The Rohingya: Time magazine now and then

I just wanted to be done for today, to relax on a Friday night, instead I am steaming mad.  A little while ago I got an “e-update” from our favorite refugee industry lobbying group, Refugees International, lamenting the plight of the Rohingya illegal aliens trying to get into Thailand.

I will grant that if the reports are true, the Thai military has really screwed up badly by treating the illegal aliens cruelly and possibly killing hundreds.

However, I have been watching the development of the Rohingya refugee issue for a year now—the steady drumbeat about how the poor suffering stateless Rohingya need to come to the west to live.   That is what all this is working up to, and the Thai government has now handed the refugee pushers the perfect public relations coup.

The story of the Muslim Rohingya boat men is making the rounds of all the major media including Time magazine.  Gee didn’t Newsweek just screw up badly a week ago in a report about Somalis in Maine?   I guess it’s Time’s turn to give us the politically correct story—the whitewashing of anything to do with Muslim immigrants.

Now…..

The rescued Rohingya in India and Indonesia are likely to be “repatriated” to Bangladesh — a return to Burma would spell arrest and far worse. The Rohingya’s lot in Burma is dire, says Sean Garcia, a consultant for the Washington-based Refugees International. “They are not allowed to survive,” he says. Denied state documents, the Rohingya have to apply for permission to move from village to village, to repair a mosque, even to get married. Rohingya frequently fall victim to forced-labor drives by the military. The Burmese government, say Rohingya rights-groups, sees them as interlopers in the predominantly Buddhist land.

I’m not defending actions of the Burmese Junta but apparently they fear the ever- expanding Muslim population and for good reason.  With a growing radical Islamic insurgency in its south, that is Thailand’s concern too, but these mainstream media outfits dare not mention that.

Then here is another paragraph from Time.  I ask you, does this sound like straightforward reporting?

As a consequence of their downtrodden condition, the Rohingya don’t have the kind of diaspora-based support groups that provide publicity and aid to some of Burma’s other oppressed minorities. [Editor:  This is factually untrue, they have many support groups, we know, we hear from them]   Their plight, though, may be a central issue at the next regional ASEAN Summit, which will take place at the end of February in Thailand. By then, observers hope the Thai government will employ different methods in tackling the problem. “Governments in the region need to put together a proactive plan to meet the needs of the Rohingya,” says Garcia. “You can’t literally make these people go away, as if they were less than human.” But for thousands of Rohingya refugees, that is a fate to which they are all too accustomed.  [Who wrote this, a Time reporter or a refugee lobbyist?]

And then…..

Here is what Time magazine said about Rohingya on October 14, 2002 in an article entitled, ‘Deadly Cargo’ by Alex Perry.  What, no search function at Time?

Today, southern Bangladesh has become a haven for hundreds of jihadis on the lam. They find natural allies in Muslim guerrillas from India hiding out across the border, and in Muslim Rohingyas, tens of thousands of whom fled the ethnic and religious suppression of the Burmese military junta in the late 1970s and 1980s. Many Rohingyas are long-term refugees, but some are trained to cause trouble back home in camps tolerated by a succession of Bangladeshi governments. The original facilities date back to 1975, making them Asia’s oldest jihadi training camps. And one former Burmese guerrilla who visits the camps regularly describes three near Ukhia, south of the town of Cox’s Bazar, as able to accommodate a force of 2,500 between them.

Isn’t it just possible that the Thai government does have something to fear from hundreds of Rohingya men arriving in Thailand?   Why can’t any of you even say this?  It infuriates me!   Why can’t you refugee lobbyists and your media lackey’s be completely honest with the public?  

Maybe solutions could be found for some of these seemingly intractable immigrant issues if you all weren’t such leftwing zealots busy manipulating public opinion.

…and thanks for ruining what was going to be a nice evening.

This is my first post (a year ago January) about this earlier Time magazine article.  You can read all about the organized PR campaign to resettle Rohingya Muslims in the west in our special cateory on the topic here.

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