Anti-Myanmar protest in a nominally Russian region. Source: Елена Афонина / ТАСС / Scanpix / LETA
Photogenic female face of resistance to the junta and Nobel Peace Prize winner comes to power as de facto leader of Myanmar.
Some of Aung San Suu Kyi’s comments about a certain Muslim minority in her country up to that point had been disconcerting for NYT readers, but still, that wasn’t a big deal. It’s not like a Myanmar is a European country and the Rohingya are Chechens in the 1990s (though in that situation, it was the Chechens doing all the ethnic cleansing).
Anyhow, her government proceeds to step up statutory discrimination against said Muslim minority ramps up to what now appears to be large-scale ethnic cleansing.
Now China is friends with Myanmar, good location for a port and an outlet into the Indian Ocean not dependent on the Malacca Straits, and regularly vetoes all UN resolutions against Myanmar. Russia is friends with China, and supports it on these vetoes, just as China does likewise for Russia in Europe. Some bellicose Muslim minority isn’t going to bother them, especially considering that both of them have their own Rohingyas in the form of the Uyghurs and the Chechens.
There’s more WEIRD os who care about such sentimental stuff in the West, of course, but what with Trump’s latest adventures and Best Korea throwing about missiles every other day, there’s plenty of far more interesting stuff to occupy their attention. Besides, there’s no oil in Myanmar, and coming out too stridently against a female resistance leader they had patronized for decades would be a bit awkward.
Fortunately, there was someone to take up the slack, /ourguy/ Ramzan “White Sharia” Kadyrov.
He was very triggered and cried on Intagram all about it.
Soon after, a thousand strong crowd of Muslims gathered around the Myanmar Embassy in Moscow with their usual Allah Snackbars and the less usual “Buddhists are terrorists.” While someone more cynically disposed might sarcastically remark about how the mob must have collectively worked up a few hundreds years’ worth of jailtime under Article 282, Russia’s hate speech statue, we as civilized multicultural Europeans must take a more generous and enlightened view of our Muslim countrymen. Surely they were just discussing this 2013 TIME magazine cover.
Apart from inciting an unsanctioned extremist protest in the capital, Ramzan Kadyrov also herded in hundreds of thousands of Chechens to the center of Grozny in solidarity with the people of Rohingya. One idly wonders how many of them could point to Myanmar on a world map. A hundred? A dozen?
And here is based Chechen man Ramzan Kadyrov himself, governor of a region where more than 80% of the local budget is financed from Moscow:
Why is the Russian media silent? … You think, I am happy with this. Not at all!
And if even Russia was to support these shaitans, who are carrying out these crimes, I will oppose Russia’s position!
“Russia’s” position, along with China’s, is to block UN resolution after UN resolution against what it considers Myanmar’s Anti-Terrorist Operation.
I have my own vision, my own position.
The spread of Islamic identity politics beyond Kadyrov’s fiefdom to Russia at large and even the outside world, all courtesy of the Russian taxpayer.
And why shouldn’t Kadyrov play around? Judging by the muted reaction of the Kremlin, he has nothing to risk.
The cautious and elderly men who rule Russia are constitutionally incapable of fitting Muslims chanting “Buddhists are terrorists” into the Soviet-Putinist worldview of a “friendship of peoples” united against Wahhabis and fascists. The Moscow mayoralty saw nothing untowards in the unsanctioned protests against the Embassy of a sovereign power, there being no arrests, even though an analogous action by any other political group would have been unceremoniously dispersed by the OMON.
The reaction of the Russian MSM has been as schizophrenic as it has been demented, probably the result of no common position having come down from an equally confused Kremlin. Vladimir Solovyev, Russia’s most famous political talkshow host and fawning, has developed a rather strange interest in the welfare of the Rohingya in the past couple of days. State news agency RIA published “Muslim Non-Brothers” criticizing the Moscow protests, and was deleted almost immediately (cached version); on the other hand, the conservative-patriotic tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda article by Alexander Kots that was clearly substantially “inspired” by the former is still up: “Why, Ramzan, Mix Politics and Islam“? RT triangulated, making the case for why it was Soros’ fault.
Meanwhile, Putin has joined Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in condemning “all violence” in Myanmar.
The logical conclusion is that political Islam works in Russia. It gets results. Minority nationalist and sectarian activists have observed it to work, and will draw the required lessons.
The only silver lining is that is about Myanmar and as per above nobody really cares about Myanmar apart from Myanmar and Ramzan Kadyrov. And I suppose Bangladesh, who are having to take in the refugees. Poor Bangladesh, when not flooded by water, flooded by people, as if it still has any room to spare.
Still, there’s no reason this experiment couldn’t be repeated in the future. A whole vista of fascinating scenarios open up.
How wonderful would it be if “Putin’s political son” (according to The Saker) and “Putin’s soldier” (according to Kadyrov himself) were to one day discover the plight of the Uyghurs and force Putin to condemn violence on all sides there? Maybe even send some fighters to help out in the struggle against the Chicom shaitans. At least Kadyrov acknowledged that sending troops to Myanmar is “unrealistic” on account of “the geography,” though he added that if it was up to him, he’d “drop a nuclear bomb there to destroy those people killing women, children, and the elderly.” Happily, no such problems with Xinjiang, which borders Russia.
Or why even bother with Xinjiang. Lots of other potential Islamic states within Russia’s borders. Any one or all of them might conceivable come to be oppressed in Kadyrov’s “vision” and “position.”
Ridiculous to imagine today, of course. But stranger things have happened before. The one sure thing is that the West will still figure out how to blame Russians for everything.