Other than Time magazine in 2002, I haven’t even seen the word Rohingya in any American mainstream media story. The article in Time linked the Rohingya to Al Qaeda. (See my first post from a year ago on the Rohingya with the link to Time here.)
So far the US has not officially accepted the Burmese Rohingya Muslims even while the UN is working mighty hard to open up their resettlement to Canada, Europe, and Australia. Canada is now expecting to take 5000 in the next few years!
From the Calgary Herald:
She (a Rohingya refugee interviewed for this article) is part of a group of 54 refugees from Burma — including 36 children and 14 women — who have landed recently in Quebec thanks to a federal refugee program. They are among the first group of some 5,000 Rohingya people, a Muslim ethnic minority from western Burma’s Arakan state, who will be coming to Canada in the next few years.
I’m happy that these Rohingya Muslim women were able to get rid of abusive husbands. By the way, the camps in which they lived are reported to be terrorist recruitment centers (see Time link). I guess beating one’s wife goes right along with Islamic terrorism.
“The time spent with my husband was the worst,” Tamira, 25, tells the translator Ashraful in a mix of Bengali and Rohingyalish language.
She explains that her husband beat her but she stops short of giving details. “It’s a long story. It will hurt and I will cry if I tell it,” she says.
But Tamira and Senoyra are grateful to be in Canada now, far away from the dangerous conditions of the camps and their former husbands.
Maybe it will work out for Canada if they stick to the policy mentioned here. Frankly I was amazed that an immigration official would tell these women—assimilate or no one else in your family comes to Canada. Why aren’t we doing that in the US? Actually I posted on a US report just a few weeks ago that said we must Americanize immigrants or we will be in deep trouble. Back to the Calgary Herald story:
When Immigration and Citizenship minister Jason Kenney paid a courtesy visit to the Burmese refugees in Quebec City recently he was assailed with questions. “Can the rest of my family come here?” “What do I have to do?”
The translator was relaying their concerns to the minister who refused to make any public commitment. “We have a reunification program and you will be in a good position to help your family if you settle here and integrate well into your new country,” Kenney told them. He stressed that learning one or both official languages and finding a job will be crucial to help them eventually sponsor their family to come to Canada.
I’ve written 40 previous posts on the Rohingya over the last 12 months, so if you are interested go to our category Rohingya Reports and learn more.