea in search of safety and security. Those Rohingya who remain in Myanmar continue to face discrimination and violence at the hands of the state.

Join the Bridge Initiative’s founding director Dr. Esposito in conversation with Dr. Ronan Lee, author of Myanmar’s Rohingya Genocide: Identity, History and Hate Speech, and Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, founder of Justice for All, who will be discussing the ongoing persecution of Rohingya Muslims and how Islamophobia played a role in the criminalization and dehumanization of the community.

Sep 14, 2022 11:00 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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