Vol. 13    Issue 9   01 - 30 November 2018
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Professor A. R. MOMIN

Genocide of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims

The Muslim population of Myanmar is ethnically and culturally diverse. About a third of the population comprises descendants of Arab and Persian traders and travellers who began arriving in the country from the 13th century. Another third consists of descendants of Muslims of Indian origin, whose ancestors arrived in the country during the colonial period. The other groups include Muslims of Malay and Chinese ancestry. The Bengali-speaking Rohingya Muslims are descendants of migrants from regions that are today part of Bangladesh in the 19th century.   Read more


An African Diasora in the Indian Subcontinent: The Habshis and Siddis of India and Pakistan

Professor A. R. MOMIN

In medieval Arab historiography, people of African descent are referred to as Zanj (plural: zunuj) or Habshi (plural: ahabish). The name Zanj was used by Arab geographers and historians for Africa. The word Habshi is derived from Habsha, or Abyssinia. The ancient Greeks referred to Abyssinia as Ethiopia.

The institution of slavery dates from 9th century Iraq. Slaves were obtained from Africa as well as Central Asia and Turkey. From the 9th century onwards, the slave troops of Turkish and Central Asian origin were the core of the Abbasid armies. The Seljuq minister Nizamul Mulk (d. 1092) wrote in Siyasat Nama, “One obedient slave is better than 300 sons; for the latter desire their father’s death, the former his master’s glory.” Ibn Khaldun considered black Africans to be the only people who accepted slavery ‘because of their low degree of humanity and their proximity to the animal stage.’ There was an extensive network of slave trade in the medieval period, in which Arab traders played the most prominent role. African slaves were obtained by capture or purchase. Arab traders often exchanged African slaves for clothes, manufactured goods, metalwork and beads from India and Persia. In the 13th and 14th centuries, tens of thousands of Africans were sold to ruling dynasties in the Muslim world. Ethiopia’s Christian kingdom collaborated with long-distance Muslim traders in exporting African slaves to Muslim lands. The number of African slaves which was exported by Arab traders across the trans-Saharan trade route reached a total of 1,740,000 in the period 900-1100. Andre Wink has written that the importation of black slaves to Muslim countries from Spain to India over a period of more than a thousand years surpassed in numbers the African slave trade to the New World.   Read more


Mexico’s Indigenous Muslims

Professor A. R. MOMIN

Mexico, officially United Mexican States, is a federal republic in the southernmost part of the North America. It is the 13th largest state in the world in terms of graphical area, with an estimated population of over 120 million. Mexico City is the capital and Spanish is the official language. Mexico has a mixed economy based on agriculture, minerals, manufacturing and oil and natural gas. it is the world’s largest producer of silver, bismuth and celestite.   Read more

Yemen Slides into the Horrors of Famine

War-torn Yemen is experiencing the disastrous collapse of its currency. Food, fuel, medication and clean water is becoming astronomically expensive. The result is a looming famine that could become one of the biggest ever.

By Christoph Reuter

The soldiers standing with their machine guns can't see us behind the mirrored windows of the SUV as we speed past. A long succession of pickup trucks line the road along the shore, with men in uniform standing at the ready behind the MGs mounted in their beds.

They have been sent to shoot at demonstrators should the need arise -- the very demonstrators we would like to speak with. The authorities, however, have not allowed for that degree of transparency for our trip. The governor of the country's largest province, Hadramawt, invited journalists to demonstrate how safe and quiet the capital of Mukalla is, that the port is in operation, that oil exports continue and that there is a Yemen beyond the artillery and gunfire.

At least until the third day of our stay.   Read more


US 'war on terror' has killed over half a million people: study

Between 480,000-507,000 people were killed in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq in the wake of 9/11 attacks, study says.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan have been killed due to the so-called "war on terror" launched by the United States in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attack, according to a new study.

The report, which was published on Saturday by the Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, put the death toll between 480,000 and 507,000.

The toll includes civilians, armed fighters, local police and security forces, as well as US and allied troops.

The report states that between 182,272 and 204,575 civilians have been killed in Iraq; 38,480 in Afghanistan; and 23,372 in Pakistan. Nearly 7,000 US troops were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in the same period.

The paper, however, acknowledged that the number of people killed is an "undercount" due to limitations in reporting and "great uncertainty in any count of killing in war".  Read more

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