Monthly Archives: November 2014

Israeli Police Caught On Video Hosing ‘Skunk Spray’ on Palestinian Elementary Schools and Protesters

 

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Israeli police in Jerusalem have been caught on video recently spraying East Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhoods with a concoction they call “skunk spray”. The liquid is a mixture of sewage and rotting animal roadkill.

The result of the police hosing down neighborhoods, elementary schools and protesters with the mix is a putrid smell that seems almost impossible to get off or be around without inducing nausea. As a result, thousands of East Jerusalem children have been forced to stay home from school.

 

In the neighborhood of At-Tur (The Mount of Olives), police hosed down local elementary schools at 5:30 p.m., according to Khader Abu Sabitan, a member of the parents’ committee. He told 972mag that he “was on the road and saw them pass with their machine, and saw how they began shooting water at the school. I’m telling you – there was nothing there. It is Friday at 5:30 in the evening, and there was no one in the school or on the streets. Nothing. Everyone was home. They went to all four schools in the neighborhood, shot the water, and left.”

A similar video was taken in the neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber:

 

The putrid mix has also been used to disperse protesters in areas like Kafr Kanna, where activists took to the street to speak out agains the Israeli police shooting an killing a man from their village.

While the world mourns the tragic deaths of Israeli worshippers in Jerusalem from the recent axe attack terrorism anecdote, the mainstream media seems unwilling to look at the systematic acts of oppression from the State of Israel, which punish entire populations – especially children – on a policy level.

When a criminal or terrorist act is committed, it is to be denounced. But when acts of terrorism and intimidation are carried out by the police with the backing of the coercive force of State power, it seems odd that so little is being said about it.

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School board yanks Christmas from calendar after Muslims ask for their own holiday off

School board yanks Christmas from calendar after Muslims ask for their own holiday off


12 NOV 2014 AT 12:05 ET                   

Sad girl at Christmas (Shutterstock)

Muslims have been cast as the villains in an ongoing dispute over religious equality in a Maryland school district.

The conservative Education Action Group reported that the Montgomery County School District “stripped Christmas and Jewish holy holidays from its official calendar after Muslim parents complained,” and the headline warned that a “suburban DC school district takes Christmas off (the) calendar after Muslims complain.”

Even then, the activist group’s founder claimed in his article, “that’s not good enough” for the Muslims.

While EAG’s conclusions aren’t quite accurate – some of its reporting is.

Muslim families aren’t satisfied with the school board’s decision, because they’ve been asking the district for years to cancel classes on the Muslim holiday of Eid ul Fitr, which comes at the end of Ramadan.

“The Eid is just the same exact as Christmas day or Easter day or Yom Kippur,” said mother Samira Hussein, who works for the school district. “The children want to be home with their families. This is a family holiday that God designated and gave us the time to celebrate and be joyous.”

Students are given excused absences when they miss school for religious observance, but parents say they shouldn’t have to choose between their faith and their school work.

This year, Eid coincided with Yom Kippur, so students were already off school.

Montgomery County schools have closed on Jewish high holidays since the 1970s, because the area’s high Jewish population would create a high absenteeism rate.

They’ve always been closed for Christmas.

But county officials have said there aren’t enough Muslim families in the area to justify closing schools on Eid or other holidays celebrated in Islam.

“The absentee rate on the Eid holidays, when they’ve fallen on a school day, haven’t been considerably higher or lower than it is on any other given day,” said Dana Tofig, of Montgomery County Public Schools.

In response to the Muslim parents’ concerns, the school board voted 7-1 Tuesday to support Superintendent Joshua Starr’s recommendation to stop identifying religious holidays on scheduled days off but simply state schools will be closed on those dates.

The board did not, as Todd Starnes reported for Fox News, “eliminate all religious holidays.”

The school board member who offered the amendment said the measure was “the most equitable option.”

But some of the Muslims who packed the school board meeting said the decision simply alienated religious communities while doing nothing to advance equality.

“(They would) go so far as to paint themselves as the Grinch who stole Christmas,” said Zainab Chaudry, co-chair of the Equality for Eid Coalition. “They would remove the Christian holidays and they would remove the Jewish holidays from the calendar before they would consider adding the Muslim holiday to the calendar.”

She said Muslim parents want Christian and Jewish holidays to remain on the school calendar – but they want a day off granted for theirs, too.

“What we’re asking for is … to also have both the Jewish holiday and the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha both be recognized on the school calendar,” said Chaundry, who is also Maryland outreach manager for the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Watch this video report posted online by WRC-TV:

http://www.nbcwashington.com/templates/nbc_partner_player?cmsID=282341891&videoID=wFSG3Ht1M5aU&origin=nbcwashington.com&sec=news&subsec=local&width=600&height=360&turl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rawstory.com%2Frs%2F2014%2F11%2Fschool-board-yanks-christmas-from-calendar-after-muslims-ask-for-their-own-holiday-off%2F&ourl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rawstory.com&lp=1

 

EU Delegation: Israel has committed genocide

EU Delegation: Israel has committed genocide
 
 
Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:47AM
Jerome Hughes, Press TV, Brussels

 
 
Fact Corner
  • An official European Union delegation has just returned to Brussels from the Middle East and has declared that Israel has committed genocide against the Palestinians.
  • The delegation, made up of 13 members of the European Parliament, has called on the EU to implement sanctions against Tel Aviv.
These members of the European Parliament are calling on the European Union to break diplomatic ties with Israel and implement sanctions against the country because of the war crimes it has committed against the people of Palestine.

The delegation of 13 MEPs has just returned to Brussels from the Middle East and played a video to journalists showing a Palestinian child dying in the back of an ambulance. The delegation describes what Israel has done to the people of Gaza as genocide. The 50-day Israeli war on Gaza left thousands dead and tens of thousands wounded. The delegation of MEPs is accusing the West of turning its back on the Palestinian people by not taking action against Israel. The politicians accuse Tel Aviv of continuing to break international laws by engaging in land grabs to build settlements in Palestine. The United Nations aid organisation, UNRWA, estimates that it will cost 800 million euro to reconstruct the buildings and infrastructure in Palestine that were recently destroyed by Israel during its 50-day bombardment of Gaza. In the meantime hundreds of thousands of people will effectively remain homeless. The agency says 90% of the water in Gaza is now undrinkable, disease is spreading and it predicts that the area will be uninhabitable by the year 2020 unless the international community gets behind the citizens of Palestine.

Crowdfunder Indiegogo hosts campaign to destroy al-Aqsa mosque

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(Ismael Mohamad / United Press International)

Crowdfunder Indiegogo hosts campaign to destroy al-Aqsa mosque

 

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A campaign to destroy the al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock and build a “Third Jewish Temple” in their place is raising funds on Indiegogo. (Screenshot)

 

What do a “fashion label” which celebrates the Israeli army with sexist images of scantily clad female soldiers and inflammatory plans to build a “Third Jewish Temple” on the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem have in common?

The answer: support from Indiegogo, the social media fundraising platform which calls itself “the most trusted platform in the crowdfunding industry.”

In the past three months, Indiegogo has permitted two separate campaigns which clearly violate its terms of use to raise money through its website. Between them, the projects of the Temple Institute and fashion label MTKL promote racism, ethnic cleansing, open sexism, misogyny and rampant militarism — but Indiegogo seems determined to look the other way.

At the end of September 2014, the Jerusalem-based Temple Institute, an extremist organization which is part of the wider “Temple Movement,” successfully raised more than $100,000 to complete “architectural plans for the actual construction” of a “Third Temple” on the Haram al-Sharif. The Jerusalem site is home to the al-Aqsa mosque, the third most holy site for Muslims, and the Dome of the Rock, one of the earliest and most significant pieces of Islamic art and architecture in the world.

A better place?

Indiegogo markets itself as a supporter of “independent” initiatives. Using statementslike “Indiegogo is a way for people all over the world to join forces to make ideas happen. Since 2008, millions of contributors have empowered hundreds of thousands of inventors, musicians, do-gooders, filmmakers — and other game-changers — to bring big dreams to life,” it plays on the creative, progressive images evoked by the ideas of artists and — as the company puts it — “do-gooders.”

Words like “empowering” litter the site, and staff profiles include promises that “My dream in life is to make the world a better place. Enabling people to raise capital using Indiegogo is my way of fulfilling that dream.”

But recently, these two campaigns on Indiegogo have shown that it is willing to help groups which are very far from “making the world a better place” to raise funds.

Inciting violence in occupied Jerusalem

The Temple Institute was founded in the early 1980s by a former high-ranking member of Meir Kahane’s Kach Party, which was banned for its extremist positions and links to the Jewish Defense League, a violent group regarded as a terrorist organization by even the US and Israeli governments. The institute, however, has since receivedhundreds of thousands of dollars in funding from the Israeli government.

The Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem called the plans illegal, and coalition spokesperson Ingrid Jaradat Gassner, calling on Indiegogo to remove the Temple Institute’s campaign, told the press at the time that:

Numerous UN resolutions affirm that East Jerusalem, including the Old City and its religious sites, are part of the occupied Palestinian territory, where sovereignty belongs to the Palestinian people … this is an illegal campaign as defined by [Indiegogo’s] terms, violating international law and human rights, resulting in the destruction of property, inciting for religious intolerance, hatred and violence.

The Temple Institute bills itself as the “only one organization is paving the way for the rebuilding of the Temple,” and has already, it claims, produced a number of the ceremonial items which would be used for worship in a reconstructed temple.

The Institute’s fundraising page on Indiegogo — which features the video below — specifies the use to which money raised on the site will be put:

The Temple Institute has engaged an architect to map out the modern Third Temple’s construction. Your contribution will go towards completing this ambitious project and the continued research and development which will make the Third Temple a reality. With every detail of the future Temple’s requirements listed in the written and oral law, our architects are not only designers, but Torah scholars who will ensure that everything is built to the highest modern standards, while adhering to the letter of Jewish law.

 

 

Sweeping harassment

The Haram al-Sharif has been the site of many attacks by Israeli settlers, the Israeli military and Israeli police against Palestinian worshippers, and Israeli extremists have stepped up their attempts to take over the compound in recent months.

This has led to violence in Jerusalem and has been used by the Israeli authorities in Jerusalem as an excuse for sweeping harassment of Palestinian communities and hundreds arrests, including those of many children. Observers have accused Israeli extremists — similar to those at the Temple Institute — of trying to start a “holy war” in Jerusalem.

Hardly the “better world” which Indiegogo claims to be helping to build.

Misogyny, militarism and crowdfunding

 

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A new calendar being funded on Indiegogo features scantily clad women promoting Israeli militarism. (Photo via MTKL Indiegogo campaign)

Personally, I would really like this next example of Indiegogo’s support for demeaning, discriminatory projects to be a spoof. It looks like it could be satire, but all current indications seem to be that it is real, and that its revolting combination of sexism and militarism is genuine.

 

MTKL calls itself a fashion label, but its first product looks set to be a calendar filled with photos of scantily clad female Israeli soldiers. Using language such as “ the chosen amongst the chosen people, real women soldiers of the IDF [Israeli army],” it claims that “MTKL was founded by 2 former soldiers that always dreamt to show the world the beauty of Israel and its people.”

Despite the nauseating misogyny of the calendar, the brand’s Indiegogo page even has the gall to claim that “the initiative also shows a side of Israelis the world rarely sees; attractive, egalitarian and determined to fight for their right to survive.”

But most disturbingly, the women aren’t just depicted half-naked, they are also shown in military “themed” clothing, camouflage makeup and carrying large pieces of automatic weaponry. Even the brand name — MTKL — is a play on the Hebrew wordmatkal, which means “army command.”

The sinister blend of sexuality, sexism and violence is carried through into the project’s fundraising on Indiegogo. The wording of the funding campaign’s video, transcribed byblogger Richard Silverstein, contains passages which present Israeli culture as a combination of indiscriminate violence and objectification of women, but as somehow embodying emancipation at the same time:

Shenfeld: we are now producing the world’s first Israeli army girl calendar. We recruited a real group of Israeli soldiers as our models, and we tell the stories of their actual military service while sporting the best military-inspired apparel ever designed.

Missulawin: these are not your run-of-the-mill models. These are real soldiers of an army which sees plenty of combat action. Contribute a few dollars to help us publish this calendar as a premium printed product and take a stand with us in the name of freedom, life and having fun.

Narrator: Women who handle guns, lead operations, and fight terror; highly-trained army machines by day, supermodels by night. Because when you only have one shot, it has to be a killer one [sic]. Now, MTKL: over and out.

 

 

Ducking the issues

In an emailed response to an enquiry from The Electronic Intifada about its attitude to fundraising for projects which were misogynistic or politically inflammatory, John Eddy ofGoldin Solutions, Indiegogo’s media representative, would say only that “Indiegogo requires all campaigns to follow the terms of use.”

These terms of use state that Indiegogo itself “makes no representations about the quality, safety, morality or legality of any Campaign,” effectively attempting to wash its hands of liability for the results of immoral or illegal use of its fundraising platform.

Despite Indiegogo’s tolerance of the MTKL and Third Temple projects, both seem to infringe a number of the “terms of use” by which Eddy claims that users must abide.

For example, “Campaign Owners are not permitted to create a Campaign to raise funds for illegal activities, to cause harm to people or property, or to scam others” and “perks” offered to donors to campaigns must not include “any items promoting hate, discrimination, personal injury, death, damage, or destruction to property.”

Given that MTKL’s perks and other plans include blatantly misogynistic calendars and are intended to promote the image of an army which, less than three months before the campaign was launched, killed 2,100 people and destroyed thousands of homes and public buildings in its attacks on Gaza, it very much seems to violate the supposed bar on associations with “promoting hate, discrimination, personal injury, death, damage, or destruction to property.”

And the plans to build the Third Temple, as well as being illegal in relation to the status of Jerusalem, also by definition entail “damage [and] destruction to property” — in this case, some of the holiest and most artistically significant Islamic sites in the world.

Violating terms of use

In addition, the plans are part of a wider, viciously racist program of ethnic cleansing which is intended to force the Palestinian people from their land and deny them their basic rights.

Indiegogo also states that users should not use campaigns to:

“use the Services to promote violence, degradation, subjugation, discrimination or hatred against individuals or groups based on race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity”

… a list which, again, includes a number of stipulations which the MTKL and Third Temple campaigns blatantly violate.

Since Indiegogo’s terms state clearly that it “reserve[s] the right to refuse use of the Services to anyone and to reject, cancel, interrupt, remove or suspend any Campaign, Contribution, or the Services at any time for any reason without liability,” it remains unclear why both of these campaigns have been allowed to use to site to raise money.

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COMMENTS

It looks like Palestine’s supporters have a new, important target to boycott/protest. Any pro-Palestinian person or organization using Indiegogo for their own purposes should be encouraged to cease dealings with the company, and the word should be spread to discourage potential new clients from using it.

I just reported the campaign….

Simple, boycott indiegogo.

Here is the response received today. Not inspiring of trust and confidence. “Unable to share the action we take”??!?

“Derek, Nov 12 11:17:
Hi,

Thank you for sharing your concern with us. At this time, the campaign, ‘Build the Third Temple’, is under review to ensure that it adheres to our Terms of Use (http://www.indiegogo.com/about…).

So what happens now? We will include the information you have provided along with all other information at our disposal in our review of the campaign. In some cases, we will contact the campaign owner to have them edit their campaign and it will remain on our platform. If the project doesn’t follow our rules, we may remove the campaign. We may also restrict the campaign owner’s future activities on Indiegogo.

To protect our users’ privacy, we’re unable to share the action we take. At Indiegogo, we take the trust and safety of our community very seriously, and we greatly appreciate your patience and understanding throughout this review process. To learn more about Indiegogo’s Trust & Safety effort, please visit:www.indiegogo.com/trust

Please note that you do not need to contact us again. Doing so would create a new ticket and prolong the process. Thank you again for taking the time to get in touch with us and for helping to keep Indiegogo a safe and secure platform.

Regards,
Derek
Trust and Safety
Indiegogo”

I too wrote IndieGogo. Here is my open letter to them.

http://themessinglink.com/Indi…

I noted that the Director of the Temple Institute stated:

“It’s also important to note that we have no violent intentions . . . There will be a Temple when we have the love of the world, when people from around the world support us and ask us to build the Temple. “

I warned them that construction of a Third Temple on the Temple Mount could start World War III and I asked them to make sure the Temple Institute kept its word by holding the money in an escrow account until AFTER the Temple Institute has received the blessings of the director of the Muslim waqf that oversees the Haram al-Sharif. IndieGogo basically told me to pound sand.

We all know that Yahweh made many, many promises.

To the renamed “Aram” (to “Abraham”) in Gen. 17. 5-8 Yahweh said:

“I will make you exceedingly fruitful and I will make nations of you…”

Evidently those who bear fruit received no honorable mention. It was Aram/Abraham and his male offspring who were chosen along with their means of making “fruit”.

(The bearers come into the story only later on.)

Thus we have the female “soldiers” of the IDF who if they are pleasing are
assigned a male and become known known as “mattresses” (See Max
Bluementhal’s GOLIATH… Chapter: “The Beauty Brigade”

—Peter Loeb, Boston, MA , USA

Trilokpuri riots: Police were violent with Muslim women

Trilokpuri riots: Police were violent with Muslim women

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The four-page complaint consists of ‘testimonies’ of victims from Trilokpuri. (Source: Express archive)The four-page complaint consists of ‘testimonies’ of victims from Trilokpuri. (Source: Express archive)
Written by Mayura Janwalkar | New Delhi | Posted: November 9, 2014 3:07 am

A complaint filed before the Delhi Minorities Commission has alleged that the action taken by Delhi during the communal riots in Trilokpuri was partisan and that male police officers had used force against Muslim women.

The complaint was filed by the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) on October 30. It has urged the commission “to conduct an inquiry into the role and conduct of the local police of Kalyanpuri and Mayur Vihar Phase I, in light of the serious allegations and complaints of indiscriminate arrests, torture, beatings, high-handedness, abuse of power, discrimination and hostility towards the Muslim community.”

Police had registered three FIRs in connection with the riots and arrested 32 Muslims and 12 Hindus.

However, SDPI state secretary Azim Khan claimed, “We spoke to several residents from different blocks in the area. Muslim men were picked up not only from streets where violence took place but also their homes.”

The four-page complaint consists of ‘testimonies’ of victims from Trilokpuri, like that of a Muslim woman from Block 27. The woman said that around 3.30 pm on October 25, around 20-25 policemen broke open their house and assaulted her husband and brother-in-law — a tuberculosis patient — and picked them up.”

“Police also physically assaulted and abused the women and children in the house before dragging these men out…There are numerous testimonies of Muslim women being beaten and verbally abused by male police officers,” Khan alleged.

Claiming that Muslim women continue to feel unsafe, the complaint stated, “It has also been reported in eyewitness accounts that Muslim women are especially vulnerable at this point and fear for their safety. This feeling of insecurity or apprehension of sexual violence is exacerbated in those blocks of Trilokpuri where there are fewer Muslim houses.”

Chairman of the commission Qamar Ahmad said the commission is examining the complaint and has asked residents of Trilokpuri to share their experiences with its members. The three-member commission had also visited the riot-ridden area for restoration of peace.

“We have not received the police version yet. We will carry out preliminary work and forward the complaint to police,” Ahmad said.

However, a senior police officer who was part of the investigation denied the claims made by SDPI. “There has been no discrimination on the part of police while conducting searches or making arrests during the clashes. Also, there was not a single spot where female police officers were not deployed to quell the violence and disperse the rioters,” he said.

— Inputs from Sarah Hafeez

– See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/trilokpuri-riots-police-were-violent-with-muslim-women/#sthash.IqDtTh4k.dpuf

Internet Unshackled, Burmese Aim Venom at Rohingya Minority

<nyt_headline version=”1.0″ type=” “>Internet Unshackled, Burmese Aim Venom at Ethnic Minority

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A fire on Friday in Rakhine State in Myanmar, where Rohingya Muslims and Buddhist villagers have been embroiled in deadly clashes for the past week.

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BANGKOK — Over the past year, Myanmar’s government has ended its heavy censorship, allowing citizens unfettered access to a wide variety of Web sites that had been banned during military rule. When the government first began dismantling its Internet controls in August, visits to sites like YouTube soared.

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Rohingya Muslims at a protest outside the Burmese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Friday. The Rohingya are a stateless, oppressed people.

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But as the poverty-stricken country of 55 million makes a delicate transition to democracy, hateful comments are also flourishing online about a Muslim ethnic group, the Rohingya, that is embroiled in sectarian clashes in western Myanmar that have left more than two dozen people dead.

“The lid of authoritarianism has come off, and people finally have the freedom to express themselves,” said U Aung Naing Oo, the author of “Dialogue,” a book about conflict resolution in Myanmar’s fractious society. “All these grievances have come out,” and “the voices of reason are on the sidelines for now.”

When the discovery of a “Rohingya body” was announced Thursday on the Facebook page of the Eleven Media Group, one of the largest private media organizations in Myanmar, one reader, Pyaephyo Aung, wrote that he had been “waiting for this kind of news for a long time.” Another reader, Ko Nyi, used a racial slur and said, “It’s not even enough that he is dead.”

In online forums, Rohingya are referred to as dogs, thieves, terrorists and various expletives. Commenters urge the government to “make them disappear” and seem particularly enraged that Western countries and the United Nations are highlighting their plight.

The violence in Rakhine State, which borders Bangladesh, has left 29 people dead and more than 2,500 houses burned during the past week, according to officials quoted in the Burmese news media. About 30,000 people have been displaced by the violence, according to the United Nations.

Harder to measure has been damage to Myanmar’s complex multiethnic fabric as the government of President Thein Sein tries to steer the country toward reconciliation between the military and the people, and between the Bamar majority and the dozens of smaller ethnic groups.

So far, the violence has been limited to Rakhine, which is relatively isolated from the rest of the country by a mountain range. But many among those who have posted angry comments on Internet sites have equated the Rohingya with other Muslims scattered around Myanmar. In Yangon, Myanmar’s main city, worshipers at mosques reported that prayer services left out traditional Friday sermons as a precaution against widening the sectarian conflict.

The issue of the Rohingya is so delicate that even Myanmar’s leading defender of human rights and democracy, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has been oblique and evasive about the situation. Asked at a news conference on Thursday whether the estimated 800,000 Rohingyas in Myanmar should be given citizenship, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi was equivocal. “We have to be very clear about what the laws of citizenship are and who are entitled to them,” she said in Geneva, which she was visiting as part of a European tour. “All those who are entitled to citizenship should be treated as full citizens deserving all the rights that must be given to them.”

Defending the Rohingya, who are stateless and are described by the United Nations as one of the most oppressed minorities in Asia, is politically risky for both Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi and Mr. Thein Sein.

Mr. Thein Sein’s government is trying to rein in the news media to limit violence against the Rohingya. A popular publication called Hlyat Ta Pyet was banned this week for an indefinite period after it published what the government judged to be inflammatory coverage of the violence in Rakhine, said U Maung Myint, president of the Burma Media Association, which advocates media freedom.

The government has also ordered that all Rakhine-related news go through the censorship board, a rollback to the procedures during military rule. “This is the worst moment for media since the ‘civilian’ government assumed power,” Mr. Maung Myint said.

The Internet, however, has remained unfettered — and heavily tilted against the Rohingya. On Facebook and on news sites, there appeared to be very few comments this week defending the Rohingya or calling for reconciliation.

United Nations report published in December described the Rohingya as “virtually friendless” among other ethnic groups in Myanmar. That is a polite assessment.

The source of the hatred toward the Rohingya is complex but appears to turn on religion, language, colonial resentment, nationalism and skin color.

In 2009, a Burmese diplomat who was then consul general in Hong Kong sent a letter to local newspapers and other diplomatic missions calling the Rohingya “ugly as ogres.” The diplomat, U Ye Myint Aung, compared the “dark brown” complexion of Rohingyas with the “fair and soft” skin of the majority of people in Myanmar.

The Rohingya are often called “Bengali” by their opponents in Myanmar, a term that suggests that they belong in India or Bangladesh.

Although they have been denied citizenship and are subjected to “forced labor, extortion, restriction on freedom of movement, the absence of residence rights, inequitable marriage regulations and land confiscation,” according to the United Nations, the government has allowed many of them to vote, including in the country’s first elections after military rule, in 2010.

Like the Roma of Europe, they are not wanted in either Myanmar or neighboring Bangladesh. United Nations officials in Geneva said Friday that Bangladeshi border guards were pushing back boatloads of people trying to flee. The boats, laden with women, children and others wounded in the violence, have been left drifting in the broad Naf River delta between the two countries, short of food and water, said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The provenance of the Rohingya is as difficult to trace as that of many of Myanmar’s other ethnic groups: they appear to be a mixture of Arabs, Moors, Turks, Persians, Moguls and Pathans, according to the United Nations. Myanmar’s government counts more than 130 ethnicities in the country. The Rohingya are not on that list.

Many online commentators in Myanmar have called for the expulsion of the Rohingya — or worse. When the Eleven Media Group reported Thursday that a woman’s corpse was spotted floating in a river, but did not disclose the ethnicity of the victim, one reader said he was confused. “I don’t know if I should be happy or sad,” he said, “because I don’t know what nationality she is.”

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Poypiti Amatatham contributed reporting from Bangkok, and Nick Cumming-Bruce from Geneva.

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