Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

Sociology and Social Policy

Islamophobia as genocide: The plight of the Rohingya by Professor Salman Sayyid

27 September 2017 | Rebekah Bradley

Islamophobia as genocide: The plight of the Rohingya by Professor Salman Sayyid

Professor Salman Sayyid has written a piece for the Daily Sabah about the Rohingya being murdered and driven out of their ancestral villages because they are considered foreigners who do not belong. He argues that "Islamophobia is not simply the hostility to Muslims, but rather, it is the glue that holds together a coalition that prevents a more pluralistic world from developing."

Discussing recent events persecuting the Rohingya, Professor Sayyid reminds the reader that their persecution has been ongoing for decades, stripped of citizenship rights and with restricted opportunity to participate in society. Many have been subject to brutal treatment, including extrajudicial killings, rape, torture, arson and mass displacement.

Professor Sayyid highlights how the discrimination subjected upon the Rohingya – which was described by Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi as ‘fake news’ – alongside the 2011 case of Andres Breivik killing 70 Norwegian Socialists, show how “Islamophobia is no longer confined to extreme right-wing groups; it is now global.”

The article goes on to discuss how the language being used by xenophobic nationalists like Aung San Suu Kyi, Modi and Trump is done to cope with the crisis of nationalism and the global project of the nation-state. Sayyid suggests Muslims are increasingly subjugated:

“The Rohingya are being murdered and driven out of their ancestral villages because they are considered to be foreigners, those who do not belong…The emergence of a Muslim identity on a global scale has become transgressive of an order based on national divisions; it has become transgressive of movements towards cultural homogenization, and it has become transgressive of Enlightenment teleology.”

Read the full article online

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